WARNING: Spoilers for the season 2 premiere of This Is Us below.
This Is Us returned for its second season on Tuesday night and while fans thought they were prepared for the emotions they’d be feeling throughout, they were not ready for the way the show twisted their hearts in the ending. Creator Dan Fogelman shared some words for fans after the premiere, hinting that this was only the beginning of the revelations for the season and that there will be more details to come:
But as many of the reactions online hinted at, the premiere was manageable up until the end when the cause of Jack’s death was apparently revealed alongside the extent of his alcoholism. If you haven’t watched the episode, turn back now.
As Entertainment Weekly describes, the end for Jack seemingly comes from a fire in the emotional cliffhanger of the premiere:
Rebecca pulled up to the Pearson’s mailbox, and as she let out of a horrible, heartbreaking wail, we panned back to something hideous: a just-burned down house, police tape cordoning it off, and a few firemen still on the scene. End of show.
All of this floats around the revelation of Jack’s alcoholism to his wife in a emotional scene where Mandy Moore’s Rebecca refuses to turn her back on her husband and promises “If you have a problem, we will fix it together” before saying things will be fine in the coming months. As you see above, things were not. But it’s also not all of the story. Jack is dead, that’s a sure thing, but the details behind how he dies and where it goes from here have yet to be revealed. As Moore said during a panel following a screening for the premiere, the shocking end of the episode is ” just a piece of the puzzle” for how Jack dies.
And while it is an emotional moment for the characters on the show and those watching at home, Milo Ventimiglia is actually relieved by the ending according to Deadline:
“It’s like a pressure valve release for a little bit,” he said. “But like Dan has always said, with this answer there’s still a lot of questions. People are going to have to pay attention over the course of the season and understand what our Big Three are experiencing, and where they happen to be in the moments before his death.”
Not having to face questions about how your character dies is definitely a nice consolation prize to actually being killed on the show. It doesn’t seem like they’ll be leaving Jack behind any time soon, but you also don’t want to see Ventimiglia go from success so soon.
Even though it was an emotional premiere, fans seemed satisfied to have the show back on their television screens. The decision to keep it on Tuesday and keep Thursday for comedy might pay for NBC if the show can keep up its momentum. It also might cement another appearance at the Emmys next year.