‘This Is Us’: 3 New Theories About Malik Will Have You Rewatching Season 3 All Over Again
With Season 4 of This Is Us in full swing, fan theories are getting a little more creative. As viewers know, the show excels at its major reveal factor. It’s been done through timelines, big questions, and new characters.
One of the newest is Malik Hodges (Asante Blackk) who’s already disrupted Déjà’s (Lyric Ross) life. Some fans have banned together in support of an all-new theory about Malik’s place in the Pearson’s lives.
Malik’s story on ‘This Is Us’ so far
Malik was first introduced as a teen father to a baby girl with supportive parents who help raise her. Malik and Déjà met at a barbeque. The two became infatuated early on — before Malik confessed he had a child.
Connections between the new characters and how they’d intertwine with the Pearson’s weren’t clear until the season 4 premiere’s end. Even then, some strings weren’t fully fleshed out yet. Malik’s story is one of them.
In the premiere, Malik’s dad, Darnell (Omae Epps) is seen working on a car. A flash of Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) campaign sticker revealed Malik and his family will somehow be part of their lives at some point.
Once Malik finally told Déjà about his daughter, Malik met Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). They weren’t exactly excited to hear Déjà’s interested in a boy with a child.
One ‘This Is Us’ theory about Malik has already been debunked
A few different This Is Us fan theories have circulated since the season 4 premiere. So far, none have proved correct.
One widely circulated theory was that Déjà is the mother of Malik’s baby. It could’ve been possible if the timelines were out of order. But, series creator, Dan Fogelman, nipped that one in the bud.
Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly that Malik was a father before he met Déjà. But, he’ll play “a big part” in Randall’s family’s story.
Malik’s story on ‘This Is Us’ might be about Randall
Fogelman elaborated on their connection saying things won’t play out the way everyone thinks. Instead, Malik’s story “plays in socioeconomics and it goes into parenting and it goes into Randall’s origin story.”
He added the writers are “painting a picture that hopefully shows something interesting about this young man and how he cares for his daughter and how supportive his family is and the type of God of Carnage-type of moment we’re building to all these great parental actors.”
Fogelman’s words support one Reddit user’s theory that Malik’s presence isn’t about him and Déjà. They think it’s about connecting Randall to Darnell, saying Fogelman wouldn’t cast a bog actor like Epps unless his role is an important one.
“I have feeling that he and Randall are either going to become close friends or rivals because of their upbringing. I see Randall thinking that Déjà deserves better than a working-class boy with a baby (parallel to Rebecca’s dad’s feelings about Jack) and Darnell calling Randall out because he could have just easily been him if his circumstances were different,” the user said.
Malik’s role on ‘This Is Us’ could be about the man who works with Darnell
The post continued: “The other idea I had relates to the other man Malik was talking to about doing something illegal. I could see Malik getting into trouble possibly being shot/ arrested for being black in America thus joining Darnell and Randall in protest of police work.”
A second Reddit user agreed, pointing out that “Rebecca’s dad’s callousness towards Jack was meant to parallel Randall’s impending reaction toward Malik.”
Malik may have met the other Pearson’s in season 3
One fan Tweeted Malik may have met other Pearson’s before he knew Déjà. It goes back to season 3.
“He mentioned that his baby has gotten heavier since NICU. Maybe she & Jack were there at the same time.”
If this is true, Malik and his family may have known Kate (Chrissy Metz), Toby (Chris Sullivan), Kevin (Justin Hartley), Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) — the whole family, outside of Randall and Beth.
To expand on this, Malik could’ve theoretically met Randall and Beth at the time, too. Malik could’ve lied about why he was in the NICU, or his parents could’ve.
When Randall meets Malik with Déjà and learns about his baby, it could’ve been because he heard a different story.
This Is Us airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.