The start of the new year means the return of all your favorite television shows — some of which left us with some pretty unforgettable cliffhangers. This Is Us left many fans with their jaws dropping to the floor when it was revealed that Jack's brother, Nicky, never died in combat like Jack had described. However, if you go back and rewatch some of the episodes again, you may come to realize that there were clues Nicky was alive on This Is Us the entire time that were subtly teased throughout the past two seasons.
From the very first moment that Nicky was initially introduced back in Season 2, the series has done its best to imply that Jack's younger sibling had died in some tragic way. But considering This Is Us' history of making fans believe one thing only to deliver a shocking twist later on, we really should've known it couldn't have been as cut and dry as all that. The end of the midseason finale helped to clear things up a bit by revealing that Nicky hadn't died after all and was actually living in Pennsylvania in the present day. And while there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered in regards to his unexpected fate — like, for starters, did Jack even know his brother was alive this entire time? — there were signs viewers could've picked up on throughout the season to help predict this exciting new development. For instance...
The Lack Of Sympathy Jack Received After The War
During one of the flashback scenes, Jack is helping to fix a neighbor's car and she proceeds to try and set him up on a date. In fact, she even comments at how nice he seems to be after the war, knowing that “most of the boys lose their damn minds over there.” You'd think she'd be a little more sympathetic in making comments like that if his brother had just died. It's possible she didn't know he had a brother, but they appeared to be familiar enough that it feels unlikely.
Jack & Randall's Visit To The Vietnam War Memorial
During their talk, Jack opened up to Randall a little bit about his past and time in the army, however, he never mentioned Nicky's name being on the memorial they were visiting, which listed all of the fallen soldiers. You'd think since they made a special trip to the memorial that Jack would've brought up something as important as his brother's death, and yet it never comes up. Jack may be a private person, but that seems like a huge thing to leave out during this particular trip. Perhaps didn't say anything because he knew Nicky didn't die in combat as he'd led everyone to believe.
Jack's Omitted Details About His Family Before
Jack never got along with his father, which is not only showcased in flashback but also by the fact that he'd never introduced his kids to their grandfather. Prior to Rebecca visiting him on his death bed, Jack's dad didn't even know his son had a wife and children of his own. Clearly Jack has no qualms about omitting details about his family if that person had wronged him in some unforgivable way. Is it possible that Nicky does something that warrants a similar treatment?
The Cryptic Factor
Whenever the subject of his brother has come up, the Pearson patriarch has always been pretty vague about what happened. Yes, he's said that Nicky was gone or had died, but he never provided any further details. Maybe that's because he never meant it as literally as it sounds. It's possible that the brother he loved and grew up with no longer exists because war changes you — and there's no arguing that it's definitely taken a toll on Nicky. So perhaps Jack has been mourning the loss of who his brother was even knowing that he was physically still alive.
There are still a few blanks that need to be filled in regarding Nicky's story and why he's remained hidden from the Pearson family for all these years, but let's hope he's able to bring some comfort to the Big Three and allow them to know more about the great man their father was.