Everything Will Change When 'This Is Us' Airs Its Next Episode

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Sorry, This Is Us (series writing: Kay Oyegun) fans — your favorite tearjerker show is pulling the television programming equivalent to when a friend of yours says, “I have a really great secret, but I can’t tell you.” Well, then why would you even say it in the first place? This Is Us has been teasing Jack’s death since, well, basically since it started, and now we’re on the cusp of something big. Like really big. Like great balls of fire (pun intended) big. Why isn’t This Is Us on tonight, Jan. 30? Because a huge reveal needs a huge night.

And a huge night it is — this year, This Is Us has nabbed that coveted post-Super Bowl airing spot. It’s a big deal for a show to get this time slot — shows like Friends, The X-Files, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Alias, and Glee have landed here. The Grey’s Anatomy episode, "It's The End Of The World," where there was a bomb in a body cavity and Meredith Grey had to keep her hand in there so it wouldn’t explode? Yeah, that was a post-Super Bowl show. This Is Us is about to reveal the biggest secret that it’s had so far, so suffice it to say that ratings will be huge, and rightfully so. This year, that post-Super Bowl spot will be on Sunday, Feb. 4, at about 10:00PM or 10:30PM ET, depending on if that little football game goes long.

And, it's going to be a seriously huge episode. The previous ep, entitled, “That’ll Be The Day,” got viewers as close as possible to seeing how Jack died on This Is Us, and it answered a lot of questions as to why Jack’s family is the way it is right now. Kate feels guilty, Kevin self-medicates, and Randall is seeking someone to make proud of him. Jack had a pretty good last day with his family, save for Kevin. He and Kevin had a fight, and because Kevin decided to sleep at his girlfriend’s house instead of coming home, they didn’t make up that night. And they never could, because a fire broke out, thanks to an electrical malfunction in a slow cooker and a lack of batteries in the smoke detector. Jack perished before Kevin could say he was sorry. Talk about scooping your guts out and leaving them outside of your body.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman said of the episode, “All signs point to that next week is going to be the Big One. This was always the plan from inception, that this time in Season 2 is when we’re going to show the answer to this question — and then let things progress in a different way beyond there, which people will see next week as well.”

Oh, and I hope everyone bought enough tissues for the episode, because it’s going to be a doozy. “Generally speaking, when people are getting emotional or crying over the show, there’s a hint of melancholy to it, but it’s also an uplifting, cathartic, emotional cry. Next week is a very, very heavy episode, and I think the end of this week’s episode and next week’s episode have a different kind of emotional reaction to them,” said Fogelman. “The episode is alternately thrilling and brutally heartbreaking and sad. And then surprising. If you stick with it and can make it through it, it’s very rewarding.”

Rewarding? I mean, I love a good cry like the next person, but I have a feeling that my eyes will be so swollen shut I won’t be able to go to the office that Monday.

Apparently, the effects of the episode are something to awe, too. Mandy Moore, who plays Rebecca, told Cosmopolitan, “We had to shoot for three nights in the in middle of nowhere. They rebuilt the house in order to be able to burn it, and it was intense to say the least. I’d never done anything like that before.” The actor told Entertainment Tonight, "I can't wait for fans to see our Super Bowl episode. People will get a lot of answers and will be able to move forward. I think for everybody's sake it'll be a good thing."

Again, a good thing? Man, these This Is Us people are sadists! No matter what the Super Bowl episode of This Is Us brings, it’s going to be big, and it’s going to dredge up as many questions as it answers. And it's going to be pretty painful, so bring out the tissues, folks.