'This Is Us' May Have Revealed Why Kate Blames Herself For Jack's Death

by Dylan Kickham

We're getting closer and closer to finally getting an answer to the big question This Is Us fans have been asking for almost a year now, and Tuesday night's new episode may have just given us another piece to the puzzle. Last week's Season 2 premiere revealed to fans how Pearson family patriarch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) dies, and the latest episode dropped some major clues about the specifics. Namely, why does Kate blame herself for Jack's death? We may have finally figured out how Kate may have been involved in her dad's death.

Before we get into all the new info, let's refresh our memories about why This Is Us fans are so keen to figure out Kate's involvement in Jack's death. Back in Season 1, we saw Kate struggle with an intense amount of unexplained guilt numerous times over her father's death. She consistently blames herself for what happened to her dad, but none of us know why. She's also the child that keeps Jack's ashes in her apartment, continues to interact with them, and seems by far most affected by his death. And the end of Tuesday night's new episode may have just dropped a big clue as to why Kate is so hung up on it.

Spoiler alert: This post will discuss details from Season 2 Episode 2 of This Is Us. In the flashback scenes in the latest episode, we see Jack struggling to overcome his alcoholism, a battle he's fought and lost at various moments throughout the series — it even led to the breakup between Rebecca and Jack at the end of Season 1. After Rebecca invites Jack to come back home to work through his alcoholism with the family, he tells his wife that he wants to be open about his addiction this time, instead of hiding it like before, and goes to have a talk with Kate.

In Kate's room, Jack comes clean to his daughter about his alcoholism, and she reassures him and gives him a hug in a sweet scene. But the thing that should really stand out to fans is when Jack tells Kate that he hasn't shared his addiction with either of her brothers yet. Although that makes it sound like he's planning on coming clean to all of the Big Three, it does leave the lingering question of if he ever did. And if he didn't, then Kate would have been the only Pearson kid to actually know about their dad's issues with alcohol at the time he died.

Now, fans have been guessing for a super long time that Jack's alcoholism must have some part in his death, since it's been shown so often as his major vice. We know that Jack dies in a huge house fire when the kids are teenagers — maybe he carelessly caused that fire while drunk, and only Kate knew about his long battle with alcohol. It would explain why she blames herself for the death, since she knew about his addiction but still couldn't stop it from killing him in the end. Obviously, this is just a theory for right now, but it does seem to add up.

In another quick flashback in the new episode, we also get a hint as to what may have caused Jack's alcohol dependency in the first place. We get a brief glimpse of Jack running into battle in fully army regalia in Vietnam, which is the first we've learned of him being active duty during the way. The show seems to be setting up the fact that Jack became addicted to alcohol as a means of coping with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from war.

There are still a lot of questions that need answering, but things are definitely starting to come together now.