Giving Mac a love interest doesn't automatically equal a sopa opera. If they just decide on a woman and go with it it doesn't have to be that way at all. And one of the reasons I never liked the idea of Stella with Mac was because I liked their dynamic the way it was. To me it was that of close friends and co-workers who had almost a familial connection and I didn't want TPTB to screw with that. But bringing on a new character opens up possibilities. I definitely don't want Sela Ward brought on to be nothing more than Mac's love interest. That'd be stupid. But if they have the right chemistry it could be a direction they could explore slowly and not have the problem of screwing up an already established relationship. I certainly don't want them not to give Mac a love interest just to keep Mac/Stella shippers happy because they can't keep their ship alive without her on the show. That'd be ridiculous and confining for the show and very unrealistic for the character of Mac since he was never involved with Stella beyond friendship in the first place.