'This Is Us' Hinted at Jack's Cause of Death During Series Premiere

This Is Us set up Jack Pearson's (Milo Ventimiglia) death in numerous ways, but we think we spotted another early hint.

It was previously noted that a carefully framed shot in "Pilot" of Jack and a birthday candle could have been foreshadowing, but now that we know the true cause of Jack's death, there may have been another.

In the series premiere, one of the final moments shows Jack talking with firefighter Joe (Brian Oblak). After Joe tells Jack about Randall, whom Joe had just dropped off at the hospital, he offers Jack a cigarette.

Specifically, he asks him, "Smoke?"

Jack quickly replies, "No. Thank you."

In the original context, the scene simply served as a pivoting point to reveal Jack and his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) were actually in 1980. However, viewers now know that the Pearson patriarch died of a heart attack after smoke inhalation. This reference of smoke could be an example of the show's foreshadowing.

While this might just be a coincidence, the show is known for leaving foreshadowing hints throughout the series. We're willing to bet this was a tiny clue about Jack's fate later in the series.

This is not the only Jack death hint that was recently uncovered in "Pilot." During a discussion with Entertainment Weekly, Ventimiglia and This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman dished on a subtle dialogue hint that is present in the eposode.

"There was a line between Randall and William where Randall says, 'Well, my father, who’s not around anymore,' and if you pay enough attention to the pilot, that line was missing," Ventimiglia said. "But William still says, 'He must’ve been proud of you.' He used past tense."

"So I’ve known from the beginning, and Dan has always assured me, 'Now, Mi, Jack is dead, but it doesn’t mean you’re going anywhere,'" he continued.

Season 1 was littered with clues about Jack's death, but most pointed to Kate's reveal that Jack was cremated in an urn on her mantle as the first indication of his death. However, this phrasing from William was apparently a subtle reference that most just plain missed.


This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, with past episodes currently streaming on Hulu.

Photo Credit: NBC