'Roseanne' Finale: Roseanne and Dan Get Their Prayers Answered With the Flood of a Lifetime
By Emily Krauser
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Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Tuesday's season finale of Roseanne.
In last week's episode of Roseanne, the sitcom got serious when it was revealed that Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) was addicted to opioids, and the finale didn't hold back in the aftermath of the revelation.
Picking up right where the penultimate episode left off, Roseanne can be heard yelling for a snoring Dan (John Goodman) to come help her after her knee goes out in the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Though a knee surgery would hopefully help her ailment, Roseanne has been stalling making the appointment, concerned that they don't have enough money to cover the deductible (money is always a problem for the Conners, with the pair unable to take advantage of their mileage point rewards at a hotel in Chicago when none of their credit cards could cover incidentals).
Dan's solution is to secure his next drywall job no matter how low he has to bid, cutting costs by "doing what everybody else is doing," hiring "illegals" and using "substandard materials." Roseanne is concerned that if the union finds out Dan's hiring illegals, he'll get kicked out, and he doesn't want him to make that kind of sacrifice -- namely because it'll give him the upper-hand, which she jokes, was "not how this marriage was built."
A breakfast business from Dan's business partner, Chuck (James Pickens Jr.), confirms that Dan is still thinking about going non-union rather than work with his longtime friend again, though he hasn't told Chuck that yet. "He's going to lose everything he's built," Roseanne tells Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) when her sister comes up with Mark (Ames McNamara) soon after. Trying to think up other ways they can pay for the surgery, the pair decide to go through the junk in the basement to see if they can sell any of it.
Meanwhile, Becky (Alicia Goranson) comes up during a storm to bring her sister, Darlene (Sara Gilbert), a gift to help her earn more tips at her new waitressing job at the casino: a black push-up bra. Seeing as how she was sleeping on the couch at the time, the present made for an excellent eye mask. Becky tries to give Darlene some extra advice that her younger sister doesn't care for.
"I really appreciate you trying to help, but we're very different people. I'm kind of an introvert, and, I want to get the words right here -- you're an alcoholic tramp," Darlene explains.
"Why do we have to be hurtful?" Becky responds. "All I'm trying to say is your not an appealing person. You will have to flirt, and probably a lot, to take care of your kids."
"I didn't even flirt to have my kids," Darlene admits. "I just said, 'What do you want?'" Darlene's attempt to flirt on her next shift actually goes decently well, though we're not at all surprised when she has to scream into a clean bar rag to get through the horror.
Down in the basement, Jackie and Roseanne start going through boxes, finding Nana Mary's favorite "Heavily Medicated for Your Protection" hat (the nostalgia!) and Magdalena, the Kestner doll their mother treated better than her kids, according to Jackie -- and just happens to be worth $5,000. "Mom's right: She is worth more than both of us put together," Roseanne decrees.
The sisters bring the doll over to the antiques mall, where they're told Magdalena is in great condition, until the store owner inspects the doll closer and discovers the body isn't the original, making her worth just $100. "A disappointment 'til the end!" Jackie exclaims in Magdalena's general direction. Roseanne gets a call from Dan that the storm has gotten bad enough that the basement is flooding and she needs to come home quickly.
Chuck stops by the house as Dan is trying to save their belongings from the now almost knee-high water. He had just been at Home Depot, where he found out that Dan was planning on using some of the Gonzalez brothers' men rather than Chuck's crew. Chuck is understandably frustrated to not only find out that way but that he was suddenly one of "the guys" to Dan and not a good friend.
"What do you want me to do?" Dan asks. "I've got three extra mouths to feed since Darlene moved back in. Roseanne started popping pills because we didn't have the money to fix her knee. And now I've got 20 grand of water damage. I spent my whole life hanging on by my fingertips, telling everybody not to worry, that I was going to make it OK because that's my job."
"Well, now I can't promise that anymore, so, yeah, it makes me sick, but I'm going to do whatever I have to do to take care of my family," he continues as he carries the box containing Roseanne's wedding dress to higher ground. "Because I'm old, I'm tired, and I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on."
That's when Roseanne walks in, with Chuck saying goodbye to her in a sadly telling way. After explaining that all the water damage will affect the foundation, Dan tells his wife that everything will be OK and to go upstairs to rally the troops. As he continues to move boxes around, an entire shelving unit falls down, spilling memorabilia into the water, prompting Dan to grab a nearby tire iron and start smashing a door. In a moment of clear pain and frustration, the Conner patriarch shifts between laughing and looking like he's about to scream.
As DJ (Michael Fishman) tries to entertain everyone in the living room with a failed magic trick, Dan comes upstairs, where Darlene and Roseanne are on their phones, discovering that half of Illinois is under water from the storm. The governor is trying to get the president to declare a state of emergency, which Dan is thrilled about. Though it's a terribly sad situation, that declaration means that FEMA will give them some money to repair the basement, which Dan can do for half of what they're given, meaning the rest can be used for Roseanne's knee. The entire family cheers for a "state of emergency," which Jackie tries to explain is a bad example for the young kids, until the call is made, prompting her to whoop along with them.
"The president spelled Illinois wrong in his tweet, but it still counts, right?" Darlene asks, continuing the new Roseanne tradition of not using Donald Trump's name on the show -- and is actually the first mention of the president since the season premiere.
Nearing bedtime, Darlene is typing away in the kitchen when her daughter, Harris (Emma Kenney), comes in, excited to see her mom writing again. Harris even tries to lift her mom's spirits, pointing out that Stephen King was a janitor and J.K. Rowling was a single mother living on welfare before they hit it big. "They were losers just like you!" she says excitedly.
Upstairs, Roseanne and Dan are celebrating "crap finally going our way" with champagne and beer in bed. Roseanne counts their blessings: Darlene has a job (albeit one at the casino she hates, not a full-time writing gig), Becky still has a job, DJ is raising a great kid, her mom is over her "VD," and the flood caused so much damage in Lanford that there's work for everyone. Plus, Dan and Chuck have reconciled -- they'll be full partners once Chuck is back from the vacation he requested if they were ever going to work together again.
There is one big problem left, however: Roseanne's knee. She's afraid to have the surgery and that she might die. Though they joke that she'll be ruling heaven so effectively that God may hide from her, Roseanne quickly gets contemplative. "I'm serious, Dan. You've been taking care of me almost my whole life. I don't want to go anywhere with you," she says. (How quickly we forget that they actually did kill Dan off in the original series but then pretended it was all part of Roseanne's failed novel, eh?)
The next morning, Roseanne is in the living room folding laundry, where she has a heart-to-heart with God, telling him she really wants to see Dan's face when she wakes up after her surgery the next day, not his.
Darlene calls her mom into the kitchen, where the entire family has cooked a massive dinner ahead of her surgery -- which she'll have to eat in seven minutes because she can't consume anything after 8 p.m. The season finale ends with the entire family sitting around the kitchen table, just like the iconic credits. There's no cliffhanger, but then again, we don't need one: We already know the Conners will be back for another season.