The Conners revealed in 2018 that Roseanne died from an accidental overdose of painkillers. But last night, the popular ABC sitcom gave audiences a look at how the character tried to handle her addiction to opioids.
Darlene found a note her mom wrote in the margins of a Bible in Wednesday’s episode. In it, Roseanne begs God to save her.
“Dear God,” the note reads. “Please take away this pain from my knees and my back. I can’t bear it anymore. I keep turning to the pills, but this is me, turning to you instead. Please help me. I have to keep working — and if you can just do this one thing, I will honor you forever.”
Roseanne wrote the note, we are led to believe, shortly before she swallowed the fatal overdose of pills. It’s the first time the show has given details on her struggle with opioids.
Producers originally planned that storyline to play out in the first season of the Roseanne reboot. Titular star Roseanne Barr told fans that the show would address America’s opioid crisis, though she would have presumably gone to rehab and overcame her addiction. However, ABC fired Barr and canceled Roseanne after Barr had a meltdown on social media and posted several racist tweets.
That prompted producers to kill off her character and retool that show into The Conners, which continued Roseanne‘s tradition of tackling serious subjects with comedy and pathos.
Last season, The Conners addressed the death of Becky’s husband Mark. She revealed that he died in a motorcycle wreck. Glenn Quinn, the actor who played Mark on Roseanne, died of an overdose in 2002.
Jason Alexander Guest Stars on ‘The Conners’
The Conners is bringing in some heavy hitters to make guest appearances in the fourth season of the show. Last night, former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander made his debut on the show as Pastor Phil. He’ll show up in one more episode.
Alexander plays the offbeat and unconventional Pastor Phil. In Wednesday’s episode, Darlene struggles to deal with her breakup from her ex-boyfriend Ben. Phil offers his brand of compassion and tough love after she goes to an AA meeting with her sister Becky that he runs.
It’s Phil’s guidance that leads Darlene, who is an atheist, to look through her mom’s Bible and discover the note.
Alexander described his character as having “quite a self-destructive and unhappy past. He is certainly not without sin.” But that tortuous road to the pulpit gave him compassion as well as a unique perspective.
The Conners boasts several big-name guest stars this season. Patton Oswalt returned to the show in last night’s episode as Lanford City Councilman Don Blanksky. Brian Austin Green returned to the show in the season premiere. He plays Jeff, one of Darlene’s employees at Wellman Plastics.