Where did 'This Is Us' leave off before the midseason finale?


This Is Us aired its midseason finale, "Last Christmas," on Dec. 6. The episode left viewers with a dramatic cliffhanger before the show went on hiatus for the holidays. Since it's been a month — and you've likely had many other distractions since then — here's a short recap of what happened in the very eventful midseason finale. 

'This Is Us'/NBC

Synopsis of "Last Christmas"

The Pearson family has a saying: "Nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve."  While the episode may start out with tragedy at bay, it ends up taking over the episode. 

In a look at a past Christmas Eve, we see that Kate ends up needing her appendix removed. At the hospital, Rebecca runs into the doctor who delivered Kate and Kevin, but he's there as a patient due to a car accident. When Rebecca learns that his family is out of state, she decides that she, Jack and the boys will be his family for the night. Randall thanks the doctor for advising the Pearsons to adopt him. Kate and Dr. K end up surviving the night without a hitch. 

The present-day Pearson story is a little less cheery. Fast forward to William, Randall's biological father, talking at a 12-step meeting. The next person to talk in the meeting is a man named Jesse. It turns out he is William's ex-boyfriend, a man William ghosted once Randall got in touch with him. William apologizes to Jesse, and Jesse says he wants to get back together, even if William has a terminal illness.

Next comes a scene with Beth at Randall's company party. She's not happy to learn that her husband recently bought a boat from his co-worker. She tells him that he bought it out of sadness because most of his family won't be coming for Christmas, and tells him he has to return the boat. He goes looking for his co-worker, Andy, only to find him on the rooftop, contemplating suicide. Beth interrupts their conversation and Randall tells her to leave. When he turns around, he thinks Andy has jumped, but he actually returned to the party. 

'This Is Us'/NBC

Meanwhile, Kevin ends up going to Hanukkah dinner with playwright Sloane, whom he slept with the previous episode. Elsewhere, Rebecca goes with Kate to see her doctor about stomach reduction surgery. Rebecca is worried that the procedure is dangerous and is surprised to learn that Kate is on Prozac. On the way home, the two have a heartfelt talk about how Kate's health got to this point.

When Beth and Randall get home, they want a quiet night, but the arrival of Sloane and Kevin and later Miguel, Kate, Rebecca, William and Jesse means that doesn't happen. Even Toby shows up uninvited to tell Kate that he's dieting again and wants to give their relationship another try. 

Everything is merry and fine until Toby gets up to clear the dishes and collapses. Next, he's flatlining on an operating table. 

When to watch the midseason premiere

This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern to accommodate President Barack Obama's farewell speech at 9 p.m. Eastern. The show will go back to its regular 9 p.m. Eastern time slot the following week.