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If This Is Us Season 6, Episode 9 confirmed anything, it's that Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) are not in a good place. To be fair, this didn't really need confirming. We know the long distance brought on by Toby's new job has strained their relationship. We saw the Thanksgiving episode, where the couple had intense disagreements about what to feed their children. And—to state the obvious—we've seen the flash-forward from Season 5, where it's revealed Kate marries her boss at the music school, Phillip (Chris Geere).
But how we get there is still a mystery. After all, Kate and Phillip aren't exactly chummy at work. He's rude, condescending, and he made it clear when Kate started he thought other candidates were more qualified. Yes, he's changed his mind about that and, yes, the ice is thawing—but it still seems implausible right now that Kate and Phillip would become romantic.
Don't worry: All your questions will be answered before the show ends. Metz tells NBC Insider that we'll see how Toby and Kate end and how Kate and Phillip begin. But one thing she wants known: There is no overlap between the relationships.
"We’re definitely 'gonna see who Phillip really is as a human being and how he’s showed up for her as a friend first," Metz says. "Right now, he’s a bit of an ass. Everyone’s like, 'What? Why in the world would she go for him and not want to stay with Toby?' But we do get to start seeing their commonalities. He’s more than what we ever thought he was."
She continues, "He does show up for her in an unsuspecting way, but it's never out of turn or out of time. They wait until things are finalized [with Kate's divorce from Toby] for things to kick off for them. I just want to always make that clear, because it was never about cheating. It wasn’t that Toby fell in love with somebody else or Kate fell in love with Phillip and that’s why they got a divorce. Through their friendship, Kate and Phillip started really caring for each other."
As for what happens with Toby, Metz says, "It's not either one of their faults. [Their breakup] is done after a lot of understanding and communication. It’s done with love."
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