Roseanne Season Finale Pays Homage to the Classic Halloween Episodes

Harris holding up the head of Moe from the Three Stooges. A piece of Dan's costume from the classic Roseanne Halloween Episode, "Trick or Treat"

UPDATE: After Roseanne’s latest snafu on Twitter that got the show cancelled, I can no longer stand behind this show. That said, we’ll always have the memories of what Roseanne was back in the day, and sadly we’ll never get another Halloween episode. I’ve always tried to separate Roseanne the person from Roseanne the show because I think the rest of the cast and the shows writers were brilliant and didn’t deserve to be pulled down with her. That said, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and even if the show hadn’t been cancelled I wouldn’t have been able to continue to support the show after the Roseanne’s latest tirade.

Last night I finally got around to watching last week’s season finale of the Roseanne revival.  With the reboot premiering during a spring season, we didn’t get a Halloween episode, a fan favorite element of the series’ original run.  But during the finale, we did get a nod to the classic Halloween episodes and a promise from Roseanne on Twitter to do “the best Halloween show ever” next season.

In the season finale, titled “Knee Deep” many of the themes of the show’s 10th season come full circle and in the end the Conners find themselves in the midst of a severe storm that puts the state of Illinois in a state of emergency and leaves the family with a flooded basement that they can’t afford to repair.

At the end of the episode, the family is sorting through boxes from the basement and Darlene’s daughter Harris points out how the family had an insane amount of Halloween stuff as she exhumes Moe’s head from Dan’s Three Stooges costume from the classic episode “Trick or Treat.”  Harris goes on to insult the costumes for their lack of scare factor and Roseanne quips, “We were famous for that stuff in these parts.”

Darlene's stomach monster waving

Roseanne then takes a page out of Darlene’s Halloween prank playbook and feigns chest pain only to have a small demon puppet burst from her chest. Harris is quickly angered and exclaims, “I hate you. Each and every single one of you.” But before she can leave the room, Becky, the butt of many of the original series’ Halloween pranks and often the most irritated by them grabs her to relay the warning, “Don’t say that, it only makes them stronger.”

Since at the time it was recorded there were no plans for an 11th season, I feel that this episode was Roseanne and the rest of the writers’ way of paying homage to the classic Halloween episodes so many fans of the original series loved.  This is also likely the episode that the cast alluded to during a Paley Center screening of the show earlier this year, where they said there would be “relics” of Halloween past, despite season 10 not having a Halloween episode.  That said, we now know that Roseanne has been picked up for an 11th season and during the airing of the season finale, Roseanne Barr took to Twitter to let everyone know next season will, in fact, have a Halloween episode.  Doubling down on Barr’s commitment to an episode after the show was renewed back in March.

The Roseanne reboot has taken some heat, mostly for Barr’s political views and comments outside of the show, and how her support for president Donald Trump carried over into the show. But if you’re on the fence about the series and were a fan of the original I would suggest checking it out. The show has the same heart as the original and for the returning characters its almost like they never left our televisions. The show does pull straight from the headlines to tell the Conners story and covers everything from the opioid crisis to Islamaphobia and even the working class struggle of competing with undocumented laborers for jobs. But I think these issues are approached pretty fairly and evenly and if you view these from the perspective that this is trying to capture the real life of a working class, middle America family, the subject matter isn’t that misrepresented, but also doesn’t skew so far right you can’t stomach it.

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