The midseason finale of “This Is Us” ended on a pretty terrifying note, with Toby (Chris Sullivan) collapsing in the middle of the Pearson Family Christmas festivities and then being rushed to the operating room. So far, we’ve got no clue what caused the attack — blood clot, seizure, something worse? — but we do know that while the show is on hiatus, Toby’s fate hangs in the balance.
Now that you’ve all had time to recover from the shock, it’s time to talk about how likely Toby’s death truly is when the show returns in 2017, and whether or not his death would be a good or very bad thing for “This Is Us.”
The pros of killing off Toby are pretty obvious.
“This Is Us” does a fantastic job of depicting the nitty gritty aspects of real life, and in real life, people die; they die suddenly and unexpectedly, the heartbreak that ensues is the worst kind of torture to go through. Emotional torture is something not many shows can tackle respectfully, but “This Is Us” is the obviously exception. Given the way they always manage to make us cry while still retaining their uplifting message in the end, we’re not worried about whether they’d do Toby’s passing justice.
Toby’s death could also provide Kate (Chrissy Metz) with some juicy storylines in the new year. We’ve loved watching her fall in love and struggle with her weight, but watching her go through the grieving process would be a new turn for her character that we’re sure would provide for some award-worthy scenes. Basically, we just want to see Chrissy Metz blow us all away.
Being a fan favorite character, killing off Toby is a gamble for a show so young, even if they’re currently doing fine in the ratings department.
While Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) bumblings and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) witticisms provide for some good laughs, neither of them are quite as “ha ha” funny as Toby. We hate to call any character comic relief, especially one as layered as Toby, but he really does bring a levity and an element of joy to “This Is Us” which oftentimes evens out the doom and gloom the show tends to provide.
Perhaps most importantly, fans of “This Is Us” have spent the first half of the season waiting for a very important axe to swing: Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death. We know he died sometime in the indeterminate past, and we also know that his death — whenever it happens — is going to emotionally devastate us. Seriously, vigils will be held.
Adding Toby’s death on top of that would just be too much to handle. #PrayForToby
“This Is Us” returns Jan. 10, 2017 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.