TV Reviews

This Is Us Season 2 Episode 17: This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Randall and Beth welcome visitors to their home. (TVGuide)

Writer: Kay Oyegun

Director: Rebecca Asher

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

This Is Us is seriously the best television show in a very, very long time. Tonight’s episode completely slayed me and I am still trying to process how a show can be so amazing in each and every episode. Tonight’s episode was Deja-centric and all sorts of amazing as we learned about her backstory.

The episode begins with a montage of all the different characters (Randall’s mom, Rebecca. and Deja’s mom, Shauna) giving birth to their kids. We begin to see glimpses of Shauna’s relationship with Deja and how Shauna’s grandmother was pivotal in raising Deja. This episode is heavy on montages and even shows a very precious scene of montages showing all the parents reading “Goodnight, Moon” to the kids. Perhaps what is one of the most extremely depressing moments in the episode is when Shauna’s grandmother tells her that she won’t be around forever to help her. The next scene? Her death.

As Shauna tries to continue her life with Deja, we get to see their life together. Just as things start to come together, a tragic moment breaks everything apart. For Shauna’s birthday, Deja decides to cook her dinner but ends up cutting herself with the knife. She goes to the hospital to get treated, but Child Services is called when Shauna is MIA. And this begins Deja’s journey of being put into the system. After this incident, Deja ends up in her first foster home with a girl named Raven. Unfortunately, their foster dad is abusive and Deja comes clean to the social worker regarding this. Once again she is moved around and split apart from Raven, who advises her to not mess up the next foster home she is in.

Eventually, Shauna gets another chance at taking care of Deja, which doesn’t last very long because of Shauna’s relationship with a guy she met in rehab. And just as Deja seems to be finding stable ground in her life, Shauna is arrested because the officials found a gun in her car. This is the incident that takes Deja into Beth and Randall’s life and explains everything that has led Deja to this point. This episode has me so conflicted over Shauna’s character because we see her trying so hard but failing to be able to take care of Deja. However, her poor decisions keep putting them in a bad place and it’s hard to sympathize with her. she made a home bank to save money

Now, we know Deja goes back to Shauna after she is with Beth and Randall for a bit (the episode did not hesitate showing us that heartbreaking goodbye scene). However, things did not get better for Deja even after going back. Shauna fell behind in paying the bills and Deja even went to Randall to get help paying for their gas bill. Ultimately, the episode leads to the moment where Deja and Shauna are evicted from their home and end up in their car. We see Deja calling Randall while they are in Vegas and finds herself in a horrible predicament.

After finding Deja and Shauna in a car, Beth and Randall bring them home. It is absolutely adorable to see how excited Annie and Tess get to see Deja home again. Watching Shauna see how happy Deja is in their home makes her realize this is where Deja needs to be. She is able to be a kid without the worries she has been living with her whole life.

Deja and Randall have a perfect moment together that is the best scene from tonight’s episode. Deja talks to him about she didn’t understand how he and she could be the same but realizes that everyone has their problems and issues. She tells him she’s tired and breaks down completely, which broke my heart to no extent.

As the episode closes out, Shauna tells Randall she is leaving, and she can’t take Deja with her. Sigh.

Tonight’s episode of This Is Us is so different from the rest because it focuses on a character that we didn’t intend to get attached to. When it appeared that Deja would remain in the background and that was that, this episode brought us so close to Deja and made us invest in her more than we ever imagined we would. Learning about her backstory and what her life has been like before she met Randall and Beth is a very important element for plot development. Now that she is most likely going to be a part of the family, it will be great to see her become a Pearson officially and legally (we hope!).

And while I am not ready for the season to end, I can’t wait for next week’s finale as we will witness Kate and Toby’s wedding. That is sure to be a tear-jerker.

Score: 8.5/10

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