Spoiler alert: This post includes some details of Tuesday’s episode of NBC’s This Is Us.
Did it really take the Eagles getting to the Super Bowl for This Is Us to finally answer “all of your questions”?
That’s the promise NBC was making about its heart-twisting drama Tuesday night as it promoted the special post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 4 that will theoretically tell us exactly how Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) — a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan — died.
Not that we don’t have a pretty good idea already, especially after the end of Tuesday’s episode, in which we saw the ancient slow cooker that Jack and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) had gotten years earlier from a neighbor set the house on fire on Super Bowl Sunday. (About this time, I was thinking about the one I’ve had since college, still in regular use.)
It’s one thing to pretty much know that Jack’s death had something to do with a house fire, but it’s another to see the end coming. Even, apparently, for the show’s stars, as creator (and Penn grad) Dan Fogelman on Tuesday tweeted a picture of Ventimiglia and Moore with Sterling K. Brown, who plays their grown son, Randall, watching the episode. “A strange thing, watching beautiful, famous people weep,” he wrote.
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) January 24, 2018
We know, of course, that Jack probably isn’t going to make it out of the post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 4 alive — next Tuesday’s episode is preempted for the president’s State of the Union address — but I suppose there are still twists to come. (Maybe he makes it out and then a plane falls from the sky and lands on him?)
One more likely plot point would involve the dog, since this week’s episode showed the adult Kate (Chrissy Metz) twisting herself in knots over adopting one (that was Lena Waithe, from Netflix’s Master of None, and creator of Showtime’s The Chi, playing the woman at the animal shelter).
If this is really it, I might still have a few questions:
- Is this really why people are watching — to see how Jack died? Because although all the Pearsons have clearly been affected by his death, there’s more to the show than this drawn-out mystery.
- Doesn’t the treatment of Jack’s death make it seem even worse that at least three shows this season — CBS’s Kevin Can Wait and Blue Bloods and ABC’s Designated Survivor — have killed off wives and mothers, two of them between seasons, and with no such buildup? The ever-shifting timelines on This Is Us mean that Jack, like Schrodinger’s cat, is always both dead and alive, and so Ventimiglia remains employed.
- Will Kate’s new dog, Audio, eventually save her and fiance Toby (Chris Sullivan) from a fire? Because Audio seems like a keeper.