After the death of William (Ron Cephas Jones) on last week’s episode of “This Is Us,” we can’t help but wonder what on earth happened to Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia), beloved father of “the big three” and devoted husband to Rebecca (Mandy Moore).
We find out quite early on in the series that he passed away, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of his family. A few episodes back in “Three Sentences,” we discover that the kids were teenagers when tragedy stuck.
But what sort of tragedy was it? Was it out of nowhere or was it a slow and painful march towards Jack’s demise? Here are some of our theories.
Jack drinks himself to death.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent could have some long-term negative effects on person — even if they seem well-adjusted on the outside. Jack grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father and promised his mother that he would never go down that path. However, we see that Jack’s response to emotional stress as an adult is alcohol. (Remember how he ran straight to the bar after that argument with Rebecca over Ben?) He also has a bit of an addictive personality and his over-the-top devotion to Rebecca is one of the more positive results of that. But when things aren’t going his way, the bottle comes calling. Does Jack go down a downward spiral due to his drinking or is he involved in a drunken car crash after having one too many?
Jack dies in a plane crash.
Or perhaps Jack is the perfect man we all want him to be and his death comes out of nowhere. If that’s the case, maybe he dies in a plane crash. We discover that Kate has a fear of flying in “Last Christmas” and Kevin admits in an earlier episode to destroying all of the model planes he built with his dad when he died.
Jack commits suicide.
It's sad to think about, but it’s possible. He’s so emotionally invested in Rebecca and once the kids get older, she’s devoting more time to her music and less time to Jack. Perhaps he just can’t handle her being away, and with the kids being teenagers living their own lives, feels even more isolated. It is said that the people who laugh the most experience the most pain. Jack laughs the loudest and is there for everyone else emotionally, but who is there for him?
Jack dies in a fire.
Justin Hartley, the actor who plays Kevin Pearson on the show, reveals to Us Weekly a few days ago that “you’ll never guess” how Jack dies. He goes on to say that it is "unexpected and sad and extremely painful to watch.” What could be more painful than seeing your favorite character die in a fire? Especially someone with so much love in his heart like Jack?
Maybe Jack’s heart just couldn’t take it anymore. From what we’ve seen in various episodes, he’s not an extremely healthy eater (cracker and cheese covered hot dogs, folks) and abandons his active construction job for work in an office to better support his growing family. Maybe the stress of his relationship with Rebecca, demands of fatherhood and less than stellar eating habits lead to his sudden passing.
Those are our theories so far. How do you think Jack died on “This Is Us?” Tell us in the comments below.