*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
In the This Is Us season four premiere, we met many new characters. There was Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison), the war vet struggling to reacclimate to civilian life, and Jack (Blake Stadnik), the visually impaired musician who just so happens to be Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) son. Then, there’s Malik (Asante Blackk), the high school boy with a young daughter to care for.
When Malik and Deja (Lyric Ross) met at a barbecue in the season premiere, their romantic interest in each other was immediately discernible. In episode two of the season, Deja begs Randall (Sterling K. Brown) to let her ride the bus to school; unbeknownst to him, it’s just so she can pass by the mechanic shop that Malik works at. Young love is always a joy to watch, but This Is Us fans had a theory about Malik and Deja’s fate that we weren’t totally on board with.
Some speculated that Deja is the mother of Malik’s child. How?! Well, This Is Us has tricked us with timelines before, so technically it’s possible. But is it likely? Thanks to last night’s episode, we now know it’s not.
To understand this theory, it’s important to backtrack. When we first meet Malik, he’s glued to his phone because of a girl. His friend invites him to a BBQ but he says he has to ask his mom. Later in the episode, he goes home to reveal the girl he was referencing is his daughter. There’s no mention of who the child’s mom is, so we’re left to assume we’ll learn that down the line. Ultimately, his dad (Omar Epps) offers to babysit so he can attend the gathering. It’s there that he meets Deja. But barbecues aren’t once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Hypothetically, Malik could have met Deja at a BBQ in the present narrative and be invited to one after they have their child in the future.
That potential was erased in season four, episode three when Malik tells Deja about his daughter and reveals that he and the child’s mom dated for a while. Clearly, Deja isn’t the baby’s mother, and now we’re breathing a huge sigh of relief.
This Is Us returns with season four, episode four next Tuesday, October 15, at 9 p.m. PT/ET.