So. Much. Tension. Randall and Beth had an uncomfortable first meeting with Malik’s parents after the teen’s date with Deja during the Tuesday, November 5, episode of This Is Us, titled “The Dinner and the Date.”
Malik (Asante Blackk) encouraged Deja (Lyric Ross) to skip school with him so he could show her around Philadelphia. She was hesitant but agreed. Deja shared stories about her childhood — never living anywhere long enough to be a regular and visiting Philly as a kid with her mom and grandmother.
Deja pulled away when Malik tried to hold her hand and she expressed that she didn’t know whether his intentions were sincere. He assured her he meant everything he said and had no “game” with girls, despite his reputation. Malik ended their outing by taking Deja to a place she saw during her previous trip to Philly, which led to their first kiss.
When Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) discovered that Deja cut class, they grounded her and invited Malik’s parents over for dinner to put an end to the budding romance. Beth and Malik’s mom, Kelly (Marsha Stephanie Blake), clashed immediately. Beth eventually sent the kids upstairs so the adults could hash out the situation.
Malik’s dad, Darnell (Omar Epps), believed that Beth and Randall thought Malik would drag Deja down because he was a teen father from “the hood.” However, Darnell urged them to not write off Malik and instead see him for the good kid that he is. Beth and Randall ultimately agreed to let Deja see Malik while supervised.
In flashbacks, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) had a dinner guest of their own in Randall’s (Lonnie Chavis) teacher Mr. Lawrence (Brandon Scott). Jack competed with Mr. Lawrence all night until Rebecca called him out. She informed him that Randall would always pick him since he was his father but he shouldn’t make him choose and miss out on the experience of learning from Mr. Lawrence.
Jack later told Mr. Lawrence that he couldn’t teach Randall how to be black and encouraged him to keep taking a special interest in his son. Jack and Randall, meanwhile, bonded by reading Langston Hughes’ poetry together from a book given to Jack by Mr. Lawrence.
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