Within the first few episodes of NBC’s This Is Us, viewers knew that Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia) was no longer alive in the show’s present-day timeline. The mystery of how he died has been teased out ever since, prompting an endless barrage of theories — some wild, some totally believable — to surface online. The latest episode appeared o finally confirm the cause of his death, and fans reacted as emotionally as you’d expect. Spoiler warning — don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen the January 23 episode!
One of the theories that has circulated for a while is that Jack dies in a house fire, which has been mostly confirmed by clues in several episodes this season.
In the latest episode, Jack is seen cleaning the kitchen after watching the Super Bowl with Rebecca (Mandy Moore). Before he goes to bed, he turns off a crockpot (given to them years ago by their neighbor, George), not realizing the switch is faulty. Sparks from the slow cooker set a dishtowel on fire, and before we know it, the Pearson house is engulfed in flames as Jack tries to save his family and a montage of happy Pearson memories flashes on the screen. Oof.
Ventimiglia, in the most obvious quote ever, told Entertainment Weekly that Jack’s death will be “just an absolute soul-crushing event. Once you figure out the moment where it’s going to happen, you may get some hope — and then it’s all going to go away.”
Even seasoned This Is Us ugly-criers had a hard time dealing with the scene, taking to Twitter to mourn among other heartbroken viewers. Check out some of the most emotional reactions below.
1. Disbelief. A FREAKING CROCKPOT.
2. Even Randall Pearson is worried about your emotional state. Sterling K. Brown checked in to ask fans if they were okay. NO, WE’RE NOT, RANDALL.
3. The country will mourn together. One viewer can’t handle the Super Bowl connection. And neither can we.
4. Life lessons. Some people chose to see the teachable moments in the traumatic episode.
5. Things are looking up for Miguel, though! All anger can now be directed toward George and his faulty crockpot.
6. Seriously, George, WYD. People are MAD.
7. Denial is a powerful tool. Some viewers don’t want to know…even if it’s all they’ve ever wanted to know.
8. Seriously, can we go back? We don’t want to know!
9. No one is immune to This Is Us tears. Probably not even the writers.
10. Why do we do this to ourselves? Just truly devastating.
11. Of course, it’s important to remember the positive. Even if it does just make the reality all that much harder.
The episode about Jack’s death will air after the Super Bowl on Sunday, Februrary 4. Until then, stock up on tissues — you’re gonna need them.
Are you emotionally prepared for the next episode of This Is Us? Let us know @BritandCo.
(photo via Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)