The writers of This Is Us have done a fine job of keeping things interesting enough in the present-day universe of the show so that viewers aren't constantly focused on looking for more clues surrounding Jack’s death. But because it’s still there, looming in the back of everyone’s mind, it’s hard not to constantly wonder when it will finally be revealed. So what year did Jack die on This Is Us, anyway? The details about his death are important in figuring out just when the big reveal will finally happen on the show. So the actual year of his death could prove to be extremely important.
Since we now know that the Big Three were all 17 years old at the time of Jack’s death and they were born in 1980, then that would mean Jack died in 1997 or even 1998, but more than likely not before or after then. Let’s take the flashback scene with Randall and Kate at Miguel’s house on what I can only assume is the night Jack died.
Kate had the dog she now currently owns, Randall was sitting with someone who appeared to be a girlfriend, and Kevin’s leg was still in a cast from the football accident that happened during his senior year of high school.
There’s also the scene of Rebecca pulling up to the remains of the Pearson home and breaking down in her Steelers jersey. In both 1997 and 1998, the Pittsburgh Steelers did not make it past the playoffs, but even so, she wasn't in a coat of any kind, so one could potentially surmise that Jack died in the fall of 1997, when the triplets were still 17 and had yet to graduate high school.
Sterling K. Brown (Randall) did reveal to Ryan Seacrest during the E! News Golden Globes pre-show Sunday night that before Season 2 is over, This Is Us fans will have some concrete answers, which will involve gaining a lot more insight into the actual day of Jack's death. "Before this season is over we will see how Jack Pearson dies," Brown revealed. "I won’t say too much more about it, but there’s only eight episodes, so it will happen soon."
There has been far too much focus on the later teen years of the Big Three this season to throw some kind of curveball and have Jack’s death happen a few years after they’re out of the house and in college. It makes the most sense that Jack died in 1997, but just knowing the potential year of his death doesn't necessarily answer enough questions. There’s also the how of it all. Although there are countless theories about how Jack died on This Is Us, some of them were squashed on the spot by the cast themselves at the 2017 PaleyFest. But if there really are some more clues about Jack’s death in the Big Three episodes, then it’s entirely possible that the cause of his death is also hidden in there somewhere.
In each of the three episodes, you see Rebecca ask Jack to check the breaker box when the power temporarily goes out in the house. And while an electrical fire seems like a fairly obvious cause of death (especially for a show that prides itself on shocking reveals), it could be how Jack died. For right now, though, I think it's safe to say that Jack died in 1997, roughly 20 years before the events of the present day This Is Us began.
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