Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Conners, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!
Now that the Olympics are finished keeping scripted TV shows on temporary hiatus, The Conners has returned to ABC, and the hit sitcom dropped some moral conundrums on Darlene and Becky in the episode “Sex, Lies and House Hunting.” They’re technically both “relationship” dilemmas, but there are some potentially iffy complications involved in using that word, so we’ll just use some other words.
Katey Sagal is set to make her long-awaited in-person return to The Conners in the March 2 episode, following a recovery from injuries she suffered upon being struck by a car in October. But before that happens, let’s reflect on the somewhat unexpected ways that Darlene and Becky’s storylines played out in the latest episode.
Becky Is All In On Dating Professor Davis
We might as well get the minorly more icky plotting out of the way first. As it was introduced in the previous episode “Hot for Teacher and Writing a Wrong,” Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder and Veep vet Matt Walsh has joined the Conners-verse as Glen Davis, a seemingly esteemed-enough professor who charmed both Beverly Rose and her mum. The pair are still in the early stages of whatever their situation is in Episode 413, but while I’m all in on Becky going to O-town with whoever she wants (even if it happens at her own father’s wedding), I cannot imagine this pairing faring well for the long haul.
It’s the second time we’ve seen Becky and Glen together, and despite taking steps to keep their public date as out of the way as possible, they were both instantly recognized by two other college students as soon as they exited a vehicle together. Then, when those students rather candidly explained their worry that Becky was Glen’s unwitting prey, she got overly defensive and sarcastically reflected the suspicion back on them. If Becky is already spreading lies and setting up burnable bridges this early in her relationship with Glen — dammit, I used the no-no word! — then there are only larger hurdles to settle up for in the future.
One of two outcomes are likely for this duo. In one, they continue to struggle trying to hide their dates and whatnot, putting a strain on everything until they’re eventually caught, with consequences. In the other, one or both of them gets out ahead of any potential public controversies by eliminating their part in the “professor-student” labeling. But I sincerely hope Becky doesn’t throw her education away for this dude already, and for Glen’s sake, I hope he doesn’t throw a pension-locked job away for anyone with Conner as a last name. There could always be a third option, so I’ll just hope to be surprised.
Darlene Wasn't All In On Buying New House
Meanwhile, Darlene had to do some lying of her own while trying to take a big step forward in her life, though not so much on a romantic level. Rather, she finally started making moves to vacate her childhood bedroom — the entire home, even! — and went out looking for potential options for her and Mark (and Harris, probably) to call home in the near future. And since we’re already sort of comparing Becky and Darlene’s situations, I think it’s saying something that Darlene went hard on the first house we saw her visit that drew a positive response.
In any case, the religious-leaning owners’ preference to sell to a stable couple led to Darlene and Ben posing as a couple whose shared life wasn’t imploded in cringey ways over a failed proposal. That ploy didn’t even secure Darlene the house at first, as another couple put in a far larger offer that was outside any Conners’ price range at $20,000. And that’s when the inevitable happened: Ben, having spent a little time with Darlene that didn’t lead to snide arguments, shared how proud he was of her devotion, and offered to co-sign on the home loan to make sure she was approved.
By all means, that set-up itself is a foundation for another sitcom, and connecting Darlene and Ben together through home-ownership would be an organic and ironic enough way to keep their kinship growing after living together is part of why they split in the first place. But surprisingly, The Conners took a left turn here when Darlene turned down Ben’s offer, recognizing and avoiding all of the unhealthy pitfalls that would come along with her relying on him to make the finances work.
Now, does that mean she won’t relent and ask for him to do it after finding an even better house in a later episode? Nope. In fact, his offer will probably set some emotions loose in Darlene that leads to something else down the road. But for now, Darlene’s choice is probably the most mature move she’s made in Season 4 so far. I'm sure the next house will have her posing as a magician's assistant to Nick or something, so that should be fun.
Heaven help everyone if Darlene buys a house in a different school district, forcing Mark to change schools yet again. Though maybe she can just lie about that mailing address to keep him where he is, since she’s good with that kind of thing. (As my parents also were when I was a kid, but shhh.) I'm not sure how to feel about Darlene potentially moving out of The Conners iconic home, although I feel far more cozy about that than I do about Becky and Glen banging under his desk.
With another one-week break coming in the near future, The Conners is seemingly set for a largely uninterrupted stretch going into the end of the season. Be sure and catch new episodes airing Wednesday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET. And when not thinking about what kind of people Drunk Jackie would land at a singles mixer — answer: either the best or worst human beings, with no room for the middle — head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.
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.
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