Milo Ventimiglia revealed Jack almost died via a completely different faulty kitchen appliance on This Is Us

It’s been a few months since This Is Us fans (and the whole world, really) collectively witnessed and mourned for the tragedy that is Jack Pearson’s death. Tears have been shed, Crock-Pots have been thrown away, smoke detector batteries have been replaced, but apparently, there is still a lot to learn about the revered patriarch’s demise. Sorry, we’re not talking about an alternative timeline where Jack miraculously survives. We’re talking about the things that happened behind the scenes and the logistics involved in making Jack’s death, um, happen. Ouch. I teared up a little while typing that.

Milo Ventimiglia — the man, the myth, the legend — appeared as a guest on EW’s Chasing Emmy podcast to talk about his role and *that* soul-crushing scene.

The actor revealed that the darn slow cooker wasn’t supposed to be the kitchen appliance responsible for the Pearson house fire in the first place.

"I know that it did change from the original kitchen appliance and went to a slow cooker. It was originally supposed to be something else," he dished. "I think it was originally supposed to be something else that has been known to cause problems [in the Pearson's house]."

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, of course. Crock-Pot or not (it could have been a faulty Toaster Strudel for all we know), Jack still would have died, and it would still be just as painful for the Pearson family and all the rest of us. But Ventimiglia believes that the writers ultimately chose the slow cooker to resonate with Super Bowl fans, as the episode aired right after the big game. Crock-Pots are often used to cook delicious food for Super Bowl parties, after all.

He also had a hard time wrapping his head around how the scene impacted real life as it sparked a giant PR nightmare for Crock-Pot. Lots of people tossed their units fearing that it would also set their house ablaze, the brand’s stock price plummeted, and the This Is Us cast had to work to help salvage its rep. Remember that hilarious #CrockPotisInnocent commercial? Yep.

"It was an amazing backlash. It became the responsibility of us to stand up for a group that unfortunately was getting all the fingers pointed at them," he added. "But it’s also one of those things you think about, the influence of TV. Oh, my god, people are throwing out physical objects that make delicious food because they think one that was 19 years old was at fault [for his death]. We took sympathy over the backlash and tried to do something about it."

This Is Us returns to NBC this fall with a brand new slate of episodes, but let’s just hope they don’t involve appliances with faulty wiring this time around.

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