The Conners Dropped A Huge Reveal That Twists Up Roseanne And Jackie's History With Their Mom Bev

Jackie in Chicago Bears shirt in diner on The Conners
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Conners, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!

The latest episode of The Conners dug harder than ever into Jackie’s soured and hilariously harsh outlook on Bev and her dementia issues. Just about every scene featured some of the sitcom’s most biting trademark barbs, as the struggle to find a proper healthcare guardian started to make life hell for Jackie, as well as for Harris and Mark. By the end, all those targeted comments were viewed through a different prism after a scandalous secret emerged from Bev’s past that involved a young Jackie and Roseanne.

The Conners called back to a heavy recurring plotline from Roseanne’s early years, revolving around Jackie and Roseanne’s father Al Harris, who was revealed to be an abusive father and a longtime philanderer, with Bev divorcing him in Season 5 ahead of his death. (Al was portrayed by John Randolph.) That era came back around thanks to a medical report revealing that Bev suffered a broken arm earlier in life that hadn’t ever healed properly, which Jackie was completely unaware of. 

As it turns out, that broken arm was caused by Al, and the reason Jackie (and presumably Roseanne) never learned about it is because they were shipped off to stay with their grandmother at the time. A memory that Jackie had already brought up earlier in the episode in the context of Bev being an uncaring mother who would just dump her kids off willy nilly for long stretches.

Here’s how their conversation went down after Jackie figured it out:

  • Estelle: I didn’t want you to know what he did. He was gonna hit you, and I stopped him, and he broke my arm. 
  • Jackie: Oh, my God. That’s why we moved in with Nana Mary. 
  • Estelle: Well, I couldn’t let him hurt you two. You girls didn’t do anything. You were just little girls. Stop making me talk about this.

It was a big moment for the pair, which came about due to the helpful guidance of the pricy-but-worthy nurse Carrie, who brought it to Jackie’s attention, presumably knowing it would soften some of her harsher edges. And sure enough, Jackie was taken aback by the reveal, and followed it up by giving her mom a big and not-at-all-awkward hug.  

Jackie hugging Bev in diner on The Conners

(Image credit: ABC)

I can’t imagine it’ll change everything about how Jackie feels, since Bev is still kind of a turd, but it certainly adds a new layer of understanding to some of her behavior and harsh attitude in the past. 

The Conners has delved into these characters’ pasts quite regularly so far in Season 5 — episodes are available to stream with a Hulu subscription. A prior episode brought back Eric Allen Kramer’s bully Bobo, whom Dan took a swing at in an early ep of the flagship sitcom, with William H. Macy also guest-starring as a former boyfriend of Roseanne’s. While it wasn’t about any TV predecessors, fans were also introduced to Louise and Neville’s mom, as portrayed by SNL vet Jane Curtain. Earlier in the season, Louise and Neville’s nephew Caleb joined the fun, allowing for an earlier Shameless reunion between Emma Kinney and Ethan Cutkosky.

What other past memories will The Conners recontextualize for its characters next? Find out when new eps air on ABC every Wednesday.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.