(Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the latest episode of "This Is Us" ... what are you waiting for?! Check it out, and then come back here!)
The end is nigh on "This Is Us" — both for the first season of the hit show and for one beloved character.
Tuesday night's installment of the hit drama hinted at an event fans have expected and dreaded since the beginning of the series — the death of Pearson patriarch Jack.
And while keeping a box of tissue ready is already a required part of the viewing experience, be prepared. That's not going to cut it when Papa Pearson checks out.
According to star Milo Ventimiglia, it's going to be particularly hard. Really, really hard. Gut-wrenching even. Basically, he's going to have to write everyone a note for a few days off of work this time.
"I mean, even me, like William’s death (a couple of episodes ago), William’s passing ... just crushed me," the actor told Entertainment Weekly. "And I feel that William and Jack are of the same beloved nature that people are truly going to grieve — not mourn — grieve their loss."
They're already feeling for one character who blames for herself for Jack's death.
On the penultimate episode of the season, Kate (Chrissy Metz) tells Toby (Chris Sullivan), "It’s my fault … I’m the reason he’s dead."
That poor kid — and now adult — feels responsible for pushing her father to go to her mother when, ultimately, he wasn't really in a state to go anywhere.
(Or so it would seem, from where the story left off.)
"Jack is always conflicted," Ventimiglia explained of his character. "He’s conflicted by his wife leaving, yet he’s making the poor choice of going to a bar or going to a drink to get away, to numb the words that he can’t say to his wife. But it’s almost like that drink is a bit of a truth serum and a relaxer to the way that he thinks, 'I’m going to go get my wife back.' And it’s a poor decision on his part that may lead to his death."
But unlike the rest of us, Jack doesn't have a clue about what the future holds.
"I know the audience knows he’s running out of time, but Jack doesn’t know that he’s running out of time," he noted. "Jack has just made a poor decision to hop into a car drunk to go find his wife and talk to his wife and be with his wife. Jack doesn’t know about his ticking clock. Jack leads with his heart. If he feels something, he says it. If he wants something, he does it. Jack wants his wife, he feels like he needs to have his wife, so nothing is going to stop him in that quest. Nothing’s going to slow him down."
Except, maybe, his final fate.
But just how nigh is the end for Jack? One cast member recently told a fan that, despite the feeling of impending doom, the deed itself won't happen until next season.
Then again, that could be a misdirect.
Whenever it happens, there's one consolation for all of those inevitably grief-stricken fans — thanks to the show's timeline-hopping plots, when Jack's time comes, he's not really going anywhere.
During a recent visit to TODAY, Ventimiglia assured that "Jack will always be around. I think even now, we know in the present day his character is no more, but he will be around even when we reveal his death."