Get ready to cry this week because this episode’s ending is an emotional one.
Last week on This Is Us, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) told the family about her diagnosis of plaques building in her brain, meaning she’s developing Alzheimer’s disease. This officially starts the deterioration of Rebecca’s mind, leading to what is sure to be an emotional finale with the family gathering to see her.
This week, Deja (Lyric Ross) and Nicky (Griffin Dunne) get the spotlight.
After Malik (Asante Blackk) got into Harvard and allowed his daughter’s mother to enter back into her life, Deja decided it was time to go visit him in Boston and meet his baby’s mother.
When she goes to visit him, she meets Jennifer (Jennifer C. Holmes). It’s really uncomfortable, but it helps her to empathize with what Malik is going through. After giving Malik the chance to work on his paper, the two of them go out together. However, Deja realizes she feels ready to have sex with him for the first time, so they go back to his apartment.
After they’re done, Deja feels really happy with her decision, and she feels better than ever to have been that close with Malik.
Meanwhile, Rebecca and Miguel (Jon Huertas) encourage Nicky to pursue Sally, so they take a road trip to visit her. However, nearly 20 minutes away, Nicky reveals he never actually reached out to her beforehand and that they’re going in with no context for her. That’s not enough for them to let Nicky go home, though.
When they get to Sally’s (Dey Young) place, it takes a minute for her to remember who Nicky is. But when she does, they immediately spark a connection. That is, until he finds out she’s married. Though it’s a tough blow for Nicky, Sally and her husband invite them to stay for dinner. Everyone quickly realizes Sally and her husband aren’t happy, and he doesn’t treat her nearly as great as she deserves.
Sally storms out of dinner, and Rebecca goes to talk to her. They form a quick connection with each other, and bond over the fears, struggles and strengths of getting older.
When they leave, Rebecca tells Miguel she’s sorry for not giving him the best version of herself, and vows to be better. Miguel, in return, assures her that he’s going to be there to take care of her every step of the way through her Alzheimer’s struggle.
At the same time, Nicky gets the closure he needed with Sally, which makes him decide he needs to head back east and stop staying with Rebecca and Miguel.
“I refuse to believe that the universe or my brother had anything to do with this, but I think he would’ve really liked that you two found each other,” Nicky said.
Before he leaves, Rebecca tells him she believes he’ll find the right person, which is why it’s so special when he meets Edie (Vanessa Bell Calloway), who is his flight attendant on the flight home. At the end of the episode, it’s revealed that Edie becomes Nicky’s long-term partner when the whole family is gathering to see a very sick Rebecca.
The whole episode is really well done. There are many important conversations about ageism and the importance of emotionally healthy relationships. It’s a perfect showcase for not only Deja, Nicky and Rebecca, but also for the writers and production team of the show. Plus, the use of Brandi Carlisle at the end is incredible.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.