| Season 9: Episode 24|
(222 / 231 episodes)
|Air date||May 20, 1997|
|Written by||Roseanne Barr and Allan Stephan|
|Directed by||Gary Halvorson|
Into That Good Night, Part 1
Twenty Years to Life
Into That Good Night, Part 2 was the 24 and final episode of Season 9 of Roseanne, also the 221st overall series episode, part two of a two-part series finale episode arc. It was written by Roseanne Barr and Allan Stephan, and was directed by Gary Halvorson. The episode arc of Into That Good Night In 2011, the two-part finale was ranked #9 on the TV Guide Network special, TV's Most Unforgettable Finales. Part 2 of the arc originally aired on ABC-TV on May 20, 1997.
In the first half, the family talks about life after winning the lottery. Then Roseanne reflects about her fictional life as a voiceover monologue reveals that the show itself has really been her writing. She says that while the book she was writing was based on her life, she changed what she didn't like. For instance: in reality, the Conners did not win the lottery; Dan died of a heart attack; Jackie--not Bev--was gay; Mark and Darlene, and Becky and David, were the Conner-Healy couples; and DJ went to college. In the final moments, after looking over her book, she goes upstairs and sits on the couch. The show fades to black and her trademark laugh is heard one last time.
Roseanne and her family & friends celebrate the new baby, Harris; Darlene decides to move back into the Conner home; Mark and Becky are going to have a child. The series closes with Roseanne's infamous monologue.
Roseanne and Dan are delighted that Darlene, David and their new daughter, Harris, will be staying with them. D.J. has grudgingly given up his room for them and is moved into the basement. It's just a day of warmth, happiness, and celebration in the Connor house.
Family and friends are gathered together, to celebrate the new addition. Everyone comes by to welcome Harris home: Bev, Leon, Scott and Nancy. Each person takes a turn upstairs, having a little one-on-one time with Harris. During the visits over the crib, it is revealed that Mark and Becky are expecting as well. Mark wants to spread the news, but Becky opts to hold off, and let the day be about Darlene. Darlene is apprehensive about overstaying their welcome, thinking Roseanne doesn't really want them staying there. She questions Roseanne about it. Roseanne lets her know that she would like them to live with her at the house forever. Darlene is relieved, and would like that as well.
Among the party atmosphere, Leon and his significant other make an announcement. They will be adopting little Nadia, a three-year-old girl from Romania that needs a family. They are congratulated by all, even Bev who apologizes for her behavior at Thanksgiving. As the extended family gathers around the kitchen table for takeout food, Roseanne looks at each one of them and reflects. As she reflects she reveals that she has really been writing a book about her life and that is what we have been watching. In her "book" whatever she didn't like about her life, she changed. In "reality" Dan actually died from a heart attack. The family never won the lottery. She switched the couples around, so Mark and Darlene were actually dating, and David and Becky were dating; she simply felt that David was more Darlene's type, and Mark was Becky's. And it is Jackie who is gay, not Bev.
She also says that Jackie is her rock and she wouldn't have gotten as far as she did without her. She says that a lot of people have called DJ a nerd, but oftentimes nerds are just artists. She says Leon isn't as cool as she made him and that Scott actually was a probate lawyer she had met and fixed up with Leon. She says that Nancy was also her hero as she got out of her marriage and found a new strength in spirituality. Roseanne reveals that she wrote Dan's affair and the lottery win to compensate for the feeling of loneliness she experienced in the aftermath of his death--until Darlene's premie daughter was born and almost died, which snapped her out of her depression and returned her focus to her children's lives. Then, at the final moments, after everyone fades away, we find Roseanne in the basement, in her old writing room reflecting over her book. She then walks up stairs and through the old kitchen and walks into the old living room, and sits on their old couch. Her trademark laugh is heard one last time as the lights go out.
- This episode was viewed by 16.57 million people.
- The last 15 minutes of this historic broadcast are a monlogue written and delivered by Roseanne. In perhaps the most surprising and effective post-modern coup in modern television, the entire last season of the show is revealed to be the character Roseanne's fantasies as she struggles to deal with the death of Dan (who presumably did not survive his heart attack during Darlene and David's wedding). Then, pushing the envelope further, Roseanne/author and Roseanne/character reveal that the entire series has been part of the fantasy, and that the characters we have come to know are fictional composites of the "real" people in "Roseanne's" life: "Darlene" is really married to "Mark" and a pregnant "Becky." to "David," "Jackie" is gay, etc. This does not entirely make retrospective sense, but it is undeniably a powerful way for Roseanne to take back authorship of her show.
- At the end of the episode when Roseanne comes out of the basement the house is in its original form with the original furniture, etc. before they won the lottery. However, the wallpaper and tile in the kitchen are not the same. Some of the decorations are not the same either.
- In this episode, we learn Becky and Mark are expecting a baby, a fact that is only mentioned this one time and never revealed to Dan and Roseanne.
- In the early seasons of the series (for example: episode 2.24), the basement is accessed through a door in the kitchen. Later on (examples: episode 6.24, episode 7.02), the basement is accessed through the service porch [which is unrealistic, since Dan built that addition onto the house himself (see episode 3.21)]. Near the end of the final episode, the basement door is back in the kitchen.
- (Voiceovers from Roseanne's birthday episode from years back)
- D.J.: Happy birthday, Mom. Here, pencils.
- Darlene: Yeah, and I got you some notepads.
- Becky: And I got you a dictionary and a thesaurus.
- Dan: You know Stephen King started this way.
- (Roseanne leaves the basement)
- Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner
- Sarah Chalke as Becky Conner
- Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner Healy
- Michael Fishman as David Jacob (D.J.) Conner
- John Goodman as Dan Conner
- Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris