While it’s true that much of this season of The Conners will be dealing with the loss of matriarch Roseanne, it’s obvious that the writers are doing their best to add a little bit of joy into the family in terms of romance. The latest evidence of this is word that Matthew Broderick will be recurring as a love interest for Laurie Metcalf’s Jackie Harris.

Matthew (who to us will forever be known for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and his role as the inadvertently-nearly-causing-World War III David Lightman in WarGames) will be playing a character named Peter. He’ll be making his first appearance in the Oct. 30 episode, “There Won’t Be Blood,” which is picking up the Halloween mantle from Roseanne.

In other affairs of the heart, Justin Long will be recurring as Neil, who will meet Sara Gilbert’s Darlene on the Oct. 23 episode. Justin’s television credits include the series Skylanders Academy and such films as Galaxy Quest and, most importantly, Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth in the Bruce Willis action series.

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(Photo Credit: ABC)

Finally — and we admit that this is pure conjecture on our part — there is Mary Steenbergen, who was in the series premiere as family friend Marcy Bellinger. As John Goodman’s Dan Conner finds out, Roseanne had gotten opioids from Marcy and, given that his wife died of an overdose, it’s natural that he blames her. Marcy defends herself, noting that none of them can afford the pills they so desperately need, and that if she had any inkling that Roseanne had an addiction, she never would have given her any. Dan ultimately softens his position, recognizing the truth in her words.

So, here’s our deductive reasoning: You do not bring an actress like Mary Steenburgen (who was so frumpy-looking that for a moment she’s unrecognizable) onto a show like this for what amounts to a five-minute cameo. So let’s assume that Marcy Bellinger is going to be a recurring character, and, given the acute sense of loss Dan is feeling, it’s not unreasonable to think that the two of them will be drawn together at first for companionship, and then maybe later for something else.

As fans of The Conners, we welcome Mary, Justin, and Matthew to the family.