To all those This Is Us fans who've been holding their breath ever since last season's knuckle-whitener of a finale episode: We still don't know how all those cliffhangers are going to pan out. But we do know that Lyric Ross will be a series regular on This Is Us Season 3, according to a report from Variety published Monday, Aug. 27. So, while there's still more than enough This Is Us-caused uncertainty to go around as the show gears up for a third season, it seems pretty safe to say Ross' character, Deja, will be sticking around this Pearson household a little while longer.
Ross' character was first introduced to This Is Us audiences last year, about mid-way through Season 2, when Randall and Beth decide to take in a foster child. Those who watched the season will have a tough time forgetting Deja, the wide-eyed teenager who finds a temporary home with them and their two daughters. Throughout the latter half of season 2, the Pearsons (not to mention This Is Us fans by and large) fell in love with Deja. And that's not much of a surprise. Smart, savvy, and quick as a whip, Deja was easy to love.
In part, that's probably thanks to the writers behind This Is Us and their seemingly unflappable ability to craft complicated, layered characters that resonate. But it's also a testament to Ross, who brought Deja to life with acting chops up the wazoo and an emotional maturity that far eclipses her young age. Earlier this year, Ross' performance earned the actor a nomination for Choice Breakout TV Star at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards. Suffice to say, critics and fans alike were totally smitten, as were Ross' This Is Us co-stars.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Susan Kelechi Watson (who plays Beth Pearson on the show) praised Ross, who was 14 at the time of Season 2. "She's so nuanced," Watson told EW. The actor continued:
"I like that she doesn’t try to act it. She really does just speak and feel out a situation and sense a situation. And so it's this beautiful, nuanced, soft performance that doesn’t feel performative…. She's just a very special young actress."
Those nodding their heads in agreement would probably also have to agree that Ross' character took This Is Us audiences on quite the emotional journey last season. First, she didn't want to open up. Then, after having won over the hearts of the Pearson family at large, Deja left, opting to return to living with her biological mother.
Of course, fans know Deja wasn't gone for too long. She returned to the Pearson home and, in an emotional scene from the show's Season 2 finale, Deja took a baseball bat to Randall's Mercedes, pretty much totaling the car. The car-smashing incident (prompted mostly by Deja's feelings of abandonment at the hands of her biological mom) was just one of a whole roster of cliffhangers that cropped up toward the end of last season's finale episode, but it was still a pretty big one. Would her anger tantrum cause Randall and Beth to hand Deja back to Child Services? Well, it certainly doesn't seem like it.
While we can't explicitly assume that Lyric's promotion to series regular means Deja will be moving back in with Randall and Beth for good, it does seem pretty likely that this will be the case — at least, for the time being. So, what does that mean for the Pearsons, then? At this point, the nitty gritty details are definitely still up in the air. But This Is Us fans who've been dying to learn more about Deja and her backstory can rest assured that, at least, they certainly haven't seen the last of Ross, or her spirited young character.