The big reveal at the beginning of Season 4 was that the show was bringing an entire raft of new characters this season. Along with introducing the adult version of Jack Jr., it brought aboard Cassidy and Malik, both of whom took steps this week to bond with Pearson family members. But what about the other new people the show is adding this year, the ones who didn't get an episode to themselves? Are those like Kate's new neighbor key figures as well? More importantly, who is Kate's neighbor on This Is Us? Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 4 follow.
Kate and Toby are under a lot of stress with the birth of Jack Jr. So when Kate meets her new neighbor, Gregory (Timothy Omundson), and the first thing he does is yell at her about where the family car is parked, it's not surprising she's not all that sympathetic.
The car is technically in their driveway. It's just that the storage pod is also still in the driveway, meaning the back end of the car is sticking out over the sidewalk.
But Gregory isn't just a cranky dude who is trying to start a war with the neighbors over a couple of square feet of concrete. When he comes around a second time to complain, he runs into Kate in the middle of a crying jag. She's upset because of her fight with Toby after she discovered he's been secretly going to CrossFit without telling her. The last thing she needs is to hear about where Toby parked the car.
"I just found out my husband's been sneaking off to get ripped," she tells him, "so I don't have time for your stupid car drama."
Kate's choice to open up causes Gregory to stop and come at this a different way. Rather than yelling about the car, he explains why he's so upset. It turns out Gregory had a stroke two and a half years ago and had to relearn how to do, well, just about everything. When he finally got off long-term disability, his company immediately moved to lay him off. All he has now is the ability to walk around the block and keep healthy. But the car blocking the sidewalk is too much of an obstacle in his current state.
As he slowly limps off, he announces this is his version of storming away. "Don't blink, you'll miss it."
With that dose of perspective, Kate realizes that her neighbor isn't a bad guy. Just someone in need of empathy and maybe a friend. So the next morning, when he attempts his walk around the block, not only is the car moved, but Kate is there, with Jack in his stroller, and the puppy on a leash, ready to walk with him. She does warn him not to go to quickly. "I'm not fast either."
"We're gonna look like the toughest gang in this neighborhood," he replies.
Maybe it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.