In an interview with Entertainment Weekly after the dramatic Feb. 4 episode, Ventimiglia said Jack's daughter Kate should not feel guilty for her father's death after the Pearson home went up in flames.
"Kate shouldn’t feel any guilt at all," the Emmy-nominated actor said. "There’s no guilt associated with that. It wasn’t her crying out for her dog that ultimately is responsible for Jack. Jack made a decision. I mean, it’s not that Jack just went in and grabbed the dog and ran out."
Ventimiglia pointed out that Jack made sure to pull out other items from the house, not just Kate's dog.
"Look at all those other treasures — those family memories that Jack pulled out," Ventimiglia pointed out. "The moon necklace! I mean, how? How, Jack? Even Rebecca said that at the hospital: 'How, Jack?' It’s just Jack, it’s who he is.
Ventimiglia thinks Kate, whose feelings of guilt over her father's death have hung over her adult life every day, should finally forgive herself.
"Kate needs to forgive herself, and what a beautiful moment she had with Toby, where she talks about how much her dad would have loved him, but how Toby is the one who saved her. Literally, saved her. Such a beautiful moment played by Chrissy [Metz] and Chris Sullivan," Ventigmiglia told EW.
"Dan, I think we’re approaching this wrong,” Ventimiglia told his boss, who thinks the dish towel left near the crock pot might have been to blame. “I’m going to put the blame on Jack. I mean, first of all, take some responsibility for your own self. He forgot the batteries [for the smoke detector]. You’ve got to know certain things in your house. I have, in my own home, a faulty light switch right now, which sometimes sparks. I’ve got to change that. I mean, Jack knew. George said, 'You gotta fiddle with the switch.' Maybe Jack didn’t want to pay attention. I’m going to put it on Jack, not the dish towel.
Jack's death was finally seen in the Feb. 4 episode "Super Bowl Sunday," which aired after Super Bowl LII. We learned that he suffered a heart attack after injesting too much smoke and soot from the fire. That fire was started after Jack forgot to make sure the family's old slowcooker was turned off. A nearby dish towel helped spread the fire.
New episodes of This Is Us will return on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. ET after the Winter Olympics.
Photo credit: NBC