One year ago today, there was great mourning in the land of This Is Us. After 15 months of anticipation, crazy theories, and flat-out dread, prime time’s biggest morbid mystery was finally resolved when the NBC family drama revealed in its post-Super Bowl episode that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died both a hero’s death and a quiet one, expiring in the hospital from cardiac arrest after he suffered smoke inhalation when he ran back into his burning home to save the family dog and stayed a bit longer to rescue some family possessions. Viewers could console themselves, of course, with the knowledge that Jack Pearson would live on, given this time-traveling family drama’s obsession with the past. But still, they cycled through anger, acceptance, and depression, assigning culpability to anyone/anything in Jack’s orbit. Here, we allow the kitchen appliance that received the brunt of the blame to defend itself.
Hey. Yeah, yeah, it’s me, This Is Us‘ Crock-Pot, er, slow cooker (let’s keep things nice and generic). I’m sure you came here expecting me to apologize for killing Jack Pearson — you know, “America’s dad” — after I sparked the house fire that led to his untimely death. But if you’ll switch off your boiling anger (or at least turn it down to low), I can explain.
Shouldn’t some blame be directed at that allegedly kind, old neighbor George, who gave me to Jack knowing that I had a faulty switch? Did he think about fixing me — or, better yet, putting me out of my misery so I didn’t have to make another batch of BBQ and grape jelly meatballs? (It’s a thing. Look it up on Pinterest.) Then there’s that surprisingly flammable dish towel that Jack placed me on. Was it soaked in kerosene? Or what about Kate, who tearfully told Jack that her dog was trapped inside the house, prompting him to play Superdad and race back into the fire?
And because we’re pointing fingers, let’s aim one at Rebecca, who forgot to buy batteries for the smoke detector, and Jack, who forgot to remind her to buy the batteries — and, of course, who also stopped inside the blaze to gather a few family possessions, which made him inhale even more smoke. And don’t get me started on the hospital doctor for not catching Jack’s faulty-heart issue. Fine, get me started — he sucks too. But until they make a two-season Netflix docuseries that exonerates me, I will remain your unfairly persecuted cooking appliance. And that really sets my blood to simmer.