Warning: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us episode “That’ll Be the Day.”
This Is Us fans knew they’d get another big piece of the puzzle behind Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) cause of death this week, but no one saw this coming. In episode 13, titled “That’ll Be the Day,” the cause of the Pearson house fire that contributed to Jack’s death was finally revealed, and it wasn’t the fuse box or the “possessed” basement washing machine as some fans predicted. Instead, the fire was caused by a faulty switch on a Crockpot given to the Pearson family by some elderly neighbors. A Crockpot filed with Super Bowl chili that none of the Pearson teenagers were home to enjoy.
This Is Us ended with imagery of the Pearson house engulfed in flames, and promos for the next episode, which is set to air on Super Bowl Sunday, show that Jack may have gone out in a blaze of glory as he tried to save his family from the fire. While Jack’s exact cause of death has not played out yet, it is clearly related to the fire. Now, This Is Us fans are directing new hate toward a Crockpot toting old man as they try to make sense of the moments leading up to the Pearson patriarch’s untimely death.
In a flashback, This Is Us viewers saw neighbors George and Sally gifting a young Jack and Rebecca a Crockpot slow cooker, circa 1980 (based on Rebecca’s very pregnant belly).
“You have to fiddle with the switch, but it still works,” George tells the Pearsons.
Fast forward to 17 years later and that same Crockpot that sparks the fire that ends Jack’s life—and This Is Us fans are not having it. While Miguel (Jon Huertas) has long been the “most hated” character on This Is Us, that was before fans met George and his killer Crockpot. Following the “That’ll be the Day” episode, This Is Us fans took to Twitter to lash out at the Pearson’s former neighbor and his faulty household appliance.
In response to the online outrage, This Is Us creator Dan Fogleman didn’t mention George, but he did defend the slow cooker industry.
Jack Pearson’s exact cause of death will play out on the show’s post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 4. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia described his character’s moment of death as “an absolute soul-crushing event.”
“Once you figure out the moment where it’s going to happen, you may get some hope — and then it’s all going to go away,” Milo told EW. “I think the best thing I can say — or the worst thing I can say — is: It’s going to be f—ing painful.”
The next episode of This Is Us airs Sunday, Feb. 4 after the Super Bowl on NBC.