‘This Is Us’ Midseason Finale Recap: ‘Last Christmas’ Puts Two Fan-Favorite Characters in Danger

Pearsons past and present celebrate the holidays with some unnerving developments

This Is Us
(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not watched Tuesday’s midseason finale episode of “This Is Us,” titled “Last Christmas”)

Christmas is a time for reunions, revelations and potentially life-threatening car accidents, suicide attempts and heart attacks. Welcome to the midseason finale of “This Is Us.”

In the latest twisty-turny episode of Dan Fogelman’s family drama on NBC, the Pearson family — past and present — are getting ready to celebrate Christmas.

In the 1980s, Kate’s appendix bursts, sending the whole family to the ER, where Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) come face-to-face with Dr. Katowsky (Gerald McRaney), who delivered their babies … nine years later. Unfortunately, Dr. K.  is in dire straits — he’s got severe internal bleeding after a bad car accident, and his family is probably too far away to make it to the hospital in time to say goodbye before the surgery required kills him.

The Pearsons naturally stay with the doctor, acting as his family, and it’s a Christmas miracle when he wakes up after his surgery, alive and well.

Back in present day, the grown up Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) are looking forward to a more traditional Christmas.

First, Kevin has to pretend to be playwright Sloane’s (Milana Vayntrub) boyfriend at her family’s Hanukah dinner, ultimately leading not to romance, but to the two of them deciding to put their play on themselves after producers pulled out amidst their leading lady Olivia (Janet Montgomery) disappearing.

Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are attending his company’s holiday party, but it takes a dark turn when Randall confronts a co-worker (Jimmi Simpson) who’s about to commit suicide. Randall does his best to talk him down, but it’s Beth’s sudden appearance that scares the suicidal co-worker away — back into the building, not plummeting down to his death.

The incident shakes Randall up enough that he thaws noticeably towards his mother, after rejecting her in last week’s episode following the revelation that she had known who his birth father William (Ron Cephas Jones) was the entire time and kept them apart.

Speaking of William, he comes to Christmas at Randall’s house with a revelation of his own, in the form of an old friend named Jessie (Denis O’Hare), prompting one of Randall’s daughters to bluntly explain, “Grandpa’s gay. Or at least bi.”

Finally, Kate is overjoyed by the sudden appearance of Toby (Chris Sullivan), who flew all the way from L.A. in a middle seat in order to declare his love for her.

The two reunite and manage to christen a room or two, before the other shoe drops.

In the final moments of the episode, as everyone’s getting along and basking in the warmth of the holiday, Toby collapses, sweaty and pale, in the middle of the living room — followed by a brief hospital scene showing doctors and nurses desperately trying to revive him.

Will he survive? “This Is Us” returns Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.