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The Conners Season 4 Ending Explained

After a season filled with romantic misgivings, job-related turmoil, the hells of home ownership, and struggles with sobriety and the world at large, the entire Conner clan finally got a break from the universe during the Season 4 finale of "The Conners."

Much of Season 4 has been about unions of multiple kinds. Episode 4 of the season, "The Wedding of Dan and Louise," marries off widowed Conner paterfamilias Dan (John Goodman) to long-time friend Louise Goldufsk (Katey Sagal) in the middle of a tornado. If the Conner family's story is one of love and loyalty surviving everything, including elemental fury, then the wedding definitely exemplifies how the rest of the year plays out for the show's central family. As the year passes by, Louise and Dan struggle to balance their relationship with the family's needs. Elsewhere, the twice-recast Becky Conner-Healy (Lecy Goranson) returns to college to finish off her degree and tests the limits of her newly-won sobriety by becoming briefly involved with Glen Davis (Matt Walsh) her psychology professor. Mark Healy (Ames McNamara) seems to be succeeding at life in the new magnet school, but mom Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and the rest of the family learn that he's become addicted to pills to keep his grades up, resulting in a return to public school and Mark refocusing his energy on getting a college scholarship. Darlene gets a raise at Wellman Plastics and buys a former funeral home. And D.J. Conner (Michael Fishman) continues to struggle with raising daughter Mary (Jayden Rey) during his wife's deployment.

Three couples were slated to marry in the Season 4 finale of "The Conners," but only two managed to do so. Let's take a deep dive into Season 4's finale and find out who made it to the altar, who didn't, and why.

Wedding Bells rang out for Darlene and Ben...

After four full seasons of make-ups, break-ups, commitment-related fears and long estrangements, in "A Judge and a Priest Walk Into a Living Room," Darlene Conner finally becomes Mrs. Ben Olinsky (Jay R. Ferguson) in a ceremony in the Conner family's living room. For fans of the couple, the wedding has been a long time coming. Their relationship has been complicated by Darlene's complicated feelings about her ex, David Healy (Johnny Galecki), Ben's fear of commitment, a failed attempt at being "just friends," and job frustrations. Yet the two of them have been pulled toward one another since they were just co-workers all the way back in Season 1. As "The Conners" executive producers Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan observed to Entertainment Tonight in May of 2022, the couple needs this victory after realizing how much they want to be together.

A lot of "The Conners" — and by extension, the reboot of "Roseanne" that "The Conners" grew out of — has been about Darlene's growth as a person and a mother. While she's never lost that sarcastic edge that's been a hallmark of her character ever since she arrived on the scene all the way back in 1988, Darlene has grown up a lot, becoming a mature breadwinner, a loving — if exasperated — mother, and a more communicative partner. She's definitely a different sort of person than she was when she married David back in Season 8 of  "Rosanne" and expected him to properly translate her sarcasm and her moods into direct action. While her relationship with Ben has been fraught, it's been nowhere near as difficult as the one she had with David. Thus, Darlene's wedding to Ben is a wonderful culmination of the woman she's been trying to become for years.

... and Jackie and Neville, too

There's no character more lovelorn in the "Roseanne" extended universe than Jackie Harris (Laurie Metcalf). The erstwhile sister of Rosanne Conner (Rosanne Barr) and aunt to the Conner siblings has suffered from lousy relationship after lousy relationship and become something of a busybody old maid stereotype, as the first three seasons of "The Conners" have played out. Thus, the fact that she, too, becomes a wife during "A Judge and a Priest Walk into a Living Room" is a triumph — both of Jackie's determination, and the show's belief that even losers getting lucky sometimes.

In the process of rebooting the series (and explaining away the very meta ninth season of "Rosanne"), Jackie's character has arguably ended up suffering the most. Season 10 of "Roseanne" and Seasons 1 through Season 4 of "The Conners" have made the choice to ignore (per TV Line) the last three seasons of "Rosanne," and while the Conner siblings may have lost their brother Jerry, Jackie lost her son Andy and her marriage to Fred (Michael O'Keefe). Thus, the happiness brought into Jackie's life by Louise's veterinarian brother, Neville Goldufsk (Nat Faxon) is doubly sweet. Even sweeter is that she chooses not to freak out and take it as a bad sign when her attempt at getting the word "forever" tattooed on her ring finger results in her getting the word "never" tattooed there instead.

