The third season of This Is Us came to a close on Tuesday night, and it's definitely been a roller-coaster of emotions. We wouldn't expect anything else! One of the biggest mysteries all season long has been the state of Kate and Toby's marriage in the future. The third season has seen the couple go through some major life events, including the premature birth of their son, Jack. But since the season premiere last Fall, there have been hints that perhaps their marriage doesn't survive up through the flash-forward part of the timeline. So, what's the deal with their marriage?
Well, we're still not 100 percent sure, but we've got a pretty good idea by now. To recap: Back in the last minutes of the September season premiere, we saw a flash-forward that's incredibly telling. Throughout the season, Kate and Toby struggle in the present day with fertility issues. Between her weight struggles and PCOS and his antidepressants likely lowering his sperm count, the couple make some major, sometimes bad decisions — even more worrying when taken with what we have seen over the season about Toby's future self: scruffy and weary-looking, and, apparently, alone. The couple go through some major ups and downs throughout the season, but ultimately do welcome their son, named for Kate's late father Jack, by the last few episodes.
The state of Kate and Toby's marriage in the season premiere's flash-forward was not explicitly discussed, but there are a couple of details that seem pretty revealing. When Randall calls Toby to ask if he's coming to see the then-mysterious "her," Toby is alone in a sparse room and a bed that is completely empty and unruffled on the other side. The crucial detail is a split-second shot of Toby's left hand, where no wedding ring can be seen.
In Tuesday night's season finale, we once again see Toby's future self, arriving for a family gathering of some sort and telling the Pearson family that he's talked to his son Jack and "they're" on their way. While the focus is mostly on who "they" refers to, another small detail makes an appearance: once again, we can't quite see clearly, but it looks like Toby isn't wearing a wedding band.
"You're at the midpoint of Kate and Toby's journey as a couple. We've watched them fall in love, we've watched them get married, we've watched them having this very tenuous and difficult pregnancy and birth. And they're at their midpoint right now. And so what's exciting about the midpoint is yes, it gets dramatic in a different kind of way. Because you're stripped most raw."
However, in an interview with the New York Post, Toby's actor Chris Sullivan makes it clear: Toby and Kate are no longer married at this point.
"At that point [in the flash-forward] Kate and Toby are no longer married. Who knows why that could be? Clearly [Toby] is still in communication with Kate and Jack. There are a lot of reasons why marriages don't continue. The [show's] writing staff hasn't told us exactly what that situation will be but I think, either way, there are a lot of lessons to be learned."
However the series handles this new revelation, we're sure it will be with its customary poignancy and emotion. But we won't know more until This Is Us returns for its fourth season, presumably this Fall.