One Giant Leap
Episode 2 of This Is Us Season 6 interweaves a consistent theme of love across two parallel trips; Deja heads off to visit Malik while Nicky begins his trip to see Sally. Both characters suffer with anxiety before though.
For Deja, it comes from meeting Janelle’s mum, Jennifer. For Nicky, he’s having trouble communicating with Sally how he feels.
They say music can really help rekindle memories, especially those suffering from dementia. That much definitely rings true as Nicky, Miguel and Rebecca drive together. As Rebecca sings in the car she reflects back on moments with Jack, carefree and driving together.
On the way, Nicky stops by to pick up a camera but he starts to get cold feet. Not only has he not reached out to Sally, he’s not even sure if she’s the real deal.
Well, she definitely is, as it turns out. The camera does the trick, helping to open Sally’s eyes and remember exactly who he is. “Hello, Nicky!” She says, with a big smile. It doesn’t take long for him to come crashing back down to Earth though, especially when he learns that she’s actually married to a guy called Eric.
Sally invites them to stay for dinner though, where the conversation steers toward Alzheimer’s. It starts with a quip but soon, Rebecca opens up about her condition and sweating the small stuff.
When it wheels around to Nicky, he admits he’s been thinking of Sally the whole time. It’s a beautifully poetic sequence and Sally thanks him for it. Her husband, Eric, has clearly taken her for granted and as Sally comments on the state of their relationship – and how a satellite dish has come between them – she uses Nicky’s devotion to show how much she’s missing feeling loved.
There’s a really beautiful conversation here between Sally and Rebecca, reflecting on what it means to grow old. The conversation inevitably circles around to marriage, and it seems Sally and Nicky may actually have a future after all, if their chat is anything to go by.
Just before they go, Nicky checks her pin-up board and notices a pictures him she took in the past. Kissing her cheek, he promises to see her again in 50 years.
Meanwhile, Deja gets a look at Malik’s current, hectic lifestyle. Empty coffee cups sit up on the counter like taunting spirits; a reminder of the constant stress and overwhelming amount of work he needs to do – and has had to do. Deja understands and reassures him, encouraging Malik to take a few hours out to write his assignment.
Eventually the pair do have their evening together, and the young love here (and subsequent night they spend making love) is indicative of those raging hormones and fireworks you feel when you’re just starting out with a long-term partner.
Their relationship is also in direct contrast to most of this chapter, which tackles our older couples and how they’ve handled what life has thrown at them all.
As the episode comes to a close, we return to those two journeys, this time returning home. Nicky has decided to head east and leave, having made peace with his past and, in particular, Sally. Deja has also changed, on her path to becoming a woman as she messages Randall and tells him she’s had a life changing experience. She also drinks coffee too, which is ironic given her earlier comments.
As we jump forward to our timeline in the future, Nicky has found someone to settle down with after all. A woman he met on the plane after leaving Rebecca no less; a flight attendant called Edie. As they hug and kiss, we’re left with lots of questions over exactly how this season is going to end.
The Episode Review
This is Us has a way of weaving different themes and ideas through its episodes and this is another classic example of the show taking the concept of love and creating an artistic, well-worked tapestry around that.
The dual storylines – Malik and Deja alongside Nicky and Sally – works so well to capture all the ups and downs of love and what that entails. It’s a really poetic, beautifully delivered chapter too and that’s before even mentioning the little things, like Rebecca taking up salsa dancing again at the end following her moments worrying about her age.
Rebecca is finally starting to come to terms with her condition and it’s going to be one heck of a bumpy ride across this season when the inevitable does happen. There’s definitely some emotional moments to come ahead, but for now we settle on the sweet, tender side of this show, which delivers another very good episode.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|