The Season 4 premiere of This Is Us introduced three new characters to the world of the Pearson family: Cassidy, Malik, and adult Jack. But Season 4 Episode 2, "The Pool Part 2," immediately reverted to the show fans were used to. There was plenty of Beth and Randall, there was Rebecca-Kate-Kevin drama, and there were flashbacks galore. Until the end of the hour, it seemed like the show has forgotten the new faces it took such care to induced only a week prior. But the final twist had fans asking, will Deja and Malik start dating? Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 4 follow.
"The Pool Part 2" spent a great deal of time focused on Randall's segment of the Pearson clan, and the big move to Philly. Annie is still a little too young and easygoing to feel the effects of the transition to a new city. But for Deja and Tess, this move has added a lot of extra stress, including how they plan to present themselves on the first day of school.
Tess' drama revolved around her hair and presenting herself in a new way. But for Deja, the first day of ninth grade has her wanting to look tough and independent, specifically by taking the bus. It decidedly does not fit in with Randall's plan to drive her to school every day like a daddy's girl.
To assuage Randall's fears, Deja does a bus trial run with her father. She forces him to sit far away from her so he can "observe" her handling herself. But what Randall doesn't realize is Deja is also aiming to creep on her newest crush, Malik, without interference.
Randall sits behind Deja, watching the other passengers get on and off. His focus isn't on her, but everyone else, especially the weirdo dude who sits next to her and starts monologuing. Because of that, he misses when they pass Darrell's Autobody Shop, and Deja whips out her phone to take a picture of Malik outside the garage entrance.
As the episode ends, Deja, who apparently scored Malik's digits at the barbeque, texts him the pic she shot, with a quick, but surprisingly innocent, flirty message: "Nice Shirt."
Malik's response is a little more hot and heavy, and very to the point: "You creeping on me? See you at school tomorrow. 😉"
Randall's right to be worried. One of the significant details this episode confirmed was Deja and Malik's age difference. The season premiere mentioned that Malik is a rising junior in high school, 16 going on worldly. Randall notes before he and Deja head to the bus that she's starting her freshman year; 14, and more innocent than she knows. But he's missing the tree he should be looking at for the forest of concerns a big city holds.
The dangers Deja faces aren't from weirdos who sit next to her on the bus and start rambling on. They're right there in the school building with her. If these texts are anything to go by, Malik will be taking Deja out on a date soon enough. The only question is how long until Randall sees the trouble right under his nose.