The character of Deja, Randall and Beth’s newly adopted daughter, comes with a story line that has been percolating since we first found out about her past. In “The Most Disappointed Man in the World,” we see Deja finally paying a visit to her mother in jail. Randall insists on taking her, despite Beth’s reservations, and when Deja gets to the jail she’s told she can hug her mother. But when they’re finally about to see her, we learn that Deja’s mother has decided not to see her, for reasons unknown.
Naturally, Randall loses it, snapping at the social worker who has been working with them. He goes back and tells Deja that her mother won’t be seeing her, but twists it as a mix-up so the situation comes off a little softer. Deja asks Randall if they can get her mother the money she’s been saving with her allowance, and Randall agrees. But Beth has decided that Deja is not going back to the prison, wanting to keep her away from the mother that keeps hurting her daughter.
Kevin, meanwhile, is having a heck of a time spiraling downward. He keeps putting off his trip to see Sophie, his pill-popping is getting worse, and he’s drinking too much beer. The one bright spot of his life is when Kate and Toby announce their pregnancy, and Kevin gets inspired. He buys a ring, jets off to New York to see Sophie, and plans to propose. But when he gets to her apartment, he can’t find her, and that sets off an anxiety spiral where he imagines himself married to Sophie with a kid… and imagines himself as a bad father.
When he finally talks to Sophie, she tells him how worried she’s been, and he tells her how he feels he’s not worthy of her love or a relationship or a family. Sophie calls Kevin out for spiraling, but that doesn’t stop Kevin from breaking up with her — and doing so pretty coldly. I don’t blame Sophie for slamming the door in his face, honestly.
As for Kate and Toby? Things are actually going well, even though Toby is worried about telling his mother about the baby, since they’re not married and she’s uber-Catholic. Kate suggests they get married at a courthouse, and Toby’s all in for the idea, except when they get there it’s clear Kate isn’t into this idea after all. So Toby has a heart-to-heart with Jack’s urn (seriously), realizes what Kate wants and deserves, and in true Toby fashion, pulls off an elaborate proposal that has Kate in tears. But she says yes, and maybe there’s hope for one couple on this show after all.
We don’t get much insight into the past in this episode — our main story line is Jack and Rebecca trying to go through the red tape of adopting Randall, even though they’re told by the judge who is on their case that Randall should be placed with a black family. Rebecca tries to argue her own point and fails, and so she sends a letter with a picture of their family asking him to reconsider. The judge doesn’t, but he takes himself off the case, and the new judge grants permission.
The other story line in the past? William, who is in a different courtroom at the same time as Rebecca and Jack. He’s sentenced to prison, but the next day, the judge gets him out and takes pity on him, saying he’s going to get William help. We flash forward a little bit to when William is a little older, and when he finds out that his cancer is terminal, he decides to shoot up again. But that’s when Randall knocks on his door — the scene from the pilot — and, well, we know how Randall saved his father.
So Randall decides to save Deja, and goes to see her mother himself. She’s been beaten, which she tells him she hadn’t wanted Deja to see. She tells Randall the story of her ex-husband, who led her down this path. Randall tries to tell her it’s not her fault, but she isn’t having it. It makes Randall realize how many choices in life have been made for him, and how he wants to take control of his own narrative. The end of the episode sees Deja talking on the phone with her mom, and we think that maybe, for now, there’s a little bit of hope.
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(Photos via ABC)