The 'This Is Us' Super Bowl Episode Finally Revealed How Jack Died


For two seasons, we’ve known that This Is Us patriarch Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) would die, and now we finally know exactly how it happened.

The NBC series follows Jack and his family — wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and children Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley), and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) — through the highs and lows of their lives in the past and present, every episode following a themed but non-linear structure. The show is famous for making its audience weep, but this week’s post-Super Bowl episode was the mother of all cry-fests. According to creator Dan Fogelman, the aptly named “Super Bowl Sunday” would be “inarguably our saddest episode.” He wasn’t lying.

As promised, the episode picked up where the last one left off, with the Pearson home ablaze after Jack accidentally left a faulty crockpot on high. After helping Rebecca, Kate, and Randall escape (Kevin wasn’t home), Jack went back into the house to save Kate’s puppy. It looked like that was going to be it for Jack, but then he emerges from the front door with the dog and a bag full of family heirlooms. It was a clever subversion of expectations, and brought some temporarily relief. Bu then the audience is reminded, in present time, that he did indeed die that night, and so began a painstaking waiting game. What would be the thing to kill him, if it not the fire?

In the end, it was still the fire. At the hospital, Jack’s burns were tended and the doctor (played by guest star Bill Irwin) warned him that he’d need to take it slow because of how much smoke he inhaled. Rebecca, relieved that her husband was alive but stressed about the loss of her house, stepped into the lobby to make a few calls and get Jack a snack. But behind her, the doctors rushed to Jack’s room, signaling something went wrong. Moments later, the doctor finds Rebecca and tells her that Jack suffered a fatal “widow maker” heart attack as a result of the smoke in his lungs.

Super Bowl Sunday is a day of sadness — and celebration — for the Pearsons

This Is Us has a thing with anniversaries and traditions. The Pearson children and Jack all share a birthday, and Jack’s obsession with the Super Bowl — it was his favorite day of the year, according to Randall — ironically sealed his fate, as he died on Super Bowl Sunday. To memorialize their patriarch, the remaining Pearsons each carry out their own tradition. Rebecca makes Jack’s favorite food (lasagna) and watches the game alone, Randall throws giant Super Bowl parties with his family, Kate watches a tape of her singing that her father saved from the fire, and Kevin… well, Kevin used to get blackout wasted and have sex with models, but, as a recovering alcoholic, tries to find new ways to cope. That ends up being a trip to “dad’s tree,” which he visits and reflects on their relationship and his failures as a son.

Each family member gets a monologue about what Jack meant to them individually, and how they hope to carry forward his legacy. Kate still blames herself — if Jack hadn’t gone back to rescue her dog, he might have lived — but is finding solace with boyfriend Toby, who reminds her of her dad. Randall tells his daughter Tess that he strives to live up to his Jack’s excellence as a father, and knows he can because he loves her so much. And Rebecca looks for signs of Jack’s humor in what should be a mopey day — and does in the form of Kevin, who confesses over the phone that he might be at the wrong tree.

It’s clear that the Pearsons will never fully recover from Jack’s death, and that he still informs every piece of their life. But though all of them have let his death hold them back in the past, they’re all working toward their greatest goal: to make him proud.


There was another twist in the episode

Jack’s death wasn’t the only big moment of “Super Bowl Sunday.” We were also treated to a classic This Is Us twist. Throughout the episode, we see a side story of a young foster boy about to be matched with a family. We assume Randall, Beth, and the girls are the family in question, until we see that it’s a white family — and an aged Randall walks in afterwards. What we’re actually seeing is the future. A grown up Tess is the boy’s social worker, a touching trajectory for the girl who had earlier confessed she was worried her dad was trying to replace her with a foster kid. To know that she turned her father’s message about his own great dad into a career is a touching moment, and shows how Jack lives on in his grandkids.

Will Jack return?

Yes, he’s dead, but fear not: Milo Ventimiglia is here to stay. He shows up in the preview for next week, and according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in January, he’ll still be a major part of the show going forward: “I’m not going away from the show, Jack is still around. There is still so much story to mine in this world of This Is Us,” Ventimiglia told the magazine.

That’s good news for fans still recovering from the emotional trauma of “Super Bowl Sunday.” Jack Pearson gave his life to save his family, and luckily we’ll have even more stories about what happened before that point.Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Lindsey Romain is a writer and editor living in Chicago. She covers politics for Teen Vogue and has also appeared in Vulture, Birth.Movies.Death, and more. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyromain.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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