Nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve… Except an attempted suicide, a confrontation from an angry ex, a car crash and a last minute collapse due to an unknown illness.
“This Is Us” delivered another night of emotional highs and lows in its midseason finale, but one character’s life is left hanging in the balance until January. After arriving on Christmas Eve to declare his love for Kate (Chrissy Metz), Toby (Chris Sullivan) had one beautiful night with his true love before collapsing and being rushed into surgery. Whether he makes it out the other side or not is anyone’s guess, but we think it’s safe to assume that no matter the outcome, Kate’s life is probably about to change completely.
Toby’s death would obviously devastate her, but if he does survive, Kate’s got to wise up to what’s really important after a scare like that. Whether what’s truly important is gastric bypass surgery or just being with the man who loves her, we’re pulling for poor Toby.
Surprisingly enough, William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) storyline was the most enjoyable this week, even though we know he’s inching closer and closer to death as time drags on.
It seemed like a given that William was a lonely, old man, dying without any friends or family, since that’s the story we seemed to have been fed since the pilot. Now we know that he left a loved one behind; and that loved one was his boyfriend, Jesse (“American Horror Story” and “True Blood’s” Denis O’Hare).
More than anything, we loved the way 9-year-old Tess (Eris Baker) treated the seemingly shocking revelation as a “Dadddd… duhhhhh” kind of moment — it’s important to remember that kids give way less weight to these things than adults do, and it gives us hope for a more accepting and loving future.
Still, we’re interested in William’s old lover, and how he factors into the story. They obviously met in Narcotics Anonymous, and from Jesse’s story about William leaving him, he might not be totally on the wagon anymore. If he’s using, that would not be a great influence in William’s final months, despite how heartwarming their reunion was. Time will tell if they make each other stronger or weaker, as far as their habits are concerned.
Another moment that had us in tears — though not happy ones — was “Westworld” star Jimmi Simpson’s short but disturbing cameo.
Everyone knows the holidays are typically rife with suicide attempts, as it’s a time people tend to feel most alone without loved ones to celebrate with. Simpson’s character Andy seemed poised to jump off the roof of the office holiday party, having lost his wife and daughter and his standing in the company due to his own misconduct. While the scene itself seems a little out of place in such a family-heavy episode, it was still an incredibly powerful and moving moment, and it helped Randall (Sterling K. Brown) to finally forgive his mother for keeping William from him his whole life.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever see Andy again — but we’re grateful, nonetheless, for the huge dose of emotion he brought to this week’s episode.
“This Is Us” returns Jan. 10th, 2017 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.