AceShowbiz - After six months, "This Is Us" drama returned for its sophomore season on Tuesday night, September 26. Through the premiere, the hit NBC drama offered some big hints at the answer to the question regarding Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) death which had been looming over the viewers last season.
[SPOILER ALERT!] The devastating ending of the episode saw Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who donned a Steelers jersey, looking miserable while driving numbly. As Jack's apparent belongings, including watch, keys and notebook, were spotted in a bag in the back seat, the Pearson matriarch pulled up to the Pearson's mailbox.
After the scene of grieving 17-year-old Kate (Hannah Zeile), who was holding a dog, Randall (Niles Fitch) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) flickered on the screen, it could be seen that Kevin (Logan Shroyer), who wore a leg cast, made out with a girl somewhere else. The camera panned back to Rebecca, who was heartbreakingly crying. As if that's not enough to make viewers bail their eyes out, the scene later cut to something equally heartbreaking, a scorched house with a few firemen still on the scene.
So, did Jack die in the fire? Just like what creator Dan Fogelman has been teasing, the first episode of season 2 indeed will answer how Jack dies, but that will only open the door to other questions. There are so many key moments hinted in the season premiere, which eventually lead viewers to fully solve the mystery.
"You've seen a lot of pieces--this was always the plan for the Big Three," Dan said in an interview with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. "We had talked about the fire and what happened from day 1 of starting. This has always been the plan. You're seeing a lot of things that are going to reveal themselves over the course of the season… The writers have sat and analyzed every bit of minutiae. A lot of the little things are going to come into play over the course of this season. All the answers about how Jack died, it's all going to happen this season."
Mandy revealed that the cast "don't know the full story," before adding, "We'll just say that. That's just a piece of the puzzle." Dan further explained that the scene of Rebecca wailing at the burned-down house was actually her first take. "We built a replica of the house five hours away, we had code names for everything. Mandy came to set and they put her in the car and what you see is literally her first take. After all that planning, it was like 30 seconds and then we were done," Dan said of the scene, which was filmed a week and a half ago due to secrecy.
"There were some clues I don't know if people picked up on--Kate was holding a dog, Randall's got a girlfriend, and Kevin has a broken leg," Mandy teased. "These are all things that I think people are going to see sort of the origin of in the next couple of episodes, leading up to figuring out a bigger piece of the puzzle."
Milo added, "It's like a pressure valve released a little bit. But as Dan has always said, 'With this answer there's still a lot of questions.' I think people are going to have pay attention over the course of this season, and each episode, and understand what our medium Big Three are experiencing and where they happen to be in the moments that are an influence to Jack's death."
Mandy later weighed in on Rebecca's "heroic" transformation following Jack's death. "She takes on the role that Jack normally fills, which felt pretty good," said the "A Walk to Remember" actress of Rebecca.
Aside from the big hints at how exactly Jack died, the premiere showed how adult Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) dealt with tension over his desire to adopt a child. Beth suggested to Randall to adopt an older child who "no one else in the world is going to help." Meanwhile, adult Kevin (Justin Hartley) got into an argument with Toby (Chris Sullivan) over who should be looking out the most for Kate (Chrissy Metz).