'This Is Us' Super Bowl Episode Spoilers Hint At The Devastation Ahead
On Sunday, Feb. 4, Super Bowl LII will be the biggest football game of the year, and following that is perhaps the biggest episode of This Is Us (series writing: Kay Oyegun) will air. Fans are seeking out every little detail about the This Is Us Super Bowl episode to be prepared for a huge revelation that could possibly change everything we thought we knew about the beloved Pearson family on the hit NBC drama series. But, if you're not all caught up on This Is Us, stop reading now, because there are spoilers ahead.
Throughout Season 2, there have been clues (and red herrings) left for the audience about how Jack Pearson ultimately dies during Kevin, Kate, and Randall's teen years. In the present, the cause of death has been alluded to, but never explicitly detailed. Still, fans have been discussing it and coming up with theories about Jack's death since the Season 2 premiere, when we received some of the biggest clues. The episode showed teen Kate with a dog, Kevin with a cast, and Rebecca weeping at the sight of the burned Pearson home while wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey. The Jan. 23 episode seemed to bringing us right up to that portion of the timeline, including the moment a faulty slow cooker set the house on fire. Ready or not, it's time to get those tissues ready for the big event on Sunday.
The narrator of NBC's trailer for the This Is Us Super Bowl episode promises, "All of your questions will be answered." Executive producer Dan Fogelman also told The Hollywood Reporter that this episode will answer all the questions about Jack's death. "How did he die? When did he die? What was the cause of his death? How did it relate to Kate? Anything involving Jack's death, you get those answers in this episode," he said.
Here's everything else us fans know about the biggest episode of This Is Us so far.
1. The Episode Will Be Longer Than Usual
According to Entertainment Weekly, the Super Bowl episode will be three minutes longer, which isn't a lot numbers-wise, but This Is Us (series directing by: Sarah Pia Anderson) could do a lot with three extra minutes. EW pointed out that the episode is on DVR listings as starting at 10:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. PT with a run-time of 80 minutes; the extra time is provided as a buffer, considering that football games can run over.
2. The Fire Will Be Fierce
Judging by the gut-wrenching trailer, the fire will rage large in the Pearson family home. Jack will open doors and face unfriendly flames, but it also looks like he is going to the greatest lengths to rescue Rebecca and his children.
3. Kate, Randall, And Rebecca Are Alone...
In the episode trailer, we see Kate, Randall, and Rebecca in the house alone... and Kate is seen through the flames. They could be the three family members Jack is setting off to rescue. As we know from last week's episode, Kevin spent the night at Sophie's house.
4. ... So Who Is With Jack?
At some point, Jack catches up with someone, who is hiding under that towel or a hoodie. It looks like it is one of the kids, so perhaps it is Kate or Randall. Judging by the hair peeking out, it looks like it might be Kate.
5. The Fire Will Last For The First 10 Minutes
According to an interview in EW, Fogelman said that the fire will last for the "opening five to 10 minutes of the episode." He continued:
We spent a fortune, we went into the middle of nowhere so nobody would see us, and we built our house. We brought in the people who had done Backdraft, and for you, as an audience member, it’s very hard to breathe. It’s extraordinary. ... It’s fair to say that he goes out like he lived.
In addition, Fogelman told The Hollywood Reporter, "How people want to watch television after the Super Bowl, I don't know, but I suspect the way it starts, the opening six minutes of it, it's going to be hard for people to turn it off."
6. The Present-Day Scenes Take Place On Super Bowl Sunday
Executive Producer Isaac Aptaker told EW that the 2018 scenes will also take place on Super Bowl Sunday and fans will get to see how the Big Three commemorates the day.
7. The Episode Will Mention The Pittsburgh Steelers
Of course, it couldn't be Super Bowl Sunday without the Pearsons rooting for their favorite football team. Executive Producer Isaac Aptaker told EW that the Super Bowl scenes were shot before the teams for the big game were determined, so they filmed two ways: rooting for the Steelers and acknowledging that the Steelers didn't make it.
“Our characters would obviously be saying different things if they were watching the Steelers as opposed to any old team,” Aptaker said. “We had to shoot alt lines in the scenes where [they are watching] the Super Bowl to protect ourselves. So yes, it would have been very, very cool, but what are you going to do? We can’t control football.”
8. NBC's Description Is Super Vague
The network's own official description and photos are very vague when it comes to the Super Bowl episode. NBC doesn't provide a title for the Feb. 4 episode, but does supply the following description:
Kate visits Kevin on the set of his movie. Randall and Beth get exciting news. Rebecca tries to reconnect with Jack.
Interesting. As for the available photos, there are no photos of Jack released from the episode; the only photos available are images of present-day Kate, Randall, and Kevin.
