There isn’t a This Is Us fan out there who isn't morbidly looking forward to (but also downright dreading) the day when they finally see Jack die. Since viewers found out that he doesn’t make it past the kids’ teenage years, it’s been a huge mystery and with the start of Season 2, the house fire seemed like the biggest clue yet, but there are also some clues that Jack didn’t die in the house fire on This Is Us that you won’t be able to outright deny.
While it’s true that creator Dan Fogelman confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the fire on This Is Us is very real and that "what causes the fire is going to be heartbreaking," that doesn’t necessarily mean that Jack actually died in the house itself. True, it would then help to explain why Jack was cremated and why the funeral service shown in a flashback in Season 1 showed an urn instead of a casket, but it also seems almost too easy. If the writers of This Is Us are going to show fans how Jack died and slowly reveal pertinent details throughout Season 2, the house fire would be too big of a clue much too soon. If Jack did die in the fire, there wouldn’t be much else to learn except how it started and whose dog Kate is clinging to at Miguel’s house.
I won’t deny that the house fire had something to do with Jack’s death on This Is Us, because there’s literally no getting around that, but there are some undeniable clues that Jack didn’t die in the fire itself. For example...
His Belongings On The Passenger Seat Of The Car
One of the biggest clues that point to Jack not dying in the fire (even if he did die afterward because of the fire) is the bag of his belongings on the front seat of the car next to Rebecca. In one of the final scenes of the This Is Us Season 2 premiere, we see Rebecca pull up to the house and break down crying. But next to her on the front passenger seat of the family car is a bag with Jack’s wedding ring, wallet, watch, and even a book from work. And none of the items appear to be burned as they would have been if he himself had died in a blazing fire.
It’s Too Cut & Dry
I know this isn’t Game of Thrones fans are losing it over, but This Is Us has been a drama full of mysteries and twists right from the beginning. While I fully trust in Fogelman’s claims that the fire on This Is Us contributed to Jack’s death, I also think there’s far more to it and that such a huge piece of the puzzle wouldn’t have been given away so early in the season.
Fogelman revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the plan had always been to reveal a big piece of Jack’s death in the Season 2 premiere, but that "We can't say everything because there's a big story to tell about the day and the night that we've seen, but [the house fire reveal] at least allows us to stop talking about that and focus on these other big storylines that are about to start while still having that as a big one as well." So since there’s still apparently a lot more to explain about the night of Jack’s death, I don’t think the fire is all there is to it.
Kevin’s Broken Leg Is A Timeline Indicator
During those last few minutes of the Season 2 premiere of This Is Us, I probably rewound and rewatched the scenes five times to try and take in all of the little details, like Randall’s apparent girlfriend, Kate’s dog, and Kevin’s leg cast, because these are all going to be indicators of the time of Jack’s death in flashbacks. But the cast on Kevin’s leg actually serves two purposes in this case. Yes, it does indicate when Kate might tell him about their father’s death, but as Redditor kdex86 pointed out, in the funeral scene viewers saw back in Season 1, Kevin didn’t have any crutches and, although he was wearing a suit, it didn’t appear to have any bulky cast beneath a pant leg.
This could be a legitimate clue to the idea that Jack didn’t die in the fire on This Is Us, but instead died afterward due to something that happened in the fire, but not the fire itself. It would make sense, then, for Kevin’s cast to have been removed by the time the funeral came and maybe Kate’s announcement of needing to tell Kevin herself meant that she had to tell them how badly Jack was injured, rather than that he was already dead the night of.
As of right now, there’s no question that the house fire on This Is Us is directly linked to Jack’s death, but it’s also entirely possible that he didn’t die in the fire that same night. It’s still pretty early in the season to correctly guess how the fire led to Jack’s death, but you can’t ignore the idea that there’s still a lot more to the story than meets the eye.
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