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The Conners’ History-Changing Plot Twist Sets Up A Tragedy Worse Than Roseanne’s Death

Summary

  • The death of Roseanne’s character in The Conners was a tough loss, but now the family faces an even worse tragedy due to an unexpected truth about their history.
  • Bev’s dementia prevents her from fully redeeming herself for the harm she caused her children, despite her acts of protection.
  • Jackie and Bev won’t have enough time to repair their relationship before Bev’s impending death, leaving Jackie as the sole surviving member of the Harris family.


The Conners is looking at a tragedy worse than Roseanne’s death because of a history-changing plot twist. ABC’s premier comedy started out as a revival of the iconic family comedy, Roseanne, but after Roseanne Barr was fired from the series, the writers had to find a way to move the titular family forward, hence turning it into a soft reboot sequel. Losing its main character was tough, especially when looking for ways to explain her absence in the new series. Ultimately, The Conners decided that it was best to permanently write her out of the project by killing the character.

It has been years since Dan and the clan lost their matriarch. After the unfortunate incident that led to her demise due to overdose, The Conners shied away from further tackling it. Aside from the tragic nature of Roseanne’s passing, the actor’s firing was also controversial, and the spinoff sequel elected to move on from it by playing safe when it came to dealing with the matter. As The Conners potentially ends with season 6, however, the family is once again facing another massive loss. This time, it could be worse than Roseanne’s untimely demise because of an unexpected truth about the family’s history.

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Bev’s Condition Doesn’t Allow Her To Be Fully Redeemed

Bev has dementia.

Estelle Parsons as Bev in The Conners

One of the longest-running arcs in The Conners is Bev’s impending death. For a while, Jackie and Roseanne’s mother struggled through an unknown health condition, until it was revealed to be dementia. It’s no secret that while Bev has had a complicated relationship with her kids, her dynamic with Jackie is more complex, if not even manipulative. Roseanne was more pliant towards her demanding mother’s attitude when she was still alive, but Jackie was defiant, acknowledging how badly they were being treated. So when it was revealed in The Conners season 5 that Bev had secretly protected her kids against the abuse of their father, the perspective on her changed.

Unfortunately, her predicament won’t allow her to fully make up for everything else that she did to hurt her kids. The dementia sullies her memory of things, so while she may be able to remember the good things that she did, such as protecting her daughters, it’s possible that she doesn’t have any recollection of everything else she did to harm them. Without her remembering and acknowledging the bad things, it would be virtually impossible for her to take accountability, and that’s the only way for her to be redeemed. Even if she shielded Roseanne and Jackie from their parents then, it doesn’t negate the bad things she has done.

Bev’s Death Doesn’t Give Jackie Enough Time To Properly Repair Their Relationship

Jackie and the family prepare to say goodbye to Bev.

Laurie Metcalf's Jackie and Estelle Parsons' Bev hug in The Conners Season 5 Episode 13

The Harris’ matriarch kept her family secret for decades, only revealing the truth in The Conners season 5 — years after Roseanne’s death. Considering her health situation, it’s safe to say that she doesn’t have a lot of time left, and it won’t be enough for her and Jackie to properly make amends. Despite their tumultuous relationship, Jackie seems to have already mellowed towards her mother. While she was always defensive, and even antagonistic with her, she has become more receptive towards her, especially considering her current predicament. This is a big step towards their reconciliation, but it’s unlikely that they have the time to fully mend their decades-old rift.

Learning that Bev did make some sacrifices for her may be what Jackie needs to forgive her. However, that would be the best-case scenario for their future. They can no longer forge a brand new relationship that would make up for all the time that they lost. Perhaps that’s enough, considering their history, but had Bev started making amends much earlier, she and Jackie would have had a longer time to develop a better dynamic. Maybe Roseanne may have been able to participate.

Related

The Conners Season 6’s Most Important Plot Proves Why It Needs To End Already

The Conners only has one compelling arc left to tackle in season 6, which is further proof that it’s time that the Roseanne spin-off finally ends.

Bev’s Impending Death Leaves Jackie As Their Family’s Only Surviving Member

The Conners can process through Bev’s grief.

Once Bev finally passes away, Jackie will be the final member of the Harris family left in The Conners. That’s a grim reality to think about, let alone live in, but it can also be an opening for a compelling narrative. How The Conners moves her story forward after Bev’s expected demise is uncertain, but unlike Roseanne’s demise, which had been an off-limit subject for the sequel show for a while, the family comedy can properly follow Jackie’s process through the grief of losing her mother, with whom she has had an extremely complicated relationship with.

The Conners

The Conners is a spinoff of Roseanne, a popular sitcom beginning in 1988 that starred John Goodman as Dan Conner and Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner. After the Roseanne revival was canceled in 2018, The Conners continued the storyline of the lovable middle-class family and their lives in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. The Emmy award-winning series brings back Dan’s children, Darlene, Becky, and DJ, played by Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson, and Michael Fishman, respectively.

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