Did This Is Us Dad Jack Die On 9/11?

Photo: NBC
This Is Us may be a family drama, but it has about as many theories as Westworld. The biggest question on NBC's notorious tearjerker? How did Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) die? One new theory is particularly gut-wrenching: Did Jack die in the attacks on September 11?

In a fan theory roundup, Us Weekly points out two pieces of evidence from Tumblr user just-an-outlaw: the fact that Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) seem spooked on planes, and that Kevin threw away his model airplanes after his dad's death. As the theory goes, if Jack passed away due to an event related to the terrorist attacks, it would make sense for the kids to have these hangups.
It's not the only thing that could connect Jack to the events of September 11. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) works in New York City and lives in the suburbs, and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) lives at least fairly close by. The Pearsons may have moved to the outskirts of Manhattan by 2001, making it possible for Jack to have been working in the city at that time.

There is one big wrench in this theory: Kate tells Toby (Chris Sullivan) that she watched the 2006 Super Bowl alongside her dad, which means he was alive long after 9/11. Of course, This Is Us is no stranger to a good twist, which means it's possible that Kate's comment didn't mean exactly what we thought it did — or that she lied to hide the real date her dad passed away.

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait to see how this theory, and every other idea about Jack's death, plays out. According to creator Dan Fogelman's interview at the 2017 TV Critics' Association press tour, it will take "many, many episodes" to get all the details about Jack's death.

The good news? The longer it takes, the longer Jack is technically alive...right?
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