This Is Us fans might still be talking about last Tuesday’s love-it-or-hate-it standalone episode by the time next week’s season finale rolls around, but creator Dan Fogelman is standing by the unusual choice.

“Our 2nd-to-last episode of season featured little of our superstar cast and instead told the important story of a little girl’s life,” Fogelman tweeted even as the episode, titled “This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life,” polarized fans. (See Fogelman’s tweet, among others, below).

“This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life” focused largely on the recurring character Deja (Lyric Ross), the teenage foster child of Randall and Beth. Told mostly in flashback, the episode chronicled Deja’s life in foster care before crossing paths with the characters viewers know.

“Must acknowledge what NBC let us do last night,” Fogelman wrote. “Our 2nd-to-last episode of season featured little of our superstar cast and instead told the important story of a little girl’s life. Anyone writing the obituary for network TV may want to put down their pen for a second.”

Ratings weren’t quite so rosy, though. This is Us was down -12% to its second-lowest L+SD demo delivery, beating only its episode that aired on Halloween.

Viewers might return for the March 13 season finale though, if only to watch what might have become of Jack had the character not died so young. Milo Ventimiglia will play the character as an older man, with gray hair, in what seems to be some sort of visitation at the wedding of daughter Kate (Chrissy Metz).