The Conners Recap: The Night Is Darkest Before the Dawn Open For Business



“Lanford, Toilet of Sin” delivers some last-minute good news after a torrent of disappointments, proving the night is darkest just before the dawn.

This recap of The Conners Season 2, Episode 8, “Lanford, Toilet of Sin”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

With the Lunch Box now in the hands of Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Becky (Alicia Goranson), much to the welcome annoyance of Beverly (Estelle Parsons), The Conners Season 2, Episode 8 opens with a brief glimmer of good fortune. Lanford’s resident historian and full-time skincare enthusiast, Sandy Bitensky (Paul Reubens), wants to write an article on the Lunch Box. Unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn’t last long. Dan (John Goodman) knocks a wall through and discovers years’ worth of potentially toxic mold. He can renovate the joint, but the bill for his services is going to hoover up all of Jackie and Becky’s capital.

To make matters worse in the Conners household, Harris (Emma Kenney) is still living with Odessa (Eliza Bennett), and has blocked Darlene (Sara Gilbert) on social media. Ben (Jay R. Ferguson), a bit more amenable to her in “Lanford, Toilet of Sin”, but still not quite ready to laugh at jokes about her infidelity, suggests looking up Odessa’s Instagram, which doesn’t offer much promise when Mark (Ames McNamara) points out that her username is “weed_hoe99”. Also Mark: “She’s into botany.”

While the mold at the Lunch Box isn’t toxic, it’s going to mean a delay, so Becky needs an income in the meantime. Louise (Katey Sagal) has given her old job at Casa Bonita to someone else. Becky and Jackie both have propositions for Louise. The latter wants to have a peek at Casa Bonita’s financials so that she can work out if the Lunch Box can survive its first three months without up-front capital. The former wants the bar to stay open and serve alcohol until 4am — she’ll be the only waitress, and she’ll only need one short-order cook.

Darlene tracks down Odessa’s apartment, but Odessa won’t allow her entry. She later returns with Ben and tries to use the police to turf her out, but the attending officer (Jenica Bergere) advises her not to as it usually does more harm than good. Darlene remains out in the street and starts shouting up to the window until she’s warned about disturbing the peace. Ben suggests that if Harris is still attending school she’s probably okay and just needs time, but that isn’t quite enough for Darlene, so he agrees to bail her out if she keeps shouting. She does and gets arrested, but Harris emerges and tells her mother that she’s fine.

Meanwhile in The Conners Season 2, Episode 8, Jackie has a nightmare about various moldy Beverlies bursting through the walls of Lunch Box, and when she wakes up, she calls Sandy and tells him she won’t be opening the restaurant since she can’t afford to. But as it happens Sandy writes a glowing article about the place encouraging locals to help out — and they do, to such an extent that Jackie and Becky decide to open the Lunch Box after all.

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Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.

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