Why Wasn't This Character In Last Night's This Is Us?

Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC.
Warning: This post contains spoilers about last night's episode of This Is Us.
This Is Us gave an emotional gut-punch this week — Milo Ventimiglia wasn't kidding when he suggested taking the day off from work after it aired. William (Ron Cephas Jones) passed away, after showing Randall (Sterling K. Brown) his childhood home. Their parting was sad, but at least they were together.
But if you'll recall, there's someone else who vowed to stay by William's side, who was nowhere to be seen last night. Jessie (Denis O'Hare) found William, his ex, after William left without saying goodbye. The reveal, which came in the winter finale, added another layer to William's character. He left Jessie because he didn't want to burden him with his cancer diagnosis, but Jessie said he wanted to live out William's remaining days with him. William brought him to the Pearson family's holiday gathering, suggesting Jessie was in it for the long haul.
When William and Randall parted ways, though, Jessie was nowhere to be found. His name wasn't even mentioned; Randall offered to bring his family down so William's grandchildren could say goodbye, but he didn't suggest calling Jessie to let him know the news.
Did Jessie already meet an untimely death of his own? Did he and William break up again? Or did the show just forget about him? This Is Us introduced what could have been a pivotal character, only to have him fade into the background.
In terms of figures from William's past, Brian Tyree Henry gave an incredible performance as William's cousin Ricky. It's great that William was able to make amends with Ricky and play one last song together before he died. But was William not thinking of the man who was one of his greatest loves during any of it?
Even if Jessie couldn't make it to see William at the hospital, surely someone would have thought to call him. Or to speak his name whatsoever. Still, we're glad William and Randall had a touching moment of closure before William's passing. Maybe he'll give Jessie one of the toy figurines William took from his Memphis home.

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