On the November 17 episode of This Is Us, titled Honestly, Malik (Asante Blackk) fulfills a civics class project requirement to shadow a hard working person for a day.
Enter Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown).
The newly elected city councilman allows his daughter Deja’s (Lyric Ross) boyfriend to work alongside him at City Hall as a temporary employee.
Malik is late for his day on the job on This Is Us
Malik gets off to a rough start when he shows up for work six minutes late. Randall mentions this situation but makes light of it as he admires the boy’s choice of attire.
Malik looks like a mini executive in a nice suit and striped tie similar to the tie Randall chose to wear.
Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) marvels at how nice Malik looks for his new gig, and Deja agrees.
Malik is distracted from his duties on This Is Us
While catching up on tasks at City Hall with Jaewon, Randall jabbers on as Malik nods off.
Randall ribs him about being bored, but he doesn’t dwell on this downfall. Instead, the boss asks the boy to help with the daily video bulletin he delivers to the people of Philadelphia.
Malik is happy to work on the project, remarking that Deja watches the update every day. Then he realizes he has imparted too much information since his girlfriend made him promise not to talk about her to her dad.
With Malik in charge of ending the live-stream, Randall takes on his internet appearance with verve. Toward the end, he mentions that his birth father, William Hill, found a family in the people of the City of Brotherly Love.
Randall said he feels that kind of kinship, too.
Meanwhile, Malik gets a phone call during Randall’s video chat. It’s from his mom, who is concerned about his baby, who may be sick. While he suggests she give the little girl some baby aspirin, his new boss winds up his online session.
Unfortunately, Malik does not hear the cue to stop recording the session.
Because Malik shirks his responsibilities, Randall is caught pursuing other aspects of his life. For this fit guy, that means he is about to get ready for a run.
To do so, he dances as he takes off his shirt. In essence, he does a striptease for the entire city to see.
Deja catches the performance and tells Beth about it.
She finally reaches her boyfriend, letting him know he messed up. Malik quickly cut the computer connection just before Randall shows up in front of the camera, completely naked.
Randall identifies with Malik on This Is Us
Randall was in no way thrilled with how Malik behaved during his one day on the job.
He let the kid know how he felt, whereupon Malik let his mentor know he was exhausted. He had risen before sunrise to take care of his chores, which meant being certain his daughter had everything she needed.
At that juncture, the older man tells his protege he should never let his dreams diminish. He said Malik couldn’t do that even for the sake of his family because, in the long run, to dream big is going to be his best bet for everyone.
By taking care of himself, he will, in turn, be better able to take care of his loved ones, too.
Malik smiles. He tells Randall in no uncertain terms this is never going to happen. He tells his girlfriend’s father he has made big plans.
So what is this young man’s dream for the future?
He aims to attend an Icy League college to study business, and he plans to go to culinary school. Finally, he plans to bring to fruition Philadelphia’s first three-star Michelin restaurant.
Not only is Randall impressed, but he also appreciates Malik as a person with whom he identifies.
So, when Malik boldly asks for an internship with the city councilman to show his prowess on his college applications, Randall is happy to oblige.
Randall’s striptease goes viral on This Is Us
After he finally gets home, Randall is teased about his impromptu and very public striptease. Then Jaewon calls to let Randall know his after-message antics are getting hits. Lots of hits.
In fact, Jaewon says the video has gone viral.
Does this bode well for the city councilman, or is he now a laughing stock in the community and elsewhere?
Time will tell, but meanwhile, synchronicity is again at play on This Is Us.
Apparently, the fisherman who appeared during the NBC show’s Season 5 premiere has access to Randall’s live-stream.
The buff city worker has made the news in a land as far away as Vietnam.
As for the ancient Asian man?
He is not at all interested in Randall’s rippled chest.
Instead, he is focused on something Randall said during his daily bulletin broadcast.
That something came about when the Philadelphia councilman mentioned his birth father. Clearly, William Hill is a name he remembers.
Now, to figure out what this old guy has to do with Randall’s birth mother.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.