This Is Us finally began to shed some light on the events leading up to Jack's death in the first episode of Season 2. "A Father's Advice" gave fans bits and pieces of the information they had been so eager to know but didn't answer every single question. Still, even without getting the full picture, there were enough clues about Jack's death from the This Is Us Season 2 premiere to begin to understand what happened on the fateful night he passed away. It promises to be even more tragic than anyone could have guessed.
Episode 1 dropped a lot of small hints that fans would do well to pay attention to, because creator Dan Fogelman has made it clear that every detail is important to the ultimate reveal. All the audience saw was Rebecca and Jack making up in the wake of their fight, Jack coming to terms with the reality of his alcoholism, and then a quick time-jump to the burned-out Pearson family home. But what happened in the interim?
"There are five big mysteries, as I see it, at the end," Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly, adding:
Clearly, the house is a big mystery. Was [Jack] in the house? Was he out of the house? What exactly transpired on that night? They're staying at Miguel's. That's interesting. He's distraught. You've got Kate holding a little dog that we've never seen before. What is that dog? Where did that come from? You've got Randall seemingly being comforted in profile by a redheaded girl we've never seen. Who is that person? What is going on? And then you've got Kevin's cast.
These clues could indicate when Jack's death occurs, and what's happening around that time.
While the fire at the Pearsons' obviously had something to do with Jack's death, it may not actually be the cause. As actor Milo Ventimiglia said during a panel following a screening of the first episode, reported by Deadline, "But did he die in the fire? Did he get out of the fire? Did he start the fire? We didn’t actually see the house on fire." It's part of the puzzle, but there is a lot more going on here.
When Rebecca drove back to the house, there was a ziplock bag on the passenger side seat that had a watch, a gold band, and a notebook in it. It seemed obvious that those things belonged to Jack, and they were packaged in the way personal effects are when you're taking them home from a hospital or a coroner. However, they did not show any signs of being burnt. That could be an indication that Jack did not die in the fire, even if both events happened on the same night.
Kate Tells Kevin
The detail that linked the night of the fire to the night of Jack's death was a sobbing teenage Kate explaining that she had to go find Kevin and tell him — soon after 37-year-old Kevin explained to Toby that Kate had been the one to break the news about Jack's death to him. That seemed to confirm that Jack died the night of the fire.
There was something else notable about Rebecca's drive home: she was wearing a Steelers jersey. Football has always been important to the Pearsons, but Rebecca wearing a jersey grounds the timeline even further. Whatever happened must have happened during football season.
While sitting with Randall at Miguel's and crying over what happened, Kate was clutching an adorable little scruffy dog. The Pearsons never had a dog before, so fans naturally wondered where the animal came from. Did Jack get Kate a puppy? Was the dog Miguel's?
There was a third person on the couch with Kate and Randall: a mysterious redheaded girl who was holding Randall's hand and kissing his knuckles. It seemed unlikely that she was one of Miguel's kids, but who knows? She didn't look like anyone the audience had met before, so her identity is a total unknown.
While his siblings were grieving, Kevin was obliviously macking on Sophie with his leg in a large cast covered in signatures. Kevin must have gotten into some kind of accident in the months leading up to fire, but it's anyone's guess just what happened.
With every episode that passes, viewers are getting closer to finding out more about Jack's death — but once they learn the truth, it might make everything all the more heartbreaking.
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