After two seasons of build-up, This Is Us finally revealed all about the end of Jack Pearson. The answer to the questions about the death of the Pearson Family patriarch came about in "Super Bowl Sunday" as Jack died, not in a house fire, but because of the smoke inhalation and a consequential heart attack caused by the fire. Though teased for a very long time, Jack's death is still a source of real pain for This Is Us viewers. However, according to actor Milo Ventimiglia, "Super Bowl Sunday" is far from the last time that This Is Us fans will see Jack.
This Is Us Recap: How Does Jack Die?>>>
In an interview with Esquire
, Milo Ventimiglia explained that Jack's death isn't so much an ending as a beginning on This Is Us
. The actor knew, from the very start of the series, that his character would die and that it wouldn't signal the end of his tenure on the show.
"I've been dead from the get-go and though we're now showing the death, we're still gonna be bouncing around in different timelines," Ventimiglia said. "This is not the end of Jack."
A big relief for the actor is just having the secret out there. Ventimiglia revealed that he knew how Jack died in the middle of filming season 1. This Is Us boss Dan Fogelman told the actor and his on-screen wife Mandy Moore that Jack would die after a house fire and the show would slowly build to showing it all.
"Once we got into the second season, it was kind of a harrowing thing to just keep everything under wraps," Ventimiglia explained. "It became Fort Knox secrecy: photocopy-proof scripts, code words, secret locations. And we really couldn't talk about it outside the company."
Now that the truth is out there, the cast of This Is Us doesn't have to live in quite so much secrecy. Yet there's more to it than just that; as Ventimiglia mentioned, the reveal of Jack's death will allow This Is Us to jump all over the timeline of Pearson family, going long before and long after that fateful Super Bowl Sunday.
As far as Jack is involved, this will mean even more exploration of his early life, before he became a father and husband. "There are so many questions with Jack," Ventimiglia said. "His upbringing, what happened to him in Vietnam, what happened to him after Vietnam before he met Rebecca? And those early days of Jack and Rebecca, I know is an era that Dan is excited to explore."
While Vietnam will be a big focus for This Is Us moving forward, the show also plans to do something with one of the smaller twists of season 2; Jack having a (presumably) deceased younger brother. "[Jack's] brother, I think is something that's going to come up relatively quickly, and play out over the next season or so," Ventimiglia revealed. "There's still so much to know about this man, from all the eras, so I'm excited to focus on how Jack lived as opposed to worrying about how he died."
This exploration of Jack's life might even require younger actors to take over the character as there will be more in Jack's childhood, specifically how growing up with his own abusive father shaped Jack's own life but also about the connection he shared with his brother.
There might even be a chance for Jack to appear after death. Ventimiglia explained that during Jack's death in "Super Bowl Sunday" (which happens off-screen) he recorded Jack saying "Bec?" which can be heard as Rebecca is standing at the vending machine. In addition, Ventimiglia has also played opposite the adult versions of his on-screen sons due to dream sequences and the like.
Though Ventimiglia didn't reveal whether there would be scenes of Jack and his adult children in the near future, he did explain that those moments are ones he cherishes. "It's like William's speech to Olivia early in season 1 when she asks him what it feels like to be dying, and he tells her he's just trying to hang onto these moments," he explained. "I try to do the same when I get to play opposite Sterling [K. Brown] or Justin [Hartley] or Ron [Cephas Jones], because it's so rare and it goes so fast."
How do you feel about how This Is Us handled Jack's death? Are you interested to see what the show does next with his character? What story or aspect of Jack's life do you want to know more about in season 2 and beyond?