If you thought Jack's death was sad, you need to hear about Deja's backstory on "This Is Us"
With only one episode to go before the Season 2 finale of This Is Us, the series isn’t passing up any chance to make you CRY HYSTERICALLY. There’s just one major difference about this latest episode, “This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life,” and every other episode of the series so far — it doesn’t revolve around anyone in the Pearson family. Instead, the focus is all on Deja, and how she came to be in the Pearson family herself.
It is heartbreaking, tragic, and uplifting all at the same time. The Deja-focused episode was basically designed to make you sob uncontrollably. If you thought Jack’s death was sad, you seriously haven’t seen anything yet. Welcome to Deja’s life.
While we’ve known the honorary Pearson for the better half of this past season, we’ve only know what she’s told us; now, we’re really seeing her whole life from every perspective. Deja’s mother had her when she was still a teenager, and her mother will be the first to admit it was too young to have a baby. Deja was mostly raised by her grandmother, until tragedy struck and she watched her grandmother have a heart attack and die after returning home with groceries.
From there, things only got worse.
You see, Deja literally *by accident* wound up in foster care. Her mom is seen working extra long shifts trying to make ends meet, which means Deja is left alone a lot. On her mother’s birthday, Deja decides she’s going to cook dinner and then, turn away if you’re squeamish, manages to cut her hand completely wide open trying to open a can. Unable to reach her mom, Deja goes to the hospital herself but, like, she’s a minor in the hospital with a giant gash on her hand. The hospital can’t reach Deja’s mother either, so child services steps in (Deja’s mom has also had a drink or two), and places her in foster care.
It’s then that we see Deja bounce from house to house, because things are just not working out at home. At one point she ends up in a house with another young foster girl her age, but their foster father hits them (!!NO!!), so they’re separated and moved again and again. Eventually, Deja winds back up in the care of her mother…and her new (MAYBE DRUG DEALING?) boyfriend. Also, he’s got a gun. And it ends up in the car with Deja’s mom when she’s pulled over. And having a gun violates her outstanding probation. So guess what?
This brings us to Deja living with Beth and Randall.
Throughout all of this, episode intercuts between Deja’s upbringing, along with the upbringing of Jack, Kate, and Randall, along with Beth and Randall’s Tess and Annie. When we look at what Deja’s going through, compared to what everyone else is dealing with in their own life, it’s not that different — because all families fight, have problems, go through struggles, and go to sleep every single night.
However, Deja’s story is still tragic. Following the end of last week’s “Vegas, Baby,” we saw Beth and Randall come across Deja and her mom, asleep in a car. Beth and Randall take them in, and immediately Deja’s whole demeanor changes. Her mom sees this, and realizes that she isn’t the one to be with, or help, Deja anymore; that has to be Beth and Randall. Deja’s mom makes the heartbreaking decision to leave in the middle of the night, and she leaves Deja behind.
It’s hard to say this is the best thing for Deja, but it just might be. The episode ends with Beth and Randall exchanging a LOOK because their world has once again been thrown for a loop. And now please, stop crying, because we still have to get through the season finale of This Is Us, and you’re going to need some tears for that, too.