Fans of the NBC series will recall that the Season 4 finale introduced the character, played by Josh Hamilton, as Madison’s obstetrician when she realized she was pregnant with Kevin’s twins. In a call with reporters after that episode, Fogelman said the doctor would become “an important character” in Season 5 as parenthood approached for Kevin and Madison.
The executive producer added: “It’s no coincidence he was introduced in the same episode that Dr. K returned.”
Alas, we’ll never know whether This Is Us‘ Dr. Mason offered the kind of homespun wisdom for which Dr. K was famous; after the COVID-19 pandemic altered production in 2020 and beyond, Hamilton never appeared on the show again.
But the character served his major purpose, Fogelman told reporters in a conference call Tuesday. “The intent of that episode had been that [Mason’s young daughter, Sadie] and Mason, the advice they gave to Madison that led her to go have an honest conversation with Justin [Hartley]’s character, Kevin, and led to them co-raising and co-parenting twins and changing his life,” he said.
“We’d also thought, pre-pandemic, that doctor could become a really important character for them potentially, a la Dr. K. But having to have people in masks in the doctor’s office always became really fraught and complicated and logistically challenging. But that wasn’t a big part of the plan,” Fogelman added. “The completion of that journey was really meant to mainly happen in that episode.”
Onto our next unresolved plot thread: Kate and Toby’s dog, Audio, who was introduced in Season 2 but hasn’t been seen for quite some time. “Audio the dog is there!” Fogelman said, laughing. “Nothing’s happened to him.”
The show boss explained: “We were dealing with 15,000 screaming babies the final season. Audio is resting comfortably. I believe Kate and Toby, post-divorce, shared custody, and he lived happily ever after — a long, happy life.”
Had you wondered about Dr. Mason and Audio? Are there any other questions you have after This Is Us‘ finale? Read our recap, check out our burning Qs chat with Fogelman, go deep on that final flash-forward, find out where Mandy Moore was during Rebecca’s funeral and hear about what Randall and Kevin actually said during those elusive eulogies!