With Thanksgiving looming, the Conners are still at war over the Lunch Box in “Tempest in a Stew Pot”.
This recap of The Conners Season 2, Episode 6, “Tempest in a Stew Pot”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Thanksgiving is looming in The Conners Season 2, Episode 6, but the titular tempest in a stew pot is also brewing — and one threatens to ruin the other. Even Dan’s (John Goodman) morning routine is under attack, with Mark (Ames McNamara) cutting up his paper for a school assignment — he has to find a business and finance article that, sneakily, isn’t from the business and finance section — because the show really can’t find him anything interesting to do at the moment. But more on that soon.
In the meantime, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) arrives to give both Dan and the audience a brief recap of current living arrangements. Beverly (Estelle Parsons) is still staying in the house — though she isn’t seen in “Tempest in a Stew Pot” — since Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) threw her out after learning she gave power of attorney to Darlene. And that has caused a massive rift among the family since Beverly wants to leave the family money and renting to Jackie and Becky (Alicia Goranson) is a risky proposition.
Jackie and Becky obviously know this, which is why the latter has developed a proper business plan. The new Lunch Box will leverage the endless appeal of stew and other comfort foods to give the downtrodden locals something hearty and wholesome to gravitate towards. It’s a decent idea, but they don’t have the capital to invest in it, so even after presenting the binder to Darlene, she’s still reticent to sign the place over — especially since she has had a much more lucrative offer from a large chain. Jackie storms out and Darlene and Becky get into an argument that yields some dynamite lines. Becky, expressing how much she needs the Lunch Box since she can’t just wait for Beverly to die: “She made a deal with the Devil, and he’s in no hurry to live with her.” And Darlene, countering Becky’s accusation that she’s scared of her potential success: “You’re a 44-year-old waitress living under the house like an old Christmas tree.”
Elsewhere in The Conners Season 2, Episode 6, Harris (Emma Kenney) wants her rebel pothead friend Odessa (Eliza Bennett) to be there for Thanksgiving, but the invite is rescinded once Dan discovers they’ve trashed his bike. Mark even has to dispose of the personalized placemat he made for her. To make matters worse, when Dan goes back inside he discovers Becky packing her things, ready to move out. He’s worried that if she does, Beverly will move into the basement and die there. “I’m too old to carry her lifeless body up the stairs,” he moans. Becky: “Cut her up and make trips.” Despite being the clear MVP of “Tempest in a Stew Pot”, Becky is still adamant that she’s leaving, though Dan refuses to help her do so.
Following Odessa’s banning, Harris has a conversation with Darlene about it in which she opens up about being lonely. This is good for the character, who has been thoroughly unlikable in this season thus far, but The Conners Season 2, Episode 6 walks back the development immediately by revealing that Harris was secretly on Skype to Odessa the whole time, and was just pretending to cut her out. In fact, she’ll be at her place in the next ten minutes. On the way out she gives Dan $40 for a new wing mirror and promises not to lie to him again, before saying she’s going to the library. You know what they say about leopards.
When Jackie comes to pick up Becky, another argument erupts. Dan tells Darlene that he doesn’t care how she does it, but he wants everybody around the table for Thanksgiving. To close the episode, Mark delivers a little speech he has prepared of all the things he’s thankful for — his family, and their togetherness. It’s dripping with passive aggression and guilt. Dan approves.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.