Warning! The following contains spoilers for the This Is Us episode "Graduation Day." Read at your own risk!
Just when things seemed to be on track for Kate Pearson, This Is Us had to throw yet another hardship her way. Kate's water broke when driving Kevin to an A.A. meeting, which would've been great had it not happened eight weeks before her due date. Co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker is aware the writers have been hard on Kate, but explained it's not because they want to be mean. Rather, it's to accurately depict how a high-risk pregnancy can play out. Here's how he put it:
Exactly. Never wanting to be masochistic, never wanting to torture these characters, but from the beginning we said because it was the truth, this was a high-risk pregnancy, given all the factors for Kate, and the fact that it would all go seamlessly and she would carry to term and have this perfect, easy delivery did not feel real to us, or any of the doctors that we spoke with. So this felt like what would actually happen, which is always what we strive for.
Yes, things have been hard for Kate, but Isaac Aptaker and the This Is Us writers felt an obligation to give an accurate portrayal of a high-risk pregnancy rather than what could've been a fairy tale story line. Aptaker told EW the baby has a fighting chance, and that children born that early can survive with proper medical care. While it's no guarantee this whole thing turns out alright, it does give some hope for Kate and the baby.
If there is some good news in all of this for fans, it's that This Is Us won't leave folks on the line waiting for answers too long. Isaac Aptaker confirmed that, good or bad, answers on what's happening with Kate and the baby will be revealed by the next episode.
This isn’t something that we’re going to drag out. We know it’s a very sensitive area and something that a lot of people have been through, and we’re going to — with a commitment to reality and honoring people who have lived this experience — get through it and give some answers next week.
It sets the stage for next week's episode, which teases all the show's major characters together in the waiting room while waiting for updates on Kate. There will be a lot to talk about as Randall and Beth's dreams are conflicting with each others, and Kevin is back to drinking and keeping it from Zoe. It's a powder keg of emotions just ready to blow, and whatever happens to Kate could either defuse or ignite it all at once.
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Keep tabs on what other things are happening on television in the coming weeks by visiting and bookmarking our midseason premiere guide.