Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from The Conners episode “Pilot Lights and Sister Fights.”
The Conners fans are reacting to Dan Conner’s revelation that he is in love with someone who’s not Roseanne. One week after the Conner patriarch drove 200 miles to tell his former high school classmate Louise that he missed her, he ended up telling her a lot more.
The storyline picked up after Dan caught Louise (guest star Katey Sagal) kissing her keyboard player backstage after her gig at a bar. While last week’s episode showed Dan tossing a bouquet of flowers he had brought for Louise into the trash, in the new episode he was waiting for her in the parking lot, flowers in hand.
But after Dan admitted to Louise that he was “ready” for a relationship, she shut him down. She handed him back the bouquet and sent him on his way.
The ghost of Roseanne loomed in the episode as Dan went to the bar to get drunk. When a barmaid told him that maybe he should call his wife so she could pick him up, Dan fired back, “I’m just staying at the hotel next door and my wife’s dead.”
Later in the episode, Roseanne’s sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) convinced her brother-in-law that it was time to take off his wedding ring more than 40 years after he first put it on.
In the end, Louise showed up at Dan’s house in Lanford to get the full story on his feelings. When he told her he was in love with her, the new couple shared a long-awaited kiss.
It’s no surprise that fans of the original Roseanne series had mixed reactions to Dan’s first romance since he started dating Roseanne way back in high school. In comments to a photo with Dan and Louise on the official Conners Instagram page, viewers reacted to the new love in Dan’s life nearly two years after Roseanne Barr’s character was killed off her self-titled ABC sitcom.
“I couldn’t imagine Dan with anyone else after Roseanne but these two just work,” one fan wrote. “They are great together. I hope Katey is a permanent fixture on the show!”
“I love Louise but this a joke, Dan and Roseanne forever,” another viewer wrote.
“Roseanne was supposed to be in Married with Children,” a third fan pointed out. “But they went with Katey Sagal. Now she’s replacing Roseanne in The Conners. Get you some of that Dan!!!!!”
Indeed, in the mid-1980s, Married… with Childen creators Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt originally modeled characters Al and Peggy on stand-up comics Sam Kinison and Roseanne Barr, according to Vulture. Kinison and Barr turned the iconic roles down and they ultimately went to Ed O’Neill and Katey Sagal.
There is no word if Katey Sagal will become a permanent member of The Conners cast. The Golden Globe-winning actress has appeared in eight episodes of the show’s second season so far.