This Is Us has taken its fans from the heights of joy (Kevin took his first steps! Randall had a baby! Kate found love!) to the depths of heartbreak (Jack Pearson, father of triplets and beloved husband to Rebecca, has died). The show also has turned its cast members into soaring stars, with Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, and Milo Ventimiglia celebrating Sunday night after receiving the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
The show’s talented cast has gotten its viewers so involved in the plot that fan groups on Facebook and Reddit have formed. For many, the focus has become trying to solve what are the three mysteries of This Is Us: How did Jack die? Why did Jack die? And why does Kate feel so guilty and blame herself both as a teenager (played by Hannah Zeile) after her dad’s death and as an adult (portrayed by Chrissy Metz)?
Does Kate Blame Herself For Jack’s Death Because It Really Is Her Fault?
This Is Us has shown how Kate went from a self-confident child, strutting happily in her bikini as her beloved father Jack cheered for his daughter, to a little girl embarrassed by her weight after her peers mocked her at a swimming pool, to teen Kate, even more obsessed about her weight despite slimming down enough to fit into a size 7 dress at the mall.
But something happened to teen Kate related to Jack’s death that caused her to begin to binge-eat again. That turning point resulted in adult Kate repeatedly trying to deal with the guilt she feels over her father’s death, pointed out Pop Sugar.
“Kate’s ongoing struggle with confidence takes the cake. A lot of those issues stem from her weight, but it’s made pretty clear…that another matter is tying Kate’s psyche up in knots: she feels awfully guilty about [Jack’s] death.”
Several new fan theories about Jack’s death circle back to Kate. On Facebook, a This Is Us fan group theorized that Kate removed the batteries from the family’s smoke detector, with the non-operating smoke detector failing to reveal a fire that led to Jack’s death.
A scene on This Is Us supports that theory. Rebecca asks Jack to talk to Kate because something seems wrong, and the camera shows the smoke detector with the batteries missing. They also forget to pick up new batteries at the mall, adding to the clues that the non-working smoke detector plays a role in Jack’s death.
Jack’s Death Related To Smoke Detector: Did Kate Remove Batteries?
Some fans think that Kate’s battle with her weight relates to the missing batteries. Chrissy Metz’s adult Kate revealed how obsessed she was as a teenager with losing weight. One theory is that Kate started smoking when she was a teenager, removing the batteries so that the smoke detector wouldn’t go off from the cigarette smoke.
“Perhaps Kate took the batteries out of the alarm because she is [sneaking] smoking to help lose weight.”
Building on that theory, some fans think that Kate’s cigarette could have set off a fire that wasn’t found until it was too late, making her directly responsible for Jack’s death if he died in the fire. Alternatively, the fire might have been started by another factor, but Kate still feels guilty because she removed the batteries that could have detected the fire while there was still time.
However, the cigarette theory isn’t the only one. Another fan theory is that teen Kate used the batteries for a tape recorder to record her singing. Alternatively, she might have wanted the batteries for her Walkman.
But other fans think Kate isn’t to blame for the missing batteries. Instead, they believe that after she melted down at the mall over not fitting into a smaller dress size, she distracted Rebecca, causing her mom to forget to buy new batteries.
Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, & Justin Hartley Talk Jack’s Death
Ultimately, the reason that Kate feels so guilty about Jack’s death will be revealed when This Is Us shows how her father died. Fans should stock up on the tissue boxes, because that scene will come soon, according to the cast. Mingling with other cast members at the 2018 SAG Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, and Chrissy Metz promised that the answer to how and why Jack died is near, reported CBS8.
“Not much longer, honestly,” said Chrissy.
“There will be some answers [to how Jack died] at the end of this season.”
Metz’s co-star, Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin, described the scene in which Jack and Rebecca go to the store for smoke detector batteries and forget to buy them as a “huge clue.” Viewers of This Is Us know that the home where the Pearson family lived burned, and Hartley promised that the show will soon answer the question of whether Jack died in that fire.
Joining his fictional triplet team, Sterling K. Brown revealed that the next episode will show even more. Within the next few weeks, This Is Us viewers will “actually witness” Jack’s death. And with that, fans hope that they will learn why Kate feels so guilty about her dad’s death.