In the latest episode of This Is Us, Kate and Toby find out that Ellie doesn’t want the open adoption for the newborn Hailey that they had previously planned.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for We are Season 5, Episode 9, “The Ride, “which aired Tuesday on NBC.
Kate and Toby have been on an adoption trip throughout season 5 of We are, which continues in the last episode, “The Ride”. The couple had some trouble getting pregnant, so they decided to expand their family with a second child and seek open adoption. That’s how they met Ellie. Ellie already has an 11-year-old daughter named Willow, and after her husband’s death, she unexpectedly became pregnant after a one-night stand, prompting her to seek adoption for her baby. She chose Kate and Toby as foster parents and the trio got along very well. Kate was especially happy to have an open adoption with Ellie, advocating for play dates and visits after Ellie gave birth. However, in the last episode, Ellie changes her mind and decides that she no longer wants a relationship with the newborn Hailey, which puzzles Kate.
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Kate tells Toby before bringing Ellie home from the hospital that they need to be more sensitive to her because the separation process can’t be easy and Kate wants to help Ellie get through it. When Ellie joins them outside after completing the hospital paperwork and making the adoption official, she makes a joke and appears to be mostly herself.
Things change once they are in the car. Kate sits in the back seat with her new daughter and Ellie goes up front with Toby. Kate talks about Willow and tries her best to get Ellie involved, but Ellie remains closed. Ellie finally admits that she wants to change her arrangement. He doesn’t feel capable of maintaining a relationship with Hailey and he no longer wants an open adoption.
When Kate and Toby return home, they discuss the situation, which has Kate much more upset than Toby. Toby admits that he was prepared for the circumstances surrounding the adoption to change and is therefore prepared to adapt. On the other hand, Kate confesses that she had her heart set on open adoption because she didn’t want Hailey to go through any of the struggles for adoption that she had seen Randell face.
Toby assures him that things will be fine despite the change in plans. He explains that part of Randall’s anxieties stemmed from the complete and utter lack of information about his biological parents and why they abandoned him, a premise the show explored in the episode “Biological Mother.” Toby notes that Hailey won’t have to worry about it because he and Kate will be able to explain the story of their adoption, giving her information that Randall never had. So even though they can’t control Ellie’s emotions or actions, they will still be able to give Hailey what she needs.
Toby then tells Kate that she is an unflappable mother and that she will be able to make the best of the situation. Kate accepts the compliment and then proves its validity when Toby reveals that he just lost his job. She assures him that together they will discover their next steps, but for now, she wants them to focus on their new daughter.
Kate’s adoption plan was turned upside down in the latest episode of We areBut despite the setback, Kate remained strong and regained the perspective necessary to be the unflappable mother that she has proven to be. There will be more challenges for her family in the future, but at least for now she has maintained a strong family unit through perseverance and maternal instinct.
Created by Dan Fogelman, This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Chris Sullivan and Susan Kelechi Watson. The new episodes air Tuesdays at 9 pm ET / PT on NBC.
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