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Entertainment Weekly


This Is Us: Jack's death episode is like 'superhero movie,' says Sterling K. Brown

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If you caught last Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us, perhaps you noticed a slight glitch with the Pearsons’ Crock-Pot. Yes, the homespun cooking appliance sparked a fire that raged through the kitchen and up the stairs, and that danger appears to spell doom for Jack Pearson. Given the promo for the Feb. 4 episode, which featured Jack racing to rescue his family, as well as creator Dan Fogelman’s assurance that it will be “the Big One,” it’s time to start building those Kleenex forts for Super Bowl Sunday.

More than a year in the making, the mystery of how the Pearson patriarch (played by Milo Ventimiglia) met his maker will finally be resolved in the episode airing right after the Super Bowl. And for the record, Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall, thinks it will be worth the wait, especially since that episode was penned by Fogelman himself.

“He may have written his best hour of television,” Brown tells EW. “It is cinematic, it’s epic in scope. He is able to take the mundane and turn it into a superhero movie. Each one of us, once we read it we were like, ‘Did you read this yet? Yeah. It’s off the chain! We were giddy.”

And as much as heartbreak is on the way — Milo Ventimiliga warns of the “absolute soul-crushing event” to come — look for some uplift among the burned-out rubble. “It’s sad,” shares Brown, who went to set to watch those pivotal scenes be filmed. “It’s intense. I’m telling you, it’s intense. But it’s beautiful. It will give you the payoff after this much anticipation of ‘How does he die?’ I think you will be satisfied with the culmination — and then also how the story moves on.”

On the more life-affirming front, the little boy who was seen languishing in the foster care system in the fall finale will be making his return. And there is room for him, of course, after Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) had to say goodbye in the fall finale to foster child Deja (Lyric Ross), who returned to her birth mother. “This little boy is so precious, and the way in which the story line pays off is probably one of the more exciting things for me in the course of season 2,” says Brown. “You’ll see the manifestation of that relationship in the Super Bowl episode.”

This Is Us returns just two days after the Super episode with another new installment on Feb. 6.

To read what Milo Ventimiglia had to say about Jack’s death, click here. For all sorts of hints about the Super Bowl episode from Dan Fogelman, click here.

Additional reporting by Gerrad Hall

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