Kate Pearson got some big news in This Is Us season 2, episode 4, that could have a huge impact on her character’s story.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains major spoilers from This Is Us season 2, episode 4.
“Still There” was by far my favorite episode of This Is Us season 2, to date. I loved the exploration of masculinity through Kevin’s relationship with Jack and his need to be “tough.” I can’t wait to see more of the show’s power couple, Randall and Beth, working through a difficult parenting challenge together. It was so fun seeing the whole Pearson family dealing with both chicken pox, and the wrath of Grandma.
I especially loved seeing Kate enter a new phase in both her weight loss journey and her career. She’s on the brink of “kicking toned ass” at both, but it looked to be in a way that could end up being detrimental to her personal relationships. I was so ready to see Kate navigating through those new and murky waters of obsession and ambition, confident that her character would handle it in a profoundly real and meaningful way.
Then, they announced that she was pregnant, and it ruined all of that.
Now, before you jump to the comments to accuse me of implying that pregnancy, and subsequently babies, ruin everything, I assure you, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m not even necessarily saying that TV pregnancies, as a rule, are bad (although this article makes a good argument for that point).
What I am saying is that pregnancy, and again, subsequently babies, changes your life and your priorities. So, when a TV show takes it on, it should reflect that. If This Is Us treats this storyline right (which they tend to do), Kate’s focus, life, and goals should change. And what I’m really saying is that I’m not ready for that to happen to Kate yet!
Every character in This Is Us is great. Randall is sweet, funny and honest. Beth is fierce, smart and generous. Jack and Rebecca are the epitome of #parentinggoals and #couplegoals. Toby is over-the-top, loving and hilarious. Kevin is…well, Kevin is really hitting his stride in season 2 and I’m so excited to see where his arc leads him.
Even on top of all that greatness, for me, Kate is still the standout. Kate is special. She’s the glue that holds the Pearson family together. She’s wonderfully kind, but also sassy. She’s both confident and self-doubting. She’s so deliciously real and devastatingly relatable to anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t measure up to who society expected them to be, or even to who they expected themselves to be (read: everyone).
So far, This Is Us has done a fantastic job of making Kate’s weight loss journey a huge part of her story arc, while not defining her by it. Yes, a large part of Kate’s story in season 1 was focused on the ups and downs of her diet and exercise routine, but she also fell in love, searched for new work, relentlessly supported her family, and made a huge breakthrough in mourning her father’s death.
In season 1, everything was new for Kate. She had a new commitment to bettering her physical health, she was experiencing a blossoming, healthy relationship with Toby, and she was forced to figure out where she fit in the workforce after being “fired” as Kevin’s assistant.
As we move into This Is Us season 2, Kate is thriving. She’s engaged to the man she loves, she’s making real strides toward a career that she’d never even dreamed of pursuing, and she’s making measurable progress in her weight loss.
I was so excited to continue along her path under these new lenses. When you’re making huge life changes, it affects everything and everyone around you, so a change in your circumstances can completely change how you approach your decisions and your goals.
It seemed like This Is Us was going to take Kate to a place where she was almost too dedicated to her diet and exercise regime. Where she became overly obsessed with “fitting in that dress” at the expense of her personal relationships, and maybe even her career and health.
If I have one complaint about Kate’s character on This Is Us, it’s that she’s almost too perfect. Almost too good at loving the people around her. Almost too willing to sacrifice herself for the happiness and success of others. It would’ve been an interesting arc to see her get so caught up in her goals that she actually showed some character flaws!
We know that Jack struggled addiction, so what if Kate inherited a piece of his addictive personality. If that manifested itself in her becoming consumed with losing the weight, it could’ve been an interesting way to explore Kate’s relationship with her father. She made a breakthrough with regards to his death at the end of season 1, but it happened so quickly that it would be great to return to that storyline.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to see Kate and Toby take on parenthood together, someday. They’re obviously going to be fantastic parents, and it honestly wouldn’t really make sense for This Is Us to never feature a pregnancy/baby storyline (aside from Rebecca’s, of course) at some point, given the nature of the show.
I just wish they had waited to put a fictional bun in Kate’s fictional oven. I’m so in love with the path that Kate’s on, and the potential stories it could offer, that I’m not ready for her to shift focus.
If Kate had become pregnant after her singing career had blossomed (I don’t want to see another Pearson woman give up a burgeoning singing career for her family), or after we had dug deeper into her problems with her mother, that could have been more interesting.
With a character as outstanding as Kate Pearson, This Is Us is going to be around for a long time. They would’ve had plenty of time to introduce this plot. There are definitely plenty of amazing stories to be told about Kate’s pregnancy and parenthood, but I can’t help but feel like they’re losing out on some great ones by going this route, so early in the series.