Every time another episode of This Is Us ends without revealing where Jack is in the present-day storyline, fans get a little more apprehensive. All of the characters are accounted for in the present except for Jack, so it's beginning to feel more and more ominous that he's not there. Even if he's not physically present, his impact on his family is clearly felt: they mention him all the time, recalling his words of wisdom with fondness. But one major red flag is that Rebecca is now remarried to Jack's best friend, so something big must have happened to break up their marriage – though it's still not clear what that could be. What happened to Jack on This Is Us?
Even though their marriage has been shown to have its ups and downs, Jack and Rebecca clearly love each other deeply. They're devoted to making their family work, which is why it feels so unbelievable that they might have simply gotten a divorce – but the show has also taken pains to point out that there are secrets and struggles even in a marriage with that much love, so it is possible things could have unravelled. Then again, maybe Jack isn't around because of circumstances beyond his control.
Jack And Rebecca Divorced
Despite their love for each other, Jack and Rebecca have already had their fair share of problems. They handled the loss of their child very differently, seeking resolutions elsewhere before broaching the topic with each other. Later on, Jack's drinking put even more strain on their marriage. They were able to resolve their issues by the episode's end in both cases, but if things like that began to build, perhaps they eventually decided to call it quits?
Rebecca has been shown to keep secrets, too. She didn't mention her meeting with Randall's biological father to anyone, even though it could have provided helpful information to both Jack and Randall. Rebecca also had no problem laying down the law about Jack's drinking. If she thought a divorce would be the best decision for the family, then it does seem like something Rebecca would follow through on. And, perhaps most tellingly, TVGuide.com reported that an upcoming episode will reveal why Jack and Rebecca "split." It's looking more and more like they divorced.
Jack Is Dead
As incredibly sad an outcome as this would be, it is also almost too plausible. When Jack's children talk about him, it sounds like they're talking about someone who is no longer with them. They use the past tense when reminiscing about the things Jack "used to" tell them to cheer them up. When Randall tells William he loved his adoptive father, it's not totally clear whether he uses the present or past tense. Kate also mentions in the pilot that her dream was to marry a man like her dad and be a mother like her mom, so if her parents' marriage fell apart, it seems unlikely that Kate would still have such rose colored glasses about it.
There's also the fact that in the present, Rebecca is still wearing the moon necklace Jack gave her. It would be kind of strange for her to wear a romantic present from her ex if they were divorced (particularly since she remarried), but it would be less surprising if Jack had died. Perhaps Rebecca and Miguel were even brought together by their grief over Jack. It has been speculated that Jack's alcoholism might have ultimately gotten the best of him, but some fans have theorized that he could be a cop who was killed while in the field.
Though just four episodes have aired, This Is Us has already proven itself an expert when it comes to pulling at heartstrings. The family at its core also feels like a real family, with believable issues, but a lot of affection. So whatever did happen to Jack, it's guaranteed to be painful, but real.