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.