Things quickly spiraled out of control on The Conners Season 3 Episode 14.
Although one of the calamities was easy to predict, the other caught me completely off guard.
When Becky got all dressed up to meet her high school friend for dinner, I never foresaw it ending with her taking a drink.
Becky has been so resolute about her sobriety since her pregnancy that I didn't see this slip coming.
But the more Becky described the life she wished she'd had, a life where she was able to pay off her father's house so he could retire and her daughter's future was financially secure, the more she grasped how far her life had veered off track.
I will see you before midnight. That’s when my magic carriage turns into a pickup with expired tags.Becky
With every lie, you could see the pain of each failure hit her almost as hard as a physical blow. In front of Becky was a guy she sat across from in high school, and he'd accomplished so much. Whereas Becky had fallen so far behind that the idea of catching up seemed impossible.
Also, Becky failed to mention to Mike that her mother had died. Since she was lying about everything else in her life, perhaps it was easier to allow Roseanne to live within her momentary fantasies.
With every word she spoke, I hoped she'd break down and tell Mike the truth. He seemed like a good person and was once a friend. I'm sure knowing the truth would have shaken him, but I don't know that he would have thought any less of Becky as a person.
But her pride wouldn't allow her to tell him everything that had gone wrong in her life, and when he offered her that drink, taking it was just swallowing one more lie to go with the rest.
We can only hope that this was just one slip-up and not the first misstep of a downward slide. With an alcoholic, you can never tell.
The fact that Becky confessed what had happened to Darlene was a good sign. Becky needs someone to help her hold herself accountable, and Darlene will do that without being overly judgmental. But alcoholics can be masters at hiding when they drink, and it's possible that things could go wrong without Darlene noticing right away.
And Darlene has plenty of her own drama to handle.
Darlene may have stirred the pot by encouraging Dan to ask for a raise, but she had no idea the tempest that it would cause.
Dan wasn't wrong to want some recognition for bringing business into the store, and a raise may have been appropriate, but he completely jumped the gun when he asked to be co-owner in the business.
Dan: I’m 68. I’m not going to have time to spend 10 years waiting for a promotion.
Ben: Well, I am sorry you’re old but that doesn’t mean I have to give you a piece of the business my father gave me.
Dan and Ben becoming partners in running the hardware store is a great idea on paper, but these two have a long way to go before their egos will allow them to get there. They need one another, but neither is willing to admit to that.
Dan is out of options. His dry-wall business went under, and at his age, he can't get another job in construction. He has no retirement, can barely hold onto his house, and his ego is being crushed under the weight of his failings.
Just because you ran your businesses into the ground doesn’t mean that I have to make it right for you.Ben
Whereas Ben's entire dysfunctional relationship with his late father is wrapped up in running this store.
If Ben can't make the business a success, he'll feel as though he's let down his father, but if he gives Dan part ownership, he'll feel like he disappointed his father.
Until Ben can separate his own self-worth from what he thinks his father's feelings were, he's in a lose-lose scenario.
And Dan will have to understand and respect that this business means more to Ben than a paycheck if there is any possibility of Ben allowing him to be a part of it.
But the person really caught in the middle is Darlene.
Why are you trying to better your life with my boyfriend? Hasn’t worked for me, not going to work for you.Darlene
Dan thinks the hardware store will suffer without him, which it likely will, and once that happens, Ben will come crawling back to him. Dan is so desperate to better himself that he's risking losing the job he thinks can save him.
It's not fair to Ben. Neither was Darlene sharing much of their private conversation about his feelings concerning the store. Darlene was trying to help, but she only managed to make things worse.
And Dan telling Ben he didn't care about his "daddy issues" was hurtful. Considering the daddy issues Dan has endured, it just shows a complete lack of self-awareness, not to mention a glimpse into how dire Dan feels his future prospects must be.
But with Dan kicking Ben out of the house, it leaves Darlene in a tough spot. She loves them both. She wants to live with Ben, but if she moves out, it will likely mean her father loses the house. And losing the house doesn't just affect Dan.
Can Ben and Darlene pooling their money get them a large enough apartment for them, Mark, and Harris? Even if it does, that still leaves Dan, Becky, Beverly Rose, and Mary with nowhere to go.
So what do you think, TV Fanatics?
- Can Dan and Ben resolve their issues, or is this a rift that can't be fixed?
- Will Darlene be forced to choose between Ben and her father?
- Is Becky's sobriety in jeopardy?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to let us know what you think, then check back in for our next The Conners review. Don't forget, you can watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.