‘This Is Us’: Uncle Nicky & Déjà Take ‘One Giant Leap’ in Their Love Lives (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 2 of This Is Us, “One Giant Leap.”]
This Is Us continues to unravel the story of the Pearson family as it extends to further branches from the core group.
In the show’s latest installment, “One Giant Leap,” fan favorites Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) and Déjà (Lyric Ross) embark on two separate romantic journeys in a perfect juxtaposition of first loves in youth and later in life. Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments from the pivotal and revealing episode that could change the way fans see certain characters and their stories.
Uncle Nicky’s Quest to Find Sally
After Rebecca (Mandy Moore) got fed up over Uncle Nicky’s pining for his first love from afar, she pushes him to find Sally. With the help of Rebecca and Miguel (Jon Huertas), they plan to take an overnight trip to the town Nicky claims she lives in, packing bags and meds for the journey.
While Nicky preps for meeting Sally as though he were a schoolboy picking his outfit for the first day, Rebecca’s more preoccupied about making sure everything is in order for their temporary absence at home. Once they hit the road, Miguel and Rebecca start asking questions about Sally, like whether she’s single or not, but Nicky doesn’t say too much besides the fact that she’s supposedly single.
Nervous as ever, the old man practices his opening line for Sally on Rebecca and Miguel, and they encourage him despite his self-consciousness. Attempting to loosen the nerves, Rebecca turns on the radio and the tune “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede transports her to a memory with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) where they ride around in a convertible.
When Nicky asks to make a pit stop so he can pick out a gift, they find a thrift shop where he selects a camera like the one he remembered Sally using in the ’70s. When the shop owner wants to charge Nicky more than he thinks it’s worth, he begins to lose confidence and tries calling the whole trip off. He admits that he’s never spoken to this Sally they’re driving to see as he believes it’s the girl from his past.
Rebecca isn’t letting Nicky off that easily though and says they’ve driven this far, so he’ll have to follow through on the plan. Ultimately, when they wind up at Sally’s door, Nicky is speechless and requires help from Rebecca and Miguel to fill in the gaps and explain to Sally who he is. After being reminded that she and Nicky met in Pittsburgh, Sally remembers him and invites everyone in for a cold drink.
When they sit down, Sally explains that she ditched hippie life for a job in pharmaceuticals as she settled down with her husband Eric (Jeffrey Nordling). The mention and appearance of Sally’s husband sets the tone for the rest of the visit that Nicky tries to break up. Instead, Sally invites them to stay for dinner and they sit down to eat together.
As they chat, Sally mentions remembering Jack, and then Nicky recalls his personal memory of their romance, adding a few too many details. When he mentions the vet’s office, she says that unlocks every memory and claims she was worried she was getting Alzheimer’s. The comment hits home with Rebecca who speaks up about having it. Sally apologizes and Rebecca isn’t angry, she just brings up how she’s been sweating the small things.
This makes way for the rest of the dinner party to share occasions when they’ve sweated the small stuff — for Miguel, it’s his hair, as he’s worried it will all go away, Eric mentions how much he worries about the house deck’s safety after it was built without being properly inspected. Nicky’s fixation had been Sally for many years, but he doesn’t regret it because it kept him going in life. As for Sally, she regrets getting a satellite dish because that’s when everything in her and Eric’s marriage went wrong.
The bombshell leads to a break-up of the dinner table as Sally leaves the room and Rebecca follows. They talk about growing older and their fears surrounding it. Sally mentions how she used to take photos of herself all of the time, only to abandon the practice as she got older. She wonders aloud when women stop wanting to see themselves in a youthful light.
Rebecca’s story involves salsa dancing with Miguel and an experience running in with a younger group of dancers that made fun of them. Rebecca says she blamed sciatica for not wanting to dance anymore, but it was her lost confidence. Together, they make a pact to have more fun, taking some Polaroids together before they begin their farewells.
Taking one of the photos, Rebecca exits with Miguel and sits in the car to give Nicky and Sally a moment alone. Agreeing to meet in another 50 years, he tells her how glad he is to find that his photo was on one of her boards, making the whole venture to see her worth it. They part with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
In the car, Rebecca apologizes for the job Miguel has ahead of himself, but he promises that they’ll make it through “in sickness and in health.” She also asks to start salsa dancing again, leading to a sweet kiss that Nicky aptly interrupts as he gets into the car. Deciding it’s best to start his next chapter, Nicky tells the couple he’s going to head back east to help with the build of the Pearson family cabin.
We later see him on the plane where he begins flirting with the flight attendant, who we learn is named Edie (Vanessa Bell Calloway). A flash forward to the recurring scene of the Pearsons gathering at Rebecca’s bedside emerges, hinting that she’ll one day become his wife, answering for the mystery ring we’ve known about since Season 4.
Déjà’s Trip to Boston
Déjà packs a bag just like the older members of her extended family, but unlike the sleepover that Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) think she’s going on, she’s actually planning to pay a visit to Malik (Asante Blackk) all the way up in Boston. Promising to stay in with her pal Tiffany to study, Déjà bids her family adieu with a special “good luck” from Tess (Eris Baker), who seems to be in on the scheme.
On the bus, she meets an old lady who imparts wisdom about first loves, adding to the anticipation of Déjà’s arrival. When she does finally get up to Boston, she’s greeted by Malik and his little girl Janelle who give her big hugs. They rush back to Malik’s apartment for Janelle’s mother Jennifer to pick her up, only to be greeted by the agitated young woman.
Jennifer blames Malik for being late and bickers with him before introducing herself to Déjà. Malik defends his tardiness and disorganization on his classes at Harvard, but Jennifer isn’t buying it. Once Déjà and Malik are alone, she asks what she can do to help with his chaotic situation and he mentions needing an hour to finish a paper. She tells him to take two and in the meantime, gets all dolled up in a new dress.
When he sees her, he can’t help but be in awe, and the pair head out for a night of fun at a local college party. As the evening begins to wind down, she tells Malik she’s ready to take the next step in their bond and they go back to his apartment where they consummate their relationship.
Heading home on the bus the next day, she receives a text from Randall who asks her how breakfast at Tiffany’s was, taking the opportunity to fit in a dad joke. Déjà’s answer is “life-changing” as she can’t keep the smile off of her face.
What will these new relationship dynamics mean for the rest of the season? Stay tuned as This Is Us continues on NBC.
This Is Us, Season 6, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC