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This Is Us Just Dropped A Huge Hint About Kate And Toby's Divorce

Chris Sullivan as Toby Damon and Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson on This Is Us.
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers about the Season 6 episode of This Is Us, called “Four Fathers.”

This Is Us keeps taking fans closer to the inevitable, and I’m talking both about the end of the series and Kate and Toby’s divorce. “Four Fathers” showed the rift between Kate and Toby continuing to grow as he traveled back and forth for work, exhausting Kate as she balanced her job with taking care of two kids. Aside from the growing tension, viewers got a huge hint about what’s to come for the couple, and it came through a couple of flash-forwards with Kate and Toby’s grown son Jack Damon (Blake Stadnik) and his wife Lucy (Auden Thornton).

“Four Fathers” opened in the future timeline, where Jack was cooking on a barbecue pit while Lucy sat nearby. Jack was triggered by the smell of the meat of the grill — a tragedy in and of itself, because what smells better than meat on a grill, am I right? — saying it took him right back to “that day.” Jack zoned into a memory where we could hear Toby warning his son not to get too close, followed by Jack’s crying and Kate yelling his name. Lucy wasn’t surprised at Jack's reaction, signaling that whatever trauma occurred is something they’ve had to deal with before.  

The end of the episode showed Toby in the current timeline telling Kate that he was buying a smoker so that even if they didn’t have a lot of time together, the time they did have could be spent making memories at family cookouts. Then we jumped back into the future, where Lucy Damon gave an ominous warning about exactly what kind of memories those would be. As Jack took the last of the food off the smoker, Lucy told him:

You know, you don’t have to keep using that thing. It’s like a literal symbol of the day your mom and dad’s marriage blew up. Besides, that day almost permanently deformed that near-perfect face of yours.

As Lucy said this, she touched a scar on Jack’s head that had been hidden by his hair. So it would appear that sometime soon we’re going to witness an accident at a Damon family cookout. While the scar on Jack’s head didn’t look too bad, whatever happened was clearly bad enough that he blames the incident for fracturing his parents’ marriage beyond repair (as we know, Kate ends up remarried to co-worker Phillip), and it was bad enough that Jack still experiences physical trauma from the smell of smoke. 

Fans also got a possible hint about who Kevin’s wife is in the 2034 timeline, as he called up his and Uncle Nicky’s old friend Cassidy Sharp (Jennifer Morrison) in the middle of the night to talk out his own parenting issues. Will we see that relationship continue to develop? Just like the last episode’s reveal of Nicky’s wife Edie, every question answered just brings about more questions, but that’s not a complaint. I’m savoring every last second of This Is Us’ final chapter. 

While this episode put the focus on the fathers, it looks like next week might center around mothers — and probably feature more about Jack Pearson’s childhood — as he received a call at the end of “Four Fathers” informing him that his mother had died. This Is Us continues at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, January 25 on NBC. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering soon. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.