**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
While fans knew a fire was the catalyst for the Pearson patriarch’s death, they weren’t 100% positive he died in the fire. Fan theories of death caused by smoke inhalation had been circulating all week, and sadly they were confirmed Sunday night.
You see, Jack wound up rescuing everyone by lowering them down into the yard from the second floor with a bed sheet. He was about to jump himself until the family could hear the barking of teen Kate’s (Hannah Zeile) pup. At this point the audience could see Jack’s hesitation to escape before trying to save the animal. And so could Rebecca (Mandy Moore). Rebecca demanded Jack leave the pet behind, but Father Of The Year couldn’t let Kate down so he went back into the window to get the dog. So now teen Kate, Rebecca, and teen Randall (Niles Fitch) are all waiting for Jack to make it out when they see a blaze come through the room they last saw him in. It’s this moment when both the family and the audience are panicking, thinking Jack is probably burning to death. Leave it to This Is Us to keep twisting the road though, because Jack DOES make it out of the house WITH the dog.
(For all you Kevin fans, teen Kevin (Logan Shroyer) is out in the woods with girlfriend, so he is completely unaware of everything at this point.)
Oooookay. So now the Pearsons have lost their house but not their hope as everyone seems to be FINE following the fire. Keyword here being seems. Jack has some burns on his body, and he has inhaled a dangerous amount of smoke. The EMTs are highly recommending he get to the hospital ASAP. Rebecca drops the kids off at Miguel’s (Jon Huertas) and they head into the hospital to get the damage checked out. It’s there that the doctor reiterates the unhealthy amount of smoke Jack took in, but for everyone concerned, things are generally looking safe. Rebecca takes this opportunity of relief to leave his room and make a few phone calls to nearby hotels. As soon as she left his room, ahhhh shit. Fans knew.
As she’s making the phone calls, the audience sees nurses and doctors scrambling behind her into Jack’s room (completely out of her view). Things are NOT good. When she hangs up, she goes to the pathetically empty snack machine and grabs a candy bar. That’s when the doctor walks up and starts telling her the news. Jack died of cardiac arrest. Jack died. JACK DIED. And he was completely alone when he died. She was not with him. JACK DIED. Inhaling that much smoke not only affects the lungs, but the heart too. It was too much damage. Jack died.
(Note: When she’s at the snack machine, she and the audience hear Jack say “Bec” — she turns around but goes back to the candy because it was so faint. Fans are convinced, due to the timing, that this was AFTER he died and the “Bec” we hear is from ghost Jack saying goodbye. *CRIES INDEFINITELY*)
The episode doesn’t end there, but that’s the moment everyone was waiting for — the moment that had been torturously teased out over two seasons. In later scenes we learn: Rebecca spends every Super Bowl Sunday by cooking Jack’s favorite lasagna and watching the big game by herself (Miguel gives her space every year on this day), Kevin (Justin Hartley) finally visits his father’s place of rest and has a chat with his spirit, Jack sends Rebecca a sign every year on Super Bowl Sunday, Kate (Chrissy Metz) almost loses the VHS of her singing with Jack watching but Toby (Chris Sullivan) gets it saved with the help of a guy he knows, Kate uploads the video in the cloud (not on the cloud), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) celebrates the Super Bowl every year with a huge party for his daughters and their friends, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) accidentally kills the new pet lizard and Randall comes to terms with his mourning of Jack when he gives a memorial for the pet reptile, Randall and Tess (Eris Baker) have a heart to heart where Tess reveals she’s been feeling like Randall wants a new life but realizes that’s not true and she’d actually like the family to foster again, Deja (Lyric Ross) comes back, and finally, we learn that Tess grows up to become a social worker who matches foster children with new homes — and Randall meets her for dinner once a week at her office.
Needless to say, fans have a lot to say about the wrecking ball of an episode on Twitter. Read the most cathartic responses (below):
Call your parents, hug them, and spend quality time with them. You never know when it will be the last time. Omg, this episode broke me! I cried the whole time. @NBCThisisUs #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ SandyT (@sassygirlcanada) February 5, 2018
Remember when Randall told William he needed to have a nurse so he “wouldnt die while no one was watching” now we know why ├░┼╕╦£┬¡ #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ What a story, Mark (@WhatAStoryMark2) February 5, 2018
Me: Ok I know that this is the #ThisIsUs episode where Jack dies. I├óΓé¼Γäóm ready
What now? Am i supposed to sleep now? Drink til i fall asleep? Sue the hospital? Wonder what the Dr. wants? Practice my side-eye for Kate on Tuesday’s episode? #ThisIsUs pic.twitter.com/uxrKuFUCNR
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Brittany ├░┼╕ΓÇÿ┬⌐├░┼╕┬Å┬┐├óΓé¼┬ì├░┼╕ΓÇÖ┬╗ (@organizedbybrit) February 5, 2018
I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS MAN, THIS IS A SHOW, I’M DONE. These are the things that I tell myself every week and it never get better. #ThisIsUs pic.twitter.com/06KBx81jX4
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ ZVY (@BlessedZvy) February 5, 2018
Just when I thought the little black boy was bout to be moving in with Randall family, a white family walk in and I├óΓé¼Γäóm shook. Then I find out we in the future and the social worker is Tess ├░┼╕╦£┬¡├░┼╕╦£┬¡├░┼╕╦£┬¡ I can├óΓé¼Γäót deal #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ JERE (@GodWillExalt) February 5, 2018
If you were to combine The Fault In Our Stars, with Titanic and every Nicholas Sparks movie, #ThisIsUs would still be 1000x more heartbreaking. ├░┼╕╦£┬¡├░┼╕ΓÇÖΓÇ¥
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Kylie Wazonek (@KylieWazonek) February 5, 2018
did no one else hear jack whisper rebecca├óΓé¼Γäós name when she was at the vending machine?! DID NO ONE ELSE HEAR THAT?!?! #ThisIsUs #ripjack crying for a year now… thanks bye.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Nikii (@nikii1013) February 5, 2018
I get that not everyone understands the appeal of #ThisIsUs …but to those of us who watch, it’s about life – relationships, family, love, conflict, struggle, loss, pain, vulnerability, strength, hope, happiness, peace, truth & everything in between…├ó┬¥┬ñ├ó┬¥┬ñ├ó┬¥┬ñ
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Pamela (@pokerpami71) February 5, 2018
It wasn’t just fans tweeting. See what the creator and the cast had to say (below):
Just so everyone knows it….#JackPearson lives in all of our hearts. He├óΓé¼Γäós you. He├óΓé¼Γäós me. He├óΓé¼Γäós Us. Thank you all for supporting our show. We love you all 🙂 And this isn├óΓé¼Γäót the end of Jack. Stay tuned. #ThisIsUs. MV
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Milo Ventimiglia (@MiloVentimiglia) February 5, 2018
My mom died 10 years ago, unexpectedly. It├óΓé¼Γäós the hinge upon which my life swings. Jack├óΓé¼Γäós death is the Pearson hinge. We look back. We move forward. That├óΓé¼Γäós our collective journey. Sad? Yes. But when you look through a wide enough lens – it├óΓé¼Γäós also outrageously beautiful. #ThisIsUs
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) February 5, 2018
WHAT. A. SHOW!!!
You can catch the next episode this Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.
[Image via NBC.]