‘This Is Us’ Review: “This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life”

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This episode was all about Déjà. It seems like she is going to officially become a Pearson because the show made a point to show her entire life thus far beginning with her birth. It was especially moving that while we were watching milestones in Déjà’s life we got a glimpse of the other members of the Pearson family going through similar things. Deja’s story was being woven together with the others.

Deja’s birth revealed that Déjà’s mom was a teenager when she had her. Déjà’s great grandmother, Gigi, helped raise Déjà until she passed away when Deja was 3 years old. At 19, Déjà’s mom was already struggling to be a mother but now she was completely on her own.

Fast forward to Déjà in her early teens and it’s her mom’s birthday. Déjà plans on surprising her mom by cooking her dinner. While Déjà’s mom is supposedly at work Déjà starts preparing one of her Gig’s recipes when she cuts her hand open with a can opener. She tries to call her mom but she doesn’t answer. Frightened, Déjà goes to the emergency room by herself and learns that her mother wasn’t at work but actually on a date. The incident is what leads to Déjà going into the foster system.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The first home she stays at she is placed in a room with Raven, who is around Déjà’s age. The girls get along but Déjà soon learns that her new foster dad is violent. During a visit from her social worker Linda, Déjà tells her about the abuse leading to the girls being removed from the home. Raven tells Déjà that they could have stayed there for a long time. She explains that she has been in more beds than she count in her life and that although their foster dad hit her, that it could have been a lot worse. She tells Déjà that the next time she is in a home where she feels safe she needs to make sure she stays there.

After going to other foster homes Déjà  returns home after her mom completes rehab. Déjà’s mom starts dating a guy she met in rehab and although he tried to impress Déjà at first, things quickly start going down hill. The boyfriend is shady and he brings a gun into the apartment that Déjà’s mom ends up getting arrested for when it’s found in her car, which leads to Déjà staying with Randall’s family for the first time.

So we know that she ends up going back to her mom, but remember in the previous episode Déjà asks Randall and Beth for money to pay the gas bill? Well, Déjà puts the money in a box she and her mom used to save money and Déjà discovers that her mom took the money to bail out the jerk boyfriend instead of bay the gas bill. Déjà also learns that her mom is behind on rent and they end up getting evicted. This leads to Randall and Beth finding Déjà and her mom living in their car.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Déjàand her mom are homeless and Beth and Randall let them stay the night. Déjà’s mom sees how happy and care free Déjà is with Randall and Beth and she knows that they will provide a better home for her. She tells them that she can’t take Déjà with her.

Leaving Déjà with Randall and Beth is probably the most selfless and thoughtful decision Déjà’s mom has ever made. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to leave a child behind knowing that you can’t properly provide for them. It’s definitely the right choice and Déjà will greatly benefit because of it.

I love that the writers pulled back the curtain on Deja’s life. It shows that children in foster care shouldn’t be labeled or stereotyped.

The This Is Us season 2 finale airs tonight on NBC 9/8c.

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