Earlier this month, “This Is Us,” kicked off its sixth and final season. While the drama series has quite a few storylines to wrap up before its finale, one of the biggest moments fans have been anxiously anticipating is the inevitable split between Kate, played by Chrissy Metz, and Toby, portrayed by Chris Sullivan.
The season five finale revealed that Kate will ultimately separate from Toby and end up with her curmudgeonly boss Phillip, played by Chris Geere, sometime in the future. Episode three from this season, titled “Four Fathers,” even hinted that a meat smoker was possibly behind the major rift between the married couple.
Ahead of the fifth episode, Metz spoke to TODAY and teased what viewers can expect to see the rest of the season as the budding love triangle between Kate, Toby and Phillip develops.
Metz — spoke to TODAY to promote her recent partnership with Capital One Auto Navigator, a tool that car buyers can use to pre-qualify for financing — explained how filming scenes with Sullivan has been “tricky” knowing that this loving relationship will soon turn sour.
Describing how she is approaching playing her character this season, she said “It’s sort of great to know where we’re headed, but also, you don’t want to jump the gun too soon because you have to stay present with what’s going on.”
She added, “So it’s tricky because you can’t give too much away as far as performance goes and sort of this slow build. But it definitely is challenging because I love Chris, just desperately. And it’s, it’s hard to be in this space with him, knowing where we’re gonna end up.”
However, Metz said she is also grateful for the narrative that is unfolding between the two characters.
The actor and singer said the NBC series will “really show people how to navigate a relationship with two people who love each other very much but are growing very far apart.”
Viewers won’t have too long to mourn the breakup, though, because Kate and Phillip will be getting together “very soon," Metz said.
“We only have nine more episodes to go in the season, so (it’s) coming up pretty soon,” she shared. Metz said they haven’t filmed the episodes yet, but she already has the scripts that explain why Kate and Toby call it quits.
The “This Is Us” star revealed that Kate will be pushed toward Phillip based on what happens with Toby and that viewers will learn more about the music teacher’s background.
She said, “(Phillip) shows up for her, which is a good thing, because I think a lot of people think right now that Kate’s crazy from liking this jerk of a guy. But we get to see who he really is pretty soon.”
Speaking of the viewers, some have been outspoken about their disapproval of this storyline considering Kate and Toby have been a couple since the first season.
Metz recently uploaded a picture of Kate and Toby to Instagram and one social media user commented, “I’m not happy about where Toby and Kate’s relationship is headed! I really feel like they should be able to work out these issues! They should be able to have their happily ever after!!”
Another wrote, “Love your characters!! HATE they are having you guys split.”
While Metz acknowledged that “nothing is going to compare to Kate and Toby,” she told TODAY that the show will teach an important lesson about “compare and despair.”
She said comparing Toby and Phillip is like comparing apples to oranges.
“What Toby did for Kate, and what obviously Kate did for Toby, was really special. And the same thing goes for Kate and Philip,” Metz explained.
She then recalled the first scenes she filmed with Sullivan and said the two did not meet or do a chemistry read before he was cast. She said they met at a table read, filmed the pilot the following day and had an immediate connection.
“And in a very different way. It felt very instant, with Chris Geere as well,” she shared.
In September, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman posted photos from the cast’s last first day on set. In her interview with TODAY, Metz confirmed that “This Is Us,” will officially finish shooting in April.
As the wrap date approaches, Metz said the cast talk about the show ending, but they don’t want to think about it too much.
“We’re just trying to stay present and just really enjoy this time that we have. I think it’s so meta,” she laughed.
She said the show ending is “bittersweet,” and predicted she will “be a mess on the last day.”
“Sometimes I find myself getting emotional just looking at one of the actors like, ‘Oh, wow, this might be the last time,’” she explained. “It’s very emotional.”
Thankfully, Metz and “This Is Us” fans have a few months before it is time to say goodbye.