On Tuesday night, took a departure from the main cast members' storylines to focus on Deja's (Lyric Ross) backstory in season two's penultimate episode "This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life." However, the masterful writers, led by Dan Fogelman, still managed to relate Deja's struggles to those of Randall, Kate, Kevin, and the rest of the show's characters throughout the episode, tying it all together in a monologue by Deja about how "everybody sleeps."
Here are some of those subtle moments that you may have missed on last night's show.
1. Randall explains how Deja's name has a deeper meaning.
The This Is Us writers' decision to name Lyric Ross's character Deja was no accident. The phrase déjà vu describes the feeling that a situation currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past. In this episode, Randall tells Deja, "I'm seeing me in you." However, in the episode, we discover that whether its because of health issues, dealing with the death of a loved one, or a family member with substance abuse problems, every single character can relate to Deja in one way or another.
2. "The Manny" playing on TV explains why Deja fan-girled over Kevin.
When Randall first fostered Deja, she introduced her to his brother Kevin, and viewers saw how Deja was immediately drawn to Kevin's character. People likely assumed that she was just crushing on a famous actor, and on last night's episode, we see how Deja truly was a fan of Kevin's show, The Manny.
In "This Big, Beautiful, Amazing Life," a flashback scene shows Deja home alone and preparing a birthday meal for her mom. While she's cooking, an episode of The Manny is playing in the background.
3. There are similarities between Shauna and William.
Randall has expressed to Deja that they have a lot in common, but so do their respective parents. Deja's mother, Shuana, and Randall's father, William, were single parents who were forced to give up their kids for a better life. It is still unclear whether Shauna will commit to this decision — since this was the final scene in last night's episode — but she clearly is trying to make a selfless choice for the betterment of Deja's future. Similarly to how William wanted to have a relationship with Randall growing up (but couldn't because of Rebecca's fears), viewers suspect Shauna will want to continue to see Deja and not disappear completely.
4. Deja's "everybody sleeps" speech is from a novel.
In the beginning of the episode, many characters read from the popular bedtime story "." What many viewers may have not realized is that Deja's speech about how "everybody sleeps," is derived from the 2013 book "" by Marcellus Hall. In this narrative, a curious dog named Conrad travels far and wide only to discover that creatures everywhere — no matter where they are from or what they look like — all fall fast asleep.
5. "Police Academy 3" was the movie playing in the living room.
This Is Us fans know that Randall likes to watch Police Academy 3: Back in Training with his wife and kids on Thanksgiving ever since his father, Jack, started the tradition at that creepy log cabin in the "" episode. Tuesday night, the 1986 comedy resurfaced when Randall, Beth, their daughters, Shauna, and Deja were sharing some family bonding time.
6. Seventies icon Pam Grier played Deja's great-grandmother.
Deja's great-grandmother G.G. was the best example of a maternal figure for Deja before she died. Viewers may have missed that the actress playing G.G. was '70s superstar Pam Grier, known for films such as Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown, and The Big Bird Cage.