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With Randall and Beth having spotted their former foster daughter Deja sleeping in a car with her mother, This Is Us has reserved its entire penultimate episode to tell the young girl's story. Executive producer Isaac Aptaker recently shared what fans can expect from the special Season 2 installment, and he said Deja's big showcase episode will fill in the blanks that exist prior to her being placed with Beth and Randall.
We're going to see how it's a really complicated relationship where there's a lot of love, but also a lot of angst. We're going to see how Linda [the social worker played by Debra Jo Rupp] came into the picture. It's very exciting because it's all these characters we've come to know, but if you think about it, we really know very, very little. We've only heard a couple of things here and there about her situation before. And now we're going to see the other side of the coin. And like we did with the Big Three trilogy [of episodes that closed out the first half of the season], it will intersect in very cool ways with the story as we know it --- and we'll see where characters were when moments we've seen were happening.
Isaac Aptaker said the Deja episode will explore how she ended up in foster care to begin with, and fans will also get a little bit more insight behind characters like Debra Jo Rupp's social worker Linda. As well, we'll get a chance to witness the relationship between Deja and her mother Shauna, which presumably means This Is Us will finally reveal what Beth and Randall saw in Deja's case file, and the episode could explore the origins behind some of the more worrisome habits she exhibited earlier in Season 2.
Unfortunately, Aptaker said nothing about the upcoming episode's story resolving the big present-day cliffhanger, where she was found by Beth and Randall sleeping in a car with her mother. One would hope there's some sort of conclusion to that soon, as it'd be a cruel thing to show all this backstory and then spend the Season 2 finale at Kate's wedding without anyone knowing what's going to happen with Deja until Season 3!
Another thing Isaac Aptaker teased is that the Deja-centered This Is Us episode will link up with The Big Three and whatever they're doing in the time before Beth and Randall took Deja in. Aptaker teased to EW the writing team found "a really unique way," to incorporate the core cast into the episode, although we can only speculate on how. Fans know that Deja was a big fan of Kevin's sitcom The Manny prior to meeting him in person, so perhaps that's how he finds his way into the story? As for everyone else, what crossovers can be found connecting Deja's troubled life and those of the other Pearsons?
This Is Us airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET, For a look at some other new and returning shows hoping to make a splash in 2018, head on over to our midseason premiere guide. For some speculation regarding how Beth and Randall will resolve Deja's and her mother's latest crisis, click here. Those fans hungry for some concrete information can try to find clues in what Sterling K. Brown had to say about Season 2's final episodes.