‘This Is Us’ Season Premiere Recap: Jack’s Cause of Death Becomes Clearer and Even Sadder

This Is Us returned for its second season Tuesday, September 26, and we got some answers about Kevin, Kate and Randall’s future and past—including a major clue about Jack’s death. Let’s dive in to the most noteworthy moments from “A Father’s Advice.”

This Is Us
Hannah Zeile as Kate age 15, Logan Shroyer as Kevin age 15, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Niles Fitch as Randall age 15 on ‘This Is Us’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kate’s Not-So-Big Break

Taking the first step toward pursuing a singing career, Kate (Chrissy Metz) decided to audition for the “17th best-reviewed wedding band in California.” Only, when she arrived at the audition, she found a room full of size 2 singers and lost her nerve.

Kate later overheard Toby (Chris Sullivan) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) arguing over which one of them should take care of her, which reminded Kate that she doesn’t need a man to coddle or push her.

She went back to the audition and demanded they let her sing. A few bars in, she was cut off — not because of her size, but because, according to some nameless guy, she just doesn’t have the talent. Kate didn’t let his criticism deter her, though, and became more determined than ever to work her way up.

Kevin, the Third Wheel

Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) couldn’t make it to L.A. for Kevin’s birthday (did we mention it was the Big Three’s 37th birthday?), so he third-wheeled with Toby and Kate, which drove Toby absolutely crazy. Toby wanted to be the guy in Kate’s life, although Kevin has long been that for his sister.

Eventually, Kevin agreed to step back and let Toby take over. But Kevin wasn’t all alone for his birthday. Sophie surprised him and gave him a sweet birthday kiss.

Randall and Beth Want to Adopt … a Teenager

Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) just couldn’t see eye to eye on adopting a baby. Beth was convinced Randall just wanted to replicate his exact adoption experience to honor his fathers. Lots of tension in a meeting with an adoption agency led to Randall telling his wife they are “perfectly imperfect” and he’s willing to adjust his plan for her. That’s when she took him to William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) favorite spot, where they saw a young boy being offered alcohol. Together, they agreed to adopt an older kid — one that no one else wants to help.

This Is Us
Milo Ventimiglia as Jack on ‘This Is Us’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Rebecca and Jack Aren’t Over (Yet)

Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) told their kids about their decision to separate — or as they called it “take a moment to catch our breath.” Jack went to stay with Miguel (Jon Huertas) and waited for Rebecca to call. Finally, she knocked on the door and told him to come home. He admitted that he’d been covering up a serious drinking problem for a while and said he needed to fix it on his own. A quick beat later, Rebecca told him to get in the car so they could fix it together.

Jack’s Cause of Death Revealed?

In the final minutes of the premiere, we flashed to the night of Jack’s death. Rebecca was driving with Jack’s possessions in a plastic bag in the front seat. Miguel told Kate and Randall, who were sobbing on his couch, he’d find pillows for them. Kevin was busy making out with Sophie. Rebecca drove up to what was left of a house charred by a massive fire and started screaming and weeping uncontrollably. Is this the answer to our long-festering question about Jack’s death? Did he die in a house fire?

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

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