‘This Is Us’ Just Set Up a Brand New Mystery

Let’s talk about Kate and Toby bringing baby Hailey home from the hospital, and Ellie’s decision not to be part of their lives. It now makes sense why she wanted to hold her first at the hospital. 

This whole adoption storyline was something we took very seriously. We were told by the adoption experts that the TV trope where the mom changes her mind at the last minute and keeping the baby doesn’t often happen. In fact, sometimes it can be a deterrent to potential adoptive parents [if they see that on TV]. So it was really important for us to tell a different kind of story and not play the jeopardy of, “Is she going to keep the baby?”

Still, we did want to tell an emotional journey for Kate and Ellie as friends. We thought the interesting story would be the loss of the friendship Kate had with the birth mom. And, because this is our show, you never know when Ellie might come back and if she might be a part of Kate and Toby and Hailey and Jack’s life. We definitely wanted to give her that moment to say goodbye.


Toby getting laid off was a gut punch, as realistic as it was. How will that impact him as a father and husband, especially with his on-going struggle with depression?

Kate is a really natural, loving, hands-on mother and that doesn’t come quite as easy for Toby. He struggles with it at first. I think what we’re interested in exploring is, how does this family adapt when the structure of what their life looks like changes? We danced around for a while with Kate’s career and her own aspirations, and we’re really interested in looking at what is it when one parent has to step up and the other one has to take on the full-time parenting role in a way they might not expect. I think especially in the last year with the pandemic, that’s something a lot of parents can relate to—taking on those roles more than they might have anticipated.

I can’t get David Gates’s song, “Everything I Own,” out of my head now. What a beautiful way to close out the episode and show the Pearson kids at various ages. 

I know. Dan Fogelman has a few This Is Us songs in his head that he knows he wants to use, but is waiting for the perfect moment. As soon as Jon Huertas and I heard “Everything I Own,” we were like, that’s the one.

Speaking of Jon, it was his first episode directing. He did an amazing job.

He did so great. It’s really fun to work with actors when they have the chance to direct. They don’t want to mess up because this is their day job! These cast members are their co-workers, so they’re ultra prepared and there’s so much passion. We were joking that when Jon was directing Jack in the ghost sequence, Jon should just fill in and be like, “Actually, Miguel’s the ghost here!”

Meanwhile, we’re at the halfway point of the season, so what can you preview for what’s on the horizon?

When babies are born, family members often come to visit. I think we can expect our cast members from previous seasons to show their faces in fun and surprising ways. We have that to look forward to.

I hope it’s Dr. K, because we can always use more Gerald McRaney. We also haven’t seen the doctor with the daughter and her horse from earlier this season. I feel like they’re due to appear sometime soon.

We will see!

Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.

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