After the Super Bowl on Sunday, fans were treated to an emotional episode of This Is Us, where we learned the specifics of Jack Pearson’s death.
*Warning: This post contains spoilers from the most recent episode of This Is Us. Read at your own risk!
Jack, it turns out, didn’t die directly in the house fire caused by a faulty crockpot. He died later, in the hospital, from a heart attack caused by smoke inhalation. The death, and Rebecca’s reaction to it all, left fans in tears.
At the end of the episode, the writers threw another twist: they flashed forward; something we haven’t seen yet. But what does this mean about Jack’s fate? Does the fact that he’s dead, and that we’re now jumping forward, suggest we’re not gonna have any more Milo Ventimiglia on the show?
Don’t worry. Jack is still going to be part of the show. CNN writes, “Going forward, Ventimiglia will remain with the show as the series explores other facets of Jack’s story, including his brother and his time in Vietnam.”
Luckily, Ventimiglia said, tonight’s episode will contain at least a few lighter moments compared to Sunday’s ultra-sad episode.
CNN reports that Sunday’s episode averaged 26.98 viewers. This was an increase in 9 million viewers compared to last year’s post-Super Bowl show, Fox’s 24: Legacy.
In a recent interview with Variety, Ventimiglia opened up about filming his death.
Asked about the fire, and how production created the fire to look like so real, Ventimiglia said, “… Our production team that put together that set and made sure we were in a place where we could have a very safe, controlled, seemingly dangerous fire — my hat is off to them. But the fire itself, I was standing next to a wall of six-foot flames that were controlled but was still fire. There was fire right in front of me. Standing feet away from it, there were moments where the hiss of the gas line of fire — it’s kind of a high-pitched whine — would be completely overtaken by the score of real fire, which is deep and booming and angry and something that I hope many, many people never have to face.”
Ventimiglia also discussed whether or not he knew he was going to die when Rebecca left the room. He tells Variety that after watching the final cut, series creator Dan Fogelman couldn’t help but think “the last look [Jack] gave Mandy before she walked out of the room was maybe Jack knowing and sending his wife out so she didn’t have to see it.” Milo adds on that he thinks Jack “absolutely” knew something was wrong.
How will Rebecca and the kids cope without their amazing and loyal father? Find out on an all-new episode of This Is Us tonight at 9pm ET/PT on NBC.