The mystery of when and how Jack dies is still plaguing This Is Us fans, so we’ve compiled a list of things we know to help us get to the bottom of the mystery.
Jack’s death is perhaps the most crucial element in the series: it’s kept Kate from growing closer to her fiance (she hasn’t shared with Toby how Jack died) and it’s informed almost every aspect of Randall’s life– fostering a child, connecting with his biological father. Not to mention that the actual format of the show is constant flashbacks to moments with Jack, before we cut back to current day, where he’s gone.
The writers have done a great job at making audiences feel particularly connected to Jack, and we’re all extremely anxious to find out how, exactly, his life ended so early.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead!]
Clues Surrounding Jack’s Death:
– At the Golden Globes on January 7, Sterling K. Brown said that before the season is over, we will “see how Jack Pearson dies”. Tonight is the 13th episode of an 18-episode season, which leaves only six more opportunities to find out how Jack dies.
– In an interview with Larry King from June 2017, Mandy Moore refuses to say what age Jack is when he dies, but she does say the kids are 16-17 when it happens
– Everything must go back to the fire, right? In the Season 2 premiere, we saw Rebecca bawling outside her burned-down family home. Pop Sugar also recently picked up on the fact that the smoke detector DOES NOT have batteries! At the end of last week’s episode, “Clooney”, the camera hovered on the battery-less machine for a bit too long…
– Another thing pointed out by Pop Sugar (this is a big one!) is that Rebecca is wearing the same Steelers jersey in the preview for tonight’s episode as she is when she returns to her burned-down home in the second episode.
– What did Kate have to do with her dad’s death? This is one most of us can’t let go of. Why did Kate tell Toby that she’s the reason he’s dead? She specifically said (in episode 1; 17) “You remember when I told you I couldn’t talk about my dad’s death? Well, that’s because it’s my fault . . . I’m the reason that he’s dead.”
When we mix this all together, we’ve got: fire, Kate feeling guilty, and a smoke alarm with no batteries. But what position would Jack be in where he wouldn’t have smelled smoke? Or did he smell smoke and not have the opportunity to escape the house? Is it possible that Kate was left inside, he went in to save her, and that’s how he died?
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD:
After Tuesday night’s episode, we were told that “all our questions” will be answered after the Super Bowl. That’s because a special episode of This Is Us will air on Sunday, February 4, after the game.
What we learned tonight was that the fire wasn’t Jack’s fault (though he really should have bought those batteries). Jack was getting all ready for bedtime. He wrote Kevin a note saying he needed an apology in the morning, he did the dishes, he cleaned the counter, and he turned off the crockpot. But WAIT. In a flashback, his neighbors delivered him that same crockpot years earlier, saying its “finicky” and he needs to just double check it’s been turned off.
After Jack goes to bed (in present day now), we see the light switch of the crockpot TURN ON and within seconds, a fire starts. And it spreads quickly.
In previews for next week, the fire has consumed every inch of the Pearson family home, destroying family photos, Jack’s cabinets, and everything the family ever cared for and loved in its wake. The question of how exactly Jack dies still remains, though.
Is it possible he gets everyone out but goes back in for the dog that Kate loves so much? Could that explain why Kate carries such guilt when it comes to her dad’s death AND dogs? Or could he be going back into the house to grab that video recording he took of Kate singing? For now, these are shots in the dark. Only time will tell…
The next episode of This Is Us will air Sunday, February 4, at 10:15pm ET/PT after the Super Bowl.