The Conners said goodbye to a character on the latest episode that you might recall from their days on Roseanne. In a heartbreaking episode that aired on Wednesday night, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) found out that her next-door neighbor Molly Tilden (played by former Roseanne star Danielle Harris) died of brain cancer. Molly's death came shortly after she and Darlene reconnected, which made her passing all the more tragic. Considering that Molly previously appeared on Roseanne, here's what you need to remember about the character's roots.
Molly previously recurred in Season 5 of Roseanne, based on the wiki for the show. She and Darlene had a difficult friendship, as the two were frequently at odds. Molly and Darlene's relationship came to a head over the latter's relationship with David (Johnny Galecki). While Darlene and David were dating, Molly kissed him. Darlene's younger brother DJ found out about the kiss and told her, which led to the couple almost breaking up. However, she later forgave him and noted that it was Molly that she truly blamed for the situation. After Season 5 of Roseanne, Molly and the Tilden family disappeared without any reason given behind their exit.
Fans got to see Molly's return to the show on Wednesday night. Although, it was short-lived. Molly explained to Darlene that over the years, she got married twice and had children. The two got to spend a fun night out together, during which Molly encouraged Darlene to live life to the fullest, particularly in light of her own brain cancer diagnosis. While Darlene did take a note from Molly and purchased tickets to go on vacation to Hawaii, she later learned that Molly died from her cancer diagnosis.
Following the episode, Bruce Helford, the showrunner for The Conners, explained why they brought back the character of Molly only to kill her off in the same episode. Helford told TV Line, We were really thinking about what would change Darlene’s life. 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?" He later added, "Molly comes back into her life and they become friends, which is a real twist on what was going on between them [before]. 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.”