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Wait — Now Jack Doesn’t Die in a Fire on This Is Us?

How can the internet possibly hold more theories about Jack’s death on This is Us? At this point, we’ve been through them all, from the idea that he could have died on 9/11 to the theory that he died in a drunk-driving crash to the theory that he ran back into the burning house to save Kate and/or her dog. Just when we thought we were at least in agreement he died in a house fire caused by a faulty slow cooker, a new theory offers that he may have survived the flames — at least long enough to get to the hospital.

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Kaitlin Reilly writes on Refinery29 that there are at least two big hints that the patriarch, played by Milo Ventimiglia, doesn’t go up in smoke quite as everyone has concluded. First and foremost, in the Season 2 premiere, we see Mandy Moore’s character, Rebecca, driving by the burned house on the night of the fire. In the seat next to her are a few of Jack’s personal possessions — things that would have likely been on him at the time of the fire, like his watch and wedding band. This implies that he made it out, if only long enough to be rushed to the hospital.

Likewise, a later scene with children Kate and Randall at Miguel’s house promotes the same hospital theory: Where is Rebecca during this moment? If she isn’t with her kids, she might be with the only person as important: Jack, who’s in critical condition at the hospital. This also explains another scene when Rebecca parks in front of the house and sobs — maybe she is upset at the prospect of breaking the news of his death to her children.

More: This Is Us Is Helping Me Grieve My Deceased Brother

Audiences have been waiting for months to solve the mystery of Jack’s death, and the show’s creators assure us we will find out exactly what happened on the next episode, which airs this weekend directly after the Super Bowl.

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Sterling K. Brown, who plays the adult Randall, told Entertainment Weekly the reveal will be worth the wait, and that episode will be epic — but let’s be honest. We all knew we would need a box of tissues going in. Brown also said that although the episode will explain a lot, it will also make room for the show to continue to develop and grow.

“It’s intense,” he said. “I’m telling you, it’s intense. But it’s beautiful. It will give you the payoff after this much anticipation of ‘How does he die?’ I think you will be satisfied with the culmination — and then also how the story moves on.”

The next episode after the Jack storyline reveal will air just two days after the Super Bowl, on Feb. 6 on NBC.

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