Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Conners episode “Lanford…Lanford.”
It’s the end of the era on The Conners. On the most recent episode of the Roseanne spinoff, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) finally made her decision between lovers David (Johnny Galecki) and Ben (Jay R. Ferguson). Unfortunately, it was after they’d already made their decision about her.
Yes, Darlene was the biggest loser in The Conners love triangle, as both David and Ben dumped her. After attending therapy sessions, David realized his on-and-off relationship with Darlene was toxic. He noted she hadn’t really listened to him in almost 30 years.
“By controlling the relationship, you’ve always kept me at arm’s length,” David said, per TV Line. “And I think I’ve known that for a long time. But before I came [to therapy] I was too weak to ask what I needed. I need a partnership. I need true intimacy. I need to be heard… I don’t think you’ve heard me since I was 15.”
Darlene-David shippers got another knife to the heart with a vintage flashback clip to a Roseanne scene from the 1990s, which illustrated David’s point. It’s no doubt Gilbert’s tears in the present-day breakup scene were real because this end felt very real.
With David out, Darlene was now able to focus her attention on Ben, the guy she finally realized she really loves. But Ben’s response to Darlene’s confession that she had been cheating on him with David was greeted with a breakup letter Ben had already typed up. Turns out he knew she’s been two-timing, and he was done.
It’s no surprise that The Conners fans had strong reactions to Darlene’s suddenly single status. On Instagram, viewers posted to the comments section of a still photo from the episode.
“I can’t believe she lost them both,” one fan wrote.
“Wow I didn’t expect that,” added another.
“I love the fact that David finally got to stand up for himself that was great to see! I like the fact that both guys broke up with Darlene she needs to stay single for a while. The flashback scene made me cry,” a third fan chimed in.
“Does this mean no more [Johnny Galecki]? There can’t be a Darlene with no David. Also, were you trying to destroy us with that flashback?” another fan asked.
Of course, fans of the ABC sitcom won’t have to say goodbye to Galecki and Ferguson forever, as both of their characters will likely remain in Darlene’s life. David is the father of Darlene’s two children, and Ben is her boss — and he didn’t fire her over her cheating ways because they’re both “professionals.”
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.