Spoilers ahead for This Is Us. The Oct. 15 episode further explored the relationship between Cassidy and Kevin on This Is Us and moved their story forward in an unexpected way. Many fans had been speculating that Cassidy would be a love interest for Kevin, but the opposite seems to be true. In the episode, he even pledged to help Cassidy get her husband back. It seems that Kevin and Cassidy will just be friends on This Is Us, but that's an even better storyline anyway.
Viewers should have seen this twist coming, because creator Dan Fogelman hinted to Entertainment Weekly that things weren't necessarily going to be romantic for the pair. Instead, he emphasized how "formative" and "deep" the (platonic, it seems) relationship would be. "[Cassidy's] going to be somebody who adjusts a part of the course of Kevin's life," Fogelman said. "It's a very deep, interesting, bizarre relationship."
It seems, on its surface, to be an antagonistic relationship — at least with regards to Cassidy. She is quicker to poke fun at Kevin's earnest attempts to connect with her and his uncle. She also tried to commiserate with Kevin about his TV show being cancelled but couldn't quite bring herself to fully care. Still, each episode may bring them closer as friends to where she is no longer mocking him to cover up her own pain, but she's playfully joshing him like his own loving family does.
Jennifer Morrison, who plays Cassidy, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview that she was honored to have a really layered storyline written for her this season. "There is such depth and so many layers and so much honesty to what they've written for this character," Morrison said. "No matter where things go in terms of how [Cassidy] ends up fitting into who she knows and how she relates to anyone from the Pearson family, they've really gone the distance to write something that is really honoring the truth of someone who would've gone over to Afghanistan and dealt with what she's dealing with."
Morrison added that she feels less like a guest star and more like a series regular with the material she's been given. Given that Fogelman told EW that Justin Hartley (who plays Kevin) is "doing maybe his most interesting work of the entire series so far," fans should be really excited for what's to come from this Cassidy and Kevin friendship — and also the pair's friendship with Nicky.
Morrison likened it to a triangle, where each one of them supports the other. "They're all broken in very particular ways, some of which are similar and some of which are very different," she said in her Entertainment Weekly interview. "So, in a sense, they're a triangle that makes one whole. All three of them are a corner of the triangle that is holding each one of them up. And any one of them missing from that triangle would be a problem at this moment in their life."
At the same time, it's clear that Cassidy and Kevin's friendship will take the spotlight on the show. "It's a very interesting and it's very unusual and deep and a very important relationship for Kevin moving forward, and obviously for Nicky as well," Fogelman said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he added Nicky as an afterthought. "I think it goes in a funny direction, in a weird direction and occasionally dark direction that I think will be exciting for people, especially in relationship to Kevin."
None of those words really describe a romance, but they can describe a complicated, sometimes antagonistic, but ultimately deep, supportive friendship. The past few seasons have focused a lot on Kevin's love life. Viewers have seen him date Sophie, Olivia, Sloane, and Zoey. But the only friends Kevin seems to have are his own family members. Growing up, he was close with his twin sister Kate, and they remain close to this day. But she's starting her own life, and Randall has his own life.
It's time for Kevin to break away from The Big Three a bit and form his own friendships outside of his family. His platonic relationship with Cassidy is new and different for him, and it sounds like it's going to benefit him, her, and Nicky to just be there for each other this season. Romances come and go but true friendship is forever, and Kevin deserves to have that too.