| Season 9: Episode 12|
(210 / 231 episodes)
|Air date||December 17, 1996|
|Written by|| Teleplay: Lawrence Broch |
Story by: Roseanne Barr
|Directed by||Mark K. Samuels|
Mothers and Other Strangers
Say It Ain't So
Home For The Holidays was the 12th episode of Season 9 of Roseanne, also the 210th overall series episode. It was written by Lawrence Broch which derived from an original story by Roseanne Barr, and was directed by Mark K. Samuels. It originally aired on ABC-TV on December 17, 1996.
Dan finally returns home, but he treats Roseanne coolly, and Jackie catches him on the phone flirting with his mother's nurse.
At the start of the episode, the entire family is busy preparing to pick up Dan from the airport; however, it's quickly discovered that Mark did not properly account for the change of time zones in California, which means Dan has been waiting for them at the airport for two hours. Roseanne immediately punishes Mark's stupidity by forcing him to stay behind at the house and "think about what he did" while rushing the rest of the family toward the waiting limo. However, when she opens the door she finds that Dan has already arrived; he gives the entire family a stony look, then greets them affectionately.
Roseanne and Dan later talk in their bedroom; Roseanne repeatedly states how much she missed him, since they hav never been apart for such a long period of time during their marriage. However, Dan is oddly distant, brushing aside her attempts to get closer to him; he is constantly making phone calls, ostensibly to check on his mother in the clinic. Dan manages to reconnect more succesfully with his kids, as they set up the final preparations for Christmas Eve; he, DJ, and Mark haul in a new Christmas tree while Roseanne and Jackie bake, David looks after Andy and Jerry, and Darlene and Becky go shopping. Jackie teases her sister on how successful her "reunion" with Dan must have been, but Roseanne admits Dan is acting oddly aloof; she is concerned that he is still very worried about his mother. Jackie's reassurances make Roseanne feel better enough to start mocking her sister again—and when Dan is forced to shorten the tree (covering their new carpet with resin, bark bits, and fir needles) she seems to reconnect with him again.
Later on, the family strings up new decorations, although Roseanne insists on putting up their old secondhand ones as well, including a tinsel string of bottlecaps; Bev arrives and immediately begins criticizing everything, resulting in Roseanne banishing her to the kitchen (after a few choice taunts about her recent coming-out). She soon returns with Christmas cookies and promptly laments that Roseanne's redecoration removed the fireplace; Roseanne decides it is time for Bev and Becky to put the youngest children to bed, while David and Mark go to the garage to assemble some of the gifts for them. As soon as she leaves, Dan, Darlene, and DJ rush over to steal some of the cookies. When Becky joins them, Dan expresses his gratitude at being able to be back together with his kids again; all of them reciprocate, and Darlene lets him feel her baby kick.
On Christmas morning, all the family is opening gaudy new gifts; Roseanne's final, symbolic gift to Dan is a silver platter, a lighter, and their former house mortgages, revealing her intention to keep their ancestral family home. Dan is moved by this gesture; he immediately burns the paper, to the cheers of his family. The various couples of the Conner-Healy-Harris clan and their children embrace and enjoy Christmas day together.
Later on, Dan is speaking to someone from California on the phone alone; unnoticed by him, Jackie walks past through the kitchen to get something. He expresses odd affection, saying he wishes he could have spent Christmas with them. As he hangs up and walks away, a panning shot of the adjacent room shows Jackie standing in the alcove next to the fridge, closing her eyes and mouthing the words "Oh, my God..."