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Crystal Returns to The Conners: What Did We Learn About the Legacy Roseanne Character?

Crystal Returns to The Conners: What Did We Learn About the Legacy Roseanne Character?

An extended member of the Conner family just returned after a six-year absence.

Season 6, Episode 5 of the Roseanne spinoff welcomed back legacy cast member Natalie West as Roseanne and Dan’s longtime friend (and Dan’s eventual stepmother) Crystal Anderson, who was last seen midway through The Conners’ inaugural 2018 run. But before we get to what brought Crystal back after all these years, let’s recap where she’s been and what we already knew from previous episodes of Roseanne’s 2018 revival and its long-running offshoot.

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West was a series regular in Roseanne Seasons 3 and 4, and recurred before and after. Crystal appeared in a total of 59 episodes across Roseanne‘s 10 seasons.

In Roseanne Season 3, Crystal got involved with Dan’s deadbeat dad Ed (played by the late Ned Beatty). They eventually married and had two children, Ed Jr. and Angela. Crystal also had a son, Lonnie, from a previous marriage.

When West reprised Crystal in a pair of Season 10 episodes, she made no mention of Ed Sr. or their children. What’s more, her ring finger was naked. Had she and Ed divorced?

She then returned in The Conners’ October 2018 premiere to grieve Roseanne, along with Dan and the rest of the family. That was followed by an additional appearance later that season, at which point we learned that Crystal tired of retirement and returned to her service job at a local casino. That was the last we saw of her.

The following season, Dan found out — via the obituary page in the local paper — that Ed Sr. died. Father and son had not spoken in 20 years. Or so we were told.

Soon after, Dan reconnected with Ed Jr. (played by Noel Fisher). Jr. in passing mentioned a younger sister — that’d be Angela, who was just an infant in Roseanne Season 6 — but neither Dan nor Jr. acknowledged Crystal or Lonnie during that Season 2 arc.

That brings us to Crystal’s return in The Conners Season 6. In the episode, titled “When Sisters Collide and The Return of the Grifters,” Jackie’s husband Neville (played by recurring guest star Nat Faxon) found out that the money he loaned Dan at the end of Season 5 to hire a lawyer was not in fact used to fight a DUI.

We eventually learned that Dan used the money to pay for Crystal’s medical bills. She was staying with Dan for a couple of weeks, having just gotten out of the hospital.

“I used the $500 to buy her heart medicine,” Dan told Neville. “She was embarrassed to be taking a handout.

“When she was married to my dad, she noticed her ankles started swelling,” he explained. “My dad didn’t want to pay for a bunch of expensive tests, so he convinced her that all she needed was diuretics…. He was always trying to beat the system. He talked me into getting them from my doctor, and like a fool, I went along with it and she never got tested.”

Later, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. “She just found out about a year ago, and I carry some of the blame for that,” he said.

But… when exactly did Crystal get sick? Was it more than 20 years ago? Because last we heard, Dan and Ed Sr. weren’t on speaking terms before his death. And if Crystal was Ed Sr.’s widow, as Dan put it, wouldn’t she have told her stepson about his father’s death, versus letting him find out about it in the obituaries? And why couldn’t Ed Jr., Lonnie or Angela help provide for their ailing mother?

Yeah, the math isn’t mathing.

What did you think of Crystal’s return in The Conners Season 6, Episode 5? Were you thrown by the obvious continuity errors? Let us know in Comments.

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