There are lots and lots of spoilers ahead for Tuesday’s episode of This is Us, “The Game Plan.” If you haven’t watched it yet, go ahead and grab 2-3 boxes of tissues and watch it right now. This is a big one. We finally learn what happens to Jack in the future, and you’re going to need the tissues. All of them.
We should have known going into the “The Game Plan,” that we would in fact be faced with a death by the end of the episode. Though we don’t see it on screen, and we don’t know exactly how it happens, all our worst fears are true:
Present day, Jack has passed away. After learning this, the floodgates open up and the tears just start flowing.
The lead up to it is absolutely BRUTAL. The episode revolves around Jack and Rebecca’s decision to have kids — he wants them, she doesn’t, and they get into a huge fight during the Super Bowl. Present day, Kate has to explain to Toby why she likes to watch football alone…but actually she’s not alone, because she’s watching it with her dad, but more on that in a sec.
Toby invites Kate over for a football party (Go Steelers!), but she freaks out when she can’t actually watch the game the way she wants to (Kate, a lady after our own heart). Toby ends up following her home to get the whole ~football story~ and that’s when Kate gives us the tiniest glimmer of hope as to why she likes to watch football:
She watched it growing up with her dad, but then after she moved to LA, she stopped. And then in 2006, she decided to start watching it again with her dad and YOU HEAR THAT? IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE JACK IS ALIVE IN 2006.
But, this is This Is Us, and not so fast. Toby comments that Jack sounds like a great guy and he’d like to meet him one day, and that’s when Kate grabs the urn off her mantel. She’s got Jack’s ashes, and we’ve got an intense case of feels.
You done crying yet? All this really means is that in 2016, Jack is no longer with us. Kate — or anyone else in the family — doesn’t explain how or when he passed away, so who knows? Maybe it was in 2006, or even 2007, possibly as late as 2015, or even earlier this current year.