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‘This Is Us’ Fans’ New Theory About Jack’s Death Will Blow Your Mind

If you’re watching the buzzy new NBC drama This Is Us, chances are you’ve been racking your brain for weeks in an effort to figure out how Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) dies, not to mention what leads his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), to marry Jack’s best friend, Miguel (Jon Huertas). Needless to say, you’re not alone.

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Since the show began, This Is Us–ians (a new fandom name we just coined) have been busy conjuring up theories on all corners of the Web about what may have happened to the beloved patriarch, and some of the ideas are rather intriguing.

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One viewer’s guess about how Jack meets his demise centers around Kate (Chrissy Metz) and how she dealt with boyfriend Toby (Chris Sullivan) and his recent heart issues. As is common knowledge to any This Is Us-ian (the name is catchy, right?), we first discovered that Jack had passed away when Kate showed Toby the urn in her living room containing her father’s ashes. In a more recent episode, she freaked out at her off-on boyfriend when he initially refused to get surgery for his heart condition. Could this be a hint about Jack? One fan seems convinced:

Another fan theory, posted recently on Tumblr, suggests that perhaps Jack died on 9/11. The theory from user Just-an-outlaw points out that Jack’s kids all seem nervous on planes, plus Kevin (Justin Hartley) destroyed the model airplanes that he had previously constructed with his father.

Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia
Mandy Moore (left) and Milo Ventimiglia (center) as Rebecca and Jack, with their children, Kate, Kevin and Randall, on ‘This Is Us.’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

And, of course, no discussion about Jack’s death is complete without the one idea that just about every viewer of the hit show has presumably been clinging to: that the guy is somehow still alive. Check out a tweet that suggests how the epic fake out could potentially be explained by the show’s team:

During the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour on January 18, series creator Dan Fogelman said that the January 24 episode would provide a major step toward answering questions about Jack’s passing, although the full story wouldn’t become clear until many episodes down the road.

“[The January 24 episode] is a big week, and we then have a while to go in the big picture,” Fogelman revealed. “The needle we have to continue to thread is parsing out information so it never becomes too frustrating for people, but at the same point, it’s obvious there’s a before and after to this family.

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“Slowly but surely, you will learn when [he died], then, much later, how [he died] and then we’ll see it,” he continued. “But that will take hopefully many, many episodes.”

Tell Us: How do you think Jack dies?

This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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