How The Conners Ended Its First Season Without Roseanne
Warning: This article spoils basically the entire Season 1 finale of The Conners**. Look away now unless you'd rather read about what happened than actually watch the episode!**
While the specter of Roseanne has hung over much of what went on during Season 1 of The Conners, the finale managed to wrap things up without much mention of its former star. As could be expected, the family was actually looking at some individual highs early on, but then had those potential fortunes reversed as the episode drew to a close. Specifically, Jackie, Darlene and Becky all saw their separate romantic relationship woes come to a head, and nobody was quite able to get out of this season in a good place. Let's start with Jackie, since what happened to her was actually a good thing, even though it did cause quite a bit of drama.
The first time we see Jackie, she's at home preparing to do laundry when Peter walks in, fresh from a Renaissance fair. So, unfortunately, even though she told him off weeks ago and it seemed like she was done with him, she's still with mooching Peter. When he starts adding his dirty, old-timey fair clothes to the laundry, a surprise pops out, and Jackie ends up holding what he calls "breast bags," which amount to a very old fashioned bra. Obviously, Peter should not have had access to anyone's breast bags while he was away, but when Jackie inquires about how he ended up with this item in his laundry, he's quick to lay on the guilt. Peter tells her that if she's going to accuse him of cheating he might as well go ahead and do it, and Jackie backs off, saying that she won't mention it again.
Well, Jackie said she wouldn't mention it, but she never promised that would hold true if she happened upon evidence that Peter really was knocking boots 1500s style. The next time we see Jackie, she's a bit drunk and Peter is just getting home again, and wants to know how his things ended up in the hallway leading to their apartment. Jackie tells him that she made that happen, since he was stupid enough to use the phone that Jackie pays for to call Breast Bags more than is appropriate. When he tries to counter by saying BB is an academic of some sort that he needed info from, she is quick to counter by letting Peter know that she went ahead and called BB, and the woman referred to Peter as her boyfriend.
Peter, dirty devil that he is, tried to turn things around and make this Jackie's fault, and even tells her not to let her insecurity drive away another good man. But, Jackie has heard enough, and beats Peter with a bath towel until she gets him out the door, noting to him that Dan had warned her about the fact that he was taking advantage of her.
Remember how I said Jackie was drunk? Well, having to kick Peter out after fully realizing how badly he was treating her all this time didn't make that any better. In fact, she gets even drunker and heads to the former Lunch Box that she owned with Roseanne back in the day and is drunkenly acting as a waitress. A cop who knows her calls in Dan and Darlene to get her out, before he has to arrest her.
As they're trying to talk Jackie down, she reveals that the time she owned the place with Roseanne was the last time in her life that she was happy and says she was hoping Peter would "save" her. Then she storms around breaking display cases and acting a fool until she collapses in Dan's arms crying, at which point he and Darlene are able to usher her out. The next day, Jackie is hungover in the Conner kitchen when Darlene walks in and she tells her niece that the "toxic mess" that is her life is all starting to come out now that Roseanne's dead and she has to finally figure out why she always looks outside of herself for happiness.
While Jackie's troubles with Peter did at least lead her to realize she needs to figure herself out, Darlene ended up making a decision that will probably come back to bite her. Near the top of the episode, Darlene tells Becky that Ben asked her and the kids to move to Chicago with him, because he got an offer to run the tabloid in a much bigger market. She tells Becky that she wants to work at a big city tabloid and let the kids live in a city they love again, but she can't because she promised to be there for Becky and her baby. Clearly, she's trying to guilt Becky into giving her blessing and letting her out of her promise, and Becky does just that, even though she threatens to FedEx the baby to Darlene if she ends up needing to go to rehab.
Later, Darlene tells Dan about Ben's offer, noting that she hasn't given him an answer yet because she wanted to talk to him about it first. Dan seems happy for her and quickly gives his OK, saying that she'll only be an hour away and he likes his privacy. Then he tells her that he'd like a break before Becky and the baby move in, and when Darlene looks at him questioningly, he says, "Come on, you know that's coming."
After Darlene tells Harris and Mark about the move, she gets a surprise when David knocks on the door. He looks like a wreck and tells her that he broke up with Blue because she wanted kids and marriage, saying that he couldn't do it because she's not Darlene. Then, he tells her that he wants her back and there's no reason for them not to be together because he's gotten a steady job and is a part of the kids' lives, just like she wanted.
Darlene tells David that it's too late; she's in a relationship and Ben has asked her and the kids to move back to Chicago to live with him, adding that she'll make sure that David can see the kids whenever he wants. David tells her that she might as well change her mind now, because it would be easier than doing it two months from now when she and the kids are already back in Chicago.
This is when Dan comes in to tell Darlene that Jackie is in trouble, and while it seemed good that she would get a chance to think about things before giving him an answer, it's possible it made things more confusing for her. When Ben comes over the next morning to see how Jackie is doing, he asks if she's made a decision about Chicago. And, what does Darlene do? She tells him that she can't leave Dan right now because he's still too vulnerable. When Ben asks if this means she's never joining him, she says it's just for a couple of months until she gets Dan used to the idea of her and the kids leaving. Oh, Darlene...WHY? You and David don't work, you know this, girl!
Lastly, we need to talk about Becky. She's had one of the most illuminating arcs this season, as we got to see how Mark's death all those years ago really impacted her, not to mention her inability to have a baby, which surprisingly turned out to not be so permanent. In recent weeks, the realization that she was going to have a kid, and her decision to keep it (along with support from Darlene and the rest of her family) had led Becky to a better place. And, while things started out good for her in the finale, they mostly went to hell by the end.
At the beginning of the show, Dan and Emilio, Becky's baby daddy, had happened upon a baby store that was closing and bought up a bunch of things that she would need to take care of her little bundle of joy. Emilio was clearly happy about the baby, and ready to be a part of its life. Later, when he and Becky are in the park, she apologizes for waiting so long to tell him and give him a chance because he's a nice person, and she is too, but she just didn't see her life going this way. As they eat Becky's favorite food, tuna casserole with potato chips on top (which Emilio made for her from scratch), he says that getting to know the strong, beautiful mother of his child while having a nice night with her in the park is exactly what he wanted from his life and Becky kisses him.
Unfortunately, the happy times were short-lived. Just a couple of days later, after Darlene and Jackie have their talk in the Conner kitchen, Dan follows Becky into the house and is clearly panicked, asking her if she's heard from Emilio. Apparently, Dan heard about an ICE raid on the restaurants downtown, and Becky realizes that she did get a message from a number she didn't recognize. As she listens to the message, Becky starts crying and puts it on speaker for them to hear. It's Emilio, telling Becky that he's being deported, but he'll find a way back to her and the baby as soon as he can.
If you're worried that this heartbreaking ending for Becky might see her falling back into her not-so-old bad habits, you likely aren't alone. Hopefully, if they can pull together, Becky, Darlene and Jackie will see a way through to making their lives better. Now we just need Season 2 of The Conners to get the greenlight, so we can all see how that happens.
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