Reddit has done it again. As first reported by BuzzFeed, reddit users maverickLI and puppysvet have pointed out a This Is Us and Titanic theory that hints at a clever (and heartbreaking) nod at what could be yet to come for Jack. As fans have known since Season 1, Kate blames herself for Jack's death, but the reason why she holds herself responsible has yet to be revealed. In "That'll Be the Day," the show revealed the final moments of normalcy the Pearson family experienced before the fire, and in the process, revealed that Randall went to see Titanic on the day his father died. Now, what happens in Titanic? Jack saves Kate (Winslet).
In Titanic, Jack Dawson sacrifices himself so that Rose can go on to live a long, happy life, and This Is Us appears to be setting up a scenario where Jack Pearson does the same thing for his daughter. Theories about Jack heading back into the house for Kate or, at Kate's urging, to save her dog Louis, are everywhere, and they may ultimately prove to be true when the Super Bowl episode airs. No matter what happens, the This Is Us writers deserve a round of applause for making such a sly Titanic reference in the episode before the story of Jack's demise is told — there's an excellent chance that the show's writers are actual emotional evil geniuses.
Then again, it's entirely possible that by having Randall namedrop Titanic, the writers were hoping to throw fans off the scent of the actual reason that Jack dies. Could it be possible that Kate's been blaming herself for her father's death all these years, when it was actually Kevin that Jack goes back into the house to find? As BuzzFeed writer Casey Rackham points out, Rebecca knows that Kevin is staying over at Sophie's, but Jack, Kate, and Randall seemingly don't. Maybe Kate tells Jack that Kevin could still be in the house — or Jack goes back into the fire not to get the dog, as Kate believes, but because he needs to know for sure that Kevin didn't come home in the middle of the night.
Either way, it's clear that Kevin still carries a lot of guilt where his father is concerned. In the last episode, Jack is the last person on Kevin's list that he want to make amends with, and that could be because the last thing he ever said to his father was something cruel about his chosen profession. The audience knows that Jack left a note on Kevin's bedroom door telling him how much he loved him, but Kevin doesn't. In his mind, Jack's final memory of him is one where Kevin was being a jerk.
The guilt that Kevin is feeling, and the possibility that he's the reason Jack went back into the house, doesn't bode well for the oldest of the Big Three — especially after Kevin's heart-to-heart with Randall. While fans on Twitter were concerned that Randall might be the next Pearson to die after he shared with his brother that he can't imagine himself as an old man, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly that Randall is as safe as any character on the show can be. However, he wasn't quite so reassuring about Kevin's fate.
Fogelman told EW,
"Watching that scene between Randall and Kevin, the hairs on my arms go up more for Kevin, how assuredly he talks to Randall about how you're never gonna die but doesn't say anything about himself. We're not [hinting at] anybody's death, but it's always interesting the way that people view their own mortality."
Given that Kevin has faced his mortality more than once already — nearly drowning in the pool, his battle with addiction — the show could be pointing toward another tragedy in the future. The idea that Kevin may not have a long future ahead of him is heartbreaking, but it's also exactly the kind of devastating twist This Is Us pulls off so well. Basically, #TeamKevin might want to prepare themselves for the worst.
But before This Is Us can queue up its next mystery, it needs to serve up answers about Jack's death, and whether or not that whole Titanic reference thing was just one more red herring before tragedy strikes the Pearsons.