The Conners Season 4 Episode 10 Review: Spills, Pills and The Midnight Lasagna

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Who wouldn't want to wake up in the morning and find a surprise, homemade dish of lasagna in their fridge?

Well, the Conners got just that surprise on The Conners Season 4 Episode 10, but it came with a price -- a price that was way too high, a price they've already paid.

How To Keep Up - The Conners

The entire family was thrilled when Mark got into the Magnet school, but no one more than Darlene. 

She always knew her son was exceptionally smart, and this proved it. It also meant he had a better chance than any of the Conners that came before him of being successful in life. 

Darlene's Got a Full Plate - The Conners Season 4 Episode 10

The hope was that this school would be a launching pad for Mark. That he'd do well, get a scholarship to a good college, and from then on, never have to struggle financially like the rest of his family. 

But the pressure on Mark was overwhelming, and his previous experience in public school hadn't prepared him for what was expected of him now. 

No one is harder on Mark than he is on himself, but this time Darlene had to be, and thank goodness she stepped up. 

I couldn't blame Darlene for struggling with this decision.

Mark Works Hard - The Conners Season 4 Episode 10

On the one hand, Mark has been diligent in getting the best education possible. He earned the opportunity to go to this school. Just the thought of taking that away from him had to be heartbreaking for Darlene.

So she considered other options.

Darlene: I think I'm just going to keep him in the school and hope he adjusts to the workload. I am going to have to watch him like a hawk.
Dan: What does that even mean? Are you going to drug test him every day?
Darlene: If I have to.
Dan: That's a nice bonding moment. I think Norman Rockwell painted that. It's called "A Specimen for Mother."

But there was something far worse looming ahead. The possibility of Darlene losing her son the way they lost Roseanne. 

Darlene justified Mark's use of Adderall by saying that he wasn't using it to get high. He was using it to stay sharp and get ahead. That's much the same excuse that Mark himself used when confronted. 

Darlene Worries - The Conners Season 4 Episode 10

Mark: You're making a big deal out of nothing. It's like my generation's version of coffee.
Darlene: Yeah, your generation also ate detergent pods. You're a bunch of idiots.

But Roseanne wasn't using oxy to get high either. She was using it because the unbearable pain from her knee was impacting her life.

In the end, the reason for taking the drug, however justifiable, didn't matter. Roseanne paid the ultimate price, and Mark was headed down that same road.

Darlene: Hey, he gave me all the pills. I told you. It's over.
Dan: Oh man! How many times in high school did you give me all your weed?
Darlene: Never, and now I'm going to look through Mark's backpack.

For all the joking about taking Darlene's weed in high school, Dan had to be thinking about Roseanne when he talked to Darlene about his grandson. And Roseanne's death was what pushed Darlene to make the hard call. 

Dan Worries About Mark - The Conners Season 4 Episode 10

And for all of Darlene's faults, the hard calls always fall to her. No one even mentions David anymore, and what's up with that?

I can understand if they can't get the actor back to make the occasional guest appearance, although that would be nice, but why don't they even mention him in passing. Has David left Lanford? Do Mark and Harris ever see or speak to their Dad?

The complete lack of information about David is glaring and just plain weird, especially when answering the above questions wouldn't take much more than a line or two of dialogue a couple of times a season. 

But since David is hopelessly MIA, let's get back to Mark and Darlene. 

Was pulling Mark from the magnet school keeping him from seeing Logan the right call?

Mark Looks Worried - The Conners Season 4 Episode 5

Yes, I think it was. 

As Dan pointed out, the pace of the new school was just too much for Mark. The kid felt like a failure, even when he made the dean's list. Even without the drug use, that's not healthy. 

And Mark was getting his drugs from Logan, who has a steady supply thanks to his ADHD diagnosis. 

Hopefully, Darlene continues to keep a close eye on Mark because I doubt the fallout from any of this is over. He's an angry adolescent, and they are famous for making epically stupid decisions, even when they aren't a Conner. 

Mark: I'm going to do whatever it takes to do better than the rest of you. Nothing's going to get in my way. The rules no longer apply.
Darlene: Oh really? The rules do apply as long as you're under my roof. I'm not going to let you do anything stupid, but if you do, there will be consequences. Until you're 18, and then you can be as stupid as you want. And if The Conners before you are any indication, it's going to be Nobel prize stupid.
Mark: I hate you.
Darlene: Then I'm doing my job.

All Dressed Up - The Conners Season 4 Episode 9

Speaking of stupid decisions, let's talk about Harris.

Darlene screwed up with Harris and Aldo. If Darlene had kept her mouth shut and let things play out, Harris and Aldo would likely be over by now, and Harris would be back home.

Harris: I know you didn't invite me because you thought I'd be jealous, but I love my little brother, and I'm happy when he does good.
Darlene: I know that.
Harris: And who knows, maybe if Mark does really good, you'll let him decide who he wants to fall in love with and won't throw him out of the house like a dog who crapped on the rug. Anyways, that's all I wanted to say. Love you all. Goodbye.

Instead, Harris is sleeping in Dan's trailer, where she may not be very warm, but at least she's safe. 

Honestly, I'm curious to see Harris' reaction to her brother's problems. In some ways, Harris has always been the black sheep to her brilliant little brother. Will Mark's issues change how she views him or herself? Or will she blame Darlene for all of it?

Sharing a Coffee - The Conners Season 4 Episode 10

Finally, we get to Jackie and Neville. 

I always knew that Neville was younger than Jackie, but much like Jackie, I never thought much about it until Helen came along. 

Dan: How's Jackie's foot?
Becky: Oh, the foot's coming along, but the doctor used the phrase, "at your age," and that's going to take a while to heal.

Jackie has always been incredibly insecure. Thanks to Beverly's fantastic parenting skills (and yes, I mean that sarcastically), Jackie has suffered from low self-esteem her entire life. 

So, although this storyline blindsided me, it shouldn't have. That said, I'm glad Helen and Logan are headed elsewhere. The Conners don't need their drama; they've got enough of their own. 

Knocked Down - The Conners Season 4 Episode 9

What did you think, TV Fanatics? Did Darlene handle Mark's issues the right way, or was pulling him from that school and not letting him see Logan too much? 

Are Mark's issues parallel to Roseanne's? Now that he's gotten a taste, do you think he'll still look to use Adderall in the future?

And are Neville and Jackie in the clear, or will their relationship face more obstacles?

Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to tell us what you think. And don't forget that you can watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic. 

Spills, Pills and The Midnight Lasagna Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Conners Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Mark: You're making a big deal out of nothing. It's like my generation's version of coffee.
Darlene: Yeah, your generation also ate detergent pods. You're a bunch of idiots.

Harris: I know you didn't invite me because you thought I'd be jealous, but I love my little brother, and I'm happy when he does good.
Darlene: I know that.
Harris: And who knows, maybe if Mark does really good, you'll let him decide who he wants to fall in love with and won't throw him out of the house like a dog who crapped on the rug. Anyways, that's all I wanted to say. Love you all. Goodbye.