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The Conners Season 5, Episode 20
Courtesy of ABC

Warning: The following contains spoilers about Season 5, Episode 20 of ABC’s The Conners.

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Darlene Conner has the chance to buck the generational poverty trend — and it’s a chance she’s willing to take, no matter how much she has to sacrifice in order to do it. And so, during Wednesday’s Conners, she gives up her new managerial position at the Chicago Can Company to work as a lunch lady at Stephen A. Douglas University, to help pay Mark’s way through their four-year undergraduate program.

The decision doesn’t come easy. Though it’s an honest living, Dan strongly advises against it. He encourages his daughter to keep her current job and send Mark to community college, which is far more affordable than a private institution. He worries that Darlene is giving up a career she won’t be able to reclaim once she’s in her fifties. What’s more, her current position affords her an opportunity to put some real money away, so that she and Ben won’t have to work until they’re Dan’s age.

The Conners Season 5, Episode 20It’s a sensible argument, but Darlene has already ruled out community college for son. She wants him to have the college experience he’s dreamed about since he was a little kid. Working as a lunch lady will make that dream a reality.

She does, however, briefly consider Dan’s point of view — not because she’s worried about her own future, but because she’s worried about the strain this decision will put on Ben. To quit her job and work at Mark’s school means that she and her husband will continue to struggle financially for years to come. But Ben, being the saint that he so often is, agrees that this is a sacrifice they both have to make in order to give his stepson a chance at a future.

So, what do you think? Did Darlene make the right decision? Or should she have considered Dan’s argument? State your opinion in Comments.

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