*Warning: This post contains spoilers from tonight’s episode of This Is Us: ‘The Game Plan’*
Tonight, This Is Us finally answered everyone’s biggest question: where is Jack in the present day? The answer left viewers with empty tissue boxes and shattered hearts (again). Unfortunately, Jack is dead in the 2016 storyline – but he’s not forgotten. In “The Game Plan,” we learn that Kate still spends every Sunday with her dad, watching the Steelers games.
In fact, the Steelers played a huge part in tonight’s episode. As Rebecca and Jack cheer on their team in the Super Bowl, we see what the couple was like before The Big Three were born. It turns out Rebecca wasn’t always interested in being a mom, but Jack REALLY wanted to be a dad. As we follow the two timelines, it’s not until the very end that we learn of Jack’s fate.
At this point, we’re about one-third of the way through the season, so we know there’s plenty of story left to tell. Now, with the main question out of the way, here are some things we’ll need answered in coming episodes.
How/when did Jack die?
We know that Jack was struggling with the beginning of a drinking problem. But after Rebecca’s blunt reality check, he appeared to be making a genuine effort to get it under control so he could “be a 12” for his family. When the Pearsons headed to the pool, he proudly boasted that he packed all soft drinks and no beer. The family was closer than ever by the end of the episode.
So now we’re left to wonder, how exactly did Jack die? It’s entirely possible he fell off the wagon, and his vice got the best of him. On the other hand, maybe he lived a full life with his family and died of natural causes. Following the “how,” the “when” is also up in the air. Based on the emotions of Kate and Kevin, it seems like it may not be recent, as they keep their emotions in check. Virtually all of the circumstances surrounding Jack’s death are still up in the air, and we anxiously await seeing how it all unfolds.
When did Rebecca and Miguel get together?
In its second episode, This Is Us dropped a twist ending that torpedoed the hearts of viewers: Rebecca is now married to Jack’s former best friend, Miguel. As a result, poor Jon Huertas became the show’s Benedict Arnold. But, there was a glimmer of hope as it was revealed that Rebecca still wears the necklace Jack bought her.
Now that we know Jack is dead, there is still one huge question about Miguel and Rebecca: when did the relationship begin? Did Jack and Rebecca stay together until his death? Was there an affair that happened before Jack died? Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore reminded fans of this question in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. However, Moore noted that she believes in the relationship of Jack and Rebecca saying, “I think that their marriage definitely hits a rough patch at a certain point, and they may or may not be together, but I have a firm belief that nothing happens with Miguel while Jack and Rebecca are married.”
What happened with Miguel’s family?
In “The Game Plan,” it becomes apparent that Miguel was happily married and a father. Jack even sought reassurance from Miguel when Rebecca made it clear she didn’t want kids, asking when Miguel and his wife knew they were ready to start a family. The whole episode was a cute, albeit very awkward, double date. Let’s flash forward to Jack and Miguel’s conversation at the bar after The Big Three are born. Following their tense exchange, Miguel leaves an apology message for Jack on his office phone. He regrets overstepping, and says it probably happened because he’s jealous of Jack. But why would Miguel be jealous?
This raises similar questions; we don’t know if Miguel went through a divorce, or maybe even the death of his spouse. More than that, where are his kids? When Miguel showed up with Rebecca at Randall’s house, there was clearly a bit of hostility from Randall. Is it possible Miguel abandoned his children like Randall was abandoned? Of course, Randall would remember that pain, and it makes sense he’d judge Miguel for causing it for anyone else.
Why did Kate get Jack’s ashes?
Of The Big Three, it’s clear in “The Game Plan” that Kate had the closest relationship with her father. As a result, she continues the tradition of watching the Steelers game with him every Sunday. This could easily explain why she became the keeper of Jack’s remains.
But it is a bit surprising that Rebecca wouldn’t want to keep Jack with her. Maybe she felt having the necklace was enough and wanted to help Kate in the grieving process. Or, on the less optimistic side, perhaps there was hostility toward Jack from the rest of the family. Regardless, as we explore the circumstances of Jack’s death further, it’s basically a guarantee that we’ll need to stock up on tissues.
What remaining questions do you have for the show? Let us know in the comments. This Is Us airs on Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.