The fifth season of This Is Us came to a close on Tuesday night, and it’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions. We wouldn’t expect anything else! After getting several glimpses of the flash forward, one of the biggest mysteries these past few seasons has been the state of Kate and Toby’s marriage in the future. The couple has gone through some major life events, including the premature birth of their son Jack and the adoption of their daughter Hailey, but there have been hints that perhaps their marriage doesn’t survive up through the flash forward part of the timeline. So, what’s the deal with their marriage?
Well, in the season five finale, we pretty much get a confirmation that they are no longer together. Years after Kevin and Madison decide to call of their wedding, we get a glimpse of another wedding: Kate’s. However, she’s not simply renewing her vows to Toby — she’s tying the knot with her music-school coworker Phillip. Which means that her and Toby are divorced in the big flash forward.
So far, the state of Kate and Toby’s marriage in the flash forward has not been explicitly discussed, but there have been a couple of details that seem pretty revealing. When Randall calls Toby to ask if he’s coming to see the then-mysterious “her,” Toby is alone in a sparse room and a bed that is completely empty and unruffled on the other side. The crucial detail is a split-second shot of Toby’s left hand, where no wedding ring can be seen.
In season three finale, we once again see Toby’s future self, arriving for a family gathering of some sort and telling the Pearson family that he’s talked to his son Jack and “they’re” on their way. While the focus is mostly on who “they” refers to, another small detail makes an appearance: once again, we can’t quite see clearly, but it looks like Toby isn’t wearing a wedding band.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, series creator Dan Fogelman revealed that Toby and Kate’s journey is only halfway through. “You’re at the midpoint of Kate and Toby’s journey as a couple. We’ve watched them fall in love, we’ve watched them get married, we’ve watched them having this very tenuous and difficult pregnancy and birth. And they’re at their midpoint right now. And so what’s exciting about the midpoint is yes, it gets dramatic in a different kind of way. Because you’re stripped most raw.”
However, in an interview with the New York Post in 2019, actor Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby, makes it clear: Toby and Kate are no longer married at this point. “At that point [in the flash-forward] Kate and Toby are no longer married. Who knows why that could be? Clearly [Toby] is still in communication with Kate and Jack. There are a lot of reasons why marriages don’t continue. The [show’s] writing staff hasn’t told us exactly what that situation will be but I think, either way, there are a lot of lessons to be learned.” Needless to say, we are eager to see how This Is Us wraps up the Pearson family’s story in the upcoming final season.
— Additional reporting by Kelsie Gibson