We’re still impatiently waiting for (and agonizing over) the day we finally figure out how Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died in the flashback portion of “This Is Us.” The show has given us little to no clues about how he died, but we do know at least a few things about his demise.
First of all, we know that he died during the kids teenage years thanks to the small sneak peek we got at his funeral. We also know that Rebecca (Mandy Moore) eventually remarried Miguel (Jon Huertas), of all people, and they’ve been together for a substantial amount of time.
We also know that though Kevin (Justin Hartley), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) have all spoken about his loss and how much they miss him, Kate is the one who has had the most visceral reaction to the memory of Jack’s death. During a drumstick therapy session at her immersive weight loss program, she literally found herself screaming at the memory of his funeral.
During this therapy session, Kate’s instructor prompted the class to let out their negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, rage, etc. The one emotion in the list that stood out to us? Guilt.
Kate chose to focus not only on her weight, but also on the death of her father. The more she focused on it, the more emotional she got. We can’t be the first ones to think Kate’s body image and weight issues might have something to do with Jack’s death, can we?
While she’s obviously always struggled with her weight (some of the earliest flashbacks we’ve seen of her childhood show her being teased for it), it was never a big enough issue to warrant risky surgery or intensive therapy. She also seemed to be a pretty reliable dieter as a kid, rather than the binge-eater she became in the present timeline. At some point in her adult life, she went from being heavy to being seriously overweight, and we’re starting to think the tipping point might have been Jack’s death.
There’s got to be a reason Kate tied her negative emotions about her weight to the grief she’s still obviously feeling about her father. Could it be that Kate feels guilty for some reason about Jack’s death? Is that why she became an over-eater — as a way to cope?
Obviously, we’ll have to wait for further evidence to crop up — seriously, ANY evidence at all about Jack’s demise would be an improvement at this point — but there’s definitely a story there. And more than likely, it’ll have us reaching for the tissues yet again.
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.