The Conners fans have been left heartbroken over the recent death of a classic Roseanne character, and many are taking to social media to express their shock and sorrow. On Wednesday, The Conners aired back-to-back new episodes, and during the second, it was revealed that Darlene's old rival and next-door neighbor, Molly Tilden (played by Danielle Harris), had died of brain cancer. Darlene and Molly had recently reconnected, with Molly encouraging Darlene to take control of her life and not live with regrets.
Showrunner Bruce Helford spoke with TVLine about bringing back Molly for one episode only to have the character immediately die. He explained that choice was less about Molly and really more about exploring a new reality for Darlene. "We were really thinking about what would change Darlene’s life," Helford said. "What would have a major effect on Darlene that would have some true effect on the relationship with Ben heading towards the end of the season?" The moment has certainly made a big impact on fans, many of whom have expressed their shock on Twitter. Scroll down to see what they are saying and read more of what Helford had to say about the surprising turn.
Saddest episode ever.☹️☹️☹️— MYERS (@2112marc) April 8, 2021
"Molly back in the day tried to get Darlene to come out of her shell, and took her to her first concert," Helford explained. "So we thought that’d be interesting, if they kind of lived the same life, they both got married too young and they just never had their twenties and thirties."prevnext
What a deep show... thank you for a magnificent production and the bonus episode— jodala (@jodala) April 8, 2021
"Molly comes back into her life and they become friends, which is a real twist on what was going on between them [before]," Helford continued. "And that something major could happen that would bring Darlene to reevaluate how she’s living her [own] life [was] kind of the genesis of all of it."prevnext
What would you all have done? Taken the trip to Hawaii, or cash in the tickets? Hard decision when money is tight, and needed. But sometimes you got to put yourself first.— GoodBuddyKIRK (@GoodBuddyKIRK) April 8, 2021
Helford revealed that Molly’s death is sending Darlene into a "midlife crisis" as The Conners Season 3 begins to come to a close. This was partially evident in the moment when Darlene hesitated to get a refund on plane tickets to Hawaii that Molly had purchased for the two of them. Darlene and her boyfriend Ben had decided to instead spend the money on getting their own apartment.prevnext
The Conners giveth us Molly and then they taketh Molly away from us. It was nice to see you return to the role however brief it was. Sad outcome. It hit me like a ton of bricks.— Movie Vigilante (@MovieVigilante) April 8, 2021
"It’s all of a sudden being really aware of [her] mortality, combined with the fact that she actually went out and had a great time and realized she could let herself do that," Helford said. "She carries the burdens of the world on her [back]. Her personality doesn’t allow for much different than that… It will definitely have an effect on her relationship with Ben."prevnext
When asked if things between Darlene and Ben will get worse before they get better, Helford seemed to confirm that this will be the case. Tensions will "definitely will come to a head, one way or another," for the two of them, he explained.prevnext
Lots packed into the 2 parter. Great talent but sad storylines. Not all can be funny. Wrapping up this season with an ending of _____?— Rose Howe (@RoseHowe1) April 8, 2021
Season 3 of The Conners debuted in October and is scheduled to have a total of 20 episodes. There are now three left before the series finale.prevnext
Emmy, Emmy Emmy, Emmy. 😪 #TheConners— CG Galpal (@CGalpal) April 8, 2021
The Conners airs Wednesdays on ABC.prev