The Most Believable Theories About Jack’s Death on “This Is Us”
Anyone who obsessed (and ugly-cried) over season one of This Is Us knows that Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) is no longer alive in the show’s present-day timeline. The first teaser for season two made a past-tense reference to him, but it didn’t offer any new insight into the one thing everyone wants to know: How did Jack Pearson die? There have been numerous theories, including a cruel joke from Ventimiglia’s costar that Jack is actually still alive, and a pretty bonkers one about Rebecca (Mandy Moore) murdering him, which Moore shut RIGHT down.
But some of them are actually pretty believable. We’ll get a “big clue” about what happened in tonight’s season premiere, but for now, let’s look at some of the biggest and most realistic theories about Jack’s death.
Theory: He dies in a plane crash. There are a few different theories around the plane crash idea, and there are some convincing details to back them up. You might remember Kevin (Justin Hartley) once mentioning that, after his dad died, he destroyed all the model planes they made together. And Kate (Chrissy Metz) is shown to be a nervous flier. Furthermore, when we see the Pearson kids at their dad’s funeral, they’re depicted as teenagers, which would put the timeline near 1994 — right around the time a real USAir plane crash just outside of Pittsburgh killed 132 people. (Another popular theory that Jack was killed in the 9/11 attacks was debunked, and that timeline doesn’t add up anyway.)
Theory: He drives drunk and gets in a car accident. One of the few things we do know about Jack’s death is that Kate, his daughter, feels responsible for it. Toward the end of season one, it seemed like this could be due to her urging her father to go after Rebecca when she left on tour, which he did — after having a few beers. Ultimately, though, we saw Jack make it to the gig and even home with Rebecca afterwards. But Jack’s drinking is an ongoing problem on the show and in the family, and we’re not yet ruling out that his death could be related to a drunk-driving incident.
Theory: He dies of an illness. Some fans have speculated that Jack’s drinking problem could potentially devolve into alcoholism and result in his death. Other fans have wondered if his mental health could suffer and lead to him dying by suicide — a theory that could be supported by a scene in the Christmas episode, where Randall (Sterling K. Brown) talks a coworker out of suicide. Another theory is that Jack ends up dying of a heart attack — which would add a new layer to Toby’s heart attack last season.
Theory: He dies in a house fire. Fans have wondered why Miguel, Jack’s best friend, no longer mentions his wife and children in the present-day timeline — and how, exactly, he ended up married to Rebecca. Some viewers think Jack and Miguel’s family perished in the same devastating accident, and that the tragedy brought Miguel and Rebecca together. You might remember that, after getting in an argument with Rebecca, Jack went to stay with Miguel to get some space. The theory is that, while he’s there, a house fire breaks out, killing Jack and Miguel’s wife and children. This would also be a way to tie in the story of the firefighter who found baby Randall — a classic This Is Us twist.
Theory: He dies in an unexpected accident. In the episode “The Trip,” the Pearson kids go to the family’s old cabin, and Randall sees his dead adoptive father, Jack, up on a ladder cleaning the eavestroughs. To be fair, Randall had accidentally taken mushrooms, but could his vision allude to Jack falling to his accidental death? Perhaps while doing an inspection for his construction job, or an odd job around the house? There’s not much to go on here, but the suddenness would be heartbreaking.
Theory: Miguel kills him. The show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, has said that we’d come to love Miguel, so it’s unlikely that he murders the beloved Pearson patriarch — even if we’d love a reason to find his marriage to Rebecca sinister and unforgiving. This hypothesis is mostly just a joke, but it happens to be Ventimiglia’s favorite theory about his character’s death, so we’ve got to give it a nod.
How do you think Jack dies on This Is Us? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com