The Craziest This Is Us Jack Death Theories

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia): a ghost, a dad, and a mystery man. We feel so close to him, yet we know so little about him. Most crucially, we don't know the most important thing about him: how he passed away.
In the first season of NBC's runaway hit This Is Us, it took some time before we realized that Jack was actually dead. There were implications that he was out of the picture — older Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) showed up as a couple, few references to him by the Big Three, and all of them in the past sense. It would be easy to assume that Jack and Rebecca had just gotten a divorce. But it wasn't until Kate produced the urn of his ashes for Toby (Chris Sullivan) that we realized, "oh, Jack is actually dead."
This Is Us has expertly crafted a mytharc that keeps us hooked on the otherwise tender family drama. It's such a brilliant move on the part of Dan Fogelman, the show's creator. He infused this show with mystery and suspense, and a lot of tearjerking moments, to craft a Golden Globe-nominated drama unlike any other.
We have a few pieces of the puzzle, though. We know that Kate feels some responsibility for his death. His death (probably) has to do with the house fire. Jack drank too much, and worked in construction, both of which are a bad combination. With those few clues, we delve into some of the more plausible and implausible fan theories. Let's make some sense of this together, though we'll give you a second to grab some tissue to cry into.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Miguel killed him.

Let me start off by saying that I hate this theory, because while Miguel is definitely sus for marrying his dead best friend's widow, it would be way too obvious. Plus, with as close as the Pearson family is, someone would have suspected something much more sinister a long time ago.

Likelihood: dead in the water. We know that Miguel and Rebecca reconnected in 2008, after not speaking for several years. Miguel would've had to have been playing an absurdly long game, and we think it's just too improbable.

Nevertheless, this theory persists. Dan Fogelman reportedly laughed at this theory. Elle even notes that Ventimiglia really likes this theory. Which means it can't possibly be true. Right?
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Photo: via GIPHY.
Jack's drinking caused the house fire.

We all know that Jack really likes the sauce. And when you're drinking, you tend to, well, forget certain things. Like lit candles. Or that the oven is on. Or maybe you'll valiantly try your hand at some electrician work while you're amped up on liquid courage.

Time posits that the family thinks too highly of Jack to allow this theory to be true. But what if he accidentally started the fire, and his family isn't angry about it all these years later? People do move on, even in grief.
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Photo: via GIPHY.
Jack was hit by a car when trying to rescue the dog after the house fire.

This is my personal theory. What if the entire house fire was a ruse? What if the fire was just the backdrop to the real deal? WHAT IF...Jack was trying to rescue the dog, and was hit by a car as he ran out of the house? There's a reason Kate was holding that dog, okay?
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Photo: via GIPHY.
Jack died in 9/11.

This is another persistent theory. We're not sure why Jack would be in New York City (or the Pentagon, or on the plane over Shanksville, Pennsylvania), but it's possible that he was traveling on business with Big Three Homes. Support for this theory comes from Kate's fear of flying and Kevin trashing his toy planes.

Still, we're gonna say no to this one. We know that Kevin, Kate, and Randall were teens when Jack died, so the timeline doesn't add up.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
He dies in the fire trying to save Kate, or Kate accidentally starts the fire.

We know that Kate blames herself for Jack's death, though we're not sure why. We also know that Kate still grieves his death in a ritualized way: by watching the Steelers games alongside his ashes.

Maybe he ran back into the house trying to rescue Kate, who was trapped. Maybe the fire started in her room? There is that shot of the firefighters pointing at something in room. Either way, we think Kate is a huge key to this theory.
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Photo: via GIPHY.
Jack dies from an illness or terminal disease caused by his alcoholism.

Okay, we're shooting this one down immediately, because we know the fire has something to do with his death. This show is a tearjerker, and they do like throwing in red herrings, but that fire scene is just too important and this theory doesn't fit in.
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