In The Conners season 4 finale, two couples married while another broke up, and a whole host of other long-running plots reached their dramatic but mostly fitting conclusions. The Conners season 4 has been a long, complicated journey. The season began with Dan marrying Louise, an event that many major Roseanne characters were absent from.
The Conners season 4 finale saw another set of weddings, this time between the quickly reunited Ben and Darlene as well as Jackie and her beau Neville. In the intervening episodes, Harris met her older boyfriend Aldo, moved in with him despite Darlene’s misgivings, endured a lengthy feud with her mother, and eventually became engaged. However, The Conners season 4 finale saw Aldo and Harris not only call off their wedding but break up entirely when it became clear that they had very different plans for their respective futures.
This wasn’t all that happened in The Conners season 4 finale, either. Darlene convinced Becky to move in with her and Ben after the wedding, Dan worried about his soon-to-be empty nest and the loneliness it would bring, and Jackie’s largely forgotten love interest Neville finally made some demands and ended up being the diva in the relationship for once. Fortunately, these plot lines eventually led to relatively harmonious conclusions by the episode’s end.
What Happened In The Conners Season 4 Finale?
The Conners season 4 finale, “A Judge and A Priest Walk Into A Living Room…” saw Ben and Darlene, Jackie and Neville, and Harris and Aldo all get together to plan a triple wedding. Neville took issue with the ceremony being performed by a judge, while Darlene objected to the proceedings being overseen by a priest, creating a rift between the couples. Meanwhile, Harris fought with Aldo when he changed their wedding registry to a baby shower registry, and she discovered he was dead set on having children immediately after marriage, resulting in the couple breaking up for good soon after. Becky became convinced that Ben would not want to live with her once he and Darlene were married, prompting a touching scene wherein Darlene confirmed that the newlywed couple wanted Becky and her daughter Beverly Rose to live with them. Finally, Dan was sad to see his adult children and, by extension, his grandchildren moving out in a scene that could offer a hint toward the events of The Conners season 5. Amongst all this, The Conners season 4 finale found room for some references to the show’s former star.
Did The Conners Season 4 Finale Acknowledge Roseanne?
The Conners season 4 finale featured a few nods to Roseanne’s legacy, some subtle and some more pronounced. While Grandma Beverly didn’t make a cameo (fittingly, since Roseanne and Jackie’s mother also wasn’t present at Dan’s wedding earlier in the season), Jackie and Darlene did have an in-depth conversation about their late relative. Jackie said that she knew her sister’s spirit would be present at the ceremony, and Darlene, Roseanne’s daughter, agreed with her in a rare moment of unashamed emotion. It was an effective surprise to see the sardonic Darlene touched by the memory of her mother and one of the most successful attempts that The Conners has made to wrestle with Roseanne’s formative impact on the series. However, this wasn’t the only time that The Conners season 4 finale referenced the show’s erstwhile antiheroine.
Did The Conners Season 4 Finale’s Roseanne Nods Work?
A subtler nod to Roseanne’s legacy earlier in the episode also worked well, and its humorous tone felt more in keeping with The Conners. When Jackie and Neville were discussing whether or not to have a priest officiate the ceremony, Louise stepped in to remind her brother that they were always taught the lord was present everywhere. Neville replied by stating that, while he meant no offense with the remark, he was certain that the Conner family were destined for Hell, which the nonplussed clan replied to with a collective shrug of resignation. While easy to miss, the moment functioned as a perfect throwback to a controversial joke earlier in The Conners season 4. In “Yard Sale, Phone Fail, And a College Betrayal,” Becky claimed that Roseanne most likely ended up in Hell, a gag that at the time felt somewhat mean-spirited, but now seems fitting as the season finale provided proof that the rest of the family are happy to join her there – and therefore Becky wasn’t singling her late mother out in the insult.
Why Beverly Wasn’t At Jackie & Darlene’s Wedding
Although The Conners referenced Roseanne a few times in the season 4 finale, one thing the sitcom spinoff did not do is bring back many characters from the early series. At the start of season 4, The Conners received a lot of criticism online for not bringing back many legacy characters from the earlier sitcom for Dan’s wedding, since old friends could reasonably be expected to reunite at such a momentous event. The season 4 finale saw The Conners repeat this approach when Grandma Beverly was again not seen at the dual wedding, but the creators did so for good reason. According to an in-depth interview with TVLine, the show’s producers stated that the passing of actor Estelle Parson’s husband led her to cancel appearances on The Conners and Grace and Frankie. However, the TVLine interview confirmed that Beverly might be back in season 5.
Why Were So Few Roseanne Characters At The Wedding(s)?
Since The Conners featured Christopher Lloyd’s Roseanne character Lou and James Pickens Jr’s Chuckie Mitchell only a few episodes earlier, it makes sense that the season 4 finale did not have too many returning characters. Some of the most memorable guest stars from the earlier series had an episode of their own in season 4, thus explaining their absence from the wedding’s cramped crowd scenes. Add in the fact that the wedding was a double ceremony and took place in the small Conners family home, and it becomes obvious why Jackie and Darlene kept their respective guest lists to a minimum. While the absence of one Conners character was explained by unavoidable circumstances, the rest of the episode’s missing characters can be justified by the size of the ceremony. This also means that, now that the show’s fifth season has been confirmed, the sitcom can bring back more characters in coming episodes and give them a moment in the spotlight. This could allow The Conners season 5 to make up for the surprisingly small-scale celebrations of the season 4 finale.
More: Why The Conners Needs More Mark (And Less Harris)
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