IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘This Is Us’ hints at eerie moment that may have led to Toby and Kate’s split

A slow cooker had already wreaked havoc on the Pearson family. Could a smoker have played a huge role in the end of Kate and Toby's marriage?
/ Source: TODAY

The plan Toby cooked up to stay close with his family appears to have backfired on “This Is Us.”

While viewers have known for some time that Toby and Kate don’t stay together and Kate appears to marry her boss, Tuesday’s episode of the hit NBC drama hinted at what may have ultimately caused the split.

The episode opened with the couple’s son, Jack, cooking on a smoker in a flash-forward, while enjoying some time with his wife, Lucy, in their plush backyard.

Kate and Toby's son shed some light on what happened to his parents.
Kate and Toby's son shed some light on what happened to his parents.NBC

“I know it sounds crazy, but every once in a while, that smell hits me and takes me right back to that day,” he said.

He then has what appears to be a flashback where Toby is heard saying, “Don’t get too close.” There’s also the sound of a toddler crying and Kate saying in a panicked tone, “Jack!”

Lucy then shakes Jack as he thinks about the moment.

“Hell of a first memory, huh?” he says.

This is Us - Season 5
A slow cooker led to the death of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). Could another cooking device have caused the end of Kate and Toby's marriage?NBC

The episode then dove into Kate and Toby trying to make the best out of his hectic work schedule, with Toby determined to spend time with his kids while he was home for the weekend. When he got Jack off his sleep schedule, though, he and Kate wound up arguing. He then came up with the idea to buy a smoker in the hopes of making memories as a family.

“You don’t need to keep using that thing,” Lucy tells Jack in the future at the end of the episode. “It’s, like, the literal symbol of the day your mom and dad’s marriage blew up.”

She then peeled back a little bit of his hair on his forehead to reveal a scar, indicating something happened.

Fans of the show will no doubt draw comparisons to the other Jack, played by Milo Ventimiglia, who died after the Pearson house went up in flames due to a faulty slow cooker.

So, is this a case of another appliance wreaking havoc on the Pearson family?

“Well, I think we can assure everyone that the smoker doesn’t explode,” “This Is Us” co-executive producer Casey Johnson — who co-wrote the episode — told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s not what happened. We can relax a little bit about that. But it is a moment that has stayed with Jack.”

It will also be a moment that will stay with viewers who are clamoring to know just what happened. They’ll look for more answers when the final season of “This Is Us” marches on with a new episode next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.