The Conners did not begin with the immediate aftermath of former main character Roseanne Conner's death.
The new spinoff series picked up its action three weeks after Roseanne's (Roseanne Barr) passing, finding the other members of the Conner family still reeling from the sudden death of their matriarch from a heart attack, later revealed to have been caused by a drug overdose.
The episode finds the family discussing Roseanne's death and being overwhelmed by the wide array of casseroles given to them following Roseanne's death.
Later, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) reveals to Dan (John Goodman), Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Lecy Goranson) that Roseanne's cause of death was actually an opioid overdose, according to the coroner's office.
"They think she must have taken the pills right before bed and with her health issues it was enough to stop her breathing," Jackie told the family.
"It doesn't make any sense, I got her knee fixed, I flushed her pills," Dan says. Then Becky reveals she found a bottle of pills in her mother's closet, given to her by Marcy (Mary Steenburgen).
The family then gathers to watch a movie, avoiding the recently washed couch, and Geena and Darlene find Jackie organizing the kitchen, badly. When Darlene tries to tell her to go home, Jackie insists on staying and organizing more. Darlene then finds other pills that Roseanne had seemingly hid in the fridge, which Jackie was hiding from her to spare her feelings.
After Dan confronts Marcy (Mary Steenburgen) about her part in Roseanne's death, Darlene comes out and shows Dan her other stash of painkillers. He doesn't apologize to the woman, but the reveal at least helps them realize it wasn't on Marcy but on Roseanne herself.
Later, Jackie reaches a breaking point in her kitchen organizing and admits she just wanted to pick up right where Roseanne left of and be there for the family.
"I don't even know where I belong," Jackie says. "I don't want to leave this house because I don't want to leave her."
"It's hard for all of us, you're just exhausted so you go home and we'll be here tomorrow," Darlene says. They both have a quiet moment where they mourn Roseanne and agree to keep working later.
After the credits rollout the show's new Roseanne-less intro theme, Dan is seen lying in his bed for the first time since his wife's death and he touchingly puts his arm around the empty pillow.
The Conners was borne out of the sudden cancellation of the successful Roseanne reboot, following Barr's racist remarks about Valerie Jarrett on her Twitter in May.
The series brings back original cast members Metcalf, Goodman, Fishman, Goranson and Gilbert to the series, as well as the addition of Maya Lynne Robinson to the series regular roster as DJ's wife Geena.
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.1comments