We Finally Know How The Fire Starts On This Is Us — And It's Heartbreaking

Last night's episode was an epic sobfest.
This is Us fire Photo, Ron Batzdorff/NBC.

Fans of This Is Us finally got the answer they'd been waiting for since season 1: what caused the fire.

Last night's episode details Jack's final day, and let me tell you, it is heart-wrenching. I thought I was prepared — I have been mourning his death every Tuesday for weeks — but I was not prepared, and neither are you. Trust me.

All poor Jack wanted to do was enjoy the 1998 Super Bowl, but — spoilers ahead! — a giant storm was brewing in the Pearson household.

If you recall, the last time we saw Jack, he decided he wanted to try starting up his construction company, "Big Three Homes," again, but he's also struggling to quell his urge to drink. So he throws himself into building a new entertainment centre for his family and wants to make Super Bowl Sunday (the last one before the kids go to college, might we add) the best it can be. So sweet, right?


All of this effort is virtually lost on his dumb teenagers — Randall is enveloped in his crush on Alison, Kate is stressing about the final submission round for the Berklee College of Music and Kevin is being his infuriating, sulking self. Before the game even starts, every member of the Big Three has ditched Jack's family day. Randall heads to the movies with his new boo, Kate hits the road to hang with friends, and Kevin, harbouring a lot of anger about his failed football career, tells his parents that he's pissed he's going to end up like them (read: without a professional athletic career or any significant life achievements). Ouch.

The only sort of nice part about how annoying Randall, Kate and Kev are being is that Rebecca and Jack get to hang out solo. They make plans for the future, deciding to go into business together as house-flippers as a precursor to branching out into a full-fledged construction company, and they eat chili and have very passionate sex. It's a very normal day... until it's not.

That night, Jack is cleaning up Rebecca's mess in the kitchen when he wipes down the counters with what you think is a random red towel. When he's done, Jack casually tosses the towel next to the Crock Pot, which, apparently, was given to Jack by a neighbour years ago, with a finicky knob, to boot. Flash forward to the night after the 1998 Super Bowl Sunday, and that stupid Crock Pot turns back on with a spark, which ignites the red towel and starts a fire. Cue the extremely sad montage of all the great Pearson memories in the house that is burning to the ground.

randall this is us gif of him taking off glasses and crying (Photo: GIPHY)

So... gonna think twice about that Super Bowl Sunday slow-cooker action? Me too.


Even though the episode ends on an intense cliff-hanger (we don't see anything after the flames start creeping up the stairs), fans of the show are already losing their minds with sadness.

The irony was lost on no one that the second part to this episode will air on February 4, the same day as the 2018 Super Bowl...

... and one person on Twitter even went as far to say that Jack's death was more heartbreaking than Derek Shepard's. While I am one of the last remaining Grey's Anatomy obsessives, I might have to agree.

Thank god we have Sterling K. Brown. As long as we have Sterling K. Brown, everything will be okay.

To sum it up, the writers behind This Is Us have basically sliced our chests open. Tune in next week to have your heart fully ripped out! In the meantime, twist the knife a little further by watching the trailer for the episode on February 4.


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