9. Kevin Meditates
In one of the official NBC photos, Kevin seems to be meditating, so he might be trying to find some peace, though he looks skeptical about it.
Fogelman told USA Today that Kevin will consider "his history with his father."
10. Randall Has A Party
It looks like Randall is at a party for his daughters in the episode — could it be a Super Bowl party to honor his father's favorite day?
Fogelman told USA Today, "Randall is, in his own way, celebrating his father" in the episode.
11. Kate And Toby Are Together
If the episode does indeed take place on Super Bowl Sunday, then perhaps this official episode still from NBC indicates that Toby is spending the day with Kate on what could be the anniversary of Jack's death.
Fogelman confirmed to USA Today that Kate still blames herself for Jack's death and she'll be "self-examining" during the episode.
12. Kate Will Be Devestated
Kate was closest to Jack of the Pearson children and she will likely take his death the hardest. Remember how Kate tells Toby that Jack's death is her fault in Season 1? In a recent interview with EW, Ventimiglia said that we'll see why Kate feels the guilt over her dad's death.
I would say it’s all pretty accurate and really devastating to her. It’s something she still hangs onto. It took her a long time to be able to talk about her father, and she’s still not giving Toby everything she feels about Jack’s passing. She’s had to battle her demons, and a lot of that stuff is going to come to the front of her story line.
13. How Jack Dies Was Part Of Fogelman's Original Plan
In the interview with EW, Fogelman said he has known how Jack dies since the beginning — and he talked about it in his original pitch of the show to NBC.
"Next week’s episode was one of a couple of episodes that were part of my initial pitch to NBC," he said. "Many of the episodes were for future seasons upcoming, but this was one of the first ones. We’ve been working at it for two years, I just completed it."
14. Jack Doesn't Necessarily Die In The Fire
Fogelman told EW that the fire isn't necessarily Jack's cause of death. "In terms of what happens in the next hour of our television show, there are a lot of surprises, and I think the prism by which you view this family will completely shift on its axis," he said.
15. Yes, All Will Be Revealed About The Dog
Since the Season 2 premiere, fans have been wondering how exactly the Pearson family dog will play a part in the fire. Fogelman told USA Today that “we have something looming with [Kate’s] dog that we’ve been setting up for quite a while.”
16. Jack's Death Is Inspired By The Death Of Fogelman's Mother
The heartbreak is real. Fogelman told EW that he took inspiration for the family's mourning of Jack from the feelings he felt after his own mother passed away a decade ago. He said in the interview:
My mom passed away in surgery — it was a serious surgery, but her dying was not supposed to be a real thing that was on the table. That was 10 years ago now, and I have replayed our final conversation as she was kind of going into surgery more times than I would care to count. It’s the little stuff that sometimes really sticks with you, and we were trying to capture that, and that’s something we’re trying to capture next week.
17. Milo Ventimiglia Isn't Leaving The Show
Just because we'll learn the cause of Jack's death doesn't mean this is the end of Jack in flashbacks. Ventimiglia will continue to appear in This Is Us. Last year, Moore told People: "Milo is number one on the call sheet — he isn't going anywhere. He is our leader. We call him our actor department head."
18. The Episode Will Feel Like A Superhero Movie
Sterling K. Brown told EW that the Super Bowl episode will be a movie-like experience for fans. He said:
[Fogelman] may have written his best hour of television. It is cinematic, it’s epic in scope. He is able to take the mundane and turn it into a superhero movie. Each one of us, once we read it we were like, "Did you read this yet? Yeah. It’s off the chain!" We were giddy.
19. The Episode Will Introduce Randall And Beth's Next Foster Child
In the Winter Finale episode, viewers got a sneak peek at Randall and Beth's (Susan Kelechi Watson) next foster child, who will get introduced in the Super Bowl episode, according to an interview with Watson in EW.
19. The Cast Recently Watched The Episode Together
On Feb. 1, Moore posted an Instagram story selfie, showing herself after crying during the cast's viewing of the Super Bowl episode. "Watched The Super Bowl episode last night with the cast and I'm still not okay," she wrote in the story's text. Uh-oh — she cried and she was in the episode.
20. The Next Episode Will Air On Feb. 6
If the Super Bowl episode leaves you wanting more, the next episode of This Is Us (series writing: Jas Waters, 10 episodes) isn't too far away — a brand new episode will air on the following Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET (its regular day and time). Executive producer Ken Olin tweeted that this upcoming episode will also provide some answers as a follow-up to the Super Bowl episode.
According to the official NBC description, that episode is called "Across the Border" and it will follow the history of the Pearson's family car.
All of these details sound like we should definitely get our tissues ready for a super emotional This Is Us Super Bowl episode on Feb. 4.