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The 4 most popular ‘This Is Us’ theories to explain how Jack died

Charmaine Blake



Jack Pearson, please don’t go.

Image: Ron Batzdorff/NBC 

Warning: Spoilers for the first and second seasons of This Is Us ahead.

After nearly two full seasons, This Is Usfinally revealed how the life-changing fire at the Pearson family home started, and ever since we’ve been hardcore Randall-ing out.

In Tuesday’s episode, titled “That’ll Be the Day,” fans learned that a finicky old Crock-Pot is to blame for the destructive blaze that may (or may not) end Jack’s life. But as the house went up in flames the episode left viewers on perhaps one of the most painful cliffhangers in the history of television.

As we anxiously await the remaining episodes, which promise to answer some of our most long-standing questions about Jack’s death, we can’t help but agonize over how our favorite TV dad is about to die.

So in direct defiance of Milo Ventimiglia’s wish that we all stop obsessing over how his character died and instead celebrate his life, here are four of the most popular theories that could explain how Jack Pearson will meet his demise.

1. Jack dies rescuing Kate

Many fans are clinging for dear life to a noteworthy confession Kate made to Toby in the Season 1 episode “What Now?” in which she claimed responsibility for her dad’s death.

“You remember when I told you I couldn’t talk about my dad’s death? … That’s because I… it’s my fault. I’m the reason he’s dead,” Kate said.

With those words in mind the most plain and simple scenario would be that Jack dies attempting to rescue his daughter from the fire — but when has an episode of This Is Us ~ever~ been simple?

In the dramatically heartbreaking preview for “Across the Border” (S2, Ep14) we see Jack rushing to lead his wife and children to safety as the fire spreads throughout their house. Kate appears to be trapped behind some burning wood, screaming “Dad!” so this could theory could wind up playing out, but we have a feeling there’s a lot more to it.

2. Jack braves the fire to rescue the dog

For those who find the first theory a bit too predictable, consider this: Jack dies rescuing the family dog, Louie.

As we’ve come to learn from past episodes Kate absolutely adores this dog, so it’s possible that after the family makes it out safely she breaks down after realizing the dog’s still inside. 

We could totally see Jack risking his life to save a dog. (Heck, we could see him risking his life to rescue that tape he recorded of Kate singing into her mirror for goodness sake.)

More clues that support this theory popped up in Tuesday’s episode when viewers saw a present-day Kate nervously considering and eventually adopting a new dog. In flashback mode we also saw a heartfelt moment where Jack pet Louie right before the fire started.

BTW, we already know the pup survives, as he was shown in a flashback with a shaken-up Kate and Randall at Miguel’s house, after the fire.

3. Jack dies attempting to save Kevin (???!)

Forget Kate for a second, because a new theory reported by Cosmopolitan suggests Jack dies trying to save Kevin. Huh?

Though viewers are made aware Kevin is spending the night at his girlfriend Sophie’s house from a phone call seen between him and his mom, Rebecca, Cosmo suggests Rebecca forgot to inform Jack that Kevin wouldn’t be returning home that night.

Kevin calling his mom to say he won’t be returning home.

Image: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Later in the episode when Randall came home from his date Jack said to him, “I thought you were Kevin,” which leads us to believe Jack was still expecting Kevin to arrive home later that evening.

Then, before going upstairs to bed Jack wrote Kevin a note explaining if he didn’t see him before heading to work the next day he loved him, and that Kevin owed him and Rebecca an apology for the way he acted earlier.

The theory suggests that if Jack was under the impression Kevin was downstairs in his room as the house burned (with his leg in a cast, don’t forget,) he could die attempting to save him.

(Though if this were actually the case, why would Kate be blaming herself for Jack’s death?)

4. Jack doesn’t actually die in the fire

Things are rarely what they seem on This Is Us, so bear with us while we ponder that maybe, just maybe, this fire isn’t technically what kills Jack.

We know the house burns down, sure, but do we really think this great man is just going to burn alive at the hands of a Crock-Pot?! We wouldn’t put it past the writers to have everyone make it out safely only to have another tragic event happen, like a car accident on the way to the hospital, or something that would further tear our wounded hearts to shreds.

Back in October, Bustle also brought up a very good point that when the house fire occurs Kevin has a cast on his leg, but he doesn’t appear to have the cast on at Jack’s funeral — a possible indication that some time passed between the fire and his death.

Unfortunately, the end is near

If Jack were to get out of the fire alive what would that even mean? Would smoke inhalation land him in the hospital for a while? Would he fall into a soap opera-like coma for a few weeks? 

No matter how it happens, it’s coming up fast.

“Did he die in the fire? Did he get out of the fire? … We’re not misdirecting — he didn’t die four years later,” show-runner Dan Fogelman said about Jack’s death, according to Bustle.

All we know for sure is that Rebecca returns to the family’s decimated house as a few firefighters are still on the scene. She’s wearing the same Steelers shirt she wore earlier on that fateful Super Bowl Sunday, and a bag of Jack’s belongings — including his wedding ring, wallet, and more — is next to her on the passenger seat.

For some concrete answers, be sure to tune in to the next revealing episode, airing directly after the Super Bowl on Feb. 4. And for the love of all things worth waiting for, don’t forget to set your DVR for additional time in case the game runs long.

Also, remember to buy extra tissues on your Super Bowl snacks grocery trip. And batteries! ALWAYS BATTERIES. Okay, bye.

