Besides inevitably becoming deeply invested in the lives of Kate, Kevin, and Randall as adults on This Is Us, it’s been just as easy for fans to clamor for all of the details of their past, namely in regards to their parents. But even though a piece of the Jack Pearson death puzzle was finally revealed at the end of the Season 2 premiere, there are even more questions now. Like, what caused the house fire on This Is Us? And also, was that indeed the big clue about Jack’s death that fans waited the entire episode for?
Since creator Dan Fogelman had promised that there would be some answers about Jack’s death in the season premiere, the house fire was more than likely what he was referring to, but now fans have a handful of new questions about the fire itself and how it syncs up with what’s going on in Jack's marriage with Rebecca. Obviously, as the season goes on, there will be more clues given to help fans better understand the fire in the Pearson’s family home and the timeline surrounding the night of the fire. As it stands, the end of the Season 2 premiere of This Is Us was still a little confusing, even if it did finally answer some questions about Jack’s death.
Since Rebecca was shown pulling up to the house in the scene following her promise to a drunken Jack that in six months everything would be better, it definitely begged the question of whether or not that was supposed to be six months later. Or, if Jack didn’t end up getting the help he needed to be the husband and father he was before drinking took such a front seat to his life, did that mean he got worse?
Regardless of the many questions fans still have, the house fire on This Is Us was the big clue about Jack’s death and what caused the fire is the next big question to answer. Here are a few theories floating around out there...
Kate Is At The Center Of It All
Fans know that Kate has long blamed herself for Jack’s death and even in the season premiere, it was reiterated that since Jack’s death, Kevin had been the closest person to her. Redditor Analalalala posted a theory about Kate being the inadvertent cause of the house fire on This Is Us.
According to the theory, Kate’s past with her mom is also part of what led to the fire. As we all know, present day Kate and Rebecca aren’t exactly braiding each other’s hair for fun and Kate has said on more than one occasion how she butted heads with her mom as a teenager. The Redditor’s theory says that Kate may have been smoking in the house and, in a frenzy over the fear of being caught, got rid of the lit cigarette, thinking it was out, but instead accidentally caused the fire that eventually engulfed the entire house.
The Washing Machine Was A Big Clue
Another popular This Is Us theory making the rounds is the possibility that the Pearson’s washing machine caused an electrical fire. I know, that doesn’t have the most dramatic ring to it, but bear with me here. According to Ashelizabethmoon’s theory on Reddit, the focus on the washing machine earlier in the series is where the biggest clue lies. In the episode "The Best Washing Machine in the World," so much focus is put on Rebecca’s worry over raising three babies with their faulty washing machine. And while the montage that plays makes it seem like it’s more of a trivial thing in the family’s history, it could have been alluding to the fact that the washing machine is what caused the house fire on This Is Us.
The theory goes on to suggest that Kate is in the basement at the time of the fire, which again gives a possible reason as to why she would feel guilt over Jack’s death. (Though, of course, she really wouldn't be to blame.) "As we see in the premiere, Randall and Kevin both have girlfriends, meaning they would likely want privacy," the Redditor wrote. "This puts Kate, who claims to have caused Jack's death, in the room with the malfunctioning washing machine." Perhaps Jack went back in to save her and was unable to get himself out.
Kate Was The Cause In A Different Way
Since I can’t help but come back to the idea that Kate is somehow involved in the cause of the house fire (since she’s said herself that she feels responsible), there is another way she could have inadvertently caused it. According to a Time.com theory, the cause of the fire on This Is Us could have been something in Kate’s room. As the theory points out, in the quick shot viewers got of the firefighter in front of the Pearson home at the end of the Season 2 premiere, he points to an upstairs window.
Does that mean the fire originated there? If so, it could have easily been Kate’s room and the cause of the fire may have been something as forgettable to a teenager as a curling iron.
Randall Could Be A Clue Too
In the same Time.com article, the possibility of Jack being the cause of the fire comes up more than once. But in this case, a plausible way could be that Jack caused the fire while doing some kind of construction on the interior of the house. When Randall hallucinates Jack during the Season 1 trip to the cabin, he sees Jack in his construction gear.
That could be because that was simply his job when Randall and his siblings were kids, but it might also be because that’s how Randall remembers him the last time he saw him alive. Jack also spent plenty of time over the years updating and renovating their family home, so it wouldn’t be totally out of the question for this so have something to do with the cause of the fire.
Honestly though, in a perfect world, Jack’s death would all be a farce and he would show up at the end of, say, Season 3, somehow alive and well. But since this isn’t a soap opera, Jack is definitely gone and now that fans know the house fire is somehow related to his death (if not directly), there’s an entire season ahead to watch the rest of the details unfold.
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