| Season 9, Episode 19|
Number (#217) in series (222 episodes)
|Air date||February 25, 1997|
|Written by|| Teleplay: Drew Ogier |
Story by: Roseanne Barr
|Directed by||Gary Halvorson|
A Second Chance
The Miracle was the 19th episode of Season 9 of Roseanne, also the 217th overall series episode. It was written by Cynthia Mort, and was directed by Gary Halvorson. It originally aired on ABC-TV on February 25, 1997.
Darlene gives birth to a dangerously premature baby girl, Harris Conner Healy. Roseanne consults other doctors from around the world, but what ultimately keeps the baby alive is Roseanne's own grandmotherly love and nurturing.
Full episode summaryEdit
At the start of the episode, the "drug of last resort" seems to have finally stopped Darlene's early labor, although she is feeling very sick from the side effects. Just as David arrives from Chicago, however, her water breaks; her only option now is to deliver. The doctor assures them that, despite the risks, many premature children have survived; David then accompanies Darlene while the rest of the family waits.
About an hour and a half later (after much bickering with Bev), one of the doctors informs Roseanne that Darlene has given birth to a baby girl and is resting. However, her premature birth is a critical factor; the baby's lungs are extremely under-developed, and she is not capable of crying. The next two days or so will be critical, but the only option given is to put her in an incubator and wait. Roseanne, however, is not willing to leave it at that; she uses her new financial resources to contact and summon various international specialists, insisting on finding some alternative.
Darlene, meanwhile, is still feeling the after-effects of her drugs; she is in shock and grief over the knowledge that her baby shall probably die. She begins listing reasons to blame herself for her daughter's condition; David quickly counters each of them. Darlene goes on lto pointing out that she is a nonsmoking, nondrinking vegetarian who only used drugs on three minor occasions, years ago. Darlene finally decides she is somehow being punished, and wonders what she did to deserve her 'punishment'. Unwilling to let her hurt herself further with this belief, David hugs her close, tearfully telling her that neither they nor their baby deserves this.
Roseanne is finally able to speak to two specialists from London and South Africa, but their diagnosis is the same; Darlene's daughter has very few odds of survival. After the family goes in to see her in the incubator, the English doctor explains that she can be kept going indefinitely on the machinery, but the parents can decide if they want to let "nature take its course". After a moment of consideration, Darlene and David tearfully decide that they want to give their daughter a chance to survive on her own. Dan then asks David to come take a walk with him. David refuses, says he isn't leaving his daughter, but Dan insists. Mark and D.J follow, leaving the women with the baby. Dan then consoles him, telling him how much he has admired David's resolve, especially since he had parenthood thrust on him to begin with. He explains how terrible things often happen to good people when they do not expect it, and they feel they will not make it through, but they do. Slightly calmer, David promises Dan he is not going to let Darlene down.
Meanwhile, Darlene removes her daughter from the incubator and lets each of the women from her family (all of whom are from the Harris side of Roseanne and Jackie) have a moment with her. Roseanne is the last; she tearfully apologizes to the baby that she had only been thinking of fixing her body, when humans are souls with bodies rather than the other way around. Darlene then takes her daughter back and tells her she has thought of her name: Harris Conner Healy, in honor of the generations of formidable women she is descended from. Darlene kisses Harris, then breaks down into tears—as do her mother, grandmother, aunt, and sister.
In the post-credits scene, Harris is shown moving on her own and opening her eyes; You then hear a page for the NICU, showing that despite the odds being stacked against her Harris pulls through.
- This episode scored 16.2 million viewers and ranked #23 in the ratings for the week it origonally aired.
- Darlene tells David in the episode "Another Mouth to Shut Up" that they got pregnant at Disney World after the fireworks. The episode, "Disney World War II" originally aired February 27th, 1996. This episode aired February 25, 1997. Darlene has technically been pregnant for almost a year. Additionally it's said, the baby was born about 2 months early, which would have been 7 months.
- At the end of the episode, we are shown shots of Harris recovering and living with a version of the song Blackbird by the Beatles playing in the background. The song is not on the DVD.
- Darlene says that she's never smoked or drank, and only used drugs once. But she first smoked in "Bridge Over Troubled Sonny", and then she picked up smoking again when she was living with Jimmy. Also, when it was revealed Darlene had tried drugs, she had done it more than once since she admitted to using acid twice as an example. However, all of these incidents were at least three years before Harris was born.
- In the ending credits while Darlene's premature baby is shown, the doctor from London says "Amazing...I've never seen anything like this," proving that the baby lives.