This Is Us fans can scratch car crash, heart attack, USAir Flight 427, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks off of their lists. Those are just some of the guesses This Is Us viewers have had regarding the cause of Jack Pearson’s impending death, and none of them are right. According to Entertainment Weekly, during an ArcLight Hollywood panel for This Is Us, executive producer and creator Dan Fogelman revealed that no one has come close to figuring out how the Pearson patriarch (played by Milo Ventimiglia) dies on the hit NBC drama.
While Fogelman admits he doesn’t read every fan theory posted on the Internet, his writers are constantly scouring the web for reaction, and the This Is Us EP says he has “not quite seen anybody in the vicinity of being right.”
During the panel discussion, Fogelman also revealed that he had never planned to reveal all the details regarding how Jack died during the first season of the show, admitting that he “never in a million years expected that this chaos about Jack’s death would still be going on at this point.”
This Is Us fans know that Jack Pearson is not alive in the present day and is only seen in flashback scenes through the mid-1990s. After a lot of teasing from This Is Us cast members ahead of the first season finale, viewers were up in arms when the episode, titled “Moonshadow,” didn’t provide clues as to the whens and hows of Jack’s death. But Fogelman’s team plans to provide some big answers “over the course” of Season 2.
“The first episode of the season holds not all the answers but a huge piece of the puzzle,” Fogelman told the panel. “But that’s not to say new questions won’t start being asked.”
This is not the first time someone in the know from This Is Us has crushed fan theories regarding Papa Pearson’s untimely demise. In an interview earlier this year with Us Weekly, Justin Hartley, who plays son Kevin Pearson on the NBC drama, predicted This Is Us viewers will never figure out how the Pearson patriarch kicks the bucket.
“You’ll never guess it,” Hartley told Us.
“It’s unexpected and it’s extremely heartbreaking and sad and deep and moving and, ugh, it’s painful. It’s painful. It’ll stay with you.”
As for the man whose character’s death has turned into TV biggest mystery, This is Us star Milo Ventimiglia recently told the New York Post he’s a little upset by the fact that some fans want to rush the story of Jack’s death. Ventimiglia would prefer they let the man live his life.
“It bothered me that people were so wrapped up in wanting to know [about] Jack’s death,” the This Is Us star said of the show’s Season 1 finale.
“Whenever someone would say to me, ‘I was bummed I didn’t find out,’ I would say, ‘I’m disappointed you didn’t focus on his life.’ People are dissatisfied no matter what. If Jack dies: ‘Why did you kill him?’ If Jack lives: ‘Why didn’t you show us how he died?’ People just need to calm down … and understand that things are going to unfold as they’re supposed to unfold.”
This Is Us signed off its first season with a cliffhanger that had Jack and his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) deciding to separate after a blowout argument over his alcohol issues and lack of support of her singing career. The final scene was set in the mid-1990s, which is the time frame that Jack supposedly dies in. You can see the final This Is Us Season 1 scene below.
This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday nights this September.
[Featured Image by Arnold Turner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images]