This Is Us is emotionally manipulative, y’all, because they’ve told me that Jack Pearson is dead and yet the show keeps finding new ways to make me fall deeper and deeper in love with him. It’s cold, I have to tell you. First, he’s giving pep talks to his kids, and then he’s selling everything he owns for his family, and now, he’s doing his best Madonna and Vogue-ing with Kate at her birthday party. I mean, how is this fair? Luckily, This Is Us gave us a little more insight on his death—Jack seems to have passed away on This Is Us when his kids were teenagers, and that could have shaped the rest of their lives.
Like I said, the fact that Jack is dead isn’t a secret, but the how, when, and why are mysteries. Now, the when is a little clearer—while at her weight loss camp, Kate sees a little flash of her father’s funeral while she’s banging the floor and working out some stuff in her drumming class. Later, at the end of the episode, a more robust showing of Jack’s funeral is seen—the kids are much more grown than they were at their ten-year-old birthday parties (especially the Pearson sons), and Rebecca (aka the flawless Mandy Moore) seems not to have aged that much. Jack’s picture on the programs for the funeral also looks a lot like he looked when the kids were ten, so again, not a very, very long time after their joint three-way birthday parties.
All of the Pearson kids clearly still have issues with Jack’s death, and I think that Kate is the one who needs to work through them the most. Perhaps she will do that in her weight-loss camp, as just one of those drumming classes clearly unearthed a lot of feelings she had deep down inside. We don’t know how Jack died on This Is Us, but it was during his children’s formative years, which definitely has haunted them all of their lives.