When I haven't been sobbing over the final minutes of last week's This Is Us episode on repeat, I've been busy debating which of the fan theories about Jack's death to believe. The latest guess to gain steam suggests that, because he didn't know Kevin was at Sophie's, Jack died trying to save Kevin from his basement room. Hinting at the accuracy of this theory, Mama Pearson herself, aka Mandy Moore, has answered our burning question: Does Jack think Kevin's home on this Sunday's This Is Us?
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, Moore was pretty direct when discussing Rebecca's role in Jack's knowledge of Kevin's whereabouts:
[Jack] had no idea because [Rebecca] got that phone call where [Kevin] was like, 'I'm going to stay with Sophie,' and I don't think I relayed that to him.
Her confirmation of Rebecca's failure to communicate basically seals the deal when it comes to fans' Kevin theory. As we all saw in "That'll Be The Day," Jack woke up later that night and came downstairs to what he thought was Kevin coming home. Instead, it was Randall coming back from his Titanic date. After talking with him, Jack left a note for Kevin essentially saying that he thought there was a possibility of seeing him the next morning.
The prediction that Kevin's absence contributed to Jack's death even has a link to the family dog, Louie. The most popular death theory is that Jack tried to save Louie from the fire, and the idea has become so hyped that I'm convinced the solution is too easy to be true. But within the increasingly more probable Kevin theory, some people have suggested that Kate lied and told Kevin that Jack died saving Louie rather than him. Believable? Yes. But would Kevin really have made it 20 years without discovering the truth? Ehhh.
Moore has also cleared up any doubts that the house fire itself was a fake-out:
The episode that is airing after the Super Bowl is insane. We had to shoot for three nights in the middle of nowhere. They rebuilt the house in order to be able to burn it, and it was intense to say the least. I'd never done anything like that before.
Seeing as I tear up just watching next episode's teaser, I totally believe her when it comes to the story's intensity.
In photos of the episode "Super Bowl Sunday," only the present-day Pearsons are shown, seemingly in the middle of their separate Super Bowl traditions. Randall looks like he's hosting a neighborhood viewing party (because Thanksgiving Dad is also Super Bowl Dad?), while Kevin is still drying out at Rebecca and Miguel's house. Of course, we all know about Kate's tendency to watch football with Jack's urn nearby.
Although Super Bowl Sunday doesn't always fall on the same day, fans now know that the event itself has extra meaning for the adult Pearsons. While football is associated with sweet family memories of rooting for the Steelers and playing ball together, the Super Bowl now represents the loss of Jack.
Going off these visual clues alone, I'm already commending the writers for such on-point Super Bowl celebrations for each of the Big Three.
Randall had a peaceful, loving conversation with Jack before he died, making him the most adjusted to adult life without him. Seen in "The Fifth Wheel," he still falters over Jack sometimes, but it seems that, as a father, Randall wants to emulate Jack's joy over special days like the Super Bowl. What better way to do this than with a big party?
As for Kate, the guilt of missing that last football game with Jack has stuck with her in addition to whatever detail makes her feel responsible for his death. She uses the Super Bowl as a way to process her grief, even 20 years later, while Kevin also seems to have spent the day alone in recent years. Now that we know he missed out on this crucial event in the family's history, he likely has the least-resolved feelings toward Jack's death, and he might even feel guiltier than Kate about it. Perhaps spending the day with Rebecca will stir up some heavy conversations about Jack?
T-minus six days until we get some answers, but I think Moore has already dropped a major hint.