[Warning: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 3 premiere of Necessary Roughness. Read at your own risk.]
In with the new. Out with a major character.
The Season 3 premiere of Necessary Roughness introduced viewers to Dani's new bosses, V3 head Connor McClane (John Stamos) and his No. 2 Troy Cutler (David Anders). However, the series also bid adieu to the now-married Matt (Marc Blucas), who quit the Hawks and moved to his hometown of Boston for a prestigious new general manager gig.
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"The network poised the question to us and said, 'Iit feels like someone needs to die.' And I don't think they meant it necessarily literally. They meant it figuratively," co-creator and executive producer Liz Kruger tells TVGuide.com. "We really thought about ... what was the most natural and obvious progression based on where we left off. I think that everyone felt that with Matt and Dani, there were two choices: They were either going to have to get married or it was going to have to be over."
After Dani's (Callie Thorne) relationship with Nico (Scott Cohen) fizzled out late in the second season, she was determined to get Matt back. Despite their passionate kiss on the field in the season finale, their plans for a romantic reunion were put into jeopardy when his lady friend (and now-wife) Noelle (Michaela McManus) learned that she was pregnant. It was a significant twist considering that Matt's desire to have children had been an issue throughout his relationship with Dani.
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"I think a lot of Season 2 was spent exploring the nature of their relationship. It's on. It's off. Can they ever be together? Can they really be together?" co-creator and executive producer Craig Shapiro says. "We found it very interesting [and] we liked it a lot, but it was time to move past that dynamic."
Blucas, who next stars in ABC's new drama Killer Women, is one of three Season 3 exits. Hannah Marks and Patrick Johnson, who played Dani's teenage children, will pop up this season, but will no longer be series regulars.
Despite the sadness surrounding the end of Matt and Dani's relationship, the executive producers are happy about how the two ended things — particularly when Matt came to give Dani a heartfelt goodbye at the end of the Season 3 premiere.
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"I loved where we left them because it's real," Kruger says. "Sometimes, life intervenes. You can love someone terribly, but life intervenes and that's what happens here. It's a triumphant moment for Dani on some level. They both know it's time to move on and it's very sad, but they're both going to, in some ways, get what they need."
Necessary Roughness airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA. Will you miss Matt? Who do you think Dani should be with?