I don’t care how much you love “This Is Us,” leave your poor slow cooker alone.
(Spoiler alert • This column is loaded with spoilers about the NBC drama if you aren’t caught up.)
Jack is dead. Which is not a spoiler. It was pretty obvious in the series premiere. It was confirmed in Episode 5.
Every time we’ve seen him, it has been in a flashback. “This Is Us” bounces back and forth between present and past storylines, and in the present, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) has been dead for two decades.
As we head into Episode 25 — after the Super Bowl on Sunday — we’ll find out exactly how he died. Since Season 2 began, we’ve been led to believe Jack died in a house fire … although that has not been confirmed.
After the Big Drunk Driving Fake-Out in Season 1, who knows? Maybe everyone escapes the fire and then Jack is struck and killed by a drunk driver.
(No, I’m not over the red herring that misled us in Season 1. No, I don’t entirely trust the writers.)
In the latest episode, a neighbor gave the Pearsons an old Crock-Pot, which short circuited, setting the house aflame. Which has led to some unhinged behavior by a few “This Is Us” fans, who smashed their slow cookers. Which is freakin’ dumb. “This Is Us” is fiction. No actual people were harmed in the making of that episode.
No, there’s no reason to stop using your slow cookers, which some less-unhinged “This Is Us” fans have vowed.
The Crock-Pot company says it has “never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in the episode.” And series creator/executive producer tweeted that the Crock-Pot in question was both 20 years old and fictional, so “let’s not lump all those lovely, hardworking” small appliances “together” with the murderous/fictional one.
“This Is Us” fans will have to answer for themselves whether it was worth waiting almost 17 months to learn that a Crock-Pot killed Jack. It seems so mundane. But so does life.
Although speculation — based on Kate’s belief that her father’s death is her fault, and her history with canines — is that Jack died heroically when he went back into the burning house to save the dog.
We’ve been assured that Jack will remain a big part of the show despite being dead. But we were also assured that William (Ron Cephas Jones) — Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) biological father — would remain a big part of the show after his death in Season 1, and his presence has been much reduced.
Will Jack still be a big part of the show? How many tears will be shed on Sunday night?
How many of you will still blame that poor, fictional Crock-Pot?
Please. I beg you. Let’s give that a rest.
(“This Is Us” is scheduled to air at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday on NBC/Ch. 5 — but it could run late if the Super Bowl runs long.)