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.
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.
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.