The Conners went through a lot in Season 1. Not only did they have to deal with the fact that Roseanne actually died of an overdose of opioid medication, but Jackie had to finally begin to confront her life-long unhappiness, Darlene and David were as up-and-down as ever, Becky had to come to terms with a wealth of issues (including having her baby's father deported) and Dan had to adjust to living without the love of his life. But, things might be looking up for Dan in that department when Season 2 rolls around.
While Season 1 saw Dan continue to be as strong as he could for his kids, grandkids and sister-in-law, audiences were also introduced to Katey Sagal as a former school friend of Dan and Roseanne's, Louise, who'd harbored a crush on him since way back in high school. She's back in Lanford and tending bar at Casa Bonita, where Becky works, and made it clear to Dan that she'd love to be more than friends with him. Dan held off last season, but Season 2 might mean that a change is coming in their status.
CinemaBlend's own Jeff McCobb got a chance to speak to John Goodman during a set visit recently and asked what Louise could do this time around to make Dan reconsider, and, aside from the fact that "she runs a bar," here's what Goodman had to say:
I think she’s funny; she’s strong. He’s not looking for anything, but I think he’s lonely. He’s the one that has to feed and house people, or, he feels that he does. You know, he takes that very seriously. But he doesn’t have anybody to bounce [family responsibility] off of anymore, because they wouldn’t understand. I don’t know that [Louise] would understand.
It's certainly a fact that Katey Sagal's Louise is strong. Just the fact that she made a very obvious play for Dan not even a full year after Roseanne died was a testament to how bold the woman is. But, when he told her he just wanted to be friends, it didn't crush her, and she did handle it with a solid sense of humor. As we now know, Louise and her portrayer will be around for 10 episodes of The Conners in Season 2, so it's likely that all that strength and humor will begin to wear Dan down, even if she doesn't actively go after him.
John Goodman makes some very good points about why being friends with Louise might lead him to reconsider romance with her. Dan has always been willing to do anything for his family, while also being open and honest with them, but he no longer has a partner to talk over decisions and difficulties with, and that has to make him feel even more lonely. As we saw in the beginning of Season 1, Dan had spent several weeks after Roseanne's death sleeping on the couch because he couldn't bear to sleep in the bed they shared. So, not having anyone to really share familial responsibilities with must be even harder on him.
While Goodman acknowledges that he's not sure if Louise would understand how important looking out for his family is to him, he also feels that he and Dan are equally lost as to what the future holds for his character.
It’s gonna be cool because I don’t know what’s gonna happen, and I might not want it to happen, so it’s gonna be an interesting year. I have no idea what the deal is and I don’t think Dan would, either. He’s fucking lost right now.
Dan has always been willing to confront family troubles head-on, and Season 1 was no different. But, while we didn't see Dan do a lot of struggling, it had to be going on. You don't lose someone you've been with since high school without it causing you to lose yourself for a while.