This is Us has reached its 100th episode! Isn’t it incredible? We’ve made it through 100 episodes of this mental torture (I say that with such affection!!) and are still alive. I’m not sure about you, but I’m exhausted.
Sometimes you’re exhausted in a good way, sometimes you’re tired in a bad way, and sometimes you’re tired in both ways! Take, for example, this 100th episode.
“Katoby” focuses on Kate and Toby’s marriage, specifically its conclusion, while also providing us a glimpse into what lies ahead for these two after the divorce. It’s packed with powerful, emotional situations that are both devastating and hopeful.
But, despite the fact that Katoby has been dead since the beginning of the season, and we’ve had multiple episodes following this relationship’s demise, we’re still here, wringing out one last drop. Can we speak about how obvious it is that these two people now make each other miserable any longer? One final time, I suppose.
“Katoby” begins with a flashback to Kate and Philip’s wedding, in which Kevin asks if he may make a Princess Bride joke in his toast, to which I say, “Get some better stuff, dude.” You’ve had your chance!! Kate gets a call from Toby after the ladies wisely push Kevin out of the room. On the day of her wedding! This is a fantastic flex.
He tells her solemnly that the thing she said the day they signed their divorce papers — he can “see it now” and apologizes for taking so long. It’s enigmatic, and it also feels like something he could’ve told her the day before or the day after, you know?
There is such a thing as texting. Anyway, it seems to offer Kate some serenity, and she adds something along the lines of “life would be a lot simpler if we could live it backward,” which does not, unfortunately, signify the beginning of this story is told backward, which would have been fantastic. It’s merely a fad, she claims.
The rest of the show swings about between pre-and post-divorce Kate and Toby’s relationship. To keep track of the most significant elements, we’ll go over those points in chronological sequence. This story begins the morning following Baby Jack’s terrifying solo stroll around the park.
Kate and Toby are both physically and emotionally weary (which, is the same). It’s at this point when the Pearson-Damons have hit rock bottom, that Toby decides to do “whatever it takes” to save their family. He’ll go to couples therapy if Kate wants it, and he’ll accept that job in L.A. (I love that he still has to make the dig about how much of a step down it will be). This is a significant event.
It’s not really compromising; he’s simply giving up what he wanted, so it’s reasonable that he’s irritated when Kate is consistently late for therapy and continues to criticize him.
Couples therapy, as you may have guessed, does not go well. They have the same disagreements over and over, and Toby, despite saying he would take the L.A. job, is open about how much he despises it.
Everyone is in a bad mood! Kevin finds his sister crying in her room in a touching scene between Kate and Kevin, and she worries about how she’ll know when it’s time to terminate her marriage. “Now!” screams every cell in my body. “End it right now!” Kevin assures her that she will know when the time comes.
They’ve been in counseling for sixteen months. They sit down and have supper, just the two of them, at the suggestion of their therapist, Diane, who leaves a lot to be desired in terms of therapists. It doesn’t take long for things to fall apart.
Kate is criticizing Toby’s parenting skills once more, and he’s had enough. And Kate is tired of watching Toby be miserable in front of their family, and Toby claims that he’s only miserable when she’s in the room, which, uh, yikes, and then he invokes the name of our Lord and savior, Jack Pearson.
Because he isn’t precisely like Kate’s father, he claims their marriage has been “a rigged game.” To persuade his parents to stop shouting at each other, Baby Jack had to flush his Boba Fett toy down the toilet, but the damage has been done, and the writing is on the wall, so Kate finally calls it. This union is a decaying corpse! There is nothing that can be saved.
What’s more, you know what? Both appear to be better once Toby moved out and they have their own place. They’ve improved so much that Toby suggests they get back together. This is something Kate does not desire.
She’s in the best shape of her life. Toby begs her to listen to him. He’s afraid of being alone and having to start anew. Although tragic, those scenes are more about Toby’s dread than about his desire to marry Kate. He kisses her, but she refuses. It’s a terribly tragic situation, and it also signifies the end of their marriage.
They sign the divorce papers two days later. Kate tries to persuade Toby that this isn’t “how [their] tale ends,” that they were meant to meet and marry, and that now they’re meant to be separated, but that their story isn’t ended and he’ll see it one day. He’s like, “No, I’ll never see it,” which is so fucking theatrical for him, and I love it.
So, how does Toby go from being that man to calling Kate on her wedding day to tell her that he finally understands it?
Kate and Toby keep moving forward. It’s a lot simpler for Kate, who gets a text from Philip on the day they sign the divorce papers inviting her to meet him for a drink since he knows how difficult her morning was and assumes she’ll need a friend.
They end up karaoke-ing “Tubthumping” in the middle of the day, and it’s very cute. Kate will remember this moment at their engagement party as the one that altered everything for them.
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I don’t mind if Kate and Philip’s friendship moves at a faster pace because of time constraints, but I think we’re missing a beat where Philip transitions from a grumpy coworker to a close enough friend that Kate wants to hang out with him on the day her divorce is completed.
Just a teeny-tiny fraction of a second. ANYWAY, we see their first date, which is when Philip realizes he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, as he will later proclaim. Kate walks out of the restaurant after being scared by a charged hand-holding moment.
When Philip finds her, she informs him that she isn’t searching for a relationship where she is afraid to express herself, so she will question him straight out: What is he doing with someone like her? She knows he’s a womanizer who won’t date divorced mothers of two, let alone women who look like her; her life is difficult, and he seems to avoid it.
It’s all quite presumptuous, and Philip uses the same phrase when he responds with the same directness. He tells his terrible tale.
Listen, we knew Philip would have a tragic backstory from the moment he was introduced as Kate’s future husband, but I wasn’t expecting “his marriage to his blind wife fell apart after multiple failed IVF attempts that broke both of them, and then when his wife decided to pack up and leave him, she got in a cab without saying goodbye and was hit by a drunk driver and killed instantly.” “Who hurt you, This Is Us writers?”
That’s not just a sad story; it’s the saddest story I’ve ever heard. Greetings, Lord. Kate, on the other hand, is a sucker for ruined items. They kiss, and Chris Geere keeps doing his job well.
Kate and Philip are happy together, and Philip has a good conversation with Toby about how “fortunate” he feels to help raise Toby’s children, which causes Toby to soften his stance on the situation.
Philip charmingly proposes to Kate with the help of her children, and we arrive at the engagement celebration, which is lovely. When Toby meets a gorgeous woman who enjoys yogurt puns, he finds love again.
Kate marries, and Toby realizes what their tale was supposed to be, and wow, look at this — a much older Kate and Toby, along with their new wives, are hanging out at a bar when Adult Baby Jack and Lucy appear, and Adult Baby Jack sings for a small crowd.
Everyone seems to get along! What a lovely gesture! Old Philip even has a lovely mustache, which I’ll choose to admire rather than question if it’s some odd Jack Pearson costume. And so, my friends bring the Kate and Toby ballad to a close.
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