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Kate and Toby's troubled relationship takes a new turn for the worse on 'This Is Us'

The couple's downward spiral picked up steam when Kate visited Toby in San Francisco in a trip that didn't go according to plan.
/ Source: TODAY

The growing chasm between Kate and Toby ripped open even more on Tuesday’s episode of “This Is Us.”

The episode followed the couple as Kate went to San Francisco, where Toby has been working. Hoping they could get some quality time without their kids, things unfurled quickly as it became apparent they were not on the same page when it came to their family life.

Toby threw Kate for a loop when he took her to a house he was interested in buying, saying they should leave Los Angeles and move to San Francisco. All the while, Kate couldn’t help imagining the way Toby was used to be when they first met, lamenting how he had changed.

This Is Us -- Season 6
Kate's trip to San Francisco to spend time with Toby quickly turned sour and exposed a bigger rift in their troubled marriage.Ron Batzdorff / NBC

Kate was ultimately pushed to the brink, though, when she found out Toby turned down a job in Los Angeles, without even informing her about the opportunity, which he said wasn’t that good. That led to an enormous argument, in which he claimed the money he made in his current job could help them take care of Jack and his needs.

“Sometimes I look at you, Toby, and I don’t even know who you are anymore,” she said, when she realized how much he’d changed before he said “old Toby” was not a happy person.

“You fell in love with a coping mechanism,” he told her.

“Moving here is the only way we are going to stay a family. It is the only option,” he told her when they tried later to hit the reset button and clear the air after having their big blowup.

This Is Us -- Season 6
It's becoming clearer that Kate and Toby have different visions of their family's future.Ron Batzdorff / NBC

The episode drew to a close with Kate calling her boss, Phillip, and asking to be considered for an open position there, suggesting she is following her own course.

Metz, who co-wrote Tuesday’s episode, says the show is depicting a couple growing apart.

“Neither one of them is right and neither one of them is wrong,” she told People about Kate and Toby’s troubles. “They’re just moving in different directions and sometimes you move together and sometimes you move separately. I think it’s really important to show the dissolution of a relationship in the most honest, real and relatable way.”

The season five finale showed Kate getting set to marry Phillip, so how long can she and Toby work to save their relationship?

“They both are trying desperately and that’s something really beautiful to witness but I think they’re going to keep trying,” she said. “If you love something you don’t give up on it. I think they both love each other, but are we going to keep seeing them have the same fight? The same disagreement? The same argument? Ultimately, I don’t know if it’s able to be salvaged.”

Viewers have been teased for awhile now that Kate and Toby’s relationship was headed for trouble. Metz said she drew from her own divorce when it came to her storyline.

“I pulled some feelings of my real-life divorce,” she said. “My ex-husband and I were, like, crying signing our divorce paperwork because we loved each other as people but we knew that we weren’t supposed to be together. Many people, I think, have experienced that. The hardest part is holding onto something that you know is not meant for you.”

Viewers also know a Big Green Egg smoker put the final nail in the coffin that is Kate and Toby’s marriage. Metz said the smoker appears at an anniversary party for Rebecca and Miguel that has been teased in the previous two episodes, but it’s not the only reason things go wrong.

“Well, there’s something aside from the Egg that occurs. Let’s just say, it is not a normal party,” she said.

“There’s a particular incident that happens between Kate and Toby and Jack that really solidifies their decision of not moving forward,” she added.

“This Is Us” returns with an all-new episode next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.