Spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched The Conners' latest episode, so be warned!
After kicking off Season 4 with a live premiere in front of a full audience, The Conners brought theology into the fold for its second episode, complete with several references to the late Roseanne Conner and her complicated relationship with God. So what more logical subject matter could there be to veer into for Episode 3 than the topics listed in the episode's title, "Sober Sex, Plastic Silverware and Losing My Religion."
In a nutshell, the episode's storylines were split pretty much down the middle. On one side, we had Sara Gilbert's Darlene unwittingly self-sabotaging her attempts to form a stronger relationship with Louise. On the other, Becky's hyper-specific amends-making point of her sobriety journey put her back in very close and intimate contact with an old high school friend. Nothing too brain-melting on the whole, but the episode employed a variety of elements that really make it shine, and I'd love to see lots more of everything below going forward.
Happy, Worry-Free, Post-Orgasm Becky
Don't worry about things getting bawdy, everybody, this isn't about the sex! Well it is, but it's more about seeing Becky oozing pure, stress-lacking, alcohol-forgetting, emotional jubilance in her post-coital state. (And I do realize I'm making assumptions about how her side of things went, but we all know what Lecy Goranson's smile was conveying.) It's everything the character needed after all the mental and physical struggles she's coped with, including worries about how to have sober sex. Naturally, what was meant to be no-strings-attached experience with Darien Sills-Evans's Mikey went sideways when he confessed his long-undisclosed crush on her, because dudes are mood-killing experts. But it's another big step toward seeing Becky riding seratonin highs instead of reminiscing about boozy lows.
Drunk, Rambling Jackie
Okay, so The Conners wasn't exactly reinventing the wheel by bringing Drunk Jackie out to play, but who doesn't want to see more wheels on shit? Likewise, give me Laurie Metcalf yelling non-esque sequiturs between other characters' lines all day long. No matter how many birth stories we have to hear.
Louise Being Assertive (Wedding Dress Optional)
While I guess it might be seen as controversial by certain corners of the Roseanne Conners fandom, Louise spent most of Episode 3 making one grand statement: "I'm not Roseanne and her plastic utensils. I'm not Darlene and her vicarious wedding planning. I'm not Harris and her patriarchy-destroying. I'm Louise, and I'll marry Dan however I damned well please." And because Katey Sagal is the gawdamned best, it's extremely easy to jump on her side, even while feeling bad about Darlene truth-bombing herself with the realization that she was pushing her own wedding goals onto her future mother-in-law under the guise of "friendly advice." Between Louise and Mark, the Conner family might make it in this world...in a few generations.
Mark's Sassy AF Wedding Dress Commentary
As bizarre a choice as it can be to have one's future grandchildren-by-marriage to accompany them to try out wedding dresses, it gave us Mark's unfortunately under-utilized but hyper-snappy takes on Louise's choices. I understand how this fairly specific character behavior wouldn't naturally come up in episodes on a weekly basis. But am I saying it would be a terrible idea to have Mark impulsively judging brides-to-be as soon as they come out of dressing rooms as footage to air over the credits? I'm not saying that would be a terrible idea at all.
More Jason Alexander In General
Similar to the Drunk Jackie entry earlier, there aren't any wordy bells and whistles here. Jason Alexander is great, and Pastor Phil seems like a great guy, regardless of one's take on religion. That's it. That's the argument. He told Darlene that it was okay for her to look outside the church to find guidance in life, which isn't a good sign for the character's continued presence. And I know Alexander hadn't signed on for anything beyond a guest role at this point, but knowledge is lame in the face of pure want.
The Conners Season 4 continues on ABC every Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET, and while waiting to see where things go next for Lanford's finest, be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen soon.
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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.