This Is Us fans felt a pit in their stomachs when Jack Pearson chose to go back into the house fire to save the family dog and a few family mementos.
After what felt like an eternity, where both fans and the Pearson family watched as the house burned with Jack still inside, everyone collectively sighed when Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and the dog came out the front door, seemingly unharmed. Tragically, Jack would later suffer a heart attack due to smoke inhalation and lose his life in the hospital emergency room.
While Jack remained a hero in his family's — and viewers' — eyes until his death, Ventimiglia said it would not have ended the same way had Jack known he would die.
"No," Ventimiglia said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter when asked if Jack would have still gone back into the house if he had known the risks. "I don't think anyone faced with that, especially to pick up a few prized family memories, no. Because the real goal is to be there for your family, so I don't think Jack would have gone back in for those things had he known."
"But we never know that as people and Jack's best intentions and just who he is as a man, of course he was going to go back in," he continued. "And he did! He ran in and he got everything and he got out. But Jack is no fireman. He doesn't understand fire or smoke or any of that. He's just a dad and a husband and for him, he was just reacting as fast as he could and adapting to what was in front of him."
Ventimiglia also teased many more Pearson family mysteries that are left to be uncovered following Jack's death.
"...I'm happy that a larger piece of that is out of the way, but there are still secrets to uncover and things to know about this man, this patriarch of the family," he said.
He also revealed that, despite his character's death, he will be back as a series regular for the upcoming third season of the hit NBC drama.
"Oh, yeah, of course. I was never going to leave the show," the actor said.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC