If you didn't cry during The Conners Season 3 Episode 18, then you have no heart. 

Yes, it was another highly emotional installment involving Becky's alcoholism, but this time we got some answers about how Mark died and how others in the family felt about him. 

Especially Dan.

But let's backtrack a bit. 

Becky was going through the motions at rehab and using her well-honed coping mechanism of sarcastic humor to get her through, and it was bugging the heck out of her roommate, Rachel. 

Rachel: If you’re not going to do the work, why are you even here?
Becky: Because they told me that they’d teach me how to stop drinking, but I’ve been here for two weeks, and all I’ve gotten is a bunch of psychobabble about why I drink. I know why I drink. My husband died. That’s one of the best reasons to drink ever.

Rachel wasn't wrong about Becky not taking her rehab seriously, but as flippant as Becky may have seemed, there was far more going on under the surface. 

What annoyed me about Rachel was her insistence that getting sober could only be achieved by believing in God or her version of God. 

Religion can be a wonderful thing, but it's also extremely personal. You either have faith, or you don't. It's not something you can force upon someone else, no matter how well-meaning you think you are.

Telling someone that losing the person they loved was God's will, isn't compassionate or helpful. It's a trite platitude that subtly downplays someone's grief and pain. 

Rachel: Becky, you’ve got to stop blaming Him for all of your problems and let Him help you.
Becky: The last time She helped me, She threw a deer in front of my husband’s motorcycle, and he died.

I'm sure that Rachel was trying to help, but her advice sounded more like preaching and was narrowly defined by her own beliefs. She seemed unable to realize that what she believes may not work for someone else. 

But the real breakthroughs came when the Conner family arrived to try and help Becky make progress.

Both DJ and Darlene tried to help their sister, DJ a bit more comically, and Darlene a little more heartfelt. 

But Dan was the most reluctant to join in and ended up being the person with the most to say.

It's clear that Dan has been holding on to a whole lot of anger where Becky's late husband, Mark, is concerned, and once he decided to share it, he didn't hold back.

Dan: Mark was a selfish little punk who ruined your life. When he talked you into dropping out of school, I was going to go to Minnesota and kill him, but your mother stopped me.
Becky: Well, you got your wish. He’s dead.
Dan: If he loved you, he would have done it a lot sooner.

Dan wasn't wrong. Becky was 17-years-old and in love. She had her whole life ahead of her, but she chose Mark, again and again, instead of herself. 

And she's paid the price for that ever since. 

Becky: It’s not all his fault.
Dan: Whose fault is it?
Becky: Mine! Because I let him. I was so stupid. I didn’t want to drop out and move. I wanted to go to college, but I was so afraid to lose him, and then I ended up losing him anyway. I’ve wasted so much time. I kept telling myself that I was going to stop drinking and get back on track. And now I’m so far behind I’ll never catch up.

Those are the emotions that drive Becky's drinking, self-loathing, anger, and fear. She's ashamed that she allowed Mark to take advantage of her love, and deep down, I'm sure she's furious that he did. 

And she's also terrified that she's lost any chance of having a decent life.

That fear has probably compounded tenfold upon having Beverly Rose because now her failures don't only affect her, but also her daughter. 

So you can add guilt on top of everything else. It's depressing to think about how a teenager's decisions could have a ripple effect that lasts a lifetime. 

Becky's breakdown hurt to watch, but it was cathartic, and having Dan there was a blessing. If Dan hadn't shown up for this session, Becky probably never would have acknowledged all of the conflicting emotions that led her here.

Hey, you were my first kid. My beautiful little girl. I’ve always been proud of you and never more than now. But then again, look at your competition.


Speaking of conflict, guilt, and anger, Darlene and her son, Mark, experienced all of the above. 

Mark is an exceptionally bright kid, but Becky and Darlene were smart kids, and look how their lives have turned out. 

Darlene doesn't want that for Mark, and Mark doesn't want that for himself. That's why he's chosen to study day and night to get into a better school.

Mark: The kids who get into this school get into top-tier colleges.
Darlene: Relax, Honey, you’re going to get in. You’re super, super smart.
Mark: That’s not enough. I’m competing against rich kids from the county. I mean, I can scorch the kids from my school; they grew up eating lead paint chips and cheese ball dust.

Between going to a subpar school and then getting even further behind because of the pandemic, Mark felt the pressure, and he wasn't wrong. 

Some folks say that money isn't everything, and it's not, but there are plenty of things money can do. Having financial security relieves a lot of stress. And although money doesn't guarantee success, it can certainly pave the way for a successful future. 

Darlene can't afford tutors to help Mark. Instead, she followed Jackie's advice, and you'd think she'd have learned by now what a mistake that can be!

Darlene knew that trying to help Mark cheat was wrong, but she was desperate to give her son the future he deserves. What she did was wrong, but what she said later wasn't. 

The world doesn't give everyone an equal shot. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, you very well may fail due to no fault of your own. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps doesn't work when you can't afford boots.

Darlene desperately didn't want Mark to suffer because she lacked the resources to help him succeed.

Thankfully, Mark earned himself a second chance at that test. Here's to hoping that he's the Conner who makes it. 

So what do you think, The Conners fanatics?

Were you surprised by the amount of anger Dan has been holding in concerning Mark?

Was this the breakthrough that Becky needed to get through rehab?

Does getting sober have to be based on giving control up to God?

Will Mark get into that Magent school, and will he be the first Conner to graduate college?

There was no sign of Ben in this installment. Did you miss him?

Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share your thoughts, and then check back in for our next The Connors review.

And don't forget, you can watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic. 

source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2021/04/the-conners-season-3-episode-18-review-cheating-revelations-and/


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