Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby in This Is Us

The Final "This Is Kate" Episode Promo Hits Right In The Feels

Like only This Is Us can...

by Ani Bundel
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The final Big Three trilogy of This Is Us kicked off with “Number 1” Kevin, which means the next episode, going in order, is “Number 2,” Kate. All three episodes will cover the same period in the days following Thanksgiving 2021, and each of the three episodes will focus on Kevin, Kate, and Randall individually digesting their mother’s mandate that they will not make their lives smaller on her account the way they did when their father passed. The This Is Us Season 6, Episode 9 promo shows how Kate handles things.

Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 6, Episode 8 follow. The first of the Big Three trilogy focused on Kevin. However, it didn’t feature him having any wild emotional breakthroughs. He didn’t run to NYC to propose to Sophie one last time, fall into bed with Cassidy, or find himself a gorgeous flight attendant to take home and dance to Smokey Robinson with.

In what may be the true sign of how much Kevin’s changed, his episode was all about doing for others. It was sitting in a hospital overnight, waiting for Cassidy to wake up after her car crash; it was looking at the cabin project and proposing building a business that would help put veterans back to work. Kevin’s life is not going to be smaller. However, this time, it’s not going to be all about him, either.

Up next on the roster: Kate takes her mother’s edict about not making her life smaller to heart by choosing to go on an adventure and seeing where Toby’s job has taken him.

This Is Us Season 6, Episode 9 is titled “The Hill,” and the synopsis is short: “Kate visits Toby.” That may not sound like a big deal, but Toby’s traveling to San Francisco is something that Kate has passively refused to be involved in. She wasn’t really consulted in his choice to take the job; it all just happened to her. She’s accepted he goes away to this big city for five days out of seven without trying to learn about where he is, what he’s doing, what kind of people he’s surrounded by. In a sense, he’s building this whole life without her in a completely new place; she’s just letting it happen, almost like she’s not allowed to join in.

By stepping up to see San Francisco, to try and become involved in Toby’s life again, Kate is pushing herself forward, trying to see if this is a life she wants. It is the ultimate putting-herself-out-there move, trying to reach for the big life in an ultra-expensive, ultra-striver city on a hill.

But fans know she and Toby won’t make it. And the trailer hints that what Kate discovers in San Fran may hasten that journey. Justin Hartley, who plays her brother Kevin, further spurred this theory; speaking to Entertainment Weekly about next week’s episode, he described Kate’s story as, “Where one door opens, another one closes.”

This Is Us: The Final Season continues with new episodes every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming the next day on Hulu.