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THIS IS US Season 2 Finale Post Mortem: Worst Case Scenario

BY Jennifer Griffin

Published 4 years ago

THIS IS US — “The Wedding” Episode 218 — Pictured: (l-r) Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)


Like a herald of bad things to come, last night’s This is Us played into our anxieties as first Randall and Beth, and then Randall and Kevin, played a series of worst case scenario ‘games’ as a way to give voice to their nastiest fears.

The game seemed as good a means to vent as any. Mere hours before Kate was due to tie the knot with Toby, she had disappeared without warning, going awol as it turned out to privately deal with the idea of letting go of her father, in order to look ahead to her new life. Meanwhile, Deja, on the cusp of being formally adopted into the Pearson family, had become even more sullen and withdrawn than ever.

The ‘game’ gave rise to several fears. What if Kate never returned from her moment of crisis to marry Toby? What if Toby learned he had been jilted and suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of the shock? What if Deja grew up to hate them all, become a stripper, and/or encourage Tess and Annie to do the same? What if Kate came to live with Kevin and people mistook them for a weird married couple (ok, that was just kevin’s worst case scenario.) And although we weren’t quite there with some of those pre-finale jitters, there were particular concerns among fans about Kate’s future.

In the end, we needn’t have worried about Kate’s wedding day. After a final adieu to Dad Jack, and a quick scattering of his remains, she was back on track. It was actually her future with Toby, glimpsed in a flashforward, that rang the real alarm bell. We get to peep in at the happy couple one year on, except something definitely isn’t right. Toby has relapsed into a crippling depression, and Kate is attempting to coax him out of bed to go see his doctor in order to adjust his medication. What happened to the gregarious and optimistic Toby we all love? Something big, clearly. We know children are on this couple’s radar. What if that option is taken away from them? Would knowing he will never be a father send Toby into a spiral?

Chris Sullivan as Toby. Image © NBC

Meanwhile, we get another look at future Randall and grown up Tess. 

“It’s time to go see her, Tess” an emotional Randall tells his daughter. Tess’ expression crumples as she tells Randall “I’m not ready.”

Who is she? With this future nugget shown next to a clip of Deja taking a baseball bat to Randall’s prized car, our first assumption is to guess they might be discussing Deja, who is now in prison. Of course, we’ve been fans of this show long enough to know what This is Us likes to do with our assumptions, so the she in question could be anyone, even Randall’s wife Beth. (We’re not forgetting that cancer rumor that dogged the show in recent weeks.) While a new future cancer storyline is entirely within the realms of possibility on this show, we are however reluctant to believe the Pearsons were over time unable to be a force for good in Deja’s life despite whatever as yet unexplored Daddy issues she may have.

Adding to the intrigue, we also see a flashforward of Kevin, now in a relationship with Beth’s cousin Zoe (Melanie Liburd) on a trip to Vietnam. (You may be interested to know that Liburd is a season 3 regular, meaning Kevin is not getting back with Sophie any time soon.)

Lyric Ross as Deja. Image © NBC

“Obviously there’s a lot about Jack that we as viewers still don’t know and whose children and family still don’t know, so one of the things that we really want to be exploring in our third season are those chapters and those pieces of Jack’s life that we don’t yet know anything about,”co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger told TV Line recently. “And I think it’s going to be really exciting for our characters and his son to figure all that out along with the audience.”

And lastly, the mystery of how old man Jack Pearson could have possibly attended Kate’s wedding was finally put to rest. It was a fake out (sorta) after all. The visions of Jack belonged to Kate’s recurring dream, in which Jack and Rebecca renewed their wedding vows on their 40th anniversary. The fact that Toby didn’t make an appearance in her fantasy told Kate (and the audience) that it was time for Kate to finally put her Dad’s memory behind her and move on. It was all a dream, folks. Simple as that.

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