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Kate's Absence In These 'This Is Us' Flash-Forwards Has Fans Speculating

This Is Us is on a short break between Rebecca's diagnosis and the coming family blow up. But the lack of installment due to Super Tuesday doesn't mean fans have taken the week off. With so many tantalizing clues about the future, fans are still trying to put together a rough timeline of major Pearson family events. The most recent evidence comes from Kate's absence in the This Is Us flash-forwards, which have fans speculating wildly about her relationship with Toby.

At this point, it seems almost certain Toby and Kate have either divorced or separated by 2034, which is when fans can assume to see Rebecca lying on her death bed. There are several clues to support this theory.

  • Randall is the one who calls and invites Toby, in a manner that suggests he's doing it because Kate will not ask.
  • When Toby arrives at Kevin's house, alone, the conversation indicates he has never been there before.
  • But the house has been there for a while. Kevin's son is running around like he owns the place. And Beth is comfortable enough around the kitchen to take charge when Kevin arrives home with food.
  • Someone mentions Kate is on her way with Jack, but the executive producers have said the flash-forward with her arrival won't be airing anytime soon.

If the estimated timeline is correct, when they do show up, Jack will be 14 or 15. That's important, because the series' most recent set of flash-forwards just showed viewers Jack at that age, working on music in the Pearson garage.

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That's where the new theory comes in. When Toby first builds the music studio in the garage, he designs it for Kate, who sits at her keyboard writing, while Baby Jack hangs out in his playpen toy piano in hand. But over the years, things change. Toddler Jack still has mom as a companion. But by the time Jack is in middle school, Kate is no longer there. It's now his alone.

By the time Jack is in the studio as an older teenager, recording his first demo, there's no sign of Kate at all. On the one hand, it could be because Rebecca's needs meant Kate didn't have time to make music anymore, and Jack took it over.

But fans think there's more to it. If Kate and Toby have separated, Kate's music may have moved inside the house, taking over the spaces Toby once was, leaving Jack to the garage. Or maybe it's Kate who walked out, and Jack spends his time recording in the studio when he's at Dad's house as part of the shared custody agreement.

If this is true, Kate and Toby's divorce won't come for several more years yet, maybe not even until Season 6. That's good news in the short term, but for fans watching, this relationship breakdown is going to be a long process.