The Conners finally saw Jackie set boundaries in her new relationship after Peter's intense master's degree project got out of hand.
During "O Sister Where Art Thou," Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) arrives at the Conner house wearing a peculiar outfit that inspires many jokes from Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and the family.
"Somebody's been to the back of her closet," Darlene jokes.
"That's why I wore the shawl over it... Peter is doing a project for his master's degree in Nordic history so we're simulating the daily life of a couple in medieval Norway," Jackie says of the assignment, which involves them letting go of 21st century life.
"So, you don't get to use any modern conveniences?" Mark (Ames McNamara) says before Jackie admits she will be eating a squirrel to survive as part of the project.
Jackie is later seen struggling to cut vegetables with a rock, struggling to comply with the rules of the project when Dan (John Goodman) walks in with a judgmental look. Jackie seems to be getting frustrated when Peter (Matthew Broderick) walks in in his own silly outfit.
"I bring nourishment from the sea," he says, before he drops a massive raw fish on the table. "I got it from the fish market. I bartered for it. Traded them zinc, nickel and copper... some day they'll call them coins."
"I'm cutting a turnip with a rock and you went out and bought a fish?" Jackie asks.
"The important thing is that I have provided dinner in a historically accurate way," Peter says. "I will now leave you to clean the fish while I retire to the living room to play my shin bone flute."
Jackie stops him and say that this is not going to work, as she has done all the work for this project and tells him he'll have to work on the fish.
Peter says she should suffer in silence as women did in those times. But she gives him one intimidating look and he takes the fish away. Dan makes a joke about how the only thing he knew about the Vikings were that they enjoyed to have fights in their own homes.
That night, as the pair wear traditional Nordic nightgowns and sit under candlelight at Jackie's apartment, she says she can't do it anymore and finally tells Peter he has to get his life together.
"Look, I don't mind paying your tuition. I don't mind running your errands and I don't mind doing all the housework... what I'm trying to say is I do mind... I mind it all," Jackie says.
"You knew that I was finishing my degree when you met me, and now when I'm under the most pressure you insinuate that I'm not bringing anything into the relationship," Peter says.
Jackie tells him that in order for them to work he has to start helping out, and worrying about her needs and not just his own.
He promises that in a month he can help out more once his final paper is done, but for now he suggests she channel her frustration into doing the work for his project.
Jackie ignores that suggestion, tells her that in the context of the project she has died and he must now fend for himself and leaves him alone.1comments
The argument comes after weeks of Dan pointing out red flags in Jackie's relationship and her telling him that she can fend for herself. While the fight might not have been a breakup, we can assume things will be heading in that direction when the series returns.
The Conners will come back with all new episodes in January on ABC.