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How does Jack die?
These are the four words that This Is Us fans likely have uttered the most over this last year: How did Jack die? (Another contender: Please pass the Kleenex.) Ever since Jack was revealed in the fifth episode of NBC's ultra-emotional family drama to be deceased, viewers have wondered exactly how beloved Pearson patriarch Jack came to meet his maker. The series continued to court the mystery, whether by briefly teasing Jack’s funeral (revealing that the Big Three were teenagers at the time), or by having his daughter, Kate (Chrissy Metz) — who was unable to discuss his death with her fiancé Toby (Chris Sullivan) — finally if cryptically share with him that his demise was her "fault."
Well, during the Sept. 26 This Is Us season premiere, a "huge piece" of the Jack puzzle was finally revealed. Head here to find out more about what happened to Jack -- and read on for quotes from the This Is Us cast on what the revelation means for the show.
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Justin Hartley (Kevin) says...
“When you're putting the pieces of the puzzle together, it's a big piece. It gives you insight as to where the family was when this happened — what state they were in when this happened. It's a heartbreaker.”
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Sterling K. Brown (Randall) says..
“It is heavy. Anytime somebody passes away, it’s tragic, and it’s not something that you see coming, and because of the unexpected nature of it, it will catch you off-guard.”
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Chrissy Metz (Kate) says...
“It might not be as obvious as maybe what Dan is saying, and maybe it might be to some others. You definitely want to pay attention to something that might be very subtle — or perhaps small — but very instrumental in the discovery of Jack’s passing.”
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Mandy Moore (Rebecca) says...
“Once this piece of the puzzle airs, I think it will be a tremendous relief to all of us, because there’s so much that we’re tip-toeing around at this point. I think it’s going to satisfy people, but by no means is this the full story. It will satiate people but I don’t know if it will… Ooh! It’s so hard to describe, because you’re going to think one thing but it’s not the whole story. You’re going to think, ‘Oh, okay, well, this is it. This is exactly what happened.’ And that’s not the case at all.”
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Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth) says...
"It’s played right because — here’s the thing — it’s not like they’re going to say how Jack dies until [later on], which I think is smart because then it shows this wasn’t the point of the whole series: Jack dies. But the way that it’s parceled out allows for us to get the groundwork in, because it’s a lot to learn about Jack.... It’s just a snippet of what’s to come. It’s a moment that encapsulates it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story."
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Milo Ventimiglia (Jack) says...
“It hits you in a moment and you go, ‘Oh, sh--. This is it!’ And then we leave you with that, and we don’t explain more. We just leave you on a moment where you understand everything — but you know nothing. “
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Chris Sullivan (Toby) says...
"There has never been a scene that Dan Fogelman and his writing staff have presented to us that any of us have thought was out of place. And that’s all you get."
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So, how does Jack die?
The This Is Us premiere ends with a striking image: a crestfallen Rebecca pulling up in front of her burned-down home as police tape of the scene of the fire.
Did Jack die in that fire? Did something else happen? What is the significance of the bag of Jack's personal items in Rebecca’s back seat? Whose dog is 17-year-old Kate holding? Why is Kevin in a cast? So many questions flood one’s brain, but you just took a big step toward getting the biggest one answered — How does Jack die? — as creator Dan Fogelman promised.
"The ending has such a wallop to it. I can’t say much about it, but it’s really, really powerful," Fogelman teased before the premiere. "There’s a bunch of those kinds of moments that are filled with uplift and you get the tear in your eye in a good way, and then the end packs just a huge, romantic, sad, beautiful, melancholy wallop."