About This Is Us’ Divisive Season Finale: How Did Jack Die?

What did you think about the season 1 finale of the NBC drama? Did you miss the kids?

by | March 14, 2017 | Comments

This Is Us has hinted all season long at the tragic circumstances surrounding Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death, and many hoped (and feared) that the season 1 finale would reveal exactly what happened to the Pearson family Patriarch.

Naturally, fans stocked up with wine, snacks, and plenty of tissues. Read on to find out what the episode revealed — and how fans coped with their finale stress.


Considering how This Is Us has constructed most of its episodes, the major reveals all season long have come at the end. So despite being well-stocked with snacks and beverages, fans were majorly stressed throughout the episode.

It seems fitting that before revealing Jack’s fate we got to see the beginning of his and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) relationship, and this week’s flashback took us to the days before he and Rebecca met. Jack was a clean-shaven 28-year-old Vietnam War vet who fixed cars for old ladies.

He dreamed of opening a mechanic shop with his BFF, and even went to a shady poker game to earn some money to buy a garage. Unfortunately, though he wanted to think otherwise, nice guys don’t finish first — and despite winning big on his first hand, the thugs running the game beat him up and stole his cash.

Meanwhile, back in 1995, we cut back to Jack downing beers in his car. Not a smart life choice, Jack! Thankfully, Jack made it to Rebecca’s show alive — only to slam more beers and drunkenly stumble backstage in the hopes of finding Rebecca. Rebecca, though, was busy fighting off Ben’s (Sam Trammell) very inappropriate attempts to kiss her, then calling Jack to tell him how much she missed him.

When Jack caught up with Ben, he punched him in the face. Rebecca intervened and drove her staggeringly drunk husband home — where they both arrived safe and sound. See, he didn’t die in a drunken driving accident after all! At least not on that night.

Just when we thought Jack was safe from wrong-doing, the episode flashed back to Young Jack as he went to garage fundraising Plan B: rob a bar.

Luckily, Rebecca skipped out on her boring bind date to sing at an open mic night at that very bar, and the power of her voice singing a Cat Stevens song made him turn his head and not rob the bar after all. Sure, OK!

Back in the ’90s, instead of watching E.R. — just a reminder that it was the ’90s — Jack and Rebecca had a knock-down, drag-out fight that was truly one of the most heartbreaking relationship milestones we’ve seen. Could this be the last conversation they ever have?

Thankfully, no. Phew.


But wait a minute — despite the fact that they both apologized to each other, Rebecca told Jack to stay at Miguel’s for a while. NOOOOOOO! Is THIS when Jack dies?

After all that, the episode didn’t actually reveal anything about Jack’s fate, and many fans were not too happy — or at least were very confused about it all.

Although the Pearson kids weren’t in the episode much, there was a short montage at the end that revealed what direction their stories might head in season 2.

Still, there was something major missing: How did Jack die, and why did Kate say it was her fault?

What did you think of the This Is Us finale? Do you have theories about Jack’s death? Are you upset that his cause of death wasn’t revealed? Take our poll and share more of your feelings about the episode in the comments. Comments here 

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