The Conners Is Paying Off Its Ben & Darlene Mistake From Dan's Wedding

The Roseanne retooling The Conners sent Ben and Darlene down the aisle together for no apparent reason recently, but now the awkward moment is paying off in season 4. Ever since original series star Roseanne Barr was fired from the show in 2018, The Conners has struggled to find dramatic storylines that can compare to the former titular heroine’s antics. While the dysfunctional sitcom brood is still very messy in her absence, Roseanne’s off-the-wall behavior generally drove the sitcom’s plots before the series was retooled after her exit.

While some of The Conners’ long-running plots, like Becky’s struggle with alcoholism, have been well integrated into the series, others have struggled to justify their existence. For example, Ben and Darlene’s on-again, off-again relationship provided The Conners with three dramatic seasons of alternating conflict and romance, but season 4’s devastating break-up made it clear that the couple was done for good this time around. This made it all the more confounding when Dan and Louise’s wedding saw Ben walk Darlene down the aisle, a moment that smacked of manufactured drama for some fans.

Related: The Conners Finally Acknowledged Dan Moving Past Roseanne (Sort of)

However, The Conners season 4 is starting to justify this choice by bringing the duo back together, meaning the award aisle walk now looks more like foreshadowing and less like a forced melodrama. The big day went off without a hitch, but it still seemed unlikely that Dan and Louise would be thoughtless enough to pair off Ben and Darlene at their wedding despite the pair’s then-recent break-up. However, the fact that Darlene has since broken up with her new love interest Nick and started to reconnect with Ben implies that the moment was intended to show how close the duo still was, and how much reconciliation was still an option for them. “Three Exes, Role Playing, and a Waterbed“ (season 4, episode 9) saw Ben and Darlene air the grievances so publicly that Darlene’s new beau Nick broke up with her after noting that the two clearly had feelings for each other.

While it was never likely that the level-headed Nick would last long dating the more fiery Darlene, Ben and Darlene’s potential reconciliation did not seem like an option during The Conners’ wedding episode. After all, it had only been a few episodes since the devastating moment where Ben and Darlene’s failed proposal led to a bitter breakup, a scene contrasted with Dan and Louise’s happy proposal. However, The Conners season 4 now seems to be setting them up to get back together, which makes the wedding moment a sweet spot of foreshadowing in retrospect.

This is not the only way in which the sitcom has grown and changed in recent episodes, either. The Conners season 4 has gotten more brazen about mentioning the former star of the series, Roseanne, thus starting to fix a recurring issue that cropped up in recent seasons. Where seasons 1, 2, and 3 went to pains to avoid mentioning Roseanne (and The Conners often seemed strange and even more unrealistic as a result), the show has recently started to make barbed jokes about its former heroine and made its eponymous family feel more like their old selves as a result. Between these Roseanne jokes and the potential reconciliation of Ben and Darlene, The Conners season 4 is proving more and more that the sitcom can still live up to its beloved predecessor.

More: The Conners’ Controversial "Roseanne In Hell" Joke Is A Perfect Tribute

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