‘This Is Us’ 4×07 Review: ‘The Dinner and the Date’

This was the moment we’ve all been waiting for since Deja and Malik first met. This dinner was a long time coming. And I really wish that could have gone better than it did!

Warring Families lead to Star Crossed Lovers

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That whole forbidden love thing didn’t work out too well for Romeo and Juliet. It’s a good thing that Randall and Beth know that. Because although this dinner could have gone better, I’m also well aware that it could have gone way worse.

From the moment the Hodges arrived at the Pearson home, things were awkward. We knew they would be because of the baby of it all. It’s why Beth and Randall don’t like the idea of Deja and Malik dating. But things just got heated from there.

At first, it seemed like Randall and Darnell were getting along but the same couldn’t be said about Beth and Kelly. The two women were just pointing fingers at each other’s kids to see who could take more of the blame for the relationship.

The thing about young love is that they should know better. Yeah, skipping class was Malik’s idea. But Deja still went along with it. Honestly, I’m with Darnell on this one. They’re kids and it really wasn’t the end of the world.

Luckily by the end of the episode, after cutting dinner ridiculously short, Beth and Randall come to their senses and agree to let Deja and Malik date. With parental supervision of course.

Overall, I think the parents were the ones behaving like children but hope is not all lost. I can still see these two families coming together in the long run.

Jack Pearson learns a valuable lesson

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Last week, we saw Jack invite Randall’s favorite teacher for dinner. I honestly wasn’t sure about his intention and I don’t think he was either. It’s clear, however, that he was very much feeling intimidated by Randall’s new connection. Basically, Jack was being a total a-hole throughout dinner. Lucky for him, he has a pretty amazing wife to call him out when he’s not being himself.

This dinner goes a lot smoother than Randall’s but it still ends on a weird note. Weird enough that Jack apologizes at the end of the night.

The father of three finally admits that he’s struggling with teaching his son how to be black. This elicits a chuckle from Randall’s teacher, Mr. Lawrence, before the young educator tells Jack that’s not what he needs to do.

Mr. Lawrence reminds Jack that he’s got a pretty remarkable kid that he hopes to have some kind of influence on. But he’s not naive. Randall may remember an awesome teacher he had once but the person who’s going to make the biggest impact on his life will always be his father.

Mr. Lawrence leaves Jack with a book of Randall’s favorite poems and advises him to just try to relate to his son more.

Which Jack does, because he gives the book to Randall and the pair decide they’re going to read it together. It was another beautiful moment between father and son. They seem to be having a lot of those this season.

They call it puppy love

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“He makes me feel like home.” I know Deja is only fourteen but this girl is describing love like an adult. Maybe everything she’s been through has led her to this point but this episode left me believing in love again. It showed that love is not bound by age, race or class.

These two crazy kids skipped school and spent the whole day exploring Philly.

They ate cheese steaks (because of course they did), explored the art deco, went to the park and finally ended the night on the water. Deja got her first kiss and learned a lot about Malik all in one day. And when she told her parents and his that she’s not sorry for spending the day with him because it was the best day of her life, I FELT THAT.

I am rooting for these two so much. Here’s hoping that they make it. It’d be so nice to see adult Deja and Malik with kids in the future.

A lesson about race and elitism

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One of the absolute best things about this series is how topical everything is. Jack had to learn a hard lesson about race. He truly didn’t realize how wrong he was to think anyone could ever take his place in his son’s life. He also had to realize that to make his son choose between himself and the best teacher Randall has ever had would be selfish. I really like that this show is still making sure we know that Jack is far from perfect. But he still works hard to be a better man for his family.

On the other hand, we have Beth and Randall who forget where it is they came from. And I don’t mean “the hood”. But they didn’t come from wealth. They made their living by working hard. So watching them be so bougie was really disappointing (even if that was one of the funniest lines in the episode).

I do like that they came to realize how wrong they’d been to not even give Malik and his parents a chance. I’m seriously hoping for a do-over down the road. Maybe the next dinner can be hosted at Casa Hodges instead.

Highlights

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  • Beth hides wine in the pantry. When I grow up, I’m going to do the same.
  • That entire Pearson/Hodges dinner was a masterclass in acting. The way Beth and Kelly were going at it like the mama bears they are had me both cheering and crying. I really want them to be friends.
  • There’s a lot of theories going around now that Darnell is going to die after he showed Randall his tats. They also dropped a couple of hints that may be considered Easter Eggs. Malik is currently the same age that Randall was when he lost his dad and his parents have been together twenty-two years, same as Jack and Rebecca when Jack died.
  • I don’t want to see Darnell die but if this is their way of making Randall relate to Malik more, I’ll just freaking accept it.
  • Do you guys think Malik and Deja make it? I know they’re young but technically so were Beth and Randall.
  • Their first kiss was magic. I ship Dejik.
  • “Open toe shoes for an open mind.” I’m going to use that motto.

1 Comment

  1. I am sorry but I certainly understand Randall and Beth’s concerns about their teen daughter dating a young parent. I would feel the same way about my teen child. And there is nothing wrong with being “bougie.” Be who you are. Let’s not pretend that Kelly didn’t throw major shade as soon as she entered their home and continued to do so throughout the night. Beth was about to take her earrings off so she wasn’t too bougie (lol). Both couples had preconceived notions about the other family.

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