Another epic love story has started to bloom between Deja and Malik on This Is Us, however, an uncomfortable dinner with their parents won't be the only difficult obstacle they may have to overcome. While recently speaking with TVLine, showrunner Dan Fogelman confirmed that Malik's ex will be introduced on This Is Us at some point and could become a pivotal part of their storyline “potentially this season.” And in true This Is Us fashion, the reunion is sure to come with its fair share of drama.
Very little is known about Malik's former fling, except for the fact that she's the mother of his baby girl, Janelle, and gave him full custody of their daughter. Where she went and what she's been doing has yet to be revealed, however, perhaps the most important question to be asking is why exactly she chooses to come back into the picture. But the way Fogelman describes it, her return is “less about” her relationship with Malik and “more about what it means from Deja’s point of view.
“This young girl is not just Malik’s ex-girlfriend," Fogelman told the outlet. "She’s an ex-girlfriend who is the mother of his child — a child he spends all of his time and energy on. So it makes it complicated for her.”
This won't be the first time Malik and Deja's relationship gets put to the test, however. Randall and Beth were against this romance from the very beginning — a stance that grew even more prominent during Tuesday night's awkward meet-and-greet dinner with Malik's family. Ultimately, they did become more accepting to the idea by the end of the episode, though there are a few rules the young couple will have to follow in order to remain an item.
“[Beth and Randall] do allow them to hang out, to spend time,” Sterling K. Brown explained to TheWrap during a recent interview. “I think it will become more clear in the next episode what their stipulations and rules are for seeing one another. But they’re allowed to sort of pursue this relationship under a watchful eye.”
Randall and Beth were initially both quick to judge Malik without really getting to know him, which actor Asante Blackk, who plays Malik, felt served as a great parallel for how young black fathers are viewed — a stereotype that he hopes his This Is Us character will end bring to an end. "You never really see the young teen, black fathers being the one that’s single and the one that’s staying around for the babies," Blackk recently shared during an interview with People. "It happens a lot in real life, but in the media, it’s never portrayed as it truly is.”
Malik has only been in a handful of episodes thus far, but already the character is becoming a pivotal part of the This Is Us cast. Let's just hope that his journey with Deja continues to grow no matter how many exes make their way to Philly.