While Neville initially refuses to go through with the triple wedding — objecting to Ben and Darlene's choice to use a priest — he ultimately shows up and agrees to marry Jackie. And after seasons of living in her sister's shadow while caring for Roseanne's family, giving Jackie a real shot at having her own life is a victory in of itself.

Harris and Aldo hit the skids

Thus it is Harris Conner-Healy (Emma Kenney) who ends up experiencing real heartbreak when she rejects her fiancé, Aldo (Tony Cavalero). The young couple's entire relationship has been built on impulse, so perhaps it's not too shocking that they end up on opposite sides of the page while trying to plan their wedding. In Aldo's case, he wants to start a family immediately, while Harris wants to enjoy their relationship for a little while longer — or at the very least nail down a regular job before having a baby. The large difference in their ages and the fact that Arlo has an established job as a tattoo artist while Harris is currently unemployed also factor in. 

And the couple don't simply delay their relationship — they break up, realizing they want fundamentally different things out of life. Nevertheless, Harris tries to be happy for her mom and her aunt by standing up for Darlene as her maid of honor, in spite of the pain she's been through.

Harris' relationship with Aldo is yet another step in her ongoing rebellion against Darlene. In her five seasons on the show, the character has moved out of the Conner nest to live with a roommate (while underage), tried and failed to live with David, supported herself by baking edibles, and often found herself at odd with her mom, who really wants her to make it to college and avoid the mistakes Darlene made with David. In the Season 4 finale, mother and daughter are finally at harmony, but the possibility that Aldo might come back at any point still hovers over the family.

Family togetherness remains a strong theme on The Conners

Jackie, Neville, Ben and Darlene all end up marrying in the Conner family living room for one reason: while they've agreed on a joint ceremony, they haven't agreed on what sort of ceremony they'd like to share. Thus, arrangements go awry, and they aren't able to book the people and places they want to use for the ceremony. However, the show's continuing "us-against-the-world" theme ultimately kicks in, with the foursome splitting their ceremony and employing a judge and a priest. It's a show of compromise for a family that often fights, sometimes loudly, sometimes even violently.

The creaky bonds of the family's togetherness just might be tested by Season 5 — Darlene has asked Becky and her young daughter, Beverly Rose, to move in with herself, Mark and Ben. Since Ben has expressed his desire for a music room instead of an apartment for his new sister-in-law in the house they're building together by hand, that might put a damper on Ben and Darlene's newlywed bliss. The departure of Darlene's family, and Becky's, leaves Dan and Louise grappling with a semi-empty nest, as Harris will be the only Conner left under their roof during Season 5. It's hard not to notice that Dan definitely looks a little sad as he faces down the prospect of an oncoming empty nest.

Roseanne has not been forgotten

But, some fans might be asking — what about the ever-hovering ghost of the family matriarch, Roseanne? It turns out that she's not a forgotten presence in the slightest during Darlene and Jackie's wedding day. 

Before their joint ceremony, Jackie has a talk with her niece about her sister. She says that she thinks the late Roseanne (who, during the Season 1 premiere of "The Conners," faced a grim and morbid end following a knee surgery and drug overdose — an ending Barr did not approve of) will be spiritually present at the ceremony. Darlene's dry sarcasm gives way, and she and Jackie share an emotional moment as they remember the woman who meant so much to them. 

This quick scene points up one truism about the wild, noncongruent but incredibly memorable world of "The Conners" — the family will always have each other's backs no matter what. And even though Roseanne and her portrayer are off the show, she will not be forgotten by the program's characters.

What about that clown?

And now it's time to address the clown in the room — specifically, the one who ends up being invited to sing at the wedding after the Conner family fails to score an opera singer in time for the ceremony. Once the two happy couples exchange their vows, the clown breaks into the standard "It Had to be You" and sings the brides to the altar with "Here Comes the Bride." 

Fans of "America's Got Talent" likely immediately recognized the very talented but very sad-looking fellow, because it's Puddles Pity Party. Puddles made it all the way to the quarter finals of Season 12 of the reality series, and he has since maintained a very active online presence. He regularly uploads performances of various cover versions of hit pop and rock songs to his YouTube channel, which has close to a million subscribers. Since the reality show concluded, he has recorded a cover of "Royals" with the band Postmodern Jukebox, that has added to his viral fame. The song has raked in over 31 million views as of press time. 

He also regularly performs live. If you ever want to catch the clown in person, Puddles frequently tours and is, as of press time, appearing as an opening act for the comedy-rock band Tenacious D. No word as to whether or not he'll sing at weddings in real life.