"All season long," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "Roseanne has deliberately poked and prodded at some of the most tender, aching spots in the American cultural psyche. The show has danced past or lingered over topics including health care, opioids, immigration and assimilation, resentfulness, cycles of poverty, jokes about lost dreams and jokes about being in chronic pain. The message Roseanne and Dan have said aloud, explicitly, and in every episode, is clear: Things are bad, their world is unsustainable, and they’re not sure how they’ll make it. In the penultimate episode, 'Netflix & Pill,' we learn that Roseanne is addicted to opioids, and in the closing moments she locates a secret stash of pills she’s keeping hidden from her husband. The message of the show could have been – should have been – that these problems are real and they’re not going to go away with the wave of a wand." The finale, she adds, showed "Roseanne’s most cowardly impulse: to raise the specter of American desperation and then cleanly cover it all with a sudden rush of water. You could see the flood as absolution, I suppose. It could be a fresh start. To me, it looks more like a convenient way to hide some bodies."