‘This Is Us’: Would Jack and Rebecca Have Gotten Divorced If He Hadn’t Tragically Died?

Plenty of TV dramas tug at our heartstrings and keep us tuned in because we are deeply invested in the relationships between the characters. Even though the on-screen chemistry is sometimes a strain on the actors who have to set aside their real-life animosity, the love between two fictional characters can seem quite real — and inspiring — to fans watching along.

This is Us is certainly a drama designed to pull on viewers’ hearts, and the relationship at the center of the story is Jack and Rebecca’s marriage. As fans now know, however, their love was cut short when Jack was tragically killed in a house fire. 

Now some are throwing cold water on the idea that their love would have lasted into old age if Jack had made it to stay by Rebecca’s side. 

‘This is Us’ is nearing its conclusion

Headshot of ‘This Is Us’ cast members Milo Ventimiglia (Jack Pearson) and Mandy Moore (Rebecca Pearson)
‘This Is Us’ cast members Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore | Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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This is Us has captivated fans since its 2016 premiere with a complex time-shifting narrative that takes viewers back and forth between the 1970s and 1980s and into present day — and even flash forwards to years in the future. These tales are tied together by the “Big Three” — a trio of children who were all born on the same day.

Two of them — Kate and Kevin — were part of a set of triplets born to a couple named Jack and Rebecca. The third child, Randall, was a baby abandoned in the same hospital on the same day. When the third triplet does not survive delivery, Jack and Rebecca feel compelled to adopt Randall as their own, and the three siblings are raised together as Jack and Rebecca face marriage struggles and try to find their feet as young parents. 

Season 5 of the series recently wrapped up with an ending that has left fans talking. When the show returns, it will be for the sixth and final season, and fans are eager to see what kind of closure the family will get. 

Jack and Rebecca’s marriage ended tragically

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Often, heartfelt family dramas like This is Us use the central relationship and its ups and downs as a kind of catalyst for cliffhangers and suspense. While This is Us certainly has its fair share of romantic turmoil, the question of what would become of Jack and Rebecca’s marriage was answered fairly early on. 

Late in Season 2, Jack met a tragic end when he awoke to his house aflame and sprinted into action to save his family — including the dog. Unfortunately, the smoke inhalation was too much stress for his body, and he died of cardiac arrest following the tragedy.

In addition to shocking fans by killing off the main character of a still fairly new series, the turn also removed a major element of suspense surrounding Jack and Rebecca’s marriage. They had faced marital struggles in addition to sharing an intense love, but viewers never got to see how they might have played out. 

Would Jack and Rebecca have divorced? 

Since we’ll never really know, any discussion of what might have been for Jack and Rebecca is just speculation, but some believe that they weren’t heading for the happier ever after fans envision. 

One piece of evidence, according to Us Weekly, is the showrunner’s view about loving marriages. Talking about the Season 5 finale reveal that Kate and Toby’s marriage does not last, Dan Fogelman had some insight: “The honest truth is really loving, great marriages don’t always survive. And marriage is not for everybody.”

With Kevin’s marriage also called off, happily ever after seems evasive for Jack and Rebecca’s children, so who’s to say that the couple would have been able to weather the storms that their later years held any better? Perhaps Jack and Rebecca would have split, and that dynamic could have changed everything for their children.