Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Conners' big wedding episode, so be warned!
Weddings are rarely smooth and easygoing affairs, and that goes triple for TV nuptials. So it would fly in the face of logic and good taste if The Conners' wedding episode for Dan and Louise was anything but hectic and calamity-filled. This family doesn't do smooth and easygoing, dammit. Now somebody give Dan and Louise each a congratulatory beer.
With all the narrative obstacles on display, The Conners' big wedding ep was an early highlight in Season 4, with lots of legitimately hilarious and cringe-worthy moments wrapped around each other. Like a ring around a finger. A wedding ring. Full circle. Also like a wedding ring. Cut to the best and most awkward moments!
Everything Involving Tony Cavalero's Aldo
I'm definitely filing this one under AA for Awkward As, Fuck. Things immediately felt kinda skeezy when Harris revealed she was taking her 38-year-old coworker-with-kids as her wedding date, and that feeling soared through the stratosphere once Tony Cavalero was revealed as Aldo, the guy you'd recognize for sporting a neck tattoo of a snake with a devil's head. Cavalero, who co-stars with John Goodman in HBO's The Righteous Gemstones, didn't get much time to shine alongside Emma Kenney's Harris, but this is a brilliant doomsday device of a relationship to keep The Conners' mother-daughter relationship on edge.
Louise's Bridesmaids Dress Debacle
To be expected, Louise is having 99 problems, and botched bridesmaid dresses are absolutely one of them. The scene might have come across as more tropey if not for both Katey Sagal's excellence, as well as Lecy Goranson and Sara Gilbert popping up momentarily to deliver an actual sight gag to go along with the story. And had they stuck around in their respective fabric deluges, it might have lost its impact, but it was perfectly short and sweet.
Ben's Pre-Wedding Arrival
First up, we have Jeff as the world's worst wedding ride. Then we have Darlene's mental horror in realizing Ben's +1 to the wedding was supposed to be his mother, complete with her assumption that the Conners might spread something worse than COVID. Then we have Ben going and rubbing Darlene's "impetuous" wedding proposal all up in her face. I tend to like railing on Ben for kicks, but you know the only reason he got all snippy was because Not-A-Professor Jeff was there. Hate the game, not the Darlene, bruh.
Dr. Harding's Tornado Therapy Sesh
Fred Savage's return as Darlene's therapist Dr. Harding was a delightfully absurd scene where characters talked through open vehicle windows in a storm and nobody got rage-inducingly soaked because of it. But the best bit was the simple idea of Harding going out and chasing tornados (with the Tornado Chasers, natch) as a way to change his boring ways, and then offering his professional opinion that driving into a tornado is also the best course of action for Darlene. Which would be lazy advice if it wasn't so fitting. But seriously, they would have been DRENCHED.
Becky's Hilarious Toast To Champagne Sip To Church Bathroom Sex
Much to my delight, The Conners offered up a double-dose of sex-fulfilled Becky, whose glowing smile in the final third of the episode remained a delight. Of course, it all came about in a domino's rally of fucked-uppedness, starting with Becky's A+ toast:
Yowzah! That awkwardness was then topped by Becky realizing she grabbed a glass of champagne instead of apple juice, and then went into an emotional spiral over having accidentally disrupted her sobriety streak. But you know what they say, church bathroom sex is the best medicine. Even if one's brother happens to walk in on it, though let's all give thanks that D.J. chose to leave before peeing. That might have counteracted the medicine or something.
That Moment When It Seemed Like Louise Wasn't Coming
Of course The Conners wasn't going to leave Dan hanging at the altar with Louise truly getting cold feet. Of course not! But I'll admit I believed that might indeed be the case starting in the two seconds prior to Louise appearing behind a just-as-surprised Neville. And in those two seconds, my heart burst a thousand times over the thought of what Dan's face would look like if she didn't make it. Oh, that Louise and her perfect timing.
Wedding Sirens And Busted Windows
If there's a tornado mentioned in the first act, you can bet it'll come back to twist things up in the end. Which is how Dan and Louise were officially married (sans witnesses) by Jackie, whose ability to do was sourced to the back pages of High Times, mere feet away from broken glass and other debris. A fitting way to bring church into the story after tapping into Roseanne's relationship with God affecting Darlene's emotional journey. Of course, that's a dangerous precedent to set in life. If one can get married during a tornado, then anything should be possible, but this is the Conner family.
The Glorious Return Of Drunk Jackie
Laurie Metcalf is always a goddamned joy when Jackie gets completely unhinged, especially when alcohol is involved. And I may have had my hardest Conners-inspired guffaw yet after everyone was back home and she howlingly repeated Becky's toast from earlier in the night and gave her belated props for it. Metcalf seemed truly hammered with that performance, making it all the more hilarious, and Nat Faxon and others can be seen trying not to fully break during those moments.
Darlene And Ben Being Cordial Again
We started with awkward, and we're ending with awkward, as "The Wedding of Dan and Louise" ended not with Dan and Louise, but with Ben and Darlene. After Mark blew up on his mom for the potential loss of Foreign Movie Night, Darlene's next interaction with Ben could have gone a million different ways. And the way it went started off with some shared barbs with Mark's happiness in mind, which was all well and good. But then, like, it got 1% ooey-gooey, with Ben passionate-aggressively saying it's hard to stop caring about Darlene, even if he wants to, and Darlene being like, "Huh." The kind of "huh" that leads right back to "Let's move into together, Ben!" Only after first leading to Drunk Jackie's boobs.
Without an official wedding reception, Jackie is likely the only person who'll wake up with a hangover. Be sure to see where things head next when The Conners airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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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.