“Roseanne” tackled another uniquely American issue on the latest episode of its revival. When she needs help from her neighbors who happen to be Muslims, the title character is forced to confront her own bigotry.
The episode opens with Roseanne spying on her neighbors. She claims that they’re stockpiling fertilizer and that she’s worried they’re a sleeper cell threatening the neighborhood. Jackie and their friend ask if Roseanne has any proof, but she only has her suspicions and that’s good enough for her. When she goes in the kitchen to tell Dan, he’s not interested as he and his business partner, Chuck, are preparing a contract for a new drywalling job.
DJ comes in with his daughter Mary. She’s going to spend the night so that he can make it to the V.A. early to beat the long lines. He informs Roseanne that tonight's the night Mary has her 2 a.m. Skype call with her mom in Afghanistan. Mary is afraid to be away from her dad, but Jackie suggests they make a big slumber party night out of it to make it less scary.
Later that night, the girls are gathered around cracking jokes and waiting for 2 a.m. to arrive when Dan comes in upset. His meeting didn’t go well as the person he and Chuck had worked with on many jobs backed out of the new contract. Dan believes that he was underbid by undocumented workers.
“It ain’t right,” he tells his wife in the kitchen alone. “Those guys are so desperate they’ll work for nothing and it’s us that are getting screwed in the process.”
While Dan pities himself, Roseanne realizes that the bill checks she sent in are going to bounce. This becomes an immediate issue when 2 a.m. rolls around and their internet is shut off. Mary is noticeably upset that she may miss a chance to talk to her mom, prompting Jackie to suggest they request to use the neighbor’s internet. Roseanne is hesitant, openly calling them terrorists and other hateful things that surprise her sister and daughter, Darlene.
Eventually, her love for her granddaughter wins out over her hatred of Muslim people and she goes over. She’s not exactly welcome, as a husband and wife greet them at the door late in the night. The husband is defensive, but the wife hears Roseanne out and suggests they come across the street for the call. Roseanne is skeptical and the husband picks up on it. He chastises her, suggesting she’s worried that if they see where an American soldier is, they’ll rat her out to the enemy. Roseanne fires back that they have a lot more to fear from them than the other way around.
She’s quickly put in her place, however, when the couple’s son comes to the door to see what’s wrong wearing a bullet-proof vest. It turns out they were threatened recently and the vest helps with the boy’s fears and nightmares.
The next day, Roseanne finds herself at the grocery store behind the wife, who is trying to pay for her food with food stamps. The woman behind the counter is visibly upset to have to serve her, and even starts making remarks about how her stamps are being paid for with American tax dollars and how she likely road there on a camel. Having clearly heard this rhetoric before, the wife is unphased. When she’s gone, though, Roseanne lets the clerk have it.
She tells the clerk that she’s going to have a word with her manager and that her neighbor is going through a lot and dealing with things she couldn’t even fathom. She tells her that the next time she sees her in the store, she should be a lot more polite. Just like that, it seems that Roseanne ditched her bigoted ways and learned a thing or two about Muslims in the United States.