Well, they did it. This Is Us finally delivered on that heartbreaking moment fans have been waiting for since last season. We finally know the details surrounding lovable dad/sad alcoholic Jack Pearson's death on the show. The Season 2 premiere gave fans closure on how the Pearson patriarch passed away, but one smaller moment in the episode that you may have missed gave fans even more details on the death. A small conversation actually answered the question of how old Jack was when he died on This Is Us. It's essential knowledge in filling in your knowledge on the confusing Pearson family timeline.
At the end of the second season premiere, we see Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) pull up to the house Jack was staying in, as the camera pans out to reveal it has burned down. At the same time, Jack's bestie and Rebecca's future husband Miguel is telling teenage Kate and Randall that their father has died, but the third member of the Big Three is notably not present. Kevin is outside making out with a girl, and Kate says she will be the one to break the terrible news to her twin brother.
But before this heart-rending flashback scene, Kevin is recounting the details of his father's death in the present day and reveals how old he, Kate, and Randall were when they found out their dad had died. Kevin is trying to explain to Kate's frustrated boyfriend Toby why he can be so annoyingly close with his sister at all times, even overstepping his bounds in her relationships. He says it goes back to when they were 17 years old, and Kate was the person who had to tell him that their father died.
She was the one that told me our father had died. Seventeen years old, and she had to tell me that.
Now, this may seem like a little, throwaway detail, but Kevin revealing the age of the Big Three at the time of Jack's death actually tells us a lot. It even lets us know how old Jack Pearson was at the time of his untimely death, and it was a pretty unexpected reveal, for me at least. Apparently, Jack was 53 years old when he died in that house fire. Shook? I am... because he most certainly did not appear to be 53 years old in that episode! Of course, actor Milo Ventimiglia is only 40 years old right now, so it's pretty hard to see him as 53 in character as Jack.
But apparently, no matter how much I don't see Jack Pearson as being 53 in his final scene, that is the canon of the show. This Is Us had previously revealed that Jack was born in 1944, and that he was 36 years old when Kate and Kevin were born in 1980. Since now we know that the Big Three were all 17 years old on the day that Jack died, that would make the year of his death be 1997, and all that math would add up to him being 53 years old on the day he died. Break out a calculator and double check that if you don't believe me.
Equally shocking to his surprising supposed age when he died is the way that Jack died. Right before his death scene, Jack revealed to Rebecca that he was an alcoholic, which is something fans of the show have picked up on for a while now. Because of his intense problems with alcoholism, most fans assumed Jack would die due to liver damage or another alcohol-induced disease, but apparently it was a random house fire that got him in the end. Of course, we still haven't learned how the fire was caused yet... Maybe that question will be answered in next week's episode.