Is Toby Sick On 'This Is Us'? The Finale Flash-Forward Hints At Dark Times Ahead
This Is Us Season 2 finale spoilers ahead. Despite the marital bliss that was bestowed upon Toby and Kate in the Season 2 finale of This Is Us, it appears as though rockier roads are ahead. During a flash-forward to an unspecified time in the future, Toby is laying in bed, curtains drawn, eyes glazed over, as Kate mentions that his doctor wants to adjust his medication. So what is wrong with Toby on This Is Us?
Viewers will have to wait a while to see what actually has transpired between the wedding and this future struggle, but the finale did offer some hints. Toby's parents came to his room before the wedding in an attempt to voice some concerns they had about his relationship with Kate. His dad claimed that he knew Toby's previous wife, Josie, wasn't good for him before they married, but he had held his tongue, and wouldn't do the same again. Toby's mom added that when things with Josie went south, he was severely depressed, skipping work, and staying in bed with the curtains drawn. That sounds a lot like what he was doing when the show left him in this flash-forward, hinting that he might slip into that depression once again.
If Toby's depression has previously been triggered by a relationship issue, that could suggest that he and Kate are having problems in their marriage, but given that Kate was still helping him sort out his medication and doctors' appointments, that doesn't look like the most likely scenario. Toby has handled trauma on This Is Us before — when he and Kate lost their baby, he was torn up, but never in the unresponsive state in which we saw him on Tuesday. It seems like something major had to have happened — something unlike what Toby's experienced before.
We may have to learn even more about Toby's past to understand what's happening to him in the present day — and that's something star Chris Sullivan says he's very enthusiastic about doing. "I’m interested to get a little backstory on more of the characters,” he told HollywoodLife.com. "I’d like to see some of the deep history, maybe even before people have met. But we’ll see what the writers have in store."
No matter what Toby has to endure, one would hope that Kate will be with him throughout the battle — that's the very definition of what they signed up for with this wedding, and Sullivan has previously said that the hard times in a relationship are when two people truly show their love for one another. “Any solid relationship is forged in common struggle,” he told The Wrap after Kate's miscarriage late last year. "The good times are not what make a strong relationship, so as long as they keep moving toward each other instead of away, it should be beneficial for everybody involved."
That idea was also touched upon in the finale after the couple said their vows. "It's taken me 37 years to realize that there's absolutely zero point in trying to control the future," Randall said during his toast at the wedding. "Nobody knows where we'll be, not even a year from now. But what we can control are the people we choose. Choosing our people is the closest we come to controlling our destiny, because while everything else may change, if you choose right, your people will stay the same."
Perhaps this speech was meant to reassure viewers, even as the troubling flash-forward of Toby played behind those words, that he and Kate's relationship can soldier through whatever life has to throw at them. This Is Us has always been about people leaning on each other through big, life-changing circumstances, and if Kate and Toby "chose right," as Randall put it, they'll hopefully have each other despite anything else that goes awry.