Entertainment Weekly reported that Mandy Moore warned This Is Us fans to look for clues in the Season 2 premiere — which means that everything means something. So, while some fans may be hung up on Kevin's cast, or Kate's dog, or Randall's girlfriend — I want to talk about what's in Jack's property bag on This Is Us. As Rebecca drove up to her burnt house, what appear to be her husband's personal effects sit on the passenger seat. The contents seem simple enough — a watch, a wedding band, keys, a notebook. But, they could reveal so much more about the night Jack died.
To start, it seems as though this bag is the kind handed to loved ones when someone dies in a hospital. In it are the things they were wearing or had on them when they passed away. If Jack was injured in the fire and taken to the hospital, only to die there, his personal items would have been returned to Rebecca in a bag like that. But, what do these items mean for Jack and the storyline?
If Jack was wearing his wedding ring at his time of death, it means that he and Rebecca were still married when he died. (As if they would ever divorce. Also, I still will never forgive Miguel for swooping in). But, it's also worth noting that his belongings seem in good shape (including a notepad). Perhaps he didn't die in the actual house fire, but died of too much smoke inhalation or something else related to the fire but not having to do with actual flames. That notebook would have been a goner otherwise.
It's too hard to read what the actual notebook says, but some on Twitter have theorized that it's a notebook used to journal about rehab or recovery. We know Jack admitted to being an alcoholic, maybe he was in AA or rehab when he died?
But, the bag doesn't just have had to come from a hospital. Another time your loved one may get a bag of personal effects? When you go to prison and have to leave your possessions behind. Maybe these items didn't come from Jack's death at a hospital at all. Maybe Jack burnt the house down in a drunken stupor and was arrested for doing so. Or, maybe he realized after the fire that he needed to go to rehab and left his personal belongings with Rebecca during his stay. Just Believe Recovery Center suggests leaving valuables, including jewelry, at home when you check in for treatment. This could explain the watch and ring being in the bag.
Just because the Pearsons' home burnt down doesn't mean that's how Jack died. This show is notorious for clever twists and bait and switches. And, in that interview with EW, Moore cautioned viewers that the fire isn't the ultimate reveal. “We don’t know the full story,” she said. “We’ll just say that. That’s just a piece of the puzzle.”
It's also entirely possible that this isn't Jack's bag at all. There's no name on it. After all, Rebecca doesn't become visibly distraught until she sees the house — the bag sits in the car for the entire drive and doesn't appear to overly phase her. It would be pretty out there for it to be a bag of someone else's belongings, but it could happen. Maybe her mother or father died. That's probably unlikely, but I'm not ruling anything out until we know for sure — and fans shouldn't either. After all, if Moore is telling you to keep your eyes peeled for clues, you shouldn't take anything at face value for now.