Spoilers for the April 17 episode. One of the best aspects of watching the Roseanne revival so far has been reuniting with characters fans haven't caught up with in a while. And on Tuesday, April 17, it was David's turn. Johnny Galecki returned to Roseanne after being missing for the first few episodes of the season. And with his appearance, fans found out what exactly happened to the character revealed to be Darlene's former husband and the father of her children. But if you're sad about Darlene and David's relationship in Roseanne, don't be — the resolution they come to in this episode is truly for the best.
Until now, David's been mentioned a couple of times in passing, and it's obvious that he hasn't been around for his and Darlene's kids, Mark and Harris, for the most part. But this episode reveals that David left town after Mark's death and his fights with Darlene got to be too much. And now that he's back in town, it seems for a while like David and Darlene might have another solid shot at making things work.
As a fan of the original show, I found it easy to root for Darlene and David again. Watching them fall in love and get married was one of the most satisfying parts of Roseanne in its first incarnation, especially since they seemed so well-suited to one another. But now, as adults, it seems like they're truly not meant to be, and that's OK. It doesn't change their history.
At first, it really seems as though Darlene and David can be a family again. They admit that they're both still in love with each other, and now that David is planning to settle down in Lanford again, the timing can't be more perfect. But after a little introspection — and some tough love from her mom and Becky, as per usual — Darlene realizes that she has to shut the whole thing down, for the sake of her kids and herself. Becky is right; Darlene needs to mourn her relationship with David just like Becky needed to mourn Mark passing away.
And like Darlene tells David before he leaves the Conner house — if it were just about her and her life, she'd keep trying with him, whether or not it ever worked. But it's not just about the two of them. It's clear that David coming in and out of the kids' lives has had a big impact on them (especially Harris) and it's for the best that they not pick up where they left off. Because that could eventually lead to him leaving again when things inevitably get tough.
It's hard to watch a beloved TV couple be torn apart like this. But in Darlene and David's case, staying broken up is the right thing to do. And there's no need for fans to be sad about the outcome of their relationship — it's obvious that both of them will be happier not trying to make a marriage work that has failed many times before, despite how they're feeling right now.
Unfortunately Darlene and David were a better match as teenagers. They were different from the other kids at school — both loners, and super into art — so it makes sense that they'd forge a connection with each other. But unfortunately, a fact of life is that people grow apart as they get older, and now that they're both true adults who share two children, it's time to let their romantic relationship go in the name of something more solid.
Obviously, they still care a lot about each other, and they still have the same chemistry. So even if they don't end up living happily ever after as a couple, it still feels like David and Darlene are getting a happy ending. Although Galecki is only slated to appear in this episode this season, who knows what the future could hold? Maybe Roseanne will get him back next season, so fans can watch him in action as the father that Darlene knows he can be.