After an understandably rocky start with the first episode trying to rebuild characters and quickly explain over 15 years of lost time, episode 2 managed to play to the more heartwarming aspects of Roseanne as a family, but episode 3 saw a return to the classic, brash, and ever-feuding Conner family. The episode has a focus on Harris being a bratty teenager, and, minus the debate of “how do you properly discipline a child and set boundaries,” the episode felt lighter and didn’t strangle its own jokes.
Episode 3 did address the elephant in the room: why is Darlene not acting like the Darlene we know? Minus squabbling with Becky, we’ve been thrown off by Darlene’s passive submissiveness. Thankfully, Roseanne and Dan call out how her hands off parenting aren’t working with Harris. Darlene’s daughter is acting like she owns the place: coming and going as she pleases without letting anyone know, leaving messes, hogging the laundry room, and stealing to fuel her Etsy store. Roseanne surprisingly takes it to Darlene before taking matters into her own hands.
The secondary plot, that eventually intersects with the main, is Dan looting a dead neighbor’s home and installing their motorized chair to help Roseanne climb the stairs. This serves as a hilarious dialogue point and a sort of last-straw for Harris’ bitchy attitude that sends Roseanne on a tirade. The episode comes to a head when Harris moves Roseanne’s clean clothes from the wash and puts them on top of the dirty washing machine instead of just being a polite or caring family member and moving them along to the dryer.
Roseanne confronts the unruly teen in the kitchen and, after putting her foot down, demands she wash her own dirty plate. When she complies, but with too much sass and a direct insult, Roseanne swoops into action, moving with a speed we only previously saw once during the original series in the campy Rambo episode of season 9. She jacks up her granddaughter into the sink and assaults her with the hose in a HILARIOUS scene, that is until Darlene rushes in and makes her stop. The spark comes out of her and we stopped judging Sara’s performance and appreciated the complex but subtle layering she’s been doing and we Harris shapes up a little end….but Roseanne has always gone the extra mile, and the final scene where she joins Harris in the shower is both classic and just too extra, but the brand of humour the show is nailing has us guaranteed to be coming back for the remaining six episodes.