Warning! Spoilers below for the February 23 episode of This Is Us, Season 5, Episode 9: “The Ride.”
In an episode that centered around our main characters making that first drive home from the hospital after having babies, the latest episode of This Is Us, “The Ride,” just surprised us with the beginnings of the next generation of Pearsons. It also featured a classic tear-jerker speech from Randall — “You are my branches” — that fans may still have not recovered from.
At the beginning of the episode we get our first look at Deja (Lyric Ross) in the future timeline, with a class of doctors or nurses touring the labor and delivery unit of the hospital. She’s in a hurry to leave, rolling her eyes as a woman is brought out with newborn twins (so many multiples!). A little later in the episode we see her sister Annie pick her up. Annie gives her a Sophie the Giraffe baby toy, saying that even though she knows it's early and Deja isn't telling anyone, “I had to get you something,” as Deja keeps touching her stomach.
The reveal of Deja’s pregnancy is made more poignant as we flash back to the day Randall and Beth are driving Annie home from the hospital. Shout out to Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson, as Randall and Beth are consistently the best couple on TV. The self-proclaimed Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of parenting are nailing it with their second daughter. But on the drive, Randall keeps bringing up having a third kid, and Beth is not subtle in telling him to shut it down and get her the ice cream he promised.
When Beth goes into Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, Randall starts talking to Baby Annie about how special it is that she has his eyes. He points out that he didn’t look like either of his parents and didn’t know where he came from (of course he would meet his birth father later in life and converse with his late mother’s spirit, but at this point in the timeline, he knew nothing of either). He said when he made family trees in school, he drew his branches, but it wasn’t quite right. Jack, Rebecca, Kevin and Kate were his family, but they weren’t where he came from. That’s where Tess and Annie are different. Randall says:
You are my branches. You are the start of my family tree. And I just wanted that tree to be as big as possible.
The speech brings added meaning to Deja’s being pregnant, and we flash forward again to see Deja and Annie arrive to the house where the rest of the family has been gathering around a dying Rebecca. Randall and Tess come out of the house to greet Deja and Annie, and Randall drives it home: “The beautiful, bountiful branches of my family tree.”
Annie and Tess go inside, but Randall and Deja stay behind as a car pulls up. “Hey! Look who’s here!” Randall says. Could it be the father of Deja’s baby (Malik?!)? Is it Madison, if she is indeed Kevin’s wife? We also still don’t know who Nicky is married to, though we have seen him wearing a wedding band in past episodes. The driver of car isn’t revealed as the episode ends, so we’ll have to wait until our next snippet from this future timeline to have that questions answered.