If you watched the Season 2 premiere of This Is Us, you're probably still in the midst of cleaning up dirty tissues from your living room floor. The first episode of the NBC hit's second season delivered in every way possible. The biggest drop was the last scene where we saw Rebecca Pearson drive past her fire-struck home. The final moment of the premiere episode showed a charred shell of the Pearson home fans have come to love, the one Jack built with his own two hands. Rebecca's sobs began to hint at the biggest reveal of the series, then the show cut to a shot of Kate and Randall crying and theories about Jack's death and that fire were formed instantaneously.
The internet has been full of theories on how Jack Pearson dies since the birth of award-winning drama. However, this week was our first dose of true clues, and a possible confirmation, on Jack's death. We learned the Big Three were 17 when Jack died, which made Jack 53 years old. We also learned the heartbreaking detail that Kate had to tell Kevin about their father's death. Kevin told Toby,
She was the one that told me our father had died. Seventeen years old, and she had to tell me that.
Last season, we learned Kate blamed herself for her father's death and was the one to keep his ashes. “You remember when I told you I couldn't talk about my dad's death?” Kate asked Toby. “Yeah, of course,” he answered. “Well,” she replied, “that's because I… it's my fault. Hmm-mmm. I'm the reason he's dead.”
One Reddit user pointed out this Kate-focused fire theory eight months ago:
There's a fire in their house... Jack dies saving Kate. That's why she has the urn and seems (for now, at least) most affected by Jack's death, and also kind of distant with Rebecca. Not that Rebecca would directly blame her, but maybe Kate was feeling guilty and she distanced herself from Rebecca and Randall and got closer with Kevin. Because in their young years (again, maybe we haven't seen it all) the big three do not seem separated...
This definitely adds up in terms of the heartbreaking guilt we see Kate try and manage throughout the first season.
Another Redditor points out this puzzle piece:
I'm thinking it has something to do with a fire, and we will see the fireman that took Randall to the hospital again.
There's something sadly poetic about that. If you remember correctly, when we first see the fireman who brought baby Randall to the hospital on the day the twins were born, he was smoking a cigarette. When watching this for the first time, one may have assumed it was to emphasize the time period -- you would never see anyone smoking a cigarette in the prenatal wing of a hospital today. That tiny detail may have simply been added to ensure audiences had a full understanding of the time.
However, if Jack did die in a fire, it seems we will likely see that fireman again. And if a cigarette was a cause of the fire -- if either Jack or Kate was smoking inside the house -- things will come full circle. Strangely enough, and a single scene fans will surely point out as the foreshadowing "Jack's cause of death was right in front of us the entire time" moment, when Jack meets the fireman, he offers him a cigarette, Jack declines, and, after taking a drag, the fireman says "life's strange."
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