Louise never really developed a purpose in The Conners season 5 outside of being Dan’s love interest, but the Roseanne spinoff admitted this.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Conners season 5, episode 16.

While it is clear that The Conners season 5 isn’t sure how to utilize the character of Louise, the Roseanne spinoff found a witty way to admit this. Ever since sitcom veteran Katey Sagal first appeared in The Conners season 1, fans of the series were understandably concerned that her character would be a thinly-veiled replacement for Roseanne. Since Roseanne Barr’s character had been hastily killed off before Roseanne became The Conners, the arrival of a new love interest for John Goodman’s Dan was met with skepticism. However, The Conners took Louise in a different, refreshing direction.


From the outset, Louise made it clear that she was interested in dating Dan, not the Conner family. She did not want to act as a mother or grandmother to his children and grandchildren and, instead, Darlene became The Conners’ new Roseanne as her battles with her teenage kids started to mirror the trials she put her mother through decades earlier. While this was a good choice, the Roseanne spinoff hasn’t known what to do with Louise since she and Dan got married, as the character doesn’t have a role outside of being Dan’s love interest. Luckily, The Conners found a clever workaround for this issue.

Related: The Conners Season 5 Contradicted A Classic Roseanne Episode

Louise’s Conners Story Reflects Her Character’s Role

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The primary plot of The Conners season 5, episode 16, “Hiding In and Moving Out,” addressed Harris’s pregnancy story, but the B-story of the episode revolved around Louise. Back from her final tour and newly retired, Louise spent the episode not knowing what to do with herself since she didn’t have plans outside of being Dan’s wife. The storyline was a neat way for the creators of The Conners to concede that, while the spinoff avoided turning Louise into a replica of Roseanne’s late heroine, the show never really found a satisfying alternative role for her to play.

While Louise ended “Hiding In and Moving Out,” unsure of her next plan, she was newly optimistic about the prospect of finding a new purpose for her life. This bought the creators of The Conners some time, as the series can now explore various paths for the supporting star. The Conners season 5’s Becky story proves that even major characters in the Roseanne spinoff can end up caught in storylines that go nowhere slowly, so it is a good thing that the series acknowledged Louise’s lack of direction and unclear character arc.

The Conners Proved Louise Has Potential Outside of Dan


Now that Harris has moved out, Louise is finally free to live her own life. While Dan still has a job, Louise is uniquely able to pursue her passions, which could facilitate a host of new plots for her character. Dan’s suggestion that she should try teaching music at a halfway house could allow the show to lean into the surprisingly harsh working-class realities The Conners excels at talking about, while Louise’s broader lack of responsibilities makes her journey more exciting and open-ended than most characters in the series. Although The Conners initially failed to give Louise a purpose, the Roseanne spinoff can still compensate for this.

More: The Conners Improved Jackie’s Story With A Tragic Twist

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