The world is so close to finding out whether Toby (Chris Sullivan) survived his heart attack on This Is Us, but fans may need to be prepared for some bad news.
"You should have some tissues ready," Chrissy Metz warned a small group of reporters including TVGuide.com at a screening event as part of the Television Critics Association's winter previews. "There's some unexpected scenes, and stuff that no one is going to be ready to see."
The fall finale left fans on the edge of their seats after Toby flew across the country to declare his love for Kate (Metz), renewing their relationship just hours before Toby had a heart attack. The final scenes of the episode saw Toby flatline on the operating table -- and fans now have to wait until Tuesday to find out if the doctors were able to revive him.
The small piece of good news is that fans won't have to wait long to find out what Toby's flatlining meant at the end of the NBC drama's fall finale.
"There is a cold open with Milo and Mandy, and then the first thing back gives you basically an answer," show creator Dan Fogelman said at the same event. "I didn't want to drag it out and make it a miserable experience -- not only being scared about Toby, but also waiting to find out. It's answered within a couple of minutes."
Fogelman also doesn't use any uplifting language to describe the tone of the episode -- at least not when talking about Toby's fate. "[The episode] is intense. There's a lot that's been left in play. All the storylines have rotating things so you're popping around to all these different [people]," he said. "Mandy and Milo have such a touching and strong storyline in the episode. The Toby and Kate thing is a huge part of the episode."
No matter what happens to Toby, this event is going to have a huge effect on Kate, who was en route to having a life changing surgery to help with her weight loss. The death, or potential death, of the man she's in love with will make her have to reevaluate the decisions she's been making in her life.
"Kate has a lot of decisions to make and when things hang in the balance," Metz said. "You don't know what's happening to a loved one or someone in your life, someone that obviously Kate is absolutely in love with [and] it's very scary. It causes you to really think about how life is going to be impacted if something should go wrong or right. How does this affect her and her decisions -- whether she continues with the gastric bypass or she decides maybe it's not a good idea. There's so many questions."
It's also possible that Toby's heart attack could throw Kate off the weight loss path she's been on -- the same one that caused her break up with Toby.
"How much can one person handle? We fill voids when we're scared, and it's scary. Who knows what's going to happen?" Metz mused. "Then she feels guilty because who knows if he had heart attack because he's overweight. You feel a sense of guilt and all of those things that come into play."
That said, could this be the event that brings Kate closer to her family? Outside of Kevin (Justin Hartley), she's been in her own world of late, and she could use some support right now -- as long as it's the right kind.
"I think that it could be a little bit of both [leaning on them and pulling away]. There's so much that a support system can do for you, but until you've made a really true decision, it's up to you anyway," Metz explained. "It's up to us as individuals to make a really important decision. It's going to be a little bit of both, for sure."
Overall, Metz wants fans to be happy about where the show goes next, no matter how devastated they may be about Toby's fate.
"I think that people will be very surprised [by the episode], maybe a little on edge, but also excited to see what the next step is going to be for everyone," she said. "All we know is that he's potentially flatlined... If anybody loses anyone, it's absolutely devastating. There's going to be questions answered. You'll have a little closure."
This Is Us returns Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 10/9c -- delayed an hour from its usual time slot due to President Obama's final address to the nation.