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Another week of This Is Us, another major, life-changing twist at the end of the episode—except this time, the life of one of the characters we've grown to love is hanging in the balance, and we won't find out his fate until 2017. That's NEXT YEAR, PEOPLE.

Luckily, Jan. 10 is only about a month away. But still—that's an entire month of not knowing whether or not Toby (Chris Sullivan), a.k.a. Kate's boyfriend who flew across the country to reconcile with his estranged love, will be okay after suffering a heart attack at the end of the show's winter finale.

But Sullivan tells E! News that you'll find out in the first episode back whether the heart attack was fatal or not. "Aside from the fall break, they're not going to make you wait too long to find out the fate of Toby one way or another," Sullivan says.

This Is Us

NBC

While the actor wouldn't even give us a slight hint to confirm what happens (not even a little one!), savvy social media users will note that costar Milo Ventimiglia posted a photo of Sullivan on the Paramount Studios lot just this week—so we're going to assume the best. (Beats the alternative of randomly bursting into tears as we remember a sweet moment from the episode, right?)

Let's look on the bright side—this episode saw Toby interact with the rest of the Pearson family (previously he'd only met Kevin), which Sullivan says felt like a celebratory day on set.

"Since it's an ensemble show with all the different storylines and characters living in different cities and things, they rarely get to get together," he explains. "It definitely felt like Christmas. It felt like the family was getting together for the holiday. It was really nice."

This Is Us, Chris Sullivan

NBC

Of course, that means Toby's heart attack is all the more difficult for everyone to handle. "It's a sad day to experience something negative happen to a character that we've all come to like having around, I suppose," Sullivan says. But he totally understands the reasoning behind the decision to potentially kill him off.

"I think in telling a good story there has to be ups and downs with any character, and you can't just have everything go swimmingly and you can't just have characters who are supposed to be in a romantic relationship just getting into an argument every episode. There has to be other tension and things introduced. But I don't know if we knew they were going to go this big this soon!"

Find out whether Toby survives when This Is Us returns Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)