In the mixed bag season finale of the hit ABC sitcom Roseanne, the Connor family faced dilemmas over healthcare, illegal aliens taking jobs away from Americans, and a region-wide flood that damages their beloved home.
***Spoilers for the Roseanne season Finale ahead***
Continuing its theme from last week, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) renew their efforts to deal with Roseanne’s addiction to painkillers and their inability to afford the knee operation she so desperately needs. The cost of the operation sets Dan on the path to hiring illegal aliens to help him crew his next construction job for the first time in his professional career.
The decision to hire the illegals sets Dan at odds with life-long friend and neighbor, Chuck Mitchell (James Pickens Jr.), who usually joins Dan as a contractor and partner on his construction jobs. But the exorbitant costs thrust on Dan by the local construction union forces him to consider hiring the illegals so that he will make more money for his work and so he can pay for his wife’s operation.
Without directly fingering the high costs forced on the construction industry by unions, Dan tries to explain why he is thinking of hiring the illegal workers:
“What do you want me to do? I got three extra mouths to feed since Darlene moved back in. Roseanne started popping pills because we didn’t have the money to fix her knee. And now I got 20 grand of water damage. I’ve spent my whole life hanging on by my fingertips, telling everybody not to worry, that I was gonna make it okay because that’s my job. Well, now I can’t promise that anymore. So, yeah… It makes me sick. But I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to take care of my family because I’m old, I’m tired, and I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on.”
With friend Chuck losing his job alongside Dan, the episode highlighted the fact that illegal alien workers take jobs away from Americans, depress wages, and encourages companies to “cut corners” on quality.
As a backdrop for the Connor family’s tribulations, the Chicago, Illinois area, and the Connor city of Lanford, experienced heavy rainfall, so much so that many areas had become flooded. The plotline is based on reality. Flooding is a very common, real-world problem in and around the Chicago area. Many of the region’s urban areas were erected directly on top of the swamps that existed there before the cities were built.
The rains also caused trouble at the Connor homestead, flooding the basement and causing tens of thousands in damage. The wreckage of their basement was yet another burden thrust upon the family. But as the episode wrapped up, the negative suddenly became a positive as first the state’s governor, and then the federal government, proclaimed Lanford a “disaster area” opening the Connors to applying for FEMA flood relief funds.
The episode ended with the family celebrating the government largesse and Roseanne preparing for her long-needed operation. But, the episode didn’t shy from one quick jab at “the president” for “spelling Illinois wrong” on his Tweet. It was a thinly disguised reference to President Donald Trump and his propensity to make such small errors in his tweets.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.