Although it's heartbreaking, the inevitable truth of the matter is that the beloved patriarch of the Pearson family is dead on This Is Us. The NBC series has been sparse when it comes to information about how Jack died on This Is Us, but fans of the show have taken and analyzed every nugget that they can get. However, even when piecing together what has been shown about Jack's passing, you won't find a definitive cause of death yet. As there are only two more episodes of Season 1 left, don't expect to see how Jack died before the first season of This Is Us is over, which means fans will just have to obsess over every detail that has been revealed about Jack's death until next season.
Thankfully, the NBC execs were incredibly generous when it came to This Is Us and renewed it for two more seasons, which means viewers are guaranteed to see how Milo Ventimiglia's character died at some point. Ventimiglia pretty much told Us Weekly that Jack's death won't occur before Season 1 ends and while that might be disappointing to curious fans, it's really not that surprising based on how the series has gone so far. Showrunner Dan Fogelman has not been giving a steady stream of information about anything and when he does do a reveal, he uses it to great (melo)dramatic effect. And something that is comforting about this whole sad ordeal is that whenever it is unveiled how Jack passed away, Ventimiglia will still be a part of the show since This Is Us plays with timelines.
Yet, even though reason may say you shouldn't be consumed by figuring out how this fictional character died, as This Is Us often proves, logic has no place when it comes to matters of the heart. So, in anticipation of the final two episodes of This Is Us Season 1 — and the drought of details that will follow — here's every definitive thing viewers know about Jack Pearson's death thus far.
He Was Cremated
The first time that the show confirmed that Jack was dead in the present was in Episode 5, "The Game Plan," when Kate told Toby it was her tradition to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers with her dad — and then showed him the urn with his ashes in it. In "Memphis," Randall told his dying biological father that his adoptive father also had some of his ashes scattered underneath his favorite tree. Although it doesn't give us too much insight on how Jack died, knowing his ashes are in two locations — and that his daughter is the keeper of the urn — is something.
Kate Can't Talk About It
Speaking of Kate, it's no coincidence that she has Jack's ashes. Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly that out of the Big Three, Kate was the most impacted by their father's death. "As you'll learn in the series, and there are reasons for it, it was Kate. These kids all worshipped Jack, obviously. Nobody recovered from this, but the person, for multiple reasons, holding onto it most tightly is Kate," the showrunner said. Her inability to talk about Jack's death to Toby was a huge indication for the audience that she took his death the hardest — and it's now negatively affecting her relationship. So, does that mean that Kate was with Jack when he died? Kate might be a major key to figuring out what happened.
The Big Three Were Teenagers
In the episode "Three Sentences," Kate's flashback (inspired by the Pound class at the immersive weight-loss camp) showed Jack's funeral and the Big Three looked to be teenagers. In that same Entertainment Weekly interview, Fogelman confirmed (kind of) that they were teenagers by saying that something major happened to them during "prominent late teenage years." If they were teenagers, that does put a dent in the theory that Jack died during the 9/11 attacks, but at least fans now know that the Big Three weren't children and had some extra years with their father before he passed.
Besides being aware that Rebecca marries Jack's best friend Miguel at some point, not much else is known about Jack's death on This Is Us and that's totally intentional. So while you can theorize away, don't expect to learn much more about how Jack died until Season 2.