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The Conners' Sara Gilbert And Lecy Goranson Share Darlene And Becky Updates That Sound Almost Too Positive

Darlene in honeymoon cabin on The Conners
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the Season 5 premiere of The Conners, so be warned!

As The Conners returned to ABC for its fifth season, it re-introduced viewers its latest pair of newlywed couples: Darlene & Ben and Jackie & Neville, with the latter duo clearly not suffering from a lack of libidinous energy. The premiere also laid out the new living situation going forward, with Becky and Beverly Rose moving in with most of Darlene’s crew. It was a relatively calamity-free installment, save for Mark’s second experience with mind-altering substances, so does that mean these characters should get accustomed to such brighter pastures?

When CinemaBlend’s Sarah El-Mahmoud spoke with Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson ahead of “Double Honeymoon and Seeing Double,” she asked about what fans can expect to see from Darlene and Becky early on in Season 5, and it actually does sound like everything everything is on the up and up for both of the Conner daughters. Which only serves to sow suspicion in my mind, but let’s keep things optimistic for now. 

Sara Gilbert On Darlene And Ben's New Home And Early Marriage

When asked about how Darlene and Ben’s new home will compare to the iconic TV landmark that is the Conner family home, Sara Gilbert shared that things will be comparatively modest, and that fans shouldn’t expect anybody to start avoiding the main abode. In her words:

Well, obviously it's going to have been done on a budget. So even though it's new, it's not going to be super luxurious or anything. But I think for Darlene it will be a nice change compared to living in her dad's house and her childhood bedroom, or kids being in her childhood bedroom. I still think we'll spend a lot of our time in the Connors house.

Dan shared some automatic gripes whenever Harris voiced her wishes to stick around the main house instead of hopping into the new one with the rest of her fam, as he thought he was finally granting Louise her wish for peace, quiet, and privacy when at home. So for his sake, I’m hoping when Gilbert says Darlene & Co. will be spending “a lot” of time there, that refers to the points when Katey Sagal’s character is on the road playing gigs. (Where, perhaps ironically, it’s much better to have a packed house.)

Considering Ben and Darlene’s relationship has gone from wildly tempestuous to slightly less tempestuous over the past few years, we asked Sara Gilbert how positive-minded and/or impulsive they’ll remain in the first chapter of their lives as a married couple. And while things obviously won’t be perfect, she doesn’t hint at anything volcanic on the horizon, saying:

I don't think we really touch on impulsivity, but we, you know, have some little issues come up when you're newly married. No, it's nothing dramatic or no big. It's not like we're having huge fights, but just negotiating the dynamics of a new marriage.

But the phrase “calm before the storm” exists for a reason, and on a show like The Conners, a streak of non-devastating vibes is a good indicator that the other shoe is going to drop pretty hard at some point. Which isn’t to say viewers should expect Darlene and Ben’s marriage to go belly-up or anything, but the creative team knows how to make things tragic without necessarily crushing the characters themselves. 

The Conners’ showrunner Bruce Helford previously confirmed Season 5 wouldn’t focus on home renovations or anything of that nature before having the characters settle into their respective homes. So one can assume that we won’t have to worry about Darlene falling through any more ceilings, leading to further spontaneous life changes for her and Ben, nor any major fights about how the house should look. Just normal married-people fights. 

becky smiling during wedding on the conners season 4

(Image credit: ABC)

Lecy Goranson On Becky's Early Season 5 Journey

Becky was the only adult character on the show who didn’t go through some kind of personal marital issues in Season 4, if we’re counting D.J.’s marriage being impacted by AWOL Geena again following her return in Season 3’s finale. Which isn’t to say Lecy Goranson’s character didn’t have her own struggles to cope with, but more than ever before, Becky’s life is on an upswing for the time being. When asked what the character’s situation is during Season 5’s early episodes, here’s what the actress said: 

She's still in school. She's the only one now that's not married. I guess Harris isn't married, either. But she's looking for love, and she's still a mommy to her daughter. I think Becky thinks, like a lot of mothers, that her daughter is gonna be the kid that gets out, you know, when she wasn't. But Beverly Rose is very smart, and Charlie, who plays Beverly Rose, is also very smart and fun to work with. We only know so much. We get the scripts week to week, and so we're literally just at this point of Week 3. But Sara, of course, she's the EP, and she's got all the inside scoops.

I think we can all expect to see some ups and downs when it comes to Darlene and Becky living under a different roof together, especially if Darlene is the one who gets to make the rules. (Suck it, Ben.) After watching the newly married couple get so stressed out over hearing Jackie and Neville having sex in the same cabin, I can't wait to see how they react whenever Becky brings someone home for naughty-time.

One of Becky’s ongoing character anchors is her past with alcohol abuse, and her current path of sobriety. As it often goes in these cases, she’s stumbled along the way, but Lecy Goranson doesn’t seem to think Becky will be tripping up soon, even with a big life change such as moving, and instead makes it sound like she’s using the dark times to inspire a brighter future.

Oh yeah, that's always there. It was funny, because we were playing cards in a scene today, and there was an extra beer. And I was like, 'Get that away from Becky.' [Laughs.]. I was like, someone's gonna see that on television and think she's back on the sauce. You know what I mean? So, yeah, I think it was pretty scary when she had that relapse, but I think she's in a really good place, because she kind of has changed her life. She's not really doing dead end work anymore. She has a path and a focus.

Of course, when I talked to showrunner Bruce Helford last season around the time the finale aired, he hinted that Becky’s drifting nature would lead to complications. Though I suppose complications don’t necessarily imply outright disasters. It’s hard to shake the ominous feelings about what’s coming soon for the Conner family, but I’m happy to wallow in their tentative joy while it lasts. 

The Conners airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET, with episodes available to stream the next day with a Hulu subscription. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.