This is Us has a habit of trying to pull at our heartstrings. One of the best examples of that? It’s been revealed that at some point in Kate, Kevin, and Randall’s teenage years, their father Jack dies. The Pearson patriarch’s funeral is presented to us in glimpses: his photo, sitting next to an urn, and his family gathering for the somber occasion.
But, how did the beloved character played by Milo Ventimiglia actually pass away? For all the hopping back and forth we see on the show, the cause of his untimely passing has yet to be clarified. With the showrunners hushed up on the matter, it’s the fans jumping to the rescue. The internet is now alive with theories on how Jack died. Here are some of the most popular theories:
Jack’s encounters with alcoholism have been a prevalent part of his character since the start of This Is Us. His wife Rebecca takes issue with it as well, and even though Jack eventually gets his act together, nothing says that he didn’t somehow relapse. A common theory says that this addiction is eventually what causes Jack’s health to spiral out of control. An excess of alcohol would have eventually caused liver or heart failure, various cardiovascular diseases, or even cancer.
As a construction foreman, Jack’s job requires him to be on-site in conditions that should be safe, but carry inherent risks. It’s not impossible that something disastrous might have happened at work. In worst-case scenarios, he might have fallen from a high place, or something might have been dropped on his head (note that we see his urn of ashes; not his body in a casket, hiding any serious injury).
This isn’t mutually exclusive with the alcoholism theory; for all we know, drunkenness at work may have led to an accident.
The 9/11 Plane Crash
This one is a little outlandish, but fans have worked out the possibility that Jack was on a plane during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A tumblr user has pointed out that after his father’s death, Kevin threw out his model airplanes. Also, both Kate and Kevin share the same fear of flying. Perhaps hints of trauma from how they lost their father?
This Is Us Showrunner Dan Fogelman has said the reveal of how Jack Pearson dies will still take “a while”, however. So we’ll have to wait a couple of more episodes, maybe even seasons, for these theories to be confirmed or debunked.
Any This Is Us theories of your own? Let’s hear them in the comments below!