Audiences will not rest until they find out how the wonderful life of Jack Pearson comes to an end, and it's no secret that there are about a million theories floating around right now about what could possibly happen. Last season, fans thought perhaps Jack died in a car crash on This Is Us. He stupidly got behind the wheel while drunk, and it seemed like the moment had finally come upon us — but thankfully he was spared that time. Now, after we've seen the burnt and destroyed family home, fan theories have shifted to suspecting he died in a fire — but one Jack fire theory suggests that the car crash still comes into play.
Reddit user Fakedoors_stillhere theorized that Jack could be killed in a car crash while rushing home after hearing of the fire.
"What if only Rebecca, Kate and Randall were home? Jack was stuck at work, wanting to get home to watch the game, when he got a frantic call about his family in a house fire. Kate could feel guilty because she could have accidentally started it, or been the one to run and call Jack. He was racing home (maybe even after relapsing and had been drinking) ... and was in a fatal car wreck, when ultimately everyone got out safely and he didn't need to drive so carelessly."
They could be on to something. We've known for a while that Kate blames herself for her father's death, and she also told Toby last season that Jack died because he was "sick." If she was the one to call Jack to come home, or the one to accidentally start the fire, that would explain where her misplaced guilt comes from. If she was referring to alcoholism as the sickness that aided in killing Jack (with him possibly driving drunk), that would also fit in with this theory. As the user also pointed out, this would also explain why Jack's belongings didn't appear to be burned or damaged as they lay in Rebecca's passenger seat.
We already know that Jack — unfortunately — doesn't seem to be too afraid of getting behind the wheel after he's had a few drinks, and he's in the middle of a battle with alcoholism. If he knows that his family might be in danger, you better believe that he'll be flying home as fast as possible, no matter what the circumstances are. The plotline with Kevin could also have something to do with this — it was clear from the first episode that Kevin didn't appear to be home when the fire occurred, and as an adult he has a hard time speaking about his father.
"I think after Kevin broke his leg, he thought his life was over so was acting out and being a jerk to everyone," the same Reddit user wrote. "Maybe he disrespected Rebecca (or Randall?) and Jack had enough and told him to leave. I'm not sure if I could see Jack even temporarily making him leave, but Kevin could have crossed the line and Jack will teach a hard lesson if he has to. Which is why Kevin was mad at the time and can't talk about it now." Reddit user NoApollonia built on this theory, suggesting that rather than Kevin being kicked out, he may have been grounded but snuck out while Jack was away.
If Kate covered for Kevin while he snuck away, as she very well could have done given how close they are, that could have lead Rebecca to thinking Kevin was still in the house if the rest of them escaped the fire. This could result in Rebecca calling Jack to say that they can't find Kevin, Jack borrowing a car at the bar so he could rush home to help, and being in a fatal car crash himself. It would all fit — Kate's guilt and Kevin's desire to make his dad proud would make sense, and the producers would still have been telling the truth when they said that the fire definitely has something to do with Jack's death. "There’s no fake-outs here," creator Dan Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly.
While the car crash wouldn't exactly be a fake-out, it would be a twist on the widely agreed-upon theory that Jack actually dies in the fire itself, and it would fit in with the clues we've already been given. We might find out sooner rather than later. "I think that it’s fair to say you’re not going to learn everything about Jack’s death next week, but you’re not going to wait until the season finale, either," Fogelman said in the same interview, which was published late last month. "It’ll be somewhere in between."
No matter when we find out what truly happens, audiences everywhere will be holding their breath every time someone lights a cigarette in the Pearson home, every time Jack takes a sip of alcohol, and, perhaps rightfully, every time Jack gets behind the wheel.