The Conners Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action

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Becky really stepped up during The Conners Season 2 Episode 9.

After years of drunken stupors, bad decisions, and disappointing encounters, it's been good to see Becky pull it together for herself, her child...

And for Dan.

Dan's Birthday - The Conners

When Dan told Louise he didn't need anything for his birthday, what he meant was he didn't need anyone to make a fuss.

But there's a difference between making a fuss and doing absolutely nothing. 

Dan Conner doesn't expect much. A beer cozy with his granddaughter's photo taped to it is enough to make him happy, but having most of his family forget his birthday all together was just too much. 

In so many ways, it's just sad. Dan has bailed everyone out at one time or another. He's the rock they all rely on yet he couldn't even count on them to get him a birthday cake.

In Darlene and DJ's defense, they always had Roseanne there to remind them of their Dad's birthday but this year, Roseanne isn't there to give them the heads up.

Becky Steps Up - The Conners Season 2 Episode 9

Thankfully, Becky not only remembered her father's birthday but she's willing to step into Roseanne's shoes as the family's calendar reminder. 

She didn't even bother to chastise her siblings, and she could have. She understood that this has been a tough year for the Conners and they all need to adjust.

Even better, Becky was there to be a sounding board for Dan, because other than Roseanne, who did Dan really have to confide in?

The family forgetting Dan's birthday not only made me want to give him a hug but it also made it clear why his friendship with Louise is so important. 

And at this point, it really is just friendship with possible potential for more. Dan has been open with Louise about how he's not ready for any type of romance, at least not yet, and she's willing to wait and see where things go.

Louise Takes a Stand - The Conners Season 2 Episode 9

I get it. You want to be alone but you’re not alone, you’re with everybody she’s ever been with.


Unfortunately, Jackie couldn't stand aside and let Dan have this friendship without trying to trash it. 

Perhaps it's some misplaced loyalty to Roseanne but it could be, unconsciously, more selfish than that. 

Jackie and Roseanne were incredibly close and with Roseanne gone, Jackie has come to rely on Dan for a certain amount of emotional support. Jackie could be afraid that if Dan and Louise's friendship progresses, her relationship to her brother-in-law could also change.

I don't necessarily believe that Jackie is thinking about all of this in that way, but it doesn't mean that fear isn't fueling her actions or her snarky insults.

But Louise wasn't willing to put up with unlimited crap from Jackie and drew her line in the sand, and then Dan had to choose. 

Having It Out - The Conners Season 2 Episode 9

Dan: Look, Jackie’s going through a tough time right now, she’s fragile.
Louise: How fragile is she? At Thanksgiving, I watched her bitch slap the bejesus out of Darlene.

Dan wasn't going to cut Jackie out of his life because she's family, but he also wouldn't allow her to be there all the time if that meant she would take every opportunity to bash Louise. 

It all lead up to a fantastically honest conversation between these two women.

Louise: You’re the one who has always had problems with me.
Jackie: You’re not that special. I have problems with a lot of people.

Jackie and Louise have had issues since high school and it's long past time for them to put those aside. 

The irony is, that these two are probably more alike than different. They're both older, single woman struggling to make their businesses work in Lanford. 

If they could get out of their own way, they could probably help one another instead of fighting over who gets Dan's attention.

Determination and a Brick - The Conners Season 2 Episode 7

As wonderful as Dan is, Louise made her point in this The Conners quote...

Louise: What is it that you think I’m after? His third mortgage? His truck with the muffler tied on with a hanger? His chickens?
Jackie: Well, individually it doesn’t sound like much but when you put it together…

But Dan wasn't the only one having a crisis this holiday season as both Ben and Darlene lost their jobs.

Ben: They told me they were sure that you would take the job for half of what I was making.
Darlene: Half? That’s so insulting. I mean, I didn’t think I was going to break the glass ceiling but I’d like to be able to stand on a chair, reach up and touch it.

Once Darlene heard they were only going to pay her half, it was no surprise that she'd end up on the same unemployment line with Ben. 

But since they'd broken up, working at the paper was the last connection these two had. I had to wonder if that meant all hope was lost for my favorite couple. 

Getting Their Drink On - The Conners Season 2 Episode 9

Well, plenty of alcohol and a night of drunken sex appears to have given them a second chance.

I'm still not convinced Ben and Darlene's troubles are over. Darlene is a little too good at deflecting her feelings and I speculate that Darlene cheating on Ben with David will come back to haunt them. 

But for now, I'm glad this reconciliation means we're not losing Ben all together. It's far too entertaining to watch him challenge Darlene in ways no other relationship has. 

I just question what that means for their long-term future. 

The best part of this holiday installment wasn't the penguin pushing smokes, although he will be difficult to forget and left me pondering if he was stolen from the front of a convenience store.

Christmas Traditions - The Conners Season 2 Episode 9

The most awesome part of the Conner's Christmas tradition was the "Santa on Santa" action. 

Seeing every Conner dress up as Santa to sit on Santa's lap was both ridiculously sardonic yet delightfully festive. 

In other words, it was the perfect Conner tradition.

And kudos to the show for mocking itself by having someone cut and paste Harris into the family Christmas photo. 

Harris spending weeks living with Odessa, her pot-head friend who has no parental supervision, has been one of the lamest stories of the season, especially since David, who has moved to Lanford to be a part of his kids' lives has been nowhere to be seen. 

I'm guessing that there may be some real-world scheduling conflict for the actress that keeps this storyline going, but I hope they are able to either ramp up the conflict or bring it to some sort of conclusion soon instead of leaving Harris in this strange type of limbo. 

Harris and Odessa - The Conners Season 2 Episode 7

So what do you think, TV Fanatics? Are you up for incorporating a little Santa on Santa action into your own holiday traditions?

Will Jackie and Louise's truce hold?

Are Ben and Darlene solid enough to survive?

And should Harris be home by now?

Hit that big, blue COMMENT button down below and let me know what you thought, and until the next episode, you can  watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.

Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Conners Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

I get it. You want to be alone but you’re not alone, you’re with everybody she’s ever been with.


Ben: They told me they were sure that you would take the job for half of what I was making.
Darlene: Half? That’s so insulting. I mean, I didn’t think I was going to break the glass ceiling but I’d like to be able to stand on a chair, reach up and touch it.