If you're a little on edge about the sophomore season coming to an end, it might be because the NBC family drama is notorious for twist endings worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. (Remember those tricky dual timelines of the pilot?!) But now that we know the truth about Jack's sudden, heartbreaking death, it's worth wondering what other jaw-dropping surprises This Is Us has in store for us.
I have a theory... and it would totally pull the rug out from under every This Is Us fan. What if everything happening on This Is Us is actually just Jack's dream?
You think I'm crazy. And it's very possible that I am. But this is This Is Us, and we should leave every single possibility open.
First of all, This Is Us is, fundamentally, Jack's story. He's the one who makes the decision to adopt Randall (Sterling K. Brown), uniting the Big Three. Really, almost everything that Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley), and Randall deal with in their life can be tied back to their dad.
Randall's big storyline in season 1 is finding his biological father. Kevin feels like he's never been able to live up to the man his dad wanted him to be. Even Kate's issues with food in adulthood are deeply connected to Jack and his death.
So. What if Jack didn't actually die — but instead, passed out in the fire, and saw his life, and the lives of his kids and wife, flash before his eyes?
Think about it: Jack, in the moments before his death, could imagine just how deeply the end of his life would affect everyone. His subconscious might even pick some obvious choices for his family's future... like Miguel (Jon Huertas) marrying his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore). Or Kevin, star of the school play, becoming an actor. He might even imagine Kate finding inspiration to sing again, years after she abandoned her dream. Or Randall finding his biological dad.
Crazy? Sure. But this is television. Stranger things have happened. Let's not forget that St. Elsewhere ended with the entire series taking place in a snowglobe. Or that Dan Humphrey ended up being Gossip Girl.
The season 2 teaser also reveals that we'll see an "old" version of Jack at Kate's wedding... which could be the biggest clue that Jack isn't really dead after all. Maybe Jack's subconscious can handle not being around for many of his family's big moments — but it's Kate's wedding, the one where he's supposed to walk her down an aisle, is one that he just can't miss.
...and it's in that moment that wakes Jack up and runs out of the burning Pearson home. Fin.
Of course, this could all just be my own futile hoping that Jack is secretly alive after all. I'm just saying — if This Is Us wants to leave our jaws on the floor, well... Jack dreaming is certainly an option.