After almost two full seasons of teasing and parsing out bits of information, the NBC drama revealed everything that happened on the fateful Super Bowl Sunday Jack died. In a classic This Is Us fake-out, Jack died not as fans expected — going back into the burning house to save the family dog after getting wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and kids out to safety — but a heart attack related to smoke inhalation from the fire.
Fans knew since the season premiere that a fire occurred, with a faulty Crock-Pot igniting in the Pearsons' kitchen and smoke detectors failing to alert the sleeping family. What no one could've seen coming though, is Jack heroically saving his whole family then going back into the burning home to save the family dog and come out (seemingly) unharmed. He wasn't though. Jack went to the hospital after miraculously surviving an inferno, only to be told he'd endured severe repercussions. The episode became a defining moment for Mandy Moore, who, as Rebecca, went from nonchalantly picking out options from the hospital vending machine to learning her husband was gone and then breaking the terrible news to her children.
The reveal of Jack's death is a critical turning point for the series. For so long, fans have hung on to find out exactly what happened that night to better understand the emotional scars its left on those Jack left behind. Now This Is Us must reorient itself and continue pulling at heart strings without it's central mystery, though as we've said before, the twists are not what this show does best.
Now that the answers have been given (and okay, inevitably a few more questions have been raised), fans can also start to get some closure on Jack Pearson's death and move on with the rest of the family. Kate (Chrissy Metz) has to let go of her guilt and anxiety if she wants to truly begin a family of her own with Toby (Chris Sullivan). Kevin (Justin Hartley) must accept what happened that night to recover from his alcoholism and finally reach his full potential. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) has to stop pressuring himself to live up to the martyred memory that Jack left behind.
Luckily, there's still a few more episodes left of Season 2 to see exactly how each of them will do that. Don't worry, Jack will still be around in flashbacks as well.
This Is Us continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.