The 'This Is Us' Season 2 Finale Will Offer A Glimpse Of Jack If He Were Still Alive & It's Going To Be So Bittersweet

It's been an emotional year for the Pearson family. After struggles with addiction, confronting the loss of their patriarch, and so, so much more, the This Is Us Season 2 finale appears set to bring the family a dash of happiness. Kate and Toby are preparing to walk down the aisle, and the teaser for the episode reveals there will be an unexpected guest at their wedding — at least in spirit. As reported by Elite Daily, the This Is Us finale will give fans a glimpse of what might have been through the appearance of an older Jack Pearson.

The exact nature of Jack's appearance at the wedding hasn't been revealed, but in a new Variety interview with executive producer Isaac Aptaker, it's confirmed that the show isn't planning a twist where Jack is secretly alive. Instead, the executive producer is promising a far more emotional reason for Jack's wedding cameo. He explained,

"We're not playing any games, but I will say that seeing him was one of the most visceral punches that I think we ever had. It's so powerful and poignant and haunting and tragic all at once."

Given the special nature of Kate's bond with her father, the weight of his absence is sure to play a role in the episode. Aptaker teased that Kevin will be playing the role of wedding planner in hopes that he can make the day as special for his sister as their father would have wanted. There's no doubt that emotions will be running high for all of the Pearsons, which leaves the door open for several different scenarios that could explain Jack's present day appearance.

TV Promos on YouTube

In the promo, Jack appears alongside present day Rebecca, and in a poignant moment, he asks his wife, "Where did the time go, Bec?" This could signify that Rebecca is dreaming of her deceased husband on their daughter's wedding day, or it could be part of one of the show's what might have been sequences. Earlier in Season 2, William imagined his life if he had introduced himself to Randall when he was still a little boy. Perhaps, Rebecca or Kate has a similar fantasy about Jack.

There's another possibility as well — Jack might actually be at the wedding, at least in spirit. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate, told the magazine of her character's wedding day,

"Obviously, it's been her life's dream to find a man who her father would approve of but never measure up to. Now that she has, it's devastating that he won't be there… physically."

Jack Pearson is basically a superhero, as he has demonstrated time and time again. This man wouldn't miss his daughter's wedding for anything. Given that the Super Bowl episode allowed Jack to say a whispered goodbye to Rebecca even after he was gone, there's a chance he might just show up at the wedding — even if it's just for a moment and all in his loved ones' heads.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Whatever the circumstances are, This Is Us will be giving viewers a bittersweet glimpse into a reality that can never be. There's no denying that the Pearson family would be radically different if they had never lost Jack, but that grief has played a role in shaping the people they are now. There's no way for them or the audience to fully know how things would have turned out had Jack survived, but it's a beautiful thing to think about.

And for at least a few scenes, the audience will get to see an older Jack at his daughter's wedding. You don't need to know the exact nature of his presence to understand that old Jack's appearance is going to be a five hankie event.