This Is Us gave us one of the many missing puzzle pieces involving the Pearson family’s future in the latest episode, titled “One Giant Leap.” Viewers finally found out who Nicky Pearson (Griffin Dunne) is married to, as well as the person in the car pulling up to Kevin’s house some 12 or so years in the future. (But warning, major spoilers ahead!) 

The specialized episode focused on Deja’s secret trip to visit boyfriend Malik at Harvard and Nicky’s road trip (50 years in the making!) to see his first love, Sally. Of course, as young love has a tendency to do, it clouds Deja’s judgment, and she lies to Beth and Randall, telling her parents she’s going to spend the weekend with her friend Tiffany. (Only younger sister Tess seems to know what she’s really got planned.) On the bus ride to Boston, the lady sitting next to Deja says, “There’s nothing like young love. You’ll see,” which is all Deja needs to hear to validate her decision.

Meanwhile, Malik has his hands full at Harvard, juggling college living and coursework while coparenting daughter Janelle with ex Jennifer. It’s not the ideal situation for Deja, who is a little taken aback by the real-world responsibilities her boyfriend has to manage, but understands the pressures he’s under. They finally get an evening to themselves, which sweetly ends with a nervous Deja and Malik deciding to sleep together. She has a great first experience, but it’s only a matter of time before her world is turned upside down once Randall and Beth find out she lied to them.

Deja gets ready for her trip to Harvard to see Malik.


While Deja is having her “life-changing” experience, Nicky is about to come face-to-face with Sally. The two first met in 1969, when they worked together at the veterinarian clinic in Pittsburgh, and he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her since. Nicky tells Rebecca and Miguel that he’s tracked her down a few hours outside Los Angeles, so they all pack up the car for a li’l road trip, complete with awkward moments and a sweet rendition of Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling.” Along the way Rebecca and Miguel discover that Nicky hasn’t told Sally he’s coming. What’s more, he doesn’t know whether she’s single or even whether it’s the right Sally. (And yet you just have such a soft spot in your heart for Nicky you can’t help but find it endearing.) 

The good news is that it is the right Sally, and she’s home to answer Nicky’s knock at the door. She’s just as gorgeous as Nicky remembers, and she invites him—and Rebecca and Miguel—in for refreshments. The bad news is that she’s married, and it’s something she fails to reveal until her husband, Eric (Jeffrey Nordling), walks into the living room. Nicky wants to leave, but Sally manages to get them all to stay for dinner, which turns into the most awkward yet heartwarming gathering. While Sally and Eric actually have a very fractured relationship—thereby giving viewers hope that maybe she and Nicky do end up together—the most poignant bond is the one that occurs between Sally and Rebecca. The two have an honest and refreshing conversation about life and aging. When the night is over, it’s still TBD whether Nicky and Sally might have a future, but Nicky finds consolation in the fact that a photo Sally took of him in 1969 is up on her photo wall.  

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