Let me start off my saying I am not bashing on the beautiful wonder that is This Is Us. I have been watching this show since it has premiered and I will continue to watch it. But as a journalism student who has a lot of opinions about the season two finale and this platform in my hands, I’m going to talk about why a certain storyline in this show needs to end.
So, for anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled to the magic of this show, SPOILERS.
Are we all good? Here we go.
I absolutely love the storylines on this show. I firmly believe that I have connected to at least all of them once while watching each episode, and have cried each time I have. With Jack and Kate, I think of my dad and I me, and everything we’ve gone through. With Kevin and Kate, I think of my brother and how far we have come as siblings. With Randall and Beth, I think of their relationship as a comparison to my own with my boyfriend. Every single storyline has found a way to touch my heart and make me ugly cry each Tuesday.
But for the first time, I found myself screaming at my TV while watching This Is Us last Tuesday.
Look, I am a huge fan of TV shows now. I seem to have a never-ending TV season because with each passing seasons change, there’s always a new show for me to watch. But I usually don’t scream at my TV when watching this kind of family drama. My screaming is usually saved for The Walking Dead and when those characters make stupid-ass decisions, but this time it was towards (sigh) Deja on This Is Us.
Look. Look. I am not here to berate her character on the show. In fact, I was one of the first few people to accept her character as part of the storyline. I absolutely love Randall’s family on the show, and I thought that this added a valuable storyline in the beginning. I loved the relationships forming and the bonds that became very enjoyable to watch, but when Deja was shipped off on the last episode before the hiatus, I thought, “Alright, this is a good way to end this storyline. Her moving on and Randall growing from it. Great. The writers do it again.”
But they brought her back.
If you haven’t seen the show, again, spoilers, but them bringing Deja back into the story seems like a good idea, right? It looks like it will all work out again. Deja’s mom realizes that she can’t properly take care of her daughter and decides to hand over the rights to Randall and Beth. Of course, I knew that this wasn’t going to be all wrapped up in a bow and placed under a Christmas tree perfectly. There would be tears and rips and it would be a little messy.
But I never could have predicted what Deja did.
In the last episode, the one that is supposed to be filled with happiness and glee because Kate is getting married, Deja, because of a comment, goes outside to Randall’s Mercedes-Benz (which, in case you live under a rock, is an expensive car), and smashes the windows. The camera cuts out from that before we could see her destroy God only knows what else.
You want to know what the comment was? Everything was fine, and then one person mistakes her for Randall’s biological daughter, saying she looked like him. That was the comment. Not a racially-fueled comment, not a mean comment, just a mistake. A misunderstanding. And she goes and smashes his car.
I understand that being fostered and adopted and what happened to Deja can be truly traumatizing. Having your parent sort of give up after all these years together would be hard on any child and make them cold for some amount of time. But Deja’s anger escalated to a point where she destroyed a damn car. A really expensive car. A car that is going to be really hard for Randall to replace because, remember, he doesn’t have a super fancy job anymore.
I also know that sometimes, when a former foster kid does this sort of stuff, it’s like a “test of love.” To see if the people who adopted you really care about you and won’t just give you away. I would understand that if this car wasn’t so expensive. I come from a moderate family who has cars that can be replaced easily and know that it’s not awful if something bad happens to them. But this family lives in a giant house, with the fancy car, and Deja thinks that she can just run in there and smash it to bits as a “test of love” because of her rage? Um, no. That’s not how life works.
The writers always have a purpose with each storyline they tell in this show, but this one seems to be getting old really quick. Deja is literally being given an extremely better life served to her, and she’s willing to really throw that all away over her anger. I know that it’s difficult, but the moment she destroyed those windows, I found myself actually angry at the writers.
I hope that they do something meaningful with her character and don’t just keep her angry. But if she continues to act like this, it might be the first time I actually turn off my TV whenever she’s on screen.