Rachel Paige
Updated Mar 08, 2017 @ 1:44 pm
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Since the very beginning of this freshman season, one question has loomed large on This Is Us: How did Jack die?

Present-day, we know that the Pearson patriarch has passed away, but 17 episodes into the show, we still don’t know how. And there’s nothing worse than waiting for a heartbreaking television death we know is coming, but we literally cannot prepare for it whatsoever.

While the show has done a very good job at sprinkling little breadcrumbs about the family mythology here and there (it’s like Lost, but you cry 300% more) there haven’t been too many little hints when it comes to Jack’s death. However, there are two things we know: Kate currently has her father’s ashes; and the Big Three were teenagers-ish when it happened.

Now, thanks to the latest episode, “What Now?” we’ve got another clue, and this one hurts: Kate feels responsible for Jack’s death.

All along, Kate has made it clear that she is not ready to talk about her dad’s death. But lately, suppressed feelings are rising to the surface for her, and after a nudge from Randall, Kate decides to talk to Toby about it. That’s when Kate drops the bombshell. Though she doesn’t elaborate, she confesses to Toby that she’s the reason Jack is dead.

In flashbacks, we see lil’ teenager Kate urger her dad to go after her mom (but don’t worry — Jack and Rebecca are still together, but she left to tour with her band on not great terms with Jack, and Kate just wants them to work everything out). Later at the bar (JACK, NO), Jack calls Kate to tell her that he’s taking her advice, and going after Rebecca. We see Jack drop his car keys, stagger a little, and then get behind the wheel of his car.


This Is Us is implying so hard that Jack, while intoxicated, went after Rebecca, and crashed his car and nooooooooo This Is Us, nooooooooooooo.

But now take a deep breath, and remember that this is This Is Us, and 9 times out of 10 the show will surprise us. It would be way too obvious for Jack to die drunk-driving, especially after this conversation with Kate. Look on the bright side, this is probably not what happens!

On the downside, Jack is still going to die and we are never going to be ready for it. And knowing that Kate feels responsible? Oy. Go ahead and buy tissues in bulk off of Amazon right now.