What Time Does The 'This Is Us' Super Bowl Episode Start? It's Going To Be A Doozy Of An Hour
Get ready to put down those wings and pick up those tissues, because This Is Us is airing right after the Super Bowl and this episode is sure to be a doozy. No matter how excited you are about this Patriots/Eagles match-up, and no matter how much you stan Justin Timberlake's return to the Halftime Show stage, us fans all know the main event on Sunday night will be our weekly dive into the lives of the Pearsons. So, what time does the This Is Us Super Bowl episode air?
The incredibly hyped-up episode is set to premiere at 10:15 p.m. ET on NBC, with that buffer time built-in in case the game runs over time. And, because it's the Super Bowl episode, the show is granting fans a little extra time with the Pearson family — three extra minutes, that is, per Entertainment Weekly. It may not seem like a lot, but any extra time with America's favorite family will sure to be received joyously by fans. (Or, maybe not, if it's three more minutes of Jack dying.)
As This Is Us fans know, this isn't just any episode. The Super Bowl episode is particularly significant for so many reasons. To begin with, it's the episode that most fans think will finally reveal the circumstances of Jack's death. At the end of the Jan. 23 episode, viewers were presented with slow cooker-gate, finally learning that the cause of the Pearson house fire was a malfunctioning slow cooker on the day of the Super Bowl. Viewers were so concerned about the dangers potentially lurking in their own Crock-Pots that the Crock-Pot company had to release a statement assuring customers that their product is perfectly safe to use (the Pearsons' own slow cooker was decades old, and fictional, OK?).
Now, previews for the Super Bowl episode show Jack, Rebecca, Randall, and Kate in the midst of the burning house. We've already learned that Jack died either in the fire, or very shortly after. It seems pretty clear that finally, on Sunday, all our questions about Jack's death will be answered.
But, those involved in the show have warned viewers that Sunday's episode might not be exactly what they are expecting. "Questions will be answered in a very satisfying way," executive producer Isaac Aptaker told Entertainment Weekly somewhat mysteriously in an interview. “It’s not necessarily what people expect, but people will have a lot of the answers they’ve been hoping for.” And in another EW interview, actor Milo Ventimiglia, who plays the seemingly-perfect Jack Pearson on the show, warns that no matter when his death is shown, it is sure to leave fans reaching for quite a few tissues... or maybe even the whole box:
"It’s just an absolute soul-crushing event. Once you figure out the moment where it’s going to happen, you may get some hope — and then it’s all going to go away. I think the best thing I can say — or the worst thing I can say — is: It’s going to be f*cking painful.”
In a fitting This Is Us twist, the episode won't just be about Jack's death. Aptaker told EW that, in line with the Super Bowl theme, the present-day portions of Sunday's episode will focus on how each of the Pearson children choose to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, striking a delicate balance between recognizing the tragedy of the day in their family history and their ferocity as football fans. The Pearsons are notoriously diehard Steelers fans, so it's unfortunate that this year's Super Bowl won't feature their favorite team.
Aptaker revealed in the same interview that because the episode was filmed before the big game matchup was determined, they had the Big Three do multiple takes with different dialogue depending on whether or not the Steelers were playing. “Our characters would obviously be saying different things if they were watching the Steelers as opposed to any old team,” Aptaker told EW. “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 [if the Steelers were in the Super Bowl] but what are you going to do? We can’t control football.”
No matter the circumstances of Jack's death, or whether or not fans actually get all their questions answered on Sunday, the episode is sure to be a tear-jerker (but let's be honest, what episode isn't?). America's favorite husband and father didn't live to see this Super Bowl, and we will all be forced to deal with that trauma on Sunday night.