[Editor’s note: this post contains spoilers for the This Is Us episode that aired on Tuesday, October 16.]
This Is Us fans were in for a whopper of a shocker when this week’s episode, “Still There,” ended with an unexpected twist: Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) is pregnant! Amid a storyline that had Kate seemingly obsessing over getting healthy and losing weight so she could fit into her new dress for a singing gig at a bar mitzvah, viewers found out in the final moments of the episode that Kate’s “poppy seed is now the size of a lentil.”
“Congrats, you’re now officially six weeks along,” her doc said.
While viewers definitely weren’t prepared for the baby bombshell, This Is Us star Chrissy Metz has known about her 37-year-old character’s secret bun in the oven for a while now. Metz told Entertainment Weekly she is excited about Kate Pearson’s unconventional storyline.
“I love that they’re talking about plus-size pregnancy,” Chrissy told EW.
“I love that it’s not like, Oh, here’s a plus-size girl just sitting in the corner, wishing her life would start.‘ She’s actually living her life, and all of these really exciting things are happening, and it’s really nice. Because I don’t think it’s been portrayed — well, really anywhere. Especially network television. So I’m excited about it.”
Chrissy Metz revealed that she first found out about Kate’s pregnancy during a meeting with This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman over the summer. Chrissy also explained why her character hasn’t told her fiancé, Toby (Chris Sullivan), about her pregnancy yet.
“Like most women, whether they’re high-risk pregnancy or overweight or never had a baby, or they’re older, there’s always this thought of, ‘I don’t want to tell anybody too soon, I don’t want to get their hopes up, I don’t want to get my hopes up, I don’t want to make it real because then I can be disappointed and have my heart broken.’ So, yeah, I think she’s protecting Toby, even though it might seem a little selfish because, of course, he would be over the moon.”
While Kate and Toby’s wedding will likely get pushed to the back burner now, Metz revealed that This Is Us viewers will get to see Toby’s reaction to the baby news in Episode 5, “Brothers,” and how he truly feels about being a father.
“Things are going to definitely change in their relationship, and they’re going to come up against some issues that are going to challenge the relationship,” Metz said. “Truly, truly challenge the relationship.”
One challenge for Kate could be her music career, which, like her mother’s (Mandy Moore), could be put on the back burner due to motherhood. Metz told the Hollywood Reporter Kate will face multiple challenges as she embarks on this next chapter of her life.
“There’s always fear of how she’s started to pursue what she wants with her music so she wonders if she’s going to end up like her mom and be resentful,” Chrissy told THR.
“And then there’s the wondering if she’s fit and healthy enough mentally, physically and emotionally to have a baby so that comes with a whole host of worries and anxieties…She’s very afraid. Then there’s that potential for disappointment… after 35 years old it’s considered a geriatric pregnancy… Mostly she knows how [Toby’s] going to react but they’re not married. As his mother probably believes, they’re living in sin. They just got together; it’s not even a whole year really. And she doesn’t want to disappoint him because God forbid. What if he’s not into it, or what if there’s a potential complication or problem?”
Chrissy Metz told THR she hopes the baby storyline will pave the way for viewers to finally meet Toby’s family and find out more about his backstory.
Once again, This Is Us producers were able to keep a major spoiler from leaking on the Internet. This Is Us executive producer and co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told Glamour even Metz was shocked by her character’s pregnancy.
“She was like, ‘Wait, what?!'” the This Is Us producer said of Metz. “This was another [plot line] where we had to go all secret agent with the script. When we sent out the script [to the cast and crew], we had to omit the final scene. The network called us and was like, ‘What is it? What is it?’ We told them verbally over the phone because we didn’t want there to be any chance that it would leak out onto the Internet ahead of time.”
While the sex of Kate and Toby’s baby has already been decided by This Is Us writers, Aptaker told Glamour Kate’s pregnancy milestones will play out over the course of the season.
“Our show happens in pretty much real time over the course of a year,” the This Is Us EP said. “We’re in the fall now, and she’s very early in her pregnancy, so that puts her due toward the end of the season.”
Take a look at the video below to see Chrissy Metz on This Is Us.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Featured Image by Maarten de Boer/NBC]