Dan’s future with the hardware store, Darlene’s loss, and her struggle to get what she needs will all have significant implications as the series moves forward.
But the most powerful moments came with Becky’s alcoholism. We’ll follow that up tomorrow in our exclusive interview with Lecy Goranson, where she talks about what brought about Becky’s relapse and what she hopes to see for the character moving forward.
Let’s start with Dan.
He and Ben came to an agreement about the hardware store, and it almost felt too easy after their previous blowup.
If Dan’s going to give this venture his all, he wants to feel like he’s getting something in return. Ten percent isn’t huge, but it’s more than just a paycheck, and Ben seemed to have underlying motives in helping Dan out.
Ben wants the life he envisioned before he and Darlene moved into the Conners house, and who can blame him? Ben believes that with ten percent of the profits, Dan will be able to catch up on his bills in six months, and he wants him and Darlene to get their own place.
But Darlene decided she wouldn’t worry about it, at least not for six months, which had more to do with Molly Tilden than Darlene’s therapist.
Molly was a blast from the Roseanne past, and her introduction with Jackie was priceless…
Molly: What are you doing now? Last I remember, you were working at the Lunch Box.
Jackie: Still am.
Molly: Oh, are you married?
Molly: Do you still have that mom you were always fighting with?
Jackie: Let’s cut to the chase. Nothing’s changed. 27 years. Zippo.
Molly’s return was interesting given Darlene and Molly’s complicated history as teens fighting over David. It could have been even more fun if David had popped up so both women could have realized how little there was to fight over in the first place.
But one of the funniest moments was when Darlene went to Molly’s home, and Mrs. Tilden answered the door.
Mrs. Tilden: Molly, one of your little friends is here to see you.
Darlene: I’m 44 years old, and I’ve got kids, but yeah, that’s fine.
Some people will always see us as kids, no matter how old we get or how much we’ve lived.
Molly was important because she made Darlene look at her life a little differently.
Molly: You’re 44 years old. How much longer are you going to wait to enjoy your life?
Darlene: I didn’t know it was an option.
Darlene has looked upon her life in terms of survival for so long that she has no idea how to enjoy the moment, and that’s what Molly was there to change.
Molly’s death was shocking. She was so young, and no one in Lanford besides her parents knew she was sick. It was quite a reality check for Darlene, who was trying to take Molly’s lessons about doing something to make herself happy to heart.
But Ben had different ideas.
It was heartbreaking to watch Darlene finally speak up for herself and tell Ben how much she needed this trip to Hawaii, no matter how crazy it sounded, and have him squash that dream.
I kept hoping that Darlene would call the airline and find out the tickets were nonrefundable. Remember how Ben wanted to start some crazy podcast, and Darlene was supportive because it meant so much to him, and he said he needed it?
I know the podcast never happened, but that’s because Ben took over the hardware store, not because Darlene made Ben feel like his needs were frivolous.
It felt like Ben didn’t remember any of that. I can’t say Ben’s wrong. Taking the refund and paying off bills is the practical thing to do, but Darlene was close to begging to go on this trip with him.
Darlene’s working at the factory, worrying about her father, and having anxiety attacks; this vacation could have been the mental health break she desperately needed.
And when Ben told her they’d go to Hawaii someday, I had to wonder if Darlene was thinking about Molly, who was dead at age 44. There are only so many somedays, and none of them are guaranteed.
What I actually expected didn’t happen. I thought Darlene was going to turn in those tickets to help pay for her sister’s rehab.
Beckys’ relapse was discouraging but not a complete shock. After so many years of abusing alcohol, the fact that Becky was able to stop drinking cold turkey when she found out she was pregnant was the bigger surprise.
We never really heard about Becky getting help or going to AA, so maybe Becky eventually taking that first drink was inevitable.
Her conversation with Mikey pushed her over the edge, and then she couldn’t stop because that’s what happens when you’re an alcoholic. As the saying goes, one drink is too much, and a thousand aren’t enough.
When I was having dinner with Mickey, I was so impressed by the me I made up for him, I want to be just like her.
Becky wanted a better life for her and Beverly Rose, so she was working double shifts in the hopes of being able to go back to college.
But instead of seeing her hard work pay off, she ended up exhausted, no further along financially, and missing out on spending time with her daughter.
When Beverly Rose cried for Lupe, it was heartbreaking. That type of moment would devastate any mother, so it made sense that it drove an already depressed Becky searching for the nearest vodka bottle.
The hopelessness of Becky’s situation was balanced out with the humor of Darlene drag racing a teenager in her rented sportscar.
Dan: I thought I was done picking you kids up after you’d done something stupid.
Darlene: You told me that you would give me a ride any time and that you wouldn’t judge me.
Dan: You were 14! That offer expires after you’ve had your second kid.
But the fun times were over when Jackie walked in with a feverish Beverly Rose and the news that the baby’s cries couldn’t wake Becky, who was downstairs, passed out drunk.
You and your sister better get your crap together. This night could have ended a lot differently with the baby in the hospital and your car wrapped around a tree.
Even when faced with the truth, Becky still fought against admitting that she had a problem. She swore she could handle her alcohol, even though all of the facts clearly showed otherwise.
But addicts don’t think clearly, and in that moment, the ability to have another drink ranked higher than her sick child. It was only Jackie’s bluff that Beverly Rose’s life had actually been in danger that drove the point home.
Come on, Becky. Train wreck recognizes train wreck. Unless you always sleep in your clothes with your shoes on?
One of the standout moments was when Becky tried to fight Jackie for her car keys, and Jackie physically restrained her. It was a nice reminder that Jackie had actually been a trained police officer, even if it is often joked about.
The physical fight was short but dramatic and reminded me of when Jackie hit Darlene when they fought during The Conners Season 2 Episode 7. Perhaps that’s because the Conners feel so much like a real family.
In the end, Becky agreed to go to rehab, but with four more episodes left this season, I’m curious to see how many more obstacles will turn up in Becky’s path.
Check back in for our exclusive interview with Lecy Goranson, who plays Becky Conner, to find out about these dramatic scenes and more!
It’s your turn, The Conners Fanatics!
Was Ben right to tell Darlene to return those tickets for a refund?
Should Darlene ditch Ben and take that vacation anyway?
Were you surprised that Ben and Dan came to an agreement so quickly concerning the hardware store?
Will rehab help Becky get sober again?
What do you hope to see for The Conners as we edge closer to the season finale?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share your thoughts, and check back tomorrow morning for an interview with Lecy Goranson!
And don’t forget, you can always watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.
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