Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us episode “A Hell of a Week: Part Three.”
This Is Us fans will soon get the full story on Teen Kate’s (Hannah Zeile) destructive relationship with her boyfriend Marc (Austin Abrams), and it may provide some insight into her future struggles.
In a sneak peek clip posted by Entertainment Weekly ahead of the final Big Three trilogy episode, viewers of the NBC drama see a new side of Marc and how he quickly segues from a doting boyfriend to a controlling creep.
In the clip, Marc presents Kate with a used copy of Patti Smith’s 1978 poetry book, Babel, as they work together at the record store. An incredulous Kate tells him he didn’t have to buy her such a nice gift.
“You make me smile every day so I wanted to make you smile,” he replies.
Marc then tells Kate he’s in love with her and she returns the sentiment. But the lovefest is cut short when Kate invites her boyfriend to her mom’s birthday dinner and he declines, saying her brothers Kevin and Randall (Logan Shroyer, Niles Fitch) “stress” him out. He finally agrees to go, but things take a turn when Kate attempts to take a bite of a candy bar and Marc promptly grabs it from her.
“Are you sure you want that? ” he asks.
Marc then tries to play off his passive-aggressive body shaming as “concern” for Kate.
“I know how hard you’ve been working on your diet so I’m just trying to be supportive that’s all,” he says. ” You know I think you look amazing.”
In the same scene, Marc has a bizarre reaction when Kate shares her music knowledge with a customer. After Kate proves that she knows more about Urge Overkill than Marc, he shoots her a glare that is anything but loving.
In the comments section of the Instagram teaser for the upcoming This Is Us episode, fans speculated on Kate’s damaging relationship.
“I think whatever happens with him it’s what fuels her weight/confidence issues,” one fan wrote.
“I’m hoping that after the episode that FINALLY shares Kate’s back story that people will have more compassion on her character,” another wrote. “There’s something very deep inside that’s never been dealt with… her struggle with food and weight is just a symptom, not the real issue. ”
This Is Us fans already know that Kate’s relationship with Marc does not end well. When the Marc character was first introduced last fall, executive producer Elizabeth Berger told EW the relationship left Kate with “serious emotional wounds.”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.