"Necessary Roughness" tackled a tough issue to address perfectly in the Wednesday, Feb. 13 episode, "Regret Me Not," as one of the team struggled with staying in the closet when it began affecting his game.
Stress on and off the field. QB Rex Evans (Travis Smith) was having problems on the field, which landed him in Dani's (Callie Thorne) office, and while he told her he was dealing with problems in his relationship with a woman he'd been seeing for a few years, she knew he was hiding something. The problem turned out to be that his partner of three years, Jim (Neil Hopkins), used to travel a lot for his job, but since he had settled in New York, he wanted to move in together. However, not only did Rex's family not know he was gay, he didn't want to be the first gay pro-footballer. But Rex had to make a choice because Jim had given him an ultimatum: either Rex come out or Jim was gone. Rex didn't want to lose Jim, but he wanted to play ball. Dani had Rex bring Jim to a session, and while both men hated having to live separate lives, Jim didn't want to live in the shadows anymore, worrying about reporters seeing them together, while Rex didn't want to risk his career or losing his privacy. And in the end, after Rex told Dani that Jim was gone, he admitted he was afraid losing him was something he'd regret for the rest of his life. He was ready to come out.
The love of her life. This "Necessary Roughness" episode also showed Dani make a pretty big decision about her love life after she had Nico (Scott Cohen) track down her mother's former lover. She couldn't imagine not wanting to find out what happened to the love of her life, and when her mother had a heart attack (and though she ended up being fine, she sent Dani an urn for her to keep her ashes in on her fireplace for six months of the year), it served as a wakeup call. Nico learned that her mother's former lover was dead, and Dani asked him if he had any regrets about Gabrielle. "Sometimes, but that ship sailed a long time ago," he told her, leading to her asking, "How do you know when a ship has sailed?" "When it's so far out to sea, you would drown trying to catch up to it." Dani did have regrets, and she didn't want to regret losing the love of her life. She was afraid, but she wanted to have his kids, and she went to Matt (Marc Blucas) to tell him just that. But was she too late? Noelle (Michaela McManus) returned, and the two had shared a couple of flirty nights out by the time Dani had her revelation. He was just starting to move on, and he couldn't go through it again, and he walked out on her.
Sponsor shopping and ballet. TK (Mehcad Brooks) had lost two-tenths of a second, which made a big difference on the field, and Dani told him he needed to find a sponsor to win the war with sobriety—and it couldn't be her. So he went off "sponsor shopping" ("It's kind of like speed dating, except slower and less sexy," as he described it), where he met a big fan, who told him he bled Hawks red ("We all bleed red, kind of a human thing," TK replied), and tried to get a woman to be his sponsor, only to be told it worked better when sponsors were the same sex. But then he ran into Kojo Liberty (James Black), and eventually he agreed to be his sponsor—but he had to be willing to try new things. One of those "new things" turned out to be ballet, which Kojo said would make him more limber and agile and add years to his career. ("Do I get my own tutu?" TK asked. "Man's gotta earn his own tutu," Kojo told him). When he wasn't seeing immediate results, TK got angry and walked out as Kojo told him he'd never be the same guy he used to be before everything. But when TK was tempted to drink, Kojo was the perfect sponsor and handled the situation the best he could. And in the end, TK told Dani about the ballet and said that while he wasn't getting those two-tenths of a second back, he was coming back.
A major problem for the Hawks. They ran into a problem when they tried to sell the Haws: the stadium, parking lot, and practice facilities had been sold off to undisclosed third parties. Without control of those assets, it was going to be hard to find a buyer, which they needed for the do-over the franchise desperately needed. And Matt wanted to be kept in the loop, wondering if he had missed anything else. ("It's going to rain on Tuesday," Nico replied.) Nico found out that they needed to talk to Mark Cuban before the episode ended.
"Necessary Roughness" season 2 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on USA. What did you think of "Regret Me Not"?