"I think people are going to make a lot of different assumptions about the future based on this episode," Jennifer Morrison tells PEOPLE
This Is Us delivered a heartwarming episode, titled “The Club,” that had audiences grabbing tissues for happy tears rather than the sob fests many have repeatedly come to love.
And fans who ship Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) finally got what they had been hoping for. After a heated argument with her estranged husband Ryan (Nick Wechsler), who previously told Kevin to “stay the hell away” from his wife, Cassidy came to Kevin’s trailer and found herself impulsively kissing him — an act that led to more sparks flying in the bedroom.
As viewers wonder what happens next between the two, Morrison tells PEOPLE that her character’s relationship with the men in her life gets even more “complicated.”
“I just like the way that [the kiss] plays out when it does happen only because I feel like the circumstances line up to make it feel very human. What happens and how it happens, why it happens, to me feels very human,” Morrison explains. “She’s very hurt at that moment. She doesn’t know where else to turn and she decides to do something that is so out of character for her. I felt like the writing really led her to that moment in a way that made sense to me.”
Though fans did not witness the fight between Cassidy and Ryan, Morrison says their relationship took a turn for the worse. “She’s just been so deeply hurt, finding out that her husband is so disappointed in her and he really does feel like they’re not going to make things work. She knows her temper got provoked and she knows she wasn’t her best self in that conversation. She feels like she really is losing everything in this unbelievable low,” the actress shares.
And then there’s Kevin. “Instead of making her feel worse about it or not knowing what to say, he knows exactly what she needs to hear. I don’t know if she’s ever had a moment like that in her life. So when someone guesses the exact thing to say in a moment like that, it changes you,” Morrison says.
“This was a guy she was so skeptical of at first and kind of made fun of — she had a pointed perspective of how odd his life was compared to someone else — yet she feels so at ease with him and so at home with him. So that I think is going to be so complicated,” the star foreshadows.
Though AA discourages romantic relationships in the first year of one’s sobriety, the Once Upon a Time alum can’t help but feel happy for Cassidy.
“What makes [the kiss] out of character for her is that she’s such a measured person, she’s always operating from a place of risk assessment. For her to have had the job in the military, she had to operate from that place all the time to survive and in order for her to keep her fellow soldiers alive with her. She’s wired for that precise decision making,” the actress describes of Cassidy’s military background.
Now “she’s in a moment here for the first time in her life, she makes a selfish decision. And I don’t mean selfish in a negative way: she’s acting on what she feels in the moment and not overthinking what the repercussions are,” Morrison says. “She just knows that she’s admitted something very vulnerable to someone at the lowest she’s felt and this person looks at her, says something to fill her up and makes her so much better. Instead of her walking away from that or shutting down, she leans into it. It’s super out of character for her to take the joy at that moment instead of turning away and shutting it down.”
Morrison, who has been a longtime fan of the family drama, anticipates many reactions after that intimate scene, including from her own family and friends. “I think I’m going to get a lot of text messages after this episode. I have a feeling,” she laughs.
“I think people are going to make a lot of different assumptions about the future based on this episode. I can’t say if these assumptions are right or wrong but I think there are going to be a lot of assumptions flying around,” Morrison adds, alluding to the season 3 finale and the mystery of who is the mother of Kevin’s future son.
Though Kevin told his uncle that he’ll be in Bradford for a few more weeks for Nicky’s court hearing, will he be extending his stay for Cassidy?
“Obviously, in terms of seeing how all this gets walked out after that [kiss], it’s a whole different thing because you are dealing with repercussions. What does this mean for their friendship? And what does this mean for her marriage ending or not ending?” Morrison teases. “What does that mean once he has actually followed through with a physical connection when you’ve already been feeling an emotional connection?”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.