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HBO drops new ‘Westworld’ Season 2 photos for you to analyze and obsess over



Evan Rachel Wood is not your Season 1 Dolores anymore

Image: hbo

We are so very close to returning to Westworld, which premieres on April 22. HBO just released the very first new images and they are as tantalizing as they are gorgeous.

Some include interesting new developments that hint at where Season 2’s plot will go:

Simon Quarterman (left), Thandie Newton (right)

Image: hbo

Here we see Maeve with her human capture, as we’ve seen bits of in the trailer.

Maev will undoubtedly steal the show again

Image: HBO

But something we haven’t seen much of yet is evidence that Maeve goes back to Westworld. Presuming this isn’t a flashback, we’ll see her in the new host-ruled park again.

Talulah Riley makes a surprise return

Image: hbo

Talulah Riley had a pretty minimal role in Season 1 as the cheerful host who greeted guests during the flashback scenes. But Deadline reported that she would be taking on a bigger, lead role in Season 2: “She will prove to be one of the last faces many guests will ever see.”

Jeffrey Wright (left) and Tessa Thompson (right)

Image: HBO

Bernard and corporate shill Charlotte teaming up together? Say it ain’t so, Bernard!

Evan Rachel Wood (left) James Marsden (right)

Image: hbo

The relationship between Dolores and Teddy is definitely about to take an interesting turn.

And here’s a look at the rest, which include new and returning cast members (who are confirmed not dead):

Ed Harris returns as The Man in Black

Image: hbo

First look at new cast member Fares Fares

Image: hbo

Rodrigo Santoro returns as everyone’s favorite bandit

Image: hbo

Some other new additions to the cast in this shot of Betty Gabriel, Luke Hemsworth, Gustaf Skarsgard, and Jeffrey Wright

Image: hbo

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Welp, now we know why ‘Good Girls Revolt’ was canceled

Charmaine Blake



Jeff Bezos’ Hollywood dreams aren’t just coming true they’re paying off.

Image: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Amazon

Amazon has been mum about how it makes many of its (sometimes questionable) entertainment programming decisions. Now, based on leaked internal documents, it looks like the answer is cold hard cash.

Reuters has acquired Amazon financial information that for the first time provides insight into just how profitable and widely watched Amazon’s Prime Originals and streaming service are. Significantly, the documents shed light on the financial strategy of Prime Originals — specifically, how Amazon’s entertainment venture contributes to the growth of its Prime subscriber base, and overall subscription business profitability.

Amazon has never released statistics on its total Prime subscriber numbers. But according to the documents, Amazon Prime has a total U.S. audience of about 26 million viewers, which includes its originals as well as shows it licenses from other companies.

Prime Originals’ top television shows drove 5 million new Prime subscriptions by early 2017, according to the leaked documents. Reuters notes that using entertainment programming to draw customers to a Prime subscription is a key proponent of Amazon’s business strategy, a strategy that Jeff Bezos spoke to at a 2016 technology conference. Bezos said at the same conference that users who come to Prime through entertainment are more likely to convert to full-fledged subscriptions through free trials, renew subscriptions annually at higher rates, and even buy more products. So a Prime subscriber drawn in through Originals programming is a valuable one.

And Amazon knows it. 

The documents show that Amazon calculates a direct return on investment for each show, based on what it costs to produce versus how many Prime subscriptions it drives. For example, The Man in the High Castle cost $72 million to produce and market, but drove 1.15 million new Prime subscribers. That comes out to a cost of $63 per new Prime subscriber — which is far less than the annual Prime fee of $99. Cha-ching!

The show Good Girls Revolt didn’t achieve similar success in converting viewers to subscribers. It cost $81 million to produce, but only drove 52,000 “first streams” (i.e. new viewers) on Amazon. That made its cost per new customer $1,560 — more than ten times the cost of a one year prime subscription.

Guess which show is still on the air. 

(It’s ‘High Castle‘ — Good Girls Revolt was canceled after its first season despite a massive outcry from fans. Now, we know a bit more about why).

Reuters provides a handy graph to illustrate the direct comparison between a show’s overall cost, and its cost per new subscriber.

Critics have questioned Amazon’s programming decisions, saying at times that they were driven by sexism, at times that it was the experiment of a Hollywood outsider. But these financials show that there is indeed a method to Amazon’s madness. 

However, is there a downside to evaluating shows based on the new viewers they bring in, as opposed to how well they’re satisfying existing customers? The documents don’t reveal whether this is part of the cancel vs. renew equation. But for loyal Amazon subscribers and viewers, it’s not a good look.

Whether you approve of Amazon’s apparent new viewer-to-subscriber business strategy, one thing’s for sure: Amazon’s entertainment venture is paying off, big time.

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We’re already invested in the ‘Rise’ companion web series



NBC’s Rise — a new show about a group of high school students putting on a musical and their trials and tribulations is about the kids who are stars. The companion web series, however, focuses on an entirely different part of high school theater: The understudies.

The Understudies‘ digital videos will follow students not at the forefront of Stanton High School’s production of Spring Awakening. Though we find out about the group through Michael (Ellie Desautels), we’ve already got a core cast of stage-starved misfits ready to charm.

The first installment of Understudies isn’t super subtle, focusing mainly on one girl who thinks she deserves a lead in the musical because she put in time with the teacher and did tech for a whole year (tech ≠ acting, so not sure where that experience was going). Instead of plotting any ill will against the main leads, the understudies hang out, bond, and play a game of Never Have I Ever.

The Understudies will total nine episodes throughout Rise‘s first season. Who knows, if the show gets renewed, some of them may get a shot at a lead.

Rise airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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