C. Molly Smith
Updated Jan 24, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

After last night’s shocking episode of This Is Us, which probably (read: definitely) delivered on the most intense ~feels~ yet, you’re probably pouring over everything you know about Jack’s fate from the show, trying to put the final pieces together. The show has promised to answer all of our questions in the forthcoming episode after all, so now is the time to make those last guesses about what actually happened to Jack.

Now, if you haven’t watched This Is Us’ “That’ll Be The Day” yet, grab some tissues (because you WILL cry) and get watching! For those who have, or are into being spoiled (you do you), let’s get going…

The episode FINALLY revealed the events that led to Jack’s untimely death: After a day of family drama and Super Bowl-ing, the Pearson clan hit the hay. Jack stays up to clean up, and eventually turns the Crock-Pot off before heading back to bed. But when he walks away, we see the Crock-Pot — which we know is glitchy, because of a flashback from years before when a neighbor, George, explains that it is while gifting it — turn back on and start the fire that BURNS THE PEARSON HOME TO THE GROUND.

Honestly, why’d George have to go and be thoughtful? And okay, clearly, I’m still processing the fact that this could’ve been avoided if the Pearsons had simply updated their cookware, but I’m not here to talk about how I literally took twice as long to get ready this morning as I unplugged every appliance in my home (or to make you freak out wondering if you remembered to unplug your flat iron, etc.). No, no, no, no, no.

I’m here to talk about how This Is Us has been hinting about fire *all* along.

As Reddit user infez theorizes, “Holy moly. The fact that Jack’s death involves fire has been foreshadowed since Episode 1.”

Still in disbelief (and, like, #same), infez concludes, “Holy moly. The writers had the whole thing planned out from the start.”

We don’t doubt that this has been planned from the very beginning, and #TEAMTHISISUS has basically said as much. As we’ve seen time and time again, basically everything on This Is Us has a meaning, and you better believe that’s heightened when it comes to all things concerning Jack’s passing.

But what about these other examples of fire popping up — literally or metaphorically — on the show?

Season 1, Episode 12, “The Big Day,” detailed fireman Joe’s decision to take a newborn Randall to the hospital, instead of adopting Randall himself. And Season 2, Episode 1, “A Father’s Advice,” wrecked us all when it revealed that there’d been a house fire, and hinted that that was (likely) in some way linked to Jack’s passing.

Beyond those links, Jack has a history with construction, where fire hazards pose a serious threat. So pretty much anytime he was doing his construction/handyman thing, there was arguably reason to be nervous. Like, after the house fire revelation, some looked back to Season 1, Episode 7, “The Best Washing Machine in the World,” wondering if that appliance could be the cause. And those are just a few examples.

All this is to say that — in one way or another, some examples being more blatant than others — This Is Us has found a way to keep fire at the center of show. And now, going into the next episode (February 4th, after the Super Bowl) — in which “All of your questions will be answered” — we’re feeling like we maybe, kinda, sorta, definitely need to rewatch the whole thing to piece it all together.