“Plastics, Trash Talk & Darlene Antoinette” encourages a change of perspective in Darlene, who has to learn to be thankful for what she is, while Louise tries to figure out kids.
This recap of The Conners season 3, episode 3, “Plastics, Trash Talk & Darlene Antoinette”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Darlene and Becky have only been working at Wellman Plastics for three days, apparently, but it feels like forever. Each new episode of The Conners keeps checking in on the two of them on the line, in full PPE; it’s one of the few times any of the family — or indeed the audience — get to leave the house. There’s no wonder Becky is making friends with the other employees. And, knowing Darlene, there’s no wonder she isn’t.
Not having the privilege of going anywhere is obviously getting to Dan, who is lamenting his inability to take money from his friends in poker games. Louise, taking a moment away from teaching Harris to play the guitar, reminds him there are enough people in the house to get a game together. Will it be the same, though? Probably not.
This is why Darlene thinks she has the right idea. Ben gives her the same advice as Becky did, but the next we see her she’s hiding in the bathroom to eat her lunch, listening to her colleagues slag her off. The title of “Plastics, Trash Talk & Darlene Antoinette” is taken from the poster she finds on the Wellman Plastics bathroom mirror, depicting her as the titular Darlene Antoinette. It’s like a high-school bullying story about people who never left high school.
It’s like high school at home in The Conners season 3, episode 3, too. The poker game causes a big argument between Louise and Harris, the latter of whom is annoyed at being bluffed out of $20. It’s a life lesson, but she doesn’t take it as one — I suppose that’s fitting for a teenager and makes for a nice parallel between her and Darlene. But more fitting is that Darlene confides in Mark, who has a history of bullying himself, about the workplace taunting, and he’s smart enough to make the most of the parent-child dynamic being inverted here.
Inspired, Darlene introduces herself to the women at work, who knew Roseanne, as it happens, and think she’d be ashamed of Darlene thinking she’s better than everyone else there. The other workers think she should be grateful for even having a job, let alone during the pandemic, which you have to imagine is a pretty common and relatable position in the current climate.
But it’s all worth it since Mark reveals it’s him who’s having computer trouble at school, and Darlene, for the first time in a long while, is able to get him a new (albeit cheap) one. That’s the essence of parenting — doing something you don’t want to do for the benefit of someone more important than you. It’s enough to change Darlene’s perspective a little. That’s all life is, really, just little changes of perspective.
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