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Debra Messing on season 2 of Mysteries of Laura

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Craig Blankehorn/NBC

“It feels good to be back,” Debra Messing says of returning to the role of Laura on the lighthearted detective drama Mysteries of Laura for its sophomore season. But changes are afoot at the precinct — for example, there’s a new captain in town, played by Rescue Me alum Callie Thorne.

“She comes in and is not interested in taking any s— from Laura,” Messing says. “So from the very beginning, both women are trying to assert their seniority in the precinct.” Like Laura, though, Thorne’s character is also a single mom — something that will likely bring them together over the course of the season.

The new captain isn’t the only one with whom Laura is feeling some tension: Ex-husband Jake (Josh Lucas) is now her detective partner, a development that means the two parents will be spending even more time together. “I think fans are really going to be excited about seeing them as partners,” Messing says. “Being out in the field all those hours and having to co-parent at the same time lends itself to more comic and dramatic possibilities.”

As for romantic possibilites, those are still up in the air. In the season 1 finale, Jake got shot, subsequently told Laura he still had feelings for her, and then lost his memory of the conversation. “Things are pretty much the same as they were,” Messing says of their relationship. “But there’s this hanging question. For both of them.”

Mysteries of Laura returns for its second season Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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