First the crockpot, now the smoker! This Is Us gave fans a major clue about why Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) are divorced in the future, and let’s just say the Pearsons have bad luck with cookware.
The Tuesday, January 18, episode — titled “Four Fathers” — began with the couple’s adult son, Jack (Blake Stadnik), preparing steaks for him and his wife, Lucy (Auden Thornton), on a Big Green Egg years from the present day. As she warned him to be careful, he remarked that the smell took him back to the day of his first memory.
In the present, Toby struggled to stay close with Jack and daughter Hailey as he traveled back and forth for work. He finally had an entire weekend to spend with Kate and the kids, but he and Kate argued over the children’s schedules. Toby ultimately ditched Kate before her school’s recital to stay home and take care of the little ones, and she ended up complaining about their problems to Phillip (Chris Geere). Her coworker assured her that if she was still willing to discuss their issues with other people, it was a good sign since he stopped speaking about his marital woes with his wife when things got too complicated.
Toby later admitted to Kate that he should’ve followed her lead when it came to the kids because she was with them more. He also suggested that they buy a Big Green Egg to make memories as a family during cookouts, and she agreed.
In the future, Lucy pointed out that the smoker was a reminder of the day Jack’s parents’ marriage blew up. She brushed back his hair to reveal a scar on his head and mentioned that he didn’t need to keep the thing that nearly deformed him.
Elsewhere in the episode, Kevin (Justin Hartley) adjusted poorly to being away from the twins since moving out of Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson) house. His 25-year-old costar from the Manny revival gave him her number, but instead of hitting her up for a “booty call,” he contacted Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) because she was miles away and more age appropriate.
Randall (Sterling K. Brown), meanwhile, discovered that Deja (Lyric Ross) lied about visiting Malik (Asante Blackk) in Boston. Although Randall wanted to keep the young couple apart, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) informed him that she planned to get Deja birth control because they had to get used to the fact that she was growing up. Randall calmed down long enough to tell Deja that she could no longer visit Malik, but she retorted that would be a problem.
Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) also had trouble keeping up with the Big Three amid his hectic work schedule. Kevin slipped away when Jack took the kids to the movies and accidentally fell asleep, and mall security called Rebecca (Mandy Moore) to pick up Kevin after he got lost. Rebecca told Jack there was always a chance to turn a bad day around, but he later received a phone call that his mother had died.
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.