‘This Is Us’ Writer Reveals the Moment That May Define Deja and Malik’s Future

This Is Us unravels the backstory of both its lead and supporting characters as the show hits the midway point of its final season on NBC. As the adults of the Pearson clan face significant life changes, so will the family’s younger members. When the show last featured the story of Deja and Malik (Lyric Ross and Asante Blackk), the couple was united in their love for one another and thier determination to make their long-distance relationship work. However, one brief moment may have set a course to change their future trajectory. Did you miss it?

Asante Blackk and Lyric Ross on the set of This Is Us.
Asante Blackk and Lyric Ross | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Deja and Malik’s love story

It wasn’t until the show entered season 4 that Deja and Malik fell hard for one another after the Pearsons moved to Philadelphia after Randall won a councilman’s seat. Malik’s father to a baby daughter that he’s responsible for while going to school. Deja fell hard for the responsible young man who had to grow up quickly upon learning he was a father.

Their relationship continued after Harvard University accepted Malik as a freshman. At the same time, he continued to care for his toddler daughter together with his ex, Jennifer.

The distance between the young couple grew until Deja took a secret trip to Boston to visit her boyfriend at school.

This experience caused a divide between Deja and Randall and Beth’s adoptive parents (Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kalechi Watson) who didn’t know how to deal with her deception.

After learning that not only did Deja lie, but she slept with her boyfriend, the young couple dropped yet another bombshell. Deja wanted to graduate from school a semester early and move to Boston to be with Malik full-time. Randall subsequently spoke to Malik and told him to end things with Deja.

‘This Is Us’ writers say ‘Deja doesn’t learn her lessons’ and the moment that could define her and Malik’s future

This Is Us writers Kay Oyegun, and Kevin Falls explained how Deja “not learning her lessons” could change the trajectory of her relationship with Malik moving forward.

On the way to celebrate the annual Pearson family Thanksgiving, Deja told her parents that Malik was not answering her texts and “acting so weird.”

This defining but brief moment may set the wheels for drama within the Pearson family.

After exchanging a look, Randall and Beth did not respond to Deja’s statement. Nor did they tell her about Randall’s conversation with Malik on the steps of their home when he told the young man to take a step back from his relationship with Deja.

Oyegun said to Entertainment Weekly that Deja’s decision to deceive her parents Malik would prove the young woman does not learn her lessons.

The announcement that she planned to move to Boston had a “very, very, big reaction from her family. So it’s not going to be an easy ride,” Oyegun explained.

Falls concurred, “Deja’s fiercely independent, too. She’s [Deja] been on her own for a while. She’s not used to having people tell her what to do. She’s a strong woman and has seen a lot in life. So Deja’s a hard person to tell what to do, that’s for sure.”

Lyric Ross scored her first post-‘This Is Us’ gig

Lyric Ross on the set of This Is Us.
Lyric Ross plays Deja on “This Is Us’ | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Ross joins Dominique Thorne and In the Heights and Hamilton star Anthony Ramos as part of the Marvel Universe in its Disney+ series Ironheart.

According to The Hollywood ReporterIronheart will feature Thorne in the role of Riri Williams, a teenage inventor. Per the comic series, Riri builds her version of Iron Man’s suit in a dorm room at MIT.

Riri periodically takes over for Tony Stark as Iron Man in the comics. In Avengers: Endgame, Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., died fighting Thanos.

Ross will play Williams’ best friend. The name of her character has not yet been released.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST.

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