How The Conners Will Make Things Super-Awkward For Darlene's Love Life In Midseason Premiere

Ahead of its winter hiatus, The Conners bid a temporary farewell to viewers with a largely calamity-free midseason finale partially focusing on Darlene's suspiciousness over her new beau Nick intentionally not having a cell phone or other mobile forms of communication. Things worked themselves out, sort of, as Darlene realized her paranoia was based on her own infidelity in the past. But don't expect the ABC sitcom to give her any big rewards for such introspection when it returns in January 2022, as things will immediately get awkward again for the romance-seeking character.

ABC unveiled some new imagery (as seen above and below) to go along with the episode synopsis for its midseason premiere, titled “Three Exes, Role-Playing and a Waterbed,” and all signs point to a high percentage of cringe-worthiness. Check out the synopsis below:

Thinking it’s Ben’s day off, Darlene brings Nick to the hardware store only to run smack into Ben, who invites Nick to join him at The Lunch Box to watch a Bears game. Meanwhile, Dan tries to spruce up the bedroom while Louise is out on the road and Jackie meets Logan’s mom.

I’m going to just assume that the “three exes” in the episode’s logline refer to Darlene, Nick and Ben, as mildly weird of a group descriptor as it is. Otherwise, it would be very easy to think that it refers to three of Darlene’s ex-boyfriends, which would lead to speculation that Johnny Galecki’s David is returning. And since Galecki is busy developing other TV shows, and because a David comeback would presumably spark a high-level promotional push, I’m just going to push it out of my mind.

Darlene and Nick in hardware store with Ben on The Conners

(Image credit: ABC)

By all means, Darlene probably won’t need to take Nick to the hardware store, either, regardless of what Ben’s whereabouts are. But she does sometimes subconsciously set herself up for destruction in situations like this. And you can’t tell me she won’t get a modicum of pleasure out of introducing Ben to her new boyfriend, if only to gauge how jealous his reaction seems. 

And since Nick is generally an upstanding human being that shares very little in common with Brian Austin Green’s Jeff, and because Ben generally isn’t a hateful monster, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the two will get along quite well. Though heaven help Nick if he reveals himself to be a Green Bay Packers fan, or that he’s related to former Conners guest star Aaron Rodgers

Nick already played a central role in one of Darlene and Harris’ most uncomfortable exchanges, which got weirdly physical and led to the teen moving out of the family home. So it’s only logical for him to get the full Conners experience by meeting and hanging out with the biggest love of Darlene’s life prior to their relationship. Even if things do get testy in some way, shape or form, the fact that they’ll be in public would hopefully keep things from getting too extreme. That is, unless Jackie brings the food-delivering drone out. No one is safe under those circumstances. 

Becky grooving out in bed on The Conners

(Image credit: ABC)

Elsewhere in the episode, fans will witness the follow-up to Dan burning most of the old furniture he shared with the late Roseanne, as he attempts to furnish the bedroom with new-ish wife Louise in mind. It’s unclear when we’ll see Katey Sagal back in the role after she was hit by a car earlier in the fall, but let’s hope she likes grooving out under psychedelic lightscapes as much as Becky does.

The Conners will return to ABC on Wednesday, January 5, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out all the other new and returning shows on the way with our 2022 TV premiere schedule

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.