This Is Us is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and there are many questions that have yet to be answered. Luckily, the Season 2 premiere gave viewers one answer (and even that set off even more questions) — what year did Jack die on This Is Us? The triplets were well into their teenage years when he died. And, the Season 2 premiere revealed that Jack passed away when Kevin and his siblings were just 17.
The reveal happened on the siblings' birthday in present time. Toby felt that Kevin was interfering a little too much in his and Kate's life, and Toby told Kevin to back things up a bit. But what Toby doesn't understand is that Kevin and Kate were born of the same womb — they've always had a crazy connection due to their twin status, and that's the way their relationship is. Kevin told Toby that he and Kate had been through a lot, and that Kate was the one to tell him that his father had passed away when the two were both 17 years old. Later in the Season 2 premiere (in a flashback), Kate and Randall are shown sobbing on Miguel's couch, and Kate says that she has to be the one to tell Kevin that Jack is dead. She runs off to deliver the news.
If you've been paying attention to the timeline, you'll know that the Big Three was born on August 31, 1980. So, if Jack died when they were 17, that most likely means that he passed away in 1997 (or early 1998) — probably in the fall or winter because Rebecca has her Steelers jersey on and football is mostly a fall sport if you don't make it to the winter playoffs. This makes sense, as the funeral seen as shown in Season 1 of This Is Us had the Big Three as the same age that they are in the fire flashback. The Season 2 premiere also revealed that Jack most likely died in a house fire, with Rebecca sobbing over the charred ruins of what was once the house Jack bought for the family.
Viewers now know how and when Jack most likely died, but there are many more questions to be answered. The first is how long was the amount of time between when Jack recognized that he was an alcoholic and the house burning down? The children were teens during the former, so it's hard to know how long it took Jack to move back in with his family.
Another question has to deal with Kate — why does Kate blame herself for Jack's death? She's said it multiple times over the course of the show, but unless she set her childhood home ablaze, she probably had nothing directly to do with her father's death. When Kate and Toby talked about Jack in Season 1, Kate said that Jack got sick and died. If it were cancer, Kate could have said cancer. If it was heart disease, Kate could have said heart disease. But because she said that Jack was "sick," it seems like she's being obtuse on purpose and perhaps avoiding mentioning his alcoholism (which is a disease). Jack could have fallen off the wagon and accidentally burnt his own house down.
The hardest piece of the puzzle to come to terms with is the direct aftermath of Jack's death. Kate and Kevin clearly have each other to lean on, but Randall has always been on the outside. Will he be able to cope? We know he turned out OK in the present day, but it'll be hard watching the kids all grieve in the flashbacks. And Miguel and Rebecca will lean on each other, which will turn to romance. How long before they wait to get married? With every answer on This Is Us comes a set of questions — so buckle up for Season 2.