Spoiler alert: This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has confirmed that the mother of Malik’s (Assante Black) daughter Janelle will be introduced in This Is Us. NBC’s hit family drama expanded its universe in season 4 with the introduction of a string of new characters who are expected to play a pivotal role in the Pearsons’ lives. While Kevin has Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) has grown-up baby Jack (Blake Stadner), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) has Malik – a young single father who happens to have developed a relationship with Deja (Lyric Ross).
The attraction between Malik and Deja was instantaneous in the season 4 premiere. And it didn’t take long for This Is Us to fully dive into their budding romance as they continued to flirt with each other over the last few weeks. However, with this week’s episode “The Dinner and the Date,” it’s clear that it won’t be a walk in the park for the couple as both their families are essentially against them being together. Things are going to get more complicated down the road, however, with the imminent arrival of Malik’s ex-girlfriend, who also happens to be the mother of his daughter, Janelle.
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Speaking with TV Line, Fogelman revealed they are planning to introduce the mysterious woman as early as this season of This Is Us. Considering how smitten Deja is with Malik, the arrival of his baby’s mother will definitely impact the way she perceives her romantic relationship with him. “This young girl is not just Malik’s ex-girlfriend. 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,” the show’s creator teased.
While things didn’t go as smoothly between Malik’s parents and Randall and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), Deja and Malik’s relationship will only continue to deepen, as teased in next week’s episode of This Is Us. The Pearsons allowed their adopted daughter to continue dating, but they have to be under the supervision of adults. In hindsight, this is only fair considering that they did skip school for a date – regardless of how romantic they depicted the scene in the show.
Based on what Malik told Deja about his ex-girlfriend, she’s the first and only girl he’s ever been with and having Janelle was an accident. He also added that the mysterious girl and her parents wanted to put their daughter up for adoption – something that he didn’t want to do. In the short time that fans have seen him on This Is Us, he seemed to be genuinely smitten with his baby, which is a good indication of the type of person he is. But the idea that Janelle’s biological mom wanted to give her up for adoption will be an interesting idea to drum up some drama in the episodes to come. As the show introduces new characters to complicate the Pearsons’ lives, fans can now look forward to the arrival of another side character.
This Is Us airs Tuesday, 9 pm on NBC.
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