The return of an old high school friend led Dan to an important realization during The Conners' winter finale.
At the start of the episode, viewers were introduced to Dan's (John Goodman) old friend from high school, Louise (Katey Sagal). Having recently started working at Casa Bonita, the pair had a conversation about the good old days and she asked Dan to a concert. He accepted, unaware that the woman was flirting with him.
The next day as Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) meet with Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Becky asks her aunt about the history between her father and Louise.
"Yeah, she was in Dan and Roseanne's class... star of the talent show!" Jackie says, with a lot of jealousy in her voice. "Every year, she and her stupid band would go long when somebody with a very moving rifle twirling routine couldn't even get up on stage."
Becky reveals that she thinks the woman made a move on Dan when she asked him to go to a concert. Jackie and Darlene are curious to know what happened and she says that he was oblivious.
"Oh no... he's been out of the game for too long. He has no idea how vicious these gals can be," Jackie says. "With a fresh widower in their sights, Dan is a mouse in the field and she's like this hawk with her talent... I'm telling you he's a catch."
After Jackie and Peter (Matthew Broderick) have a tense moment in the kitchen because of his master's degree project, Becky returns and hints that they should talk to Dan about him and Louise.
"Open your eyes Dan, that man-eater is trying to get into your curklins,'" Jackie says, with Becky adding that Louise was totally flirting with him at Casa Bonita.
"She was not," Dan insists. "Louise and I enjoy talking to each other about back in the day and that's it!"
That night, Dan arrives to pick up Louise for the concert and he wonders if her other friends going need a ride. She says they are taking their own ride, in case she and Dan want to do something after the concert just the two of them.
Dan realizes that Becky and Jackie were right and he asks Louise to sit down for a talk.
"This is crazy, but I have to ask... Becky and Jackie think that you are interested in me in more than a 'shootin' the breeze' kind of way," Dan wonders.
"I mean, I can't believe you didn't pick up on it," Louise admits. "Every time you walk in here I'm staring at you like you are a deep-dish pizza... We're both free, we like each other, I've had a crush on you since I was 15. But Roseanne already had her brand on you."
"Well, she didn't actually brand me," Dan jokes. "But there are some bruises that will never go away."
Dan then admits, as he holds onto his wedding ring, that he is not ready to move on from Roseanne after her death.
"Oh... anything I can do to change your mind?" she says. Dan admits that he is still in love with Roseanne and he is not ready to pursue something with someone else but hopes they can still be friends.1comments
Despite her disappointment, Louise says it's OK, but that he can stop expecting the free beers out of her at the restaurant. They end up going to the concert as friends.