Fans of This Is Us Praise the Show's Harrowing Depiction of Toby's Depression
The season two finale of This Is Us tugged at all of our heartstrings, as expected. With the impending, will-they-or-won't-they wedding looming over Kate and Toby's heads throughout the episode, fans were finally treated to a happy ending (or so we thought) when KaToby tie the knot and officially become Mr. and Mrs. Damon. But of course, it wouldn't be This Is Us if there wasn't a twist.
Toward the end of the episode, we see a flash-forward featuring the Big Three, which reveals three major plot points that we never saw coming: Kevin hooking up with Beth's cousin Zoe; older Randall and his daughter Tess with a look of worry about going to see "her" (the verdict is still out over whether "her" is a deceased Beth, Annie, or an incarcerated Deja); and finally, we see a shot of Toby (Chris Sullivan) lying in bed, clearly in distress.
In Toby's scene, Kate comes into the room to comfort him and tells him that the doctor will switch his medication, but it's never clarified what exactly is happening. This left some fans confused over whether Toby is just sick or suffering from depression. Turns out, it's the latter. Co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger confirmed the heartbreaking storyline to The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the finale aired, addressing Toby's mental health and the effects of his parents questioning his relationship with Kate.
"I think they're just overprotective, loving parents, but they don't necessarily have their pulse on exactly how Toby's mental health actually works," she told the outlet.
According to Berger, season three will focus on Toby's battle with depression in a realistic way, and Kate will be by Toby's side along the way.
"I think we've seen Kate and Toby weather a lot. Toby has often had to be the strong and supportive one," Berger explained. "This is a situation where Kate may have to take the lead on that front. I think she is now really emotionally prepared to be that person for him. We'll see some of that moving forward."
Fans were quick to react to the harrowing but accurate portrayal of depression, especially those who have had similar struggles with mental health. "The scene of Toby in bed, immobilized by his depression, hit me really f*cking hard," one user tweeted. "Sometimes the most joyous among us are suffering more than we know." Keep reading to see more reactions to Toby's crippling health scare that has everyone talking.