Warning: major spoilers for This Is Us ahead.
This Is Us has been full of shocking and emotional twists, but none of them compare to the devastating episode "Super Bowl Sunday." After months of teasing (and countless fan theories), we finally know once and for all how Jack Pearson dies, and it will break your heart.
After Jack manages to save Rebecca, Randall, and Kate from the house fire, he goes back in to save Kate's dog. As the bedroom window goes up in flames, it seems like Jack might actually die in the house fire after all, but since this is This Is Us, they don't let us off that easy. Just at the last minute, Jack comes bursting through the front door, like the hero he is, with Kate's precious dog.
While the rest of the family manages to get out unscathed, Jack suffers from second-degree burns and smoke inhalation from the fire. So, after dropping Kate and Randall off at Miguel's house, Rebecca takes Jack to the ER to get treated. As they sit together in his hospital room, they share a heartfelt moment when they realize they're in the same hospital where they first welcomed the Big Three.
For a short moment, it seems like Jack might actually be OK, but that's when the real trouble starts. As Rebecca uses the pay phone to call Miguel and check up on the kids, chaos ensues behind her as nurses and doctors rush into a hospital room. Unbeknownst to Rebecca, they are actually treating Jack. As she grabs a candy bar from the vending machine, the doctor promptly tells her the heartbreaking news: Jack has died.
As the doctor explains, the smoke in his lungs caused stress on his heart, and he suddenly went into cardiac arrest — a widowmaker heart attack. At first, Rebecca doesn't believe the doctor and gets upset that he has confused her with another patient. But once she finally steps into the hospital room and sees Jack lying lifeless on the bed, she breaks down in tears, and honestly, so did we.
Unlike William's death last season, Jack's death wasn't some big, emotional, drawn-out scene (it actually happened off screen, for that matter). But honestly, that made it even more devastating. It was quick, it was sudden, and above all else, it was incredibly real. Sometimes life comes at you in a moment and you have to deal with it the best you can, much like Rebecca does raising three kids on her own. Now that we finally know how the Pearson patriarch passes away, maybe this will give us even more insight into why the Big Three are the people they are today.