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Warning: Spoilers ahead for the live episode of The Conners. Read at your own risk!
Every show needs to shake things up a bit every now and then, but The Conners has wisely decided to do it before the show gets so long in the tooth that it's an obvious stunt to bring in more viewers. The Conners has finished its first ever live episode, and, surprise, surprise, when you have a cast and crew this talented you can usually expect things to go off without much of a hitch, and that's exactly what happened tonight.
While one of the main themes of the episode focused on Mark watching the New Hampshire primary for a school report (an event that's also going on live tonight), we did find out some interesting things about Dan, Mark, and the rest of the Conner clan. Without further ado, here's everything you need to know about how The Conners live episode went down!
Everybody Was There!
It's true that the core cast of The Conners isn't super large (I mean, this isn't exactly General Hospital), but it's not like we see and hear every member of that cast every week. Well, this live episode made an effort to give everyone some time in the spotlight. Mark and Harris got into an argument even though she doesn't live in the Conner home anymore, and it revealed some important things (which we'll get into later).
Ben stopped by to talk politics with Mark. Mary tweeted at Donald Trump to see if he could buy her folks some cheese slices (don't ask). Becky, DJ and Darlene threw a surprise going away party for Louise and (also surprise) invited Dan, which did not turn out well. Jackie tried to get Harris interested in voting. And, Louise took some time to commiserate with Dwight about her failed attempts to have a romance with the Conner patriarch.
Good work, The Conners. You managed to work in pretty much everyone who's been important this season!
Mark Has Less Than 99 Problems, But Harris Is Absolutely One Of Them
Remember how I said that Mark and Harris got into a fight that revealed some things? Well, the conflict began early in the episode when Harris came into the Conner kitchen, announced that her laptop had died and asked Darlene for a new one. As you can imagine, Darlene told her eldest child that she was crazy, especially since the family couldn't even afford to stock the kitchen with nice food at the moment. Harris attempted to commandeer Mark's laptop on the spot, but was stopped by Darlene.
Later, when Mark is watching the primary, Harris storms in and tries to take his laptop again when she needs some entertainment and he's using the TV. This time, though, there's no one else to keep her from grabbing it, and she and Mark play tug-o-war with the device until it flies across the room. Luckily, it wasn't ruined, but Mark is (reasonably) livid.
He yells at Harris, saying she doesn't care about his things, doesn't even live there anymore and should go home and be sure not to say goodbye this time, either. Ooooh. When Harris asks if Mark is actually mad that she's trying to live her own life, he says that he has no one to talk to anymore because she left him alone with their crazy family. Mark also tells her that when he shared with Dan that he had a crush at school, they just ended up watching Spartacus and eating fried chicken.
Then, right before telling Harris to leave again, Mark says he's got a problem that he would have liked to talk about with her, but since she's out of his life, never mind. Awwww. With all the drama between Darlene and Harris over her moving in with Odessa, who would've thought that Mark was feeling left behind with all the nutty adults in the house?
When Harris comes back later in the night to apologize, she gets Mark to open up about his problem, and it's kind of a big one, especially for a kid just starting to date. It turns out that Mark and the boy he got in trouble at school for kissing, Austin, are back together, but Austin doesn't want anyone to know.
To counter any appearance of friendship or more between them, Austin either ignores Mark in public or actively makes fun of him. Mark is torn because he still likes him, but Harris quickly gives him perfect sisterly advice and tells him to dump the kid because his desire to not be outed as gay is not a good enough reason to treat Mark badly, and, eventually, Mark agrees. YAY! The siblings made up!
Dan + Louise = Dunzo
Phew, well this one is sorta sad. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Louise told Dan she was thinking about going on a short tour with her band, because it might be her last chance to do such a thing? OK, good. Then, you'll probably also remember that she outright told Dan that she'd stay if he wanted her to and if they could double down on the friendship and actually, really, FOR REAL date, right? Yes!
Unfortunately, this also tells me that you remember Dan telling her he couldn't stop her from taking such a good opportunity and that he wasn't ready to date, so she said she'd leave and also broke up with him. Well, this week, Louise was preparing to leave, even asking Becky to cover some of shifts while she's gone. Becky says sure, but when she, Darlene and DJ talk about the fact that she's leaving they realize it's the reason for the sour mood that Dan's been in.
What should they do? The honest answer is nothing, but, instead, Darlene hatches a plan to throw Louise a surprise going away party and invite Dan, which would be another surprise! DJ is on board as soon as Darlene asks if he wants to be the one to pull Dan off the toilet when he's 80, but even though Becky lamented Dan's poor decision to let Louise go because she's thin and has no meth addiction, she knows that he will be very displeased if they meddle. But, we all know no one listens to Becky, so here we go!
You guys, the party is super awkward. The kids didn't know that Dan and Louise had actually broken up, making this way worse. And, when everyone tries to keep Louise from leaving almost immediately Dan has to yell at them to stop, saying he doesn't want to do this. He offers to drive Louise home, but she says no, also telling him that she wants this to stop, but she means being around him instead of the party.
When Dan, Darlene and Becky get home he gets angrier at them than I've ever heard anyone get on a sitcom. When he reveals that they threw a party for two people who broke up last week, they ask why he didn't tell them and Dan yells "BECAUSE IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!" I'd be wiling to give John Goodman a whole Emmy just for that line, but he goes on.
Dan calms and tells them that he's been feeling so guilty about his feelings for Louise that he went to church and talked to the minister, who told him to write a letter to Roseanne and burn it, so he could release all his feelings, but he was planning to do it on her birthday and then try talking to Louise again. Now, of course, it's too late, and he feels that the kids and their party really put the nail in that potential romance coffin.
I can't imagine Louise will be out of Dan's life forever, though, and I wont be shocked if she shows up just in time for the season finale.
So what did you think of The Conners live episode? Let us know in the poll below! You can keep up with one of TV's wildest families when The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.