[This story contains spoilers from the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode of NBC’s This Is Us.]
Since This Is Us premiered, the fate of Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack Pearson has remained a mystery. But the series dropped plenty of clues along the way in the past season and a half, and on Sunday, finally revealed how the patriarch died in an emotional, super-sized, post-Super Bowl LII episode.
It turns out that Jack did not die in the fire that destroyed the Pearson home, ignited by an old crock pot. Instead, Jack died later at the hospital of catastrophic cardiac arrest, a side effect of massive smoke inhalation he experienced while rescuing his family (including Kate’s dog) and their prized possessions from the fire.
The episode, fittingly titled “Super Bowl Sunday,” opened with the Pearson family home ablaze, as Jack heroically figured out how to rescue Rebecca, Randall and Kate from the inferno. (Kevin was partying in the woods with his girlfriend, Sophie.) Jack helped his family successfully rappel from the roof, but everyone screamed as Jack went back in to save the family dog. But that was just a This Is Us fake-out: Jack emerged from the house a moment later carrying both the dog and a bag filled with photo albums and other sentimental items.
“It’s just a house,” Rebecca told her kids before heading to the hospital with her husband to treat the burns on Jack’s hand. While the burn was treatable, Jack had been exposed to massive amounts of smoke when he went back in the house. Rebecca and Jack shared a sweet moment together, and Rebecca left the room to scavenge for food in the hospital vending machine and call the kids to tell them that they’d be home soon.
That conversation with Jack turned out to be the couple’s last, however, as his death played out in the background of her phone call, as doctors and nurses frantically ran into Jack’s room. When the doctor found her in the hallway to tell her that Jack had died from a heart attack, she didn’t believe it — until she went back into the room and saw her husband’s lifeless body. (And subsequently fell to her knees in tears in a likely Emmy submission scene from Moore.)
(Excerpt) Read More in: The Hollywood Reporter