*Spoiler alert for This Is Us episode “That’ll Be the Day.”
A lot of attention was given to Kate Pearson’s guilt for the death of her father Jack. First, she was insisting that her dad died because of her fault. Moreover, there have been many hints that her issues with dogs have something to do with her father’s premature death. And many, who follow This Is Us, believe that Jack may have died saving Kate’s dog.
However, the creator of the show is teasing that Kate’s guilt over Jack’s death may be smaller than Kevin.
If you watch the show, you know that on the night of the Super Bowl in 1998 there was a fire in Pearson’s house. After he had a fight with his parents, Kevin left the house earlier that day. Later he called back home and apologized to his mother. Then he passed on talking to Jack and said that they would talk tomorrow. Unfortunately, the new day never came for Kevin’s dad.
Dan Fogelman, creator of This Is Us, had an interview with Entertainment Weekly. He talked about the heartbreaking “fire” scene and the fact that Kevin was Pearson’s family member that wasn’t present there.
“I think that Kevin’s ultimate baggage is about, yes, he had this loaded uncomfortable moment with his father right before he left,” Fogelman told EW.
“He didn’t get any kind of closure. He is the only member of the five-person Pearson family that didn’t experience this colossal [moment], and…that in and of itself is a big, big deal.”
Fogelman said that regardless of whether Kevin and his father had a loving final conversation before he left the house that night, he will forever be excluded from one of the biggest events that happened to the Pearsons, ignoring the fact of how horrendous it was.
“When you think about now starting to look back at other episodes where [Kevin has] felt like the ‘fifth wheel’ of this family, is there ever more of a definitive barometer for that than the fact that in the biggest thing to ever happen to this family, he was the one person who wasn’t present, even if it was horrific,” the Dan said.
Since Kevin had broken his leg and might not have made it securely out of the house had he been home sleeping in his cellar room the evening of the fire, some of his blame could even originate from the way that he is alive and his dad isn’t.
But there is one more reason why Kevin might blame himself for his father death. Maybe he believes that Jack went back into the house in order to save him. The viewers never saw Rebecca tell Jack that his son was staying over at Sophie’s that night. And also Jack rushed down the steps because he thought that Kevin came back, only a while before the fire started.
Jack’s last father act was writing a note to his son saying that if they didn’t see each other before he went to work, he loved him and that Kevin owed them an apology.
Justin Hartley revealed to Entertainment Tonight that Kevin feels guilty because he couldn’t fulfill the promises he had made to his dad after his career-ending knee injury. He still hasn’t found his “purpose.”
“When his knee went, that was the moment where he couldn’t deliver on the promise that he made to his dad,” the This Is Us star told ET. “Also, his dad died when he did, they never had a chance to hash that out…There’s probably guilt that Kevin feels about not being there for his father now that he’s gotten older and you look at things through a different lens…Jack never got to see Kevin be a successful actor. He never got to see him work on this movie with [Sylvester] Stallone. He never got to see him repair his relationship with Randall.”
The newest episode of This Is Us airs on Sunday, Feb. 4.