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The Conners Fans Are Not Okay With Ben's Treatment In S5 Episode 15

The following article contains spoilers for "The Conners" Season 5, Episode 15 — "Possums, Pregnancy and Patriarchy."

"The Conners" certainly follows in the footsteps of "Roseanne" in that it's not afraid to tackle weighty subject matter while firing off plenty of jokes. The most recent episode that aired on ABC definitely followed that trajectory. In the episode, Harris (Emma Kenney) reveals she's pregnant and turns to the adults in the family to figure out what she should do regarding the baby. 

Everyone had a different reaction to the news. Dan (John Goodman) thought she should have the baby regardless of whether she's ready to be a mother. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) told Harris that if she could do it all over again, she would certainly wait until she was on much more stable footing before having a child. But by the end of the episode, she promises to be there for Harris as she decides to keep the baby. 

There's a lot going on, so it would be easy for Ben's (Jay R. Ferguson) story to get pushed to the wayside, who finds himself in a precarious position when Darlene offers Harris to live with them as she raises the baby. He doesn't get any input on the matter, and fans think he should at least have a say when it comes to such a monumental move such as this. 

Fans don't like Ben's treatment on The Conners

Miscommunication has been a constant trait of Ben and Darlene's relationship, even before they got married. And it seems to have continued well into their marriage as Darlene offers to help Harris with the baby without consulting with Ben first. It's always possible he'll lay down some ground rules in order for this situation to work in a future episode, but for now, fans don't appreciate how Ben's becoming the family doormat. 

In a Reddit discussion of the episode, u/kevinsg04 wrote, "Not happy with this one—–it's not his decision at all obviously, but Ben constantly being beaten down all the time is getting really not fun to watch." On top of helping raise a newborn, Ben's also usually the one in charge of keeping track of the family's finances, so it's just stress piling on top of stress. The discussion of his treatment continued on Twitter, with @nosympathy82 writing, "Becky has to pay bills, Darlene needs to pay bills. They can't all suck the life out of ben because they've become accustomed struggling." One user, @brooklyn_locs, had a pretty extreme reaction to Ben's plight: "I'm surprised Ben is not walking away from this mess of a family. I'm sure he has huge regrets."

Ben always feels overlooked in this family, which makes sense considering he's a relative newcomer, but his feelings deserve attention and have validity. There was a lot going on in "Possums, Pregnancy and Patriarchy," including the potential unretcon of a "Roseanne" character, so hopefully, Ben gets more attention in the episodes to come.