The Ending Of A Star Is Born Explained
This Is Us Actually Foreshadowed Jack's Death with Randall & William in Season 1
It has now been roughly twelve hours since Jack Pearson died suddenly from a heart attack—caused by smoke inhalation during that fateful house fire—andThis IsUs fans are still working through the initial grief. I personally am parked firmly in the "Denial" stage and plan to stay there for some time, but I'm also looking back on the entire show so far with new eyes now that we know Jack's ending. And there's one exchange between Randall and William that takes on a whole new meaning.
Cast your mind back to Season 1, Episode 15, That's the one where Randall's slowly-mounting anxiety finally boils over, with one stressor after another piling up until he finally winds up semi-catatonic on the floor of his office. One of the biggest crises of the episode comes when Randall is called home from work to talk down the dying William, who's in a fight with his nurse. "You’re a sick old man," Randall yells at him, "and sick old men need nurses to make sure they take their meds on time, and eat their meals on time, and don’t die when nobody’s looking.”
... Now, why would Randall be worried about his fatherdying suddenly when no one's looking? The scene was already a heartbreaker: Randall immediately apologizes to William, and Ron Cephas Jones delivers a quietly gut-wrenching monologue about the indignity and horror of dying: "My body doesn't work right anymore." But I remember being particularly struck by that one line of Randall's—it's raw, but also very specific—and knowing what we know now about Jack's death, it feels very likely it was deliberate foreshadowing by showrunner Dan Fogelman.
In case you missed last night's traumatic hour: Jack makes it out of the fire, and though he's taken to hospital for a burn on his arm and smoke inhalation, he seems fine. But when Rebecca's out of the room, making calls to local hotels to find the family a place to stay, Jack suddenly goes into cardiac arrest and dies. When nobody's looking.
I cannot stop thinking about this. I will never be the same.
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