‘This Is Us’: 5 Fan Theories About Jack Pearson’s Mysterious Death

This Is Us - Milo Ventimiglia
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Only two episodes are left in the first season of NBC’s hit drama This Is Us, and there is one thing on every fan’s mind: How did Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) die?

Jack, depicted as a loving father and devoted husband, has been a fan favorite since the series premiere last September. But there have been cracks in this facade of perfection, from marriage problems to a dependency on alcohol. These revelations have lead to a few interesting fan theories that are more credible than one might initially give credit for.

Below are the five most believable fan theories about Jack’s death:

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Jack dies in a plane crash or in the 9-11 attacks
It was made pretty obvious that Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) don’t like planes—from Kevin smashing the model planes he made with his father to Kate’s mile-high meltdown during a turbulent flight, the Pearsons’ have a clear aversion to air-buses. In past episodes, the family’s proximity toNew York City has also been implied (Randall lives in New Jersey), leading many fans to believe Jack died in the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.

Jack dies in a drunk driving accident
Jack’s dependency on alcohol has been heavily alluded to since the beginning of the series. Before they had children, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack would go out to the bars, it was even revealed that their kids were conceived in a bar. In the Valentine’s Day episode, Jack turns to alcohol when his wife doesn’t join him for dinner. There is a pattern of abuse as a means of coping, and an accident doesn’t seem unlikely.

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Jack suffers a heart attack, suffers from cancer or another illness
This fan theory can also be attributed to Jack’s alcohol abuse, but also addresses other facts about him. Between working on construction projects with possible asbestos and other carcinogens, cancer is a sure possibility, and the drinking element can cause various health issues including elevated blood pressure resulting in a heart attack. Even Randall’s breakdown over William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) declining health could be a sign of past experiences with a loved one battling a degenerative disease. Cirrhosis of the liver as a result of heavy drinking is also a candidate.

Jack commits suicide
Fingers crossed this fan theory is furthest from the truth, because it doesn’t seem inline with Jack’s character at all. Let’s break this one down: Kate’s concern for Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) admittance of suicidal thoughts may be an indicator that she’s been through that scenario with a loved one before. Also,Kate seems the most traumatized by her father’s death, maybe she found him? There was also the scene where Randall (Sterling K. Brown) talked a co-worker off the ledge of a building where he told the man that a daughter could forgive a discretion but not a suicide. Lastly, Kevin has admitted anger towards his father’s death, but we don’t know why.

Jack dies in a house fire
Okay, so this fan theory may be far-fetched, but it might explain the ashes, and would hold true to Jack’s undying devotion to his family. We could easily imagine tragedy striking, and Jack coming to the rescue of his family only to perish in the fire. Maybe the family member he saved was Kate? Also, the Pearson family home has not been depicted in present scenes, further supporting the idea that it might no longer exist.

Guess we will have to stay tuned to find out. Do you have your own theory as to how Jack died? Let us know in the comments below.

This is Us, returns Tuesday, March 7, 9/8c, NBC