Warning: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us Season 3 premiere episode “Nine Bucks.”
This Is Us fans got another clue regarding the mystery “her” that was teased at the end of last season, and it has fans questioning everything they thought they knew about the NBC drama. In the final moments of the Season 3 premiere “Nine Bucks,” a flash-forward scene showed future Randall (Sterling K. Brown) calling future Toby (Chris Sullivan) to ask him if he is “coming down” to see “her.”
Viewers were dismayed to see a depressed Toby sitting alone in a bed in the future-set scene, telling his brother-in-law he wasn’t sure if “she” would want him there, to which Randall replied she would. But eagle-eyed viewers who paused the somber telephone scene noted something else stunning about the scene: Toby is not wearing his wedding ring.
A savvy This Is Us fan posted a screengrab of a ring-less Toby to Twitter, causing fans to wonder if the once happy couple divorced or if Kate is sick— or, even worse, dead— in the future-set scene.
Earlier in the Season 3 premiere, This Is Us fans saw Kate and Toby dealing with their fertility struggle after Kate was told it would be nearly impossible for IVF to work due to her weight. Toby was later seen throwing away his anti-depressant meds after learning that the pills could lower his sperm count.
This Is Us stars, producers break down that Toby flash-forward twist https://t.co/QfdSRtE50R
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) September 26, 2018
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chris Sullivan was mum on the future of Kate and Toby. But he did joke about the fact that his character will at least make it into his 50s.
“Thank God I survived to old age. He’s an old Toby, so we now know he’s in the future timeline. I was surprised. I can’t say anything [about Katoby] one way or the other. It’s a well-constructed storyline.”
Sullivan did tease that Toby’s decision to flush his antidepressants down the toilet behind Kate’s back could come back to haunt him, promising, “In the next few episodes, we’re going to find out it’s part of the reason [behind] that flash-forward we saw at the end of Season 2.”
This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker told EW that while producers knew the final scene would feature a depressed Toby, they strongly debated about how to show him.
“We just decided that him in a well-made bed without someone else there just feels so empty — that was the right amount of a tease we wanted to give.”
On the heels of Toby’s debut in the flash-forward scene and the possibility that Kate is the mystery “her,” This Is Us star Chrissy Metz said, “It’s not going to be what you expect, but it will be difficult to digest, for sure.”
One thing that This Is Us fans do know is that Toby and Kate’s marriage will go through the wringer as they try to start a family this season.
“There’s so much guilt they both have, and they both share,” Metz told EW. “They’re trying to show up for each other, but it’s going to be challenging — really, really challenging.”
This Is Us fans won’t have to wait too long to find out the status of Toby, Kate, and the story behind that mysterious phone call from Randall. According to Entertainment Tonight, during a Q&A session in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told the audience “the plan is that in the course of the season you’re going to get answers” to the surprising Toby and Randall scene.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.