‘This Is Us’ Delivers Life-Or-Death Fall Finale: Actor Chris Sullivan Weighs In On Toby’s Fate [Spoilers]

This Is Us did it again. The fall finale, titled “Last Christmas,” that aired last night has left fans shocked, sad, and extremely anxious for the hit show to return after the holidays. There were many key plot points revealed, but the biggest involved actor Chris Sullivan and his character, Toby. The cliffhanger left fans talking and speculating about Toby’s fate. Find out below what Sullivan had to say about what happened on this epic Christmas episode.


Sullivan’s character has been on hiatus for the past few episodes as Kate had dumped him prior to making her journey to New York. Last night, fans were ecstatic when Toby showed up on Randall’s doorstep in a Santa hat Christmas Eve. Toby told Kate, played by the beautiful Chrissy Metz, that he just flew six hours in the middle seat to see her. Toby went on to tell Kate he could live without pizza and other junk food, but she was the one thing he could not live without. They made up and hurried upstairs to reestablish their relationship, so to speak. Upon returning downstairs, Toby was acting a little off, and later, while sweating profusely, Sullivan collapsed over the coffee table.


Throughout the episode, the theme was that “nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve.” Fans are now hoping that is true as the episode concluded with Sullivan fighting for his life in surgery. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Chris to discuss what happened to Toby on this enlightening, drama-filled Christmas Eve.

When asked how Chris was feeling after this episode he responded, “Oh, man. #PrayForToby.”


When the episode concluded, fans began speculating immediately if Toby had a heart attack or blood clot from traveling in the middle seat of the plane for six hours. So which was it? From Sullivan’s interview, it looks like Toby probably suffered a heart attack. Chris said he found out about Toby’s life-or-death situation about five or six episodes ago by accident.

Sullivan said, “Here’s what happened: I was improvising in another scene, and I made some joke about having a heart attack. And the director was like, ‘Uh, we can’t do that joke.’ And I was like, ‘Okay — wait a minute, why can’t we do that joke?’ And he was like, ‘Uh, no, uh, never mind.’ And I’m like, ‘No, you tell me why I can’t do that joke!'”

Sullivan stayed tight-lipped about Toby’s fate on the show. Chris kept things light and joked around throughout the interview.

When congratulated on his reunion with Kate, Chris laughingly said, “Or not. He might be dead. We don’t know.”

Sullivan did say there were no stunt doubles; the fall was real, and he was a little sore the following day.

E! News also caught up with Sullivan regarding the big twist on Toby. While Chris would still not give away too much about if Toby lives or dies, Sullivan does say fans will find out during the first episode back what Toby’s fate will be.

Sullivan said, “Aside from the fall break, they’re not going to make you wait too long to find out the fate of Toby one way or another.”

Sullivan understands the writers’ intentions to possibly kill him off so early in This Is Us.

Chris said, “I think in telling a good story there has to be ups and downs with any character, and you can’t just have everything go swimmingly and you can’t just have characters who are supposed to be in a romantic relationship just getting into an argument every episode. There has to be other tension and things introduced. But I don’t know if we knew they were going to go this big this soon!”

While fans don’t know Toby’s fate just yet, they are hoping for the best. Recent social media pictures have shown Sullivan with co-star Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, together at Paramount studios. Hopefully, this means Toby survives his heart attack. Fans will know Toby’s fate when This Is Us returns January 10 on NBC.

[Featured Image by Mark Davis/Getty Images]