Sweet Magnolias season 3 episode 10 ends with a fabulous vow renewal ceremony plus a few surprises.
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Annie breaks up with Jackson! Serenity High School plays Castlewood in their first football game of the season. Ty congratulates Gabe on the victory. Lily, Kyle, CeCe and Annie are also standing by after the game. Jackson walks toward Annie. She tells him about being angry that he encouraged her to lie to everyone. Annie is also hurt by his lack of support after the car accident. She thinks he is selfish, and she misjudged him. Annie confirms that the relationship is over.
Annie runs over to her friends and meets Ty in an emotional embrace. She tells him he was correct about her deserving better. When he asks her how he can help, she asks him to “be there” to which he replies “always”. CeCe recognizes the private moment and encourages the rest of the group to leave for Wharton’s.
We meet again
Dana Sue meets with Erik at the coffee shop to ask him to make her cake and invite him back to work at Sullivan’s. She is sorry if she did anything to make him feel like he was not welcome to return. Erik confesses that he was working with Kathy but anymore. Dana Sue realizes that is the reason Kathy vandalized her kitchen.
Erik feels like he cannot make the cake or come back to Sullivan’s. Dana Sue is disappointed. His involvement with Kathy does not change the fact that she wants her friend to return.
Change of heart
Erik changes his mind and brings cupcakes to Sullivan’s. He wants to talk to Dana Sue about making a special tower of cupcakes for her wedding with a single-layer cake on top. Dana Sue refuses the gesture. But why? She teases Erik that she does not like to work with “freelancers”. He agrees to return to Sullivan’s, and they talk about the cupcake tower.
A hopeful conversation
Finally, Helen and Erik talk. Helen arrives to Sullivan’s with the cake topper. She has folded important papers into flowers. All the papers are things that are important in the lives of Ronnie and Dana Sue:
- a Sullivan’s menu
- a blueprint from one of Ronnie’s jobs
- a photo that Annie took of her mom and dad
- a page from the book Pride and Prejudice
- a membership pamphlet from the Corner Spa
- a copy of Erik’s special brownie recipe
Helen talks about the blessing of friends and family. Helen mentions people who “show us that we didn’t get lost” but “wandered a bit.” Is she telling him that she wants to be a part of his life again? My heart is aflutter.
Read on for more scoop on Sweet Magnolias season 3 finale.
Town Council Notes
Helen meets with Charles and Peggy to assist with their investigation into Trent’s record as mayor. They are grateful for the detail Helen provides. Charles points out that Trent’s staff kept very few notes. That’s kind of suspicious in itself.
Charles leaves to take an important phone call. Helen swiftly moves around the table next to Peggy. She implores Peggy to run for mayor. Helen wants to be her campaign manager.
Small Town Life
Mr. Bixby finally returns home. He is now able to use a walker. He is a little hesitant to get out of the car, perhaps feeling embarrassed about needing help. Skeeter reminds him that they have been helping each other their whole lives. Mr. Bixby learns of all the helpful renovations.
Carla and Skeeter walk alongside Mr. Bixby as he goes inside. Harlan confides in Cal and Ronnie about his dad’s stubbornness. They encourage him to be patient and then scoop him off his feet and carry Harlan into the house having fun with their friend.
It’s all “relative”
Paula, Maddie and Katie work on their book. Katie tells a story about a kid being bullied. Paula and Maddie fear that Katie is talking about herself. Katie confidently tells them it is not about her. She would talk to them if she had a problem. Mom and Nana comment on what a great storyteller Katie is.
Bill comes to Maddie’s house and apologizes again for all the ways he hurt her. He tells her that he is not sure where he belongs now that people are entering new phases with new people. He assures her that he is still working on himself and wants to be a better for his family.
Margarita Night #1
Maddie confides in her friends about Bill talking to her. They talk about more plans for the renewal ceremony. They will get their dresses soon and Max (who famously spilled paint in season 1) agreed to be the DJ.
Bachelorette Margarita Night
The Sweet Magnolias enjoy another Margarita Night event for Dana Sue’s bachelorette gathering. Helen and Maddie gift Dana Sue with a beautiful pearl necklace connected by three magnolia charms. They reminisce about Dana Sue’s boyfriends, even back to kindergarten. Then they all share a laugh when Maddie brings out the cake, which has North the fox sitting with the cake.
Ty talks to Maddie about wanting to take a year off to explore what he wants to do. His heart is not in the college applications right now and he has discovered how much he likes working on projects like the restoration of the family desk. Maddie supports his plan, and they agree that honest and open communication is always the key.
Later, Maddie talks to Paula about Kyle’s decision. They also talk about a new adventure in store for Paula. Maddie wants her mom to have “joy”.
The Big Event
Friends and family guide Ronnie and Dana Sue blindfolded to the venue entrance for their ceremony. Annie counts down and Skeeter opens the doors to a happy crowd cheering them on. They are reminded that everyone there donated in some way to the event. Annie takes some photos of the happy couple before they enter. I am bummed that the SUV was in the background of the photos, but I guess it can be edited out.
