Talk about a tearjerker!
This Is Us Season 6 Episode 12 told the story of the end of Kate and Toby’s marriage, and it was second in heartbreaking only to Jack Pearson’s death.
The way this all ended was inevitable — fans knew it was over long before Kate and Toby did. But that didn’t make the death of their marriage any less painful.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a happy ending.
Toby: I’ll pick up the kids before you leave for classes.
Kate: Toby, wait.
Toby: Look, Kate, we don’t have to make a big deal out of this. It’s scorching hot, and I have to get to work, so…
Kate: Just let me say this one thing. This isn’t how our story ends. Just because our marriage is over doesn’t mean our story has to be over.
Toby couldn’t see a life without Kate and was heartbroken that she wouldn’t try again three days before their divorce.
He didn’t get what Kate did: that they were getting along better because they each had their own space and that trying to fix the unfixable would again leave them frustrated and at each other’s throats.
I felt for him.
Nobody likes getting dumped, especially when they’ve built a life with the other person and still dream of getting past the problems and moving forward into their happily ever after.
Thank goodness he found love again! He didn’t think he was going to, and I was afraid he would spiral back down into depression and not be able to move forward with his life without Kate.
Even better than the fact that he met someone else was that it seemed to last and that in the end, he and Kate ended up friends.
That final scene where they all gathered around to listen to a young adult Jack perform was extra heartwarming after all the pain these two had gone through.
If This Is Us had more than half a season left, I’d have liked this story to have gone more slowly. I felt like certain things got the short shrift because of time demands.
We got the bookends of Kate and Philip’s relationship: their first non-date, their first date, and the marriage proposal. But it felt like we fast-forwarded through quite a bit to get there.
Up to this point, Kate and Philip had moved from not detesting each other to becoming friends. There’s a lot more material in between that and them falling in love that there may not be time to cover.
On the other hand, this wasn’t Kate and Philip’s story. This hour was about Kate and Toby and how they realized that this wasn’t working anymore.
Toby: I promised myself that I wouldn’t turn into my parents. That I would never make my kids hear crap like that.
Kate: It’s over, Toby. It’s time.
If that marriage counselor hadn’t waited 16 months to suggest having dinner alone together, their marriage might have been salvageable.
It’s not unusual for a couple that has been struggling to have a huge fight the first time they spend time alone together, and the counselor could have helped them work through the feelings that came up.
Unfortunately, it was too late. Kate was too worn out by all the fighting, and she didn’t like its effect on Jack.
I couldn’t blame her for being done after almost a year and a half of constant arguments, especially given the impact on Jack.
He ran away to the park because they were fighting on This Is Us Season 6 Episode 11, and now he was throwing his toys in the toilet to make them stop.
By the time Toby and Kate started counseling, there were too many cracks in their marriage, and it was having too significant an impact on their son. And over a year later, they had made little to no progress.
Kate was right. It had to end.
It was especially obvious when the marriage counseling scenes were juxtaposed with Philip’s proposal and life with Kate.
There was so much lightness and joy in the Kate/Philip scenes that the Toby/Kate scenes were depressing to come back to.
The most heartbreaking moment, though, was when Toby realized that he and Kate were getting along better.
Ironically, Kevin probably understood what Toby was going through better than anyone, even though he and Toby are each other’s least favorite people lately.
Kevin was still pining for Madison even after she married Elijah, and Toby’s impassioned plea to Kate to try one more time reminded me of Kevin’s desperation to get another chance with the mother of his children.
Kate: How do I know when it’s time to end the marriage?
Kevin: I think you’ll know. If the time comes, you’ll know. IF the time comes. You and the kids will be fine. Look how I managed to work things out with Madison. I’m not saying that’s you and Toby, but if it is, you will work it out. You will be happy again.
Toby never felt like he could be as close to Kate as Kevin and Randall, which was part of the problem. But as much as Kevin was there for Kate, I wished he could have been there for Toby, just so that Toby would know he wasn’t the only one who had gone through this type of heartbreak.
At least Toby didn’t do what Kevin did and start dating one ridiculous woman after another!
We only got a glimpse of what Kevin and Randall had been up to while Kate was working through Toby drama.
But while Randall had Beth’s full support while moving full steam ahead with his career, Kevin was bouncing from one shallow woman to another in an attempt to find love.
Hopefully, as This Is Us begins wrapping things up, Kevin will outgrow that. Barring some weird twist, he won’t end up with Madison since she goes through with her marriage to Elijah. But I doubt he’s ending up with State Farm Girl either.
Your turn This Is Us fanatics. How painful was Toby and Kate’s divorce, and did you take solace in the fact that their story didn’t end when their marriage did?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know! And don’t forget you can watch This Is Us online right here on TV Fanatic.
This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST / PST.