For a brief but wonderful moment, there was joy on The Conners Season 3 Episode 4, pure, unadulterated joy.
And then, as has happened so many times before, it was replaced with soul crushing disappointment.
If Mark's emotional support chickens are working for him, then he needs to get several more for the rest of his family. They're going to need them to get through this.
How often have we witnessed Darlene so happy that she could barely contain herself? Those moments feel almost nonexistent. I'm not sure I can even recall one.
Which is probably why Darlene being thrilled to tell Becky that she was pregnant was so touching
Becky: It means a lot that you told me first.
Darlene: Well yeah, I wanted to show you that you’re not the only one who can have a risky, old lady pregnancy, and I’m going to have to have it right here on the afghan because we have no health insurance.
Darlene and Ben are broke, they have no health insurance, and they're trying to survive a pandemic, so having a baby right now should scare the hell out of them.
But instead of fear, they felt elation. It was everything they both wanted but were too afraid to hope for, and within a couple of days, it all came crashing down around them.
The Conners is normally pretty good at marrying life's many defeats with humor, and I admit that I laughed several times during this installment. Kudos to whoever decided to put in the quip about the disappearance of the Conner's fourth child, Jerry.
You don’t want to see me hungry. There used to be another kid around here.Dan
Yet somehow, I can't shake the sadness. Maybe it's the fact that we're all living through this pandemic or that our world feels so off-kilter right now.
Or maybe it's just a sign of great acting and good TV because Ben and Darlene's grief over the loss of a child that never was and a dream that probably never would be was palpable.
The upside was that Darlene and Ben were going through this together. They weren't hiding their heartbreak from one another, and I hope that it brings them closer as a couple.
But I also worry about the worse-case scenarios, like Darlene pulling away from Ben. After seeing how Ben reacted to believing that Darlene was pregnant, she can't kid herself about how much he wants to have a child.
I just hope Darlene realizes that Ben wants to have that child with her.
I also worry about the worst-case scenario for Emilio.
On the one hand, Emilio is right. He shouldn't have to miss another day of his daughter's life. He loves her and wants to be there to help take care of her. He wants to be her Dad.
But Dan wasn't wrong. Sneaking back into the country early means that ICE could rip Emilio away from his family at any time, and then he might miss out on her entire life, not just another year.
It's a horrible situation that has me watching every adorable scene between Emilio and Beverly Rose with an underlying feeling of dread. I want to have faith that things will turn out okay for Emilio, but history has taught me otherwise.
Because just like Darlene's pregnancy, things rarely go right for the Conners.
For now, I'll just be content that no one dragged Emilio away from Beverly Rose's first birthday party or her baptism ceremony.
I liked the way Becky and Emilio fought over what's best for their daughter but managed to communicate their fears and work it out. There are plenty of married couples out there who can't manage to do that as well as they did here.
Emilio: A child needs to have a religion. They have to think that God is watching or they’ll do bad things.
Becky: Like getting girls pregnant in freezers?
Emilio: Do you know how many Hail Marys that cost me?
Beverly Rose being baptized as a Catholic was important to Emilio, so Becky acquiesced and let him have that one. Perhaps the child will follow her father in that faith, or maybe she won't, but for now, Emilio gave his daughter something that's meaningful to him.
However, did anyone else find it odd that Beverly was nowhere to be found? I know they had a falling out with her during The Conners Season 2, but Becky did name her child after her grandmother, so I expected some mention of the woman, whether positive or negative.
Also, as much as I am afraid to get my hopes up, I can't help but feel optimistic about Jackie finding some semblance of happiness with Neville.
Despite Neville's obvious crush on her, Jackie was doing everything in her power to push him away, yet Neville was having none of it.
Jackie: You and I are going to have to go out for coffee, you, me, and my demons. And we are going to start out with my childhood hatred of my mother and then we’re going to work our way up to my last failed relationship which was a thrupple. And then you’re going to get up and say I have to go to the bathroom and I’ll never see you again and that will be that.
Neville: This is great. I know a place that has the best coffee.
I really didn't need to be reminded of the thrupple. Those were dark times, indeed.
Jackie's got the Lunch Box, which she's fighting to keep afloat, but she also deserves to have someone love her and put her first.
Considering the way Jackie is going about this, Neville will never be able to say that Jackie tried to hide anything about herself. She's putting it all out there and giving him plenty of chances to make a run for it, but so far, it looks like he wants Jackie.
How will Louise handle that? Well, seeing that Louise is shacking up with Jackie's late sister's widower, I'm not sure she has much room to complain about Jackie dating her brother.
So what do you think, TV Fanatics? Will Ben and Darlene ever have a child together? Will this current loss tear them apart are make them even stronger as a couple?
Is anyone else fretting over every Emilio scene because you're just waiting for it to all go wrong and him to be dragged away from his family?
And is Jackie finally going to find her happily ever after?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and let me know what you think. And until next week, you can watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.