‘The Conners’: Darlene and Jackie Face Heartbreak in Latest Episode

by Allison Hambrick

The latest episode of The Conners saw both Darlene and Jackie hitting a rough patch in their romantic relationships.

Called “Three Exes, Role-Playing, and a Waterbed,” the midseason opener saw both the aunt and niece in romantic peril. Darlene is coping with her breakup with Ben. She previously found herself caught in a love triangle with Ben and the father of her children, David. Though she and David broke up, Darlene didn’t make it work with Ben either. Additionally, Darlene starts the episode in a fledgling relationship with a guy named Nick.

Unfortunately, Darlene makes the misstep of visiting the hardware store Ben owns with Nick. Then when Nick and Ben hit it off, she does nothing to stop the progression into being roped into a double date. After Ben and Darlene spend the whole time arguing, Nick takes her aside and breaks things off. While he wanted to leave the door open for future romance, Darlene proved again how good she was at burning bridges by calling him a loser.

Meanwhile, Jackie finds herself feeling inadequate in a relationship with a younger man, Neville. While their relationship has spanned a few episodes, the arrival of Neville’s ex complicates things. The ex, Helen, moves back into town and begins to work alongside Neville at his veterinary clinic. Throughout the episode, Jackie puts her jealousy on ugly display for all to see. She rejects Helen’s overture of bringing a wine bottle, tries to make her look bad during a game of basketball, then tries to tell Dan that Helen broke his vase.

While hilarious, Jackie’s shenanigans only prove troublesome in her relationship. At least Becky had a pretty solid episode. The end of the episode saw Becky happily relaxing on a waterbed alone. Maybe her sister should take notes.

Katey Sagal Returns to The Conners

After she was hit by a Tesla, actress Katey Sagal had to take a break from The Conners. The actress was absent from several episodes, but the executive producer, Bruce Helford, said her return is on the horizon.

“She was sidelined when she tried to tackle a car,” Helford quipped. “We had to do a scene with her where she was only sitting down because she wasn’t really fully walking.”  Her first appearance since the accident will be in episode 11, which airs on Jan. 19. Because of her injuries, she will not be back in her regular capacity for an additional three episodes.

“We understand she’s pretty well healed up and she’s making her return to the family in episode 14,” Helford added. “We’re really happy that she’s back and happy that she’s safe and well… She’s anxious to get back to work.” 

The Conners airs Wednesdays at 9 on ABC.