Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us episode “A Hell of a Week: Part Two.”
This Is Us fans are not happy. At the very end of a flashback-filled episode about Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) love story with his childhood sweetheart Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge), viewers were stunned by the revelation that the mystery woman in Kevin’s bed was his sister Kate’s best friend Madison (Caitlin Thompson).
Although viewers did not actually see Kevin and Madison get romantic — not even a kiss was shown — the fact that he was shirtless in bed with her had fans assuming the worst. And they wasted no time in freaking out.
Diehard fans pointed to a 2018 tweet in which This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman assured fans that Kate’s bestie would never end up with Kevin. In the now-infamous tweet, Fogelman reminded viewers that actress Caitlin Thompson is his real-life wife and that it would be “nuts” to let her sleep with the handsome Justin Hartley.
Just FYI: Madison is my wife in real life @CaitwithaC
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) March 14, 2018
Flash forward two years later, and it appears Kevin and Madison landed in bed together upon his return to L.A. following his closure with Sophie.
In the comments to a tweet about Kevin’s apparent tryst with Madison, disappointed viewers blasted the showrunner and the This Is Us writers.
“I thought [Dan Fogelman] said he didn’t want his wife with Kevin!” one fan wrote.
“Dan Fogelman said it wouldn’t happen and I believed him,” another added.
“You tricked us! You said you would never pair your wife up with Justin. Slick move!!” another viewer wrote to the This Is Us creator.
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) January 29, 2020
Other tweets were even more brutal as some accused the This Is Us showrunner of lying about his real-life wife’s role on the show.
You’re a liar that’s all I know. You like whoring your wife out???
— Jodi Blackburn (@Dramaqwene) January 29, 2020
— . (@donnasharvy) January 29, 2020
No offense to @Dan_Fogelman but he shouldn’t be thrilled…he should be embarrassed. He said he wouldn’t put his real-life wife in bed with Kevin and yet he did and we all HATED it.
I’m sure his wife is a wonderful person, but the Madison character is lame AF.
— Soccer Mom Beach Bum (@SoccerMom_UNC) January 29, 2020
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker addressed Fogelman’s famous words, admitting that writers had been “slowly wearing Dan down” since he tweeted that statement in March 2018.
“It took, what, two and a half years, and we did it,” Aptaker said. “It’s something we’ve talked about and had in our heads from early on. There is a different component to Dan that I can’t speak to of what it’s like to put your wife in that situation.”
Aptaker went on to explain that after their mutually heartbreaking weeks, a vulnerable Kevin and Madison connected over tea and that somehow that led to them winding up in bed together. Aptaker admitted that the unexpected hookup “may be a great decision” or it “may be a terrible decision” for Kevin. He said he would leave it up to the audience to decide.
Amid the expected Madison backlash, fellow This Is Us executive producer Elizabeth Berger joked that viewers once felt the same way about Jon Huertas’ character.
“Look, we made people like Miguel,” she joked.
Berger also pointed out that it is clear that Kevin is in “regret mode” when viewers see him at the end of the episode.
As for the possibility that Madison is Kevin’s mystery fiancée in the flash-forward that was shown earlier this season, Aptaker would only say that viewers are “one episode closer to finding out than we were last week.”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.