Since its debut only four months ago, This Is Us has earned some big ratings and cemented itself as one of the best spots on TV for anyone who is interested in shedding a vial of tears every week. And no one expected that was going to stop soon or anything, but we all might want to stockpile on tissues, as it appears the NBC drama will finally soon give audiences details behind the death of Jack. When? Oh, just next week's episode is all. According to This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman:
Next week's episode is a big episode. There's a before and after to this family. Before Jack, and after. That'll be really interesting... to show where that hinge was. You'll learn when [Jack died]...and then, much later, how.
Dan Fogelman knows that audiences are extremely eager to get the ins and outs of what happened to Jack between the series' central timelines, but he also knows that part of what audiences are attached to is the non-linear way information is offered. So building up the curiosity about Jack's fate was definitely intended, with the apparent goal of hitting viewers with an info-bomb destined to cause floods from viewers' sobs. At least, that's what it sounds like when talking about the show at this year's TCA winter press tour (via TVLine).
A clip from next week's episode, titled "Three Sentences," was screened for TCA press, and it showed Chrissy Metz's Kate heading to a drum therapy class, and she is then rocked by memories of Jack's funeral. I can think of several real life funerals that would be less depressing than This Is Us putting Jack to rest. This week's episode was set entirely in the past and focused on the lead-up to the three siblings' births, and it would be a dramatically perfect move to follow that loving shot of Jack and his kids with an episode all about his death.
Well, it probably isn't all about his death. In fact, one could argue that Dan Fogelman wasn't even referring to this episode when talking about the "how" aspect of Jack's death. "Much later" is a weird thing to say when talking about a single episode of TV, unless he's speaking in the timeline context. So tricky. But so good.
If you and your This Is Us-viewing friends have predictions for Jack's demise, shamelessly let us know them in the comments. This Is Us airs Tuesday nights on NBC, where it will be for at least two more seasons thanks to today's big renewal. Head over to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything else that's coming to the small screen in the near future.