Ahead of the March 14 season finale, we're attempting to piece together the puzzle that is the fate of Papa Pearson

We already know how Twitter thinks beloved Pearson family patriarch Jack dies on This Is Us, but what does the cast have to say about his ultimate demise? A lot, as it turns out — Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, creator Dan Fogelman and even the man himself, Milo Ventimiglia, have all spoken at length to EW about the dreaded plot twist we’ve known about since the start.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s season finale — which promises to be a “heartbreaking,” according to Ventimiglia — we’re piecing together all of their dramatic, if not ominous, hints about Jack’s death.

Mandy Moore
Heartbreaking. What else can you expect from this show? Heartbreaking in the way that life is heartbreaking. That’s what I love about this show. The way he passes away is going to be heartbreaking for people.”

Sterling K. Brown
I think Jack died the way that he lived, by always trying to do the right thing. I think folks are going to be moved, and surprised, and it’s very, very sad. But I think that his death is in fitting with the type of father and the husband that he always tried to be, even when he fell short of the mark.”

Chrissy Metz
“Because of what and how it went down, I would say that it’s… I don’t want to give too much away. I would just say it’s really heart-wrenching … You don’t want to know anything else!”

On finding out how Jack dies as opposed to how she imagined it: “Oh, like night and day. I was like, ‘What?’ I was so surprised. And saddened. Not just because he passed but the way he did.”

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Dan Fogelman
It’s a complicated thing. By the end of the season, you’re going to know a lot of the details of the how and the ramifications of it. In terms of the detail of how he died, was it illness? Was it something tragic? Was it something else? You’re not going to know that for a little bit because we want to show that in the show. So that’s going to take a minute.”

Milo Ventimiglia
“I mean, even me, like William’s death, William’s passing in that whole episode just crushed me. Crushed me, you know? 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.”

“I think there’s going to be a whole lot of disrepair and repair that happens between where we see Jack now as well as where his end is met. Of course, at this point, there’s going to be speculation as opposed to the acceptance of, ‘Oh wow, Jack’s not around.’ I would urge people to not worry too much about how and when, and just accept that Jack has limited time, and know that every moment he has with his kids, with his wife, is going to be the most important thing to him.”

“There hasn’t been one thing that [series creator Dan Fogelman] has offered up to me that I haven’t seen a good truth in the character with. He’s very soulful with his choices and leading this family on the journey that they’re on, and I think he absolutely hit the mark with where Jack ultimately does meet his end.”

The This Is Us finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.