Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us episode, “Super Bowl Sunday.”
This Is Us fans had a painful post-Super Bowl party. The long-awaited Super Bowl episode of the hit NBC drama gave fans all of the details on patriarch Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death. And while fans knew it was coming, right down to the tragedy that sparked the beloved dad’s ultimate demise (a battery-less smoke detector and a faulty crockpot will do it every time), no one was prepared for the emotional punch to the gut they were given as the episode played out. Not even the This Is Us stars.
Following the This Is Us “Super Bowl Sunday” episode, the stars of the show hit social media to post commentary about the devastating storyline, which showed that Jack Pearson died from cardiac arrest after damage to his lungs from smoke inhalation. Jack’s exact moment of death was not shown on camera—but this is This Is Us, so you can expect that the moment will probably flashback in a future episode.
While Jack’s final breath wasn’t shown on camera, the aftermath of the Pearson patriarch’s death was. This Is Us star Mandy Moore filmed Rebecca Pearson’s reaction to the tragic news with Ventimiglia’s reflection showing in a window. And when Rebecca broke the sad news to her kids, their devastated reactions were accompanied by sad music but no vocals.
Following the gut-wrenching episode, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman took to Twitter to explain why Jack’s death has been such a big part of the first half of the This Is Us series. In addition, executive producer Ken Olin praised the cast of the NBC drama for their performances in this all-important episode.
My mom died 10 years ago, unexpectedly. It’s the hinge upon which my life swings. Jack’s death is the Pearson hinge. We look back. We move forward. That’s our collective journey. Sad? Yes. But when you look through a wide enough lens - it’s also outrageously beautiful. #ThisIsUs— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) February 5, 2018
Dear @Dan_Fogelman @MiloVentimiglia @TheMandyMoore @SterlingKBrown @justinhartley @ChrissyMetz @SullivanTweet @skelechiwatson @iaptaker @bergernight @ThisIsUsWriters, thank you for delivering on everything we’ve promised for 2 incredible seasons. More to come. I love you all.— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) February 5, 2018
As for the Pearsons themselves, Milo Ventimiglia reminded fans that Jack lives on in all of our hearts. But his TV wife, Mandy Moore suggested everyone could use some grief counseling right about now. (Is she foreshadowing a future scene with the teen Big Three?)
In addition, This Is Us stars Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley all posted reaction to the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode.
Just so everyone knows it....#JackPearson lives in all of our hearts. He’s you. He’s me. He’s Us. Thank you all for supporting our show. We love you all :) And this isn’t the end of Jack. Stay tuned. #ThisIsUs. MV— Milo Ventimiglia (@MiloVentimiglia) February 5, 2018
Wow. Okay, so there's just two days to recover before a new episode?? OKAY. #ThisIsUs— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) February 5, 2018
The last person on Kevin's list to make amends to: Jack. #ThisIsUs— Justin Hartley (@justinhartley) February 5, 2018
Take a look at the video below for more reaction to the “Super Bowl Sunday” episode from the This Is Us cast and crew.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.