The This Is Us theories about what comes next are constant after fans recently discovered how the long-anticipated fire began in the Pearson home. If you search for theories on the details of Jack's death, the most popular guess is that Jack died trying to save Kate's dog, which is plausible, seeing as adult Kate feels responsible for his death and was nervous about adopting a dog. However, a closer watch of the latest episode's details has added fuel to a new theory: Did Jack die trying to save Kevin?
Cosmopolitan lays out a theory that puts Kevin at the center of the next episode's conflict. As we saw in "That'll Be The Day," an injured Kevin argued with his parents about what he would do in college now that playing football was no longer an option. He left home to spend time with Sophie and later called Rebecca to extend an apology and let her know that he was spending the night there.
Think about your parents hanging out on the couch together watching NCIS or the Food Network. If you call them and your mom leaves the room to talk so your dad's not disturbed, you know that Mom will probably relay the call's details to Dad. Kevin assumed the same, but Rebecca and Jack deciding to partner in business that night led to their own little romantic celebration. Understandably, filling Jack in on Kevin's whereabouts slipped Rebecca's mind.
When Randall came home from his date later that night, Jack said, "I thought you were Kevin," proving that he didn't know Kevin wasn't due home. He wrote a note for him saying that if he didn't see him before leaving for work the next day, Jack loved Kevin but expected an apology for his behavior. Seen in that heartbreaking montage of the flames eating away at the kitchen, the note soon burned, explaining adult Kevin's difficulty in moving on from the loss of Jack.
Cue to the post-Super Bowl episode's teaser, and in the panic of the family trying to escape the fire, only Rebecca knew that Kevin was with Sophie. Not only did he have a broken leg then, he also slept in the Pearsons' basement. If Kevin was home and in his bedroom during the fire, it would've been challenging for him to escape.
The new theory suggests that, with the rest of the family safe, Jack would try to reach the basement and help Kevin get out. The teaser shows Rebecca trying to gather things together in the couple's bedroom, while Jack is moving around the house and seemingly helping Kate and Randall escape.
With Jack and Rebecca apparently separated while still inside the house, there was no way for her to tell him Kevin was gone. Given the extremity of the moment and the fact that Rebecca was assured of Kevin's safety, it may not even have occurred to her to let Jack know.
Predicting that Jack passed out from smoke inhalation as a result of trying to reach the basement, the theory even addresses everyone's fixation on the dog's role in the fire. While we don't know where the dog was when the fire started, one of the family members likely made it out with him in tow, as Kate and Randall are seen in the Season 2 premiere's flashback with Louie the dog.
Also in the flashback, following the fire, Kate told Randall that Kevin had to "hear it from me." Perhaps Kate lied and told Kevin that Jack died trying to save the dog rather than Kevin. After all, finding out that your dad died because he was on a futile quest to save you would be pretty crushing.
Honestly, this guess about the fire has enough emotional strength and common sense to make it totally valid for me. We'll see how it holds up in the new episode following the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 4 on NBC.