There have been plenty of theories around Jack’s death on This Is Us, but we now know [SPOILER!] that the beloved character’s untimely passing has something to do with a devastating fire. Viewers learned this on the season two premiere two weeks ago, but the cast has been holding on to the secret for much longer than that and had to use some stealthy spy-like tricks to keep the details from leaking.

A quick refresher: At the end of the September 26 episode, Rebecca (who is played by Mandy Moore) is seen in her car with Jack’s things (including his wedding ring) in a plastic bag on the seat next to her. As she pulls over and breaks down crying, the camera pans out to show firefighters inspecting the charred remains of the Pearson family home.

To keep that specific piece of info from getting out to the public, the cast and crew used a code word whenever they talked about it. “We called it ‘the marble.’ … It was like, ‘So then when the marble happens…’ Listen, we’ve all been holding on to this secret for a year and a half now,” Moore told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on Today.

She also revealed that the set for the charred house was built about an hour and a half outside of LA, and that instead of using signs with the show’s initials to point those working on the series to where the location was, they used a “completely different word to throw people off in case someone was being followed to set.” She added, “I have never been a part of something like this before.”

Now that the secret is out, everyone is relieved. Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, told E! News, “Thank God, man. Just thank God, thank you.” He also said that he’s tired of being asked about the circumstances around his character’s demise. “When, how, why — there’s so many versions of it and sides of it and it’s hard not to take any of it personally or internalize it and be like, ‘Wow, man, people just want to see me dead.'”

We think it’s the opposite — we’re just trying to prepare ourselves emotionally for what’s to come as the second season of This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9pm on NBC.

Are you impressed that the This Is Us cast and crew were able to keep the big secret for so long? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Gersh + Ron Batzdorff/NBC)