Guests gather at tables as everyone gets ready for the ceremony. Ms. Paula brings her beau Jimmy to the table, and he is a good sport about all the questions he receives. We get a glimpse of many characters with new dates in tow – Peggy and Charles, June and David (whom she met at Bingo), Noreen and Jeremy (sweetly holding Bex). Howie has brought a date, too. It’s fun seeing the whole circle of friends there to celebrate.
We see Kathy and Bill walking toward the door with a gift box in hand. The Magnolias are on alert. Ronnie and Dana Sue confront Kathy reminding her that she is not supposed to be there. She wants Ronnie to open her present. It is their grandmother’s tea set, and it means so much to Ronnie. We see tears in his eyes. But why the change of heart, Kathy? She tells Ronnie and Dana Sue that she knows what it feels like to not be able have something you long for.
Then Kathy tells them that Bill encouraged her to apologize to them. I guess Bill knows what it is like to be the bad guy, but he has apologized and is trying to find the best way he can still be a part of his family members’ lives. Perhaps he is the perfect one to guide Kathy through redemption. They can relate to each other on a unique level. Dana Sue comments that she is sorry she and Kathy have not been able to be friends and that she wants good things for Kathy. Kathy apologizes for her wrongdoings. Kathy is so emotional that she says she would like to stay. Everyone else sort of freezes like deer in headlights. Again, it is Bill who intervenes and tells Kathy that they should be heading out since it will be dark soon. We do not know where they are headed or for how long, but Bill assures Maddie he is still available for the kids when needed.
In a nice moment, Maddie commends Bill for his role in Kathy’s apology and swift exit from the party. I have to say, Bill has really been trying to figure out how and where he fits into his family. His parental involvement beyond financial support has been rejected by Noreen. But he has been spending regular time with his kids and showing real interest in their lives. I think it was important that Maddie shared some gratitude with him.
Pastor June calls everyone in for the ceremony. Helen sings a beautiful song for the procession as Ty and Olivia accompany her. Annie leads the way followed by Skeeter escorting Paula down the aisle. Then Maddie and Cal sway to the music and join the others at the arbor. Helen finishes her song and hurries over to the bridal party.
The happy couple exchange personal vows and embrace in a big kiss. Then Ronnie announces that it is time for the festivities to begin. On cue, one of the best celebratory songs of all time (in my opinion) blasts through the speakers. It’s “Celebration” performed by Kool and the Gang.
The Sweet Magnolias reflect on their friendship at the reception. They see Annie, CeCe and Lily gathered together as friends. They are reminded of themselves at that age and comment on the legacy of Miss Frances living on.
Annie, CeCe and Lily are now friends and supporting Lily when she shares that she is worried her parents are breaking up.
Kyle and Lily share their first kiss. Lily makes the move after they film the fundraiser for the playground renovation. Sophie, Willow, Ty, Annie and CeCe are all there to cheer the new couple on.
Paula gets a visit from longtime art collector and friend, Jimmy. Jimmy is recently divorced, and we learn that he proposed to Paula sometime in the past. He takes another chance to ask Paula to be part of his life. He does not pressure her for a commitment but asks her to join him to work on art for his home.
While there was not a glaring cliffhanger at the end of the episode, there are so many stories we want to know more about. Here’s hoping we get season 4 of Sweet Magnolias. I certainly know that Ms. Woods has much source material available to draw from.
Where are Kathy and Bill going? Will they grow as a couple? Can Bill find his place? Will his family allow him to be a valued part of their lives? A redemption arc seems to be forming, so I hope we get to see it play out. I also still wonder if Bill will decide to support the playground project with a hefty donation.
Will Peggy run for mayor? Noreen tells Isaac she needs to talk to him. He says he needs to tell her something. Might Isaac reveal that baby Rebecca is his half-sibling?
Cal seemed disappointed that Maddie did not catch the bouquet. Does he have a marriage proposal on his mind? Helen did catch the bouquet, so what does that tell us about plans for her story? She and Erik exchange powerful looks across the room. Did we detect a nod from Helen to Erik? Did we see the beginnings of a smile in return? When Isaac asked about Genevieve, Erik commented that he wanted these two wonderful people to meet. Is it wishful thinking, or did it sound more like introducing two friends rather than introducing someone you are dating?
Ty and Annie have always been close growing up, but their devotion to and admiration of each other is clearly growing. They continued to hold hands after a congratulatory grasp, almost as if it was so natural, they did not even notice. I hope these two are endgame and that we get to see that happen. Again, season 4, please!
Will Ms. Paula stay on the coast with Jimmy? How will Genevieve react when she learns about the history between Helen and Erik?
As always, so many questions in Sweet Magnolias! We need a 4th season to come to our rescue!
Watch for our interview with Erik Whitley actor, Dion Johnstone.
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