‘The Conners’: How Mark’s Struggle Could Affect Darlene and Ben

by Allison Hambrick

“The Conners” is no stranger to dark storylines. From Roseanne’s overdose to Darlene’s depression, this family has been through a lot.

In a recent episode, Mark Conner-Healy struggled with an addiction to his boyfriend’s ADHD medication. Being in a Magnet school created too much pressure for the teenager, and he doesn’t know how to express this to his mother. While it’s obvious to anyone who’s seen the show that Darlene will care, Mark’s concerns might be warranted.

Over the past few seasons, Darlene has developed a will-they-won’t-they with her former boss, Ben. The path for the couple has not been easy. They went from dating to broken up to almost engaged, and now, the latest episodes are pushing them together once again. However, Ben’s involvement in Darlene’s home life is minimal. If she has to go into crisis mode to help Mark, it could throw a wrench into their already fragile relationship.

Additionally, Mark struggling with drug addiction gives a reason for his father, David Healy, to return. David coming back could create problems between Ben and Darlene. Worth noting is that this could go the other way. Maybe Ben will surprise fans and be the support that Darlene and Mark need.

The Conners Star Discusses Character’s Addiction

Ames McNamara, who portrays Mark on The Conners, shared his thoughts on the heavy turn of events. As an actor, he found it interesting to delve into a darker element of his character.

“I think for one, it was really fun for me to sort of bring this different side to the character, and to get to showcase that there’s more to Mark than what we’ve been seeing,” McNamara explained. “And I think he’s dealing with a lot of stress right now with school, and just all the other Conner problems are impacting him as well. I think that, even though, obviously what’s happening is what’s happening, there’s still motivation — this honest motivation behind it — to really try and make a better life for himself.”

The actor is confident that Mark will come out triumphant in his substance abuse struggles. The reason why is simple: The Conners.

“Addiction and substance abuse problems are something that can generally have a family history,” said McNamara. “But I think that one thing that will really help Mark is that he does have this strong family support system, and that can help him sort of overcome the stresses that he’s dealing with right now, and the problems that he’s facing. But I think that this won’t be a long-term problem for Mark. I think this is just a phase of him growing up and trying to find independence, and trying to find his way in the world. But it’s, unfortunately, turning him to some bad things.”

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