‘The Conners’: Dan Gets Engaged, Moves Forward After Roseanne in Finale

by Josh Lanier
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Conners took another major step away from Roseanne Barr with its latest episode. In it, Dan proposes to his girlfriend Louise who accepts. It was one of the few happy moments from this season, and it came in the finale.

The Conners always tried to balance life’s struggles and its small joys found in a family but this season has been hard to find those happier moments. Dan Conner (John Goodman) lost his business, Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) and Darlene (Sarah Gilbert) saw their magazine fail to launch, and Becky (Lecy Goranson) started drinking again and had to go to rehab. But despite the drama, the comedy remains a top-rated show.

But Wednesday’s finale provided fans with some hope as Dan got engaged to his girlfriend played by Katey Sagal.

The Conners is a spin-off — or maybe a reboot — of Roseanne. Producers revived the beloved show from the late 1980s and 1990s in 2018. But after the titular Rosanne Barr posted several controversial tweets that many deemed racist, ABC canceled the show. They brought it back as The Conners and hand-waved away Roseanne’s absence by saying she died off-screen after an accidental opioid overdose.

The show quickly had Dan return to the dating world with a new girlfriend, Louise, in 2019. Showrunner Bruce Helford told TVLine that it was time to allow Dan to move on with his life.

“Dan had so much trepidation about entering a new relationship. He had so [many] feelings of betrayal of his beloved spouse,” Helford said. “But we thought we took [Dan and Louise] on a journey that was very honest and long enough to where now [it felt appropriate]. … We felt that was a great place to go to finally get them to commit to each other.”

Showrunner Teases Season 4 of The Conners

Dan’s wasn’t the only proposal from The Conners season finale. Sarah Gilbert’s Darlene proposed to her longtime boyfriend Ben who turned her down. The couple has always had a rocky relationship, and Helford said Ben was being honest in the moment and rejected her. However, he refused to say what was next for the couple.

“I won’t address the breakup and how that’ll go, but [Ferguson] is a regular on the show. He’s going to be there. We love Ben, we love Jay, we love that character,” he told TVLine.

In potential happier futures, Becky is back from rehab and will work at her aunt Jackie’s restaurant The Lunch Box. However, next season, the show plans to add a bar to the diner, putting Becky’s sobriety to the test.

“Rehab isn’t always successful, but I think she’s on a good path,” he said. “Working in a bar could be tricky for her, and that’s something we may explore, but Sam from Cheers also worked in a bar. He was an alcoholic.”

But following the trajectory of this show so far, you can expect that Becky will most likely struggle mightily with her newfound sobriety at the bar.