We can imagine that Johnny and Owen were pretty thrilled when Dan Needham came on the scene – heck, so were we. Despite the fact that Tabby dies within a year of her marriage to Dan, Dan sticks around and acts as a lifelong mentor to John and Owen. He's really great at seeing through situations and figuring out people's motives. Dan plays an especially key role in helping the boys figure out how to be friends again after Owen unwittingly kills John's mom. He helps to make John consider how Owen is feeling and helps them to get back to normal. Dan also acts as an advocate for the boys. At one point, intervenes on Owen's behalf when Barb Wiggin tries to shut Owen out of the Episcopal Church. He also threatens to quit his job after Randy White throws Owen out of Gravesend Academy. He's great with advice, but he's also there to back the boys up.