In a touching moment, this week's Roseanne dealt with the death of Becky's husband Mark while also paying homage to the actor who played him, the late Glenn Quinn. Roseanne has been a ratings giant since returning earlier this year to ABC after a 20 year hiatus. The network has already picked up the show for a second season, despite complaints by many that the show pushes a pro-Trump agenda, and engages in jokes that "belittle" the idea of diversity.
In its four episodes thus far, Roseanne has focused heavily on the two Conner kids, Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert). We have seen Darlene struggling as a single mom to raise her two children, the gender-fluid Mark (Ames McNamara) and the rebellious Harris (Emma Kenney), while stuck living back at home with bossy Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and clueless Dan (John Goodman). Becky meanwhile has been working at a tavern, while hoping to make $50,000 acting as a surrogate mom for a woman named Andrea, played by Sarah Chalke (who of course played Becky #2 on the original show).
In this week's episode, we finally received our first reference to Mark Healy, Becky's bad-boy husband played on the original show by Irish actor Glenn Quinn. At the episode's end, ABC ran a card paying homage to Quinn (via Deadline), who passed away in 2002 from an opioid overdose. Michael Fishman, who plays D.J. on the show, also tweeted his own tribute to Quinn.
Glenn and family are frequently on my mind. We put his picture in the hallway we pass each day.
After my #Roseanne press tour today drove down and visited him.
As long as @RoseanneOnABC is on Glenn Quinn is part of it.
I'll always honor him and the Quinn family in my work pic.twitter.com/0JgsB2L1Fe
— Michael Fishman (@ReelMFishman) April 11, 2018
In the episode, Becky goes to the clinic to donate her eggs - against Roseanne's protestations of course - only to find out she's infertile. Not only is Becky out $50,000 she was counting on to help buy a house, she also knows she likely will never have children of her own. Later, Becky and Darlene get wasted and that's when Becky finally talks about Mark, revealing that he died years ago and ever since then she's been bouncing from one relationship to the next, unable to find a man she loves as much as Mark. The touching scene was probably the most heartfelt moment of the series so far. It ended with Roseanne and Dan showing up for one of those moments of family reconciliation that are always central to Roseanne.
Of course on the original show, Mark did not always come across as the wonderful guy Becky thought he was. Roseanne always thought he was a doofus, and only warmed to him after Dan himself took him under his wing. Later, we met Mark's brother - and later Darlene's husband - David, played by Johnny Galecki. Now that we know what happened to Mark, when will we finally get our first sight of the thus far absent David? Next week's episode is titled "Darlene v. David", so we won't have to wait long to get some answers about what David's been up to while Darlene has been trying to raise their two kids. Galecki of course has become a huge sitcom star thanks to The Big Bang Theory, and his resultant high price tag is likely the reason he plays such a limited role on the new Roseanne.