Sure, we wanted to know how Jack died… but we didn’t want to find out like this.
Season 2 of NBC’s This Is Us got off to a decidedly morbid start, with the final moments of Tuesday’s premiere delivering a big clue about how dad Jack died: As teen Kate and teen Randall wept over their father’s demise (teen Kevin was blissfully unaware, for now), Rebecca drove alone, wearing a Steelers T-shirt, a plastic bag of Jack’s possessions in the passenger seat next to her. She pulled up to the old Pearson house, charred and gutted after what must’ve been a massive fire, and let out a heartbreaking howl of grief.
The reveal does come as a bit of a relief to the cast, since the question of how Jack died won’t be hanging over the show anymore: “It’s like a pressure valve release, for a little bit,” Milo Ventimiglia told fans and reporters at a post-premiere Q&A on Tuesday. But as his co-star Mandy Moore points out, “we don’t know the full story. We’ll just say that. That’s just a piece of the puzzle. We have 18 episodes!”
More pieces of the puzzle might be found in the tiny details contained within that flashback, Moore hints: “Kate was holding a dog, Randall’s got a girlfriend, and Kevin has a broken leg. These are all things that I think people are going to see… the origin of in the next couple of episodes.”
The filming of that final scene, with Moore in the car, was shrouded in secrecy, creator Dan Fogelman says, which involved months of intricate planning: “We built a replica of the house five hours away. We had code names for everything.” But Moore ended up nailing the emotional scene in a single take, he remembers: “Mandy came to set, and they put her in the car, and what you see is literally her first take. After all that planning, it was like 30 seconds, and then we were done.”
It’s been a year-long mystery to fans, but connecting Jack’s death to a devastating house fire was always the plan in the writers’ room, Fogelman reveals: “We had talked about the fire, and what ultimately happened to Jack, pretty much from day one, when we started.” And he adds that we won’t have to wait another year to put all those other puzzle pieces into place: “All the answers about how Jack died, it’s all going to happen this season.”
What’d you think of the big This Is Us reveal? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.
I only watched two network shows tonight — This Is Us and The Mick — and they ended very similarly (at least visually). How weird is that!?
I still think that Jack’s dad had something to do with his death.
I was not ready!! (and no, I don’t think it is as obvious as it seems right now…)
I’m glad they confirmed how Jack died because the fan speculation was essentially taking over. Very excited to see this come together.
I was a bit disappointed that the show felt super rushed I waited all season for it to I waited all season for it to start. I’m sad that Jack is gone and basically kind of confused how he has gone. I love the fact that stories get intertwined but sometimes the public gets lost on actually what’s going on. I love that Kate found the strength to go back. I love that Toby supports her I just love the show and I’m so glad it is back
With a house fire in the periphery, I wonder if we’ll see the firefighter (the one who brought baby Randal to the hospital) from the pilot again this season.
Interesting fact, the Steelers made it all the way to the Super Bowl (but lost) in 1995, which seems like the year this family tragedy happens. Seems like the Super Bowl episode of This Is Us will be one heck of an hour on television.
All GREAT topics to consider!!!!
I’m pretty sure all of the ‘Big 3’ die……I’m not sure how they’d plan to play this out, and I’m devastated just thinking about it….but after much research…..that’s my unfortunate prediction!!!😫😫
I can’t even go there.
Taryn, what makes you think that the Big 3 will die?
Well, of course they’ll eventually die! Because this whole series is about being human. I don’t think any of them is going to die early, so it probably won’t happen during the episodes shown.
I can’t believe that they would take away ALL 3 of Rebecca’s kids like that. First she loses her husband so young, then her kids? Unless you mean the show will eventually show them dying of old age, which means she’ll likely be long gone. Otherwise, I’m not on board with this prediction. Would love to know how you came up with it though.
I absolutely love this show. You can tell by the way his belongings were packed, he probably died at the hospital.
My prediction is the Jack went back in to save the dog that Kate was holding and that is why she carries guilt for her father’s death.
I like that
I think the same
If the Pearson home was destroyed in a fire, why do they still have so many family mementos? Pictures, the Pilgrim Rick hat, etc.
Exactly! And no burns or ash on his effects…if we think we got all the answers last night, we are kidding ourselves! ;-)
Who believes we got all the answers last night?? It says right in the article that it will play out over the course of the season.
Sometimes, even in fires as devastating as the one we saw, some things survive.
I was burned out of the apt. building that I lived in many years ago but because of where I was located my damage was limited to smoke and water damage while the rest was completely gutted. Even though I received the full insurance payout I received any salvage. Even my plants all survived.
Kate blames herself for Jack’s death, which could mean that Kate started the fire.
accidentally and Jack was passed out and died of smoke inhalation before they got him out.
I have to rewatch the episode. Jack’s belongings did not look as though they survived a house fire…
That final scene stunned me and what a surprise. Didn’t think it would be that. It was a decent enough of a show and all the stories were good but again finding that last part out was what made the show
I think Jack was probably drinking and passes out. That’s when the house catches fire, just don’t know how the fire started. So glad the show is back on.
I was confused at the end – i dvr’d it so i’ll rewatch tonite to pick up on the cast. I noticed the dog and kevin being elsewhere occupied but it was confusing even after seeing the “burned” house. I hope that doesn’t mean that this is the last season since they will finally reveal jack’s death. I hate the thought of him not being on the show anymore!
That’s my concern as well. I really like Milo, he’s like he heart of the show. I guess they will (hopefully) continue to do flashbacks with him but it will be kinda weird.
I don’t think that Milo is going to go anywhere and will probably be a big part of the show until its final season.
The show was already renewed for TWO more seasons after the first one, so definitely not ending any time soon. Besides, there’s so much story to tell other than Jack’s death.
In one scene you see Mandy Moore putting Jack in the front seat.The next she is so upset, crying, screaming while looking at his things across from the home, that was left in cinders.I don’t understand
What if there was an emergency involving Jack and they all had to rush out of the house leaving the stove or Kates curling iron etc. on. So the house burned simultaneously to Jack dying ???