The Conners remembered the late Roseanne Conner in a tender moment between returning fan-favorite character David Healy and Darlene.
As David (Johnny Galecki) arrives to the Conner household to pick up his kids, who are spending the weekend with him, he takes a second to honor his late mother-in-law, who was revealed to have died during the spinoff's series premiere.
"It's so strange being in this house without your mom," David tells Darlene (Sara Gilbert). "When you and I were having problems she'd always take me aside and say 'David, I can't understand you when you're crying.'"
"You were the daughter she always wanted," Darlene jokes.
"How are you doing?" David asks, with Darlene replying quietly, "Up and down," before the conversation steers toward the central problem in the episode: David's new girlfriend Blue (Juliette Lewis).
The reference is part of a season-long promise from The Conners producers that Roseanne Conner's death would be a key theme in the spinoff series.
As fans of the series will know, The Conners was born out of the sudden cancellation of the highly successful Roseanne reboot following racist remarks on Twitter by series star Roseanne Barr. Weeks after the cancellation, the network ordered the spinoff series to save the cast and crew — sans Barr — and keep the success going without its star.
During the series premiere, the show revealed Roseanne Conner had died three weeks earlier of an opioid overdose, and the family uncovered the matriarch's serious problem with prescription drugs.
After the premiere aired, Barr released a statement denouncing the "morbid" way her character was killed off the series, as well as tweeting out: "I AIN'T DEAD BITCHES!!!!!"
"While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne's cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show," the statement read.
Despite some fans who vowed to not watch a second of the spinoff series to remain loyal to Barr, critics and other fans alike praised how the writers of the new series related Roseanne Conner's death to a current crisis going on in the country.
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.