OK, wow, do you hear that?
That’s the distant sound of me furiously arranging a bulletin board of clues, as Roseanne Episode Four introduced a number of plot holes and timeline inconsistencies that can only be explained by this reboot taking place in an alternate universe. Last week, the show took a break from some of its more unhinged plot points for a rather tame tribute to Glenn Quinn, who played Mark. Now, Roseanne returns with an inexplicable focus on Darlene and David, played by guest star Johnny Galecki, who played the character in the original series.
The premiere of this Roseanne reboot-along with the disappointing political framing-completely rewrote the original finale as if it didn't happen. In that finale, Darlene actually married Mark, Jackie was gay, and Dan died. The only reasonable explanation we could come up with is that Roseanne has lost touch with reality after not being able to recover from Dan’s death. Now she’s stuck in a world caught between the real world and her book.
This week provided more evidence to this theory, as Johnny Galecki reprised his role as Darlene’s husband, David. His return marks the first time Darlene and his family has seen him in a while-he left after Mark died to volunteer in third world countries, apparently. But he’s returned just in time for his daughter's birthday, and he’s interested in reuniting with Darlene, who could honestly use the help. But the entire family is against his return because, as it turns out, David and Darlene weren’t great together. Even Becky is disgusted to hear that Darlene slept with him again. Eventually, Roseanne admits that she wants Darlene to be happy and that she’s only offering her opinion because she wants best for her daughter.
This echoes the original finale, in which Roseanne admits that she originally rewrote Darlene to end up with David because she thought they’d be better together than Becky and David. Ultimately, Darlene ended up with David’s brother, Mark, and Becky with David. Even in a regular timeline, Becky’s disapproval toward Darlene’s relationship with David wouldn’t make sense. But in this skewed Roseanne alternate reality, it makes all the sense in the world-this is Becky’s husband, and Darlene was never meant to be with him.
David eventually agrees that he will live in Lanford, but Darlene and him won’t reconcile their marriage. So, in its own roundabout way, it’s another piece of Roseanne’s book/alternate world that has fallen apart; her desire to make the life of her daughter better has finally aligned with the real world.
Meanwhile! Roseanne’s Mother, Bev (Estelle Parsons) has decided to stay in town because she’s not allowed to go back to her nursing home. Why? She’s a danger after giving gonorrhea to two men. Why does this matter? Because in Roseanne’s book, she wrote her mom as a lesbian. Outside of it, Jackie is the lesbian. Now? No lesbians. Some would call this negligent writing, but Wanda Sykes is out there in some writers’ room contributing plot to this bipartisan blue-collar cash grab, so I refuse to believe it’s haphazard. This oversight, or Lack of Lesbian™️, is clearly just another blurred line. Slowly, we’re seeing Jackie become the lesbian she was never allowed to be, while Bev remains the straight woman Roseanne tried to rewrite.
Listen, y’all. The pieces are slowly coming together. Will Roseanne's reality ever make sense? Will this season end with another twist that reveals it actually taking place in the twisted alternate universe that we're noticing?
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