Season 1 of This Is Us has been building and building on the mystery of Jack's death. Episodes have dropped hints and clues and nuggets of information, but we're still in the dark about how exactly he passed away sometime between the flashbacks we've seen so far and the present day. The Season 1 finale airs next week, and the question on many This Is Us fans' minds is how long we'll have to wait before we get the details on how he died. Creator Dan Fogelman said this about when we'll get our answer:
I describe it a little like pieces of information flying over the air and we let the audience grab them. They're slowly getting the shape of this big event in the family. Did it happen when the kids were in their 30s? Did it happen when the kids were younger? How did it happen? Was it sudden? Was it slow? We'll get a lot of that information, but the real story of it will play out not in the near, near future. In terms of seeing the moment where something happened to Jack, that's a little ways away. Where it will be finally all fully revealed, that's a ways off.
Unfortunately for any who were hoping we'd find out how Jack died in This Is Us Season 1, it sounds like we'll be waiting a while. Dan Fogelman's explanation to Variety that the reveal is still a ways off indicates that we'll continue watching the family react to Jack's death before we find out what exactly caused it. That said, we do know at least a little bit about the timing. Scenes from earlier in Season 1 places Jack's passing at some point when the three kids were teenagers, and we've seen that his drinking was causing problems at home.
All things considered, it was beginning to feel like we'd be in for a drunk driving car accident sooner rather than later. Now we may need to start theorizing all over again. If Dan Fogelman and Co. are hanging onto the reveal for a while still, it may mean that something more unexpected happened than a car accident. Fogelman had this to say about why the first season is ending the way that it is without explaining what happened to Jack:
By the time we get to the end of the season, we'll have done everything exactly as we set out to do. Very few details changed from my initial plan. The second season is going to play out much the same way. Whether we're going to be able to continue doing that without the audience ever becoming frustrated -- that's going to be one of our biggest challenges.
As much as I'd like to find out what happened to Jack as soon as possible, I do find it reassuring to know that Dan Fogelman has a plan in place. He clearly isn't winging it and making things up as he goes to draw out the tension, and that bodes well for how the story will be handled in Season 2. He's done a pretty stellar job with Season 1, and the ratings have reflected how well audiences are responding to his plots. Hopefully he can extend the mystery into Season 2 without annoying fans.
At least we don't have to worry about the show getting cancelled before the story resolves itself. This Is Us scored a huge renewal for two seasons earlier this year, so Dan Fogelman will have plenty of time to tell the story that he wants to tell. Season 1 ending without explaining everything may be a little easier to handle with the knowledge that Seasons 2 and 3 are already ordered.