The Conners will celebrate Christmas this week. Teasers for the fall finale of ABC’s Roseanne spinoff reveal that the episode “Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action” will center on the Conner clan’s holiday happenings, and promo photos show Darlene (Sara Gilbert) could finally be breaking the ice with boss-turned-ex-boyfriend Ben (Jay R. Ferguson).
On the ABC press site, the synopsis for “Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action” teases that “Darlene and Ben face an issue at work, and Dan [John Goodman] takes advantage of the family Christmas Santa photo to force Jackie [Laurie Metcalf] to befriend Louise [Katey Sagal].”
Sneak peek photos from the episode show Darlene and Ben smiling at one another weeks after their crushing breakup. The semi-estranged pair is also seen toasting one another, presumably after getting their work mess cleared up. While fans of the series have been divided on Darlene’s Ben-David love triangle that ultimately left her with no one, it seems that Ben is the one who’s sticking around.
In the comments section to a recent Instagram photo of Ferguson, The Conners fans made it clear they want to see Ben and Darlene as a couple.
“BEN! Stop playing with us and make him a regular please and thank you,” one fan wrote.
“I hope Ben stays around for a long time,” another added.
“Yes I love him for Darlene, he called her on her sh*t. Great couple,” another wrote.
The new press photos are a positive sign that things are going in the right direction for Darlene and Ben now that her ex-husband David (Johnny Galecki) is permanently out of the picture.
Gilbert previously told Entertainment Weekly that “karma” came and bit Darlene after her indecisiveness over her two lovers.
“No one can keep going like that forever,” The Conners star said of her character’s two guys. “I will say they’re probably not both gone forever.”
Gilbert added that while there will always be Darlene and David shippers, Ben gives Darlene “a run for her money in terms of being strong and standing up to her” and she thinks fans like seeing her character in that position after her domineering stance with David.
Other spoiler photos from “Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action” show guest star Vanessa Bell Calloway, who appears to be somehow involved in Darlene’s workplace storyline. In addition, the town of Lanford is all decked out for Christmas, and the Conners’ holiday lights are shining bright on a snowy night.
The sitcom family previously celebrated Thanksgiving in the episode “Slappy Holidays,” but fans are hoping that Christmas will turn out better for the Conners.
The Conners Christmas-themed fall finale will be the last episode before the show goes on a six-week hiatus, with a return on Tuesday, January 21. That probably means writers will toy with our hearts with the Darlene-and-Ben storyline.