Throughout the aptly-titled “Vietnam,” fans get glimpses into Jack’s childhood, his relationship with brother Nicky (Michael Angarano), and, perhaps most importantly, learn about a previously unknown ailment of the Pearson patriarch. Suddenly we’re brought back to Jack’s eventual death due to one important detail — his heart condition.
In the show’s second season, the mystery surrounding Jack’s death seemed to have been solved — he’d died of a supposed widow-maker’s heart attack following smoke inhalation from a fire in the Pearson family home. Then, in this episode, we see Jack getting a physical before joining the army. His doctor then reveals that Jack’s heart condition should stop him from enlisting.
Based on a flashback in the episode, tachycardia is something Jack’s dealt with since childhood — an abnormally fast heart rate that, when left untreated, can cause serious complications later in life. Still, prior to the house fire, there was no indication the father of three had heart issues, so it’s assumed that he never revealed his condition to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) or the kids, judging by their shock over his heart attack.
But knowing what we do now, maybe the cause of death cited for Jack was wrong — perhaps it was a complication caused by his tachycardia.
Meanwhile, Jack’s brother Nicky, was believed to have died during the war, but as fans who have binged the series know [Spoiler] that’s not the reality of the situation as Nicky survived.
Much like Jack’s death, the explanation behind Nicky’s absence is still under wraps at this point in the series but becomes clearer over time. What do you think of this Jack Pearson theory though? Let us know in the comments section, below, and catch the former NBC series anytime on streaming.
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