A tornado of emotions rains down on Serenity in Sweet Magnolias S2 episode 3.
Sweet Magnolias Season 2 Episode 3
“The More Things Change”
Written by: Valerie C. Woods
Directed by: Mykelti Williamson
Sweet Magnolias season 2 episode 3 opens with the Bulldogs returning from the state championship and ends with Maddie finding a surprise visitor on her porch. In between, we find two handsome gentlemen pining for Dana Sue but a tragic loss for Helen.
Let’s break down all that occurs in “The More Things Change”. Be sure to check out our selections for “Serenity Soundbites” and “Food for Thought” at the end of the post.
Fourth, not first
The Bulldogs bus returns to Serenity High School with a large crowd there to greet them. We learn that the team took fourth place. The crowd welcomes their team home with pride, but a question from newspaper deputy editor Peggy Martin shakes things up.
Peggy asks how it is that a Major League ball player could not bring his team home without a championship title. Cal eloquently reminds her that sometimes things just do not work in your favor regardless of how talented your team is.
Ty takes the opportunity to speak up about the great leadership the boys have in their coaches. Teammate Gabe also praises injured Ty for his own leadership among the team. Finally, assistant coach Harlan thanks everyone and says that they should celebrate!
Even bigger news than the loss is Cal’s reaction when he thinks no one is looking. He slams his equipment bag angrily into the back of his truck. Harlan stops him before he can throw another. A few feet away, Maddie and Ty witnessed the explosive incident and quickly make their exit.
Back at home
Kyle is busy playing his “Gold Hoarder” video game. His nana asks him about it, and he tries to explain. Katie wants to play with her brother, but he reminds her that she doesn’t like the game he is playing.
Maddie and Ty return home from the high school. Kyle understands how disappointed Ty must be and asks if he wants to let off steam by beating up skeletons in the video game. Ty gives a snarky reply about Kyle having already beaten up enough in reference to the car wreck.
Kyle becomes defensive and accuses Ty of blaming the baseball team’s loss on Kyle. Ty expresses that this whole situation would be very different if Kyle had not gone “crazy” on prom night. Kyle snaps back with a remark about Ty’s ego when taking on Jackson not once, but twice.
Both boys say they were trying to protect the other. Ty gets the last word when he sarcastically says “great job” regarding Kyle’s effort to protect Ty.
Cal comes to the spa to talk to Maddie. He apologizes for his outburst at his truck. Maddie makes it very clear that she does not want that kind of behavior in her relationship.
Cal admits he has a temper but that he is put a lot of effort into keeping it at bay. He describes how he had to find a productive way to manage his temper after losing his professional baseball career.
Cal wants to apologize to Ty, too, and asks about stopping at the house that night. Maddie says tonight is not good because she must attend a public hearing that she really doesn’t know much about.
Jeremy, Helen, and Dana Sue are at Sullivan’s discussing the search for a new agribusiness manager now that Ryan is gone. Dana Sue wants to speak with more people about the job. Jeremy suggests that the two of them have dinner on Thursday and go over more details.
Back at The Corner Spa, Maddie and Trotter talk about how there was not much advance notice about attending the meeting. The topic for the meeting is rather vague. Apparently, the hearing is about “infrastructure and renewal proposals”.
Maddie talks about wanting Kyle to talk with a therapist since he will not open up to her about the accident. Trotter tells her, “I love my therapist”, referring to husband Ashley who is a counselor by trade. He arranges to reschedule his lunch with Ashley so that his favorite therapist can go visit Kyle instead.
Back at Sullivan’s, Helen exits the restroom in visible pain. She holds her stomach and struggles to walk. Erik happens to be walking that way and finds her struggling.
Helen tells Erik to take her to the hospital. The sous chef swiftly picks her up in his arms and carries her out.
A chef, a farmer and an estranged husband walk into a kitchen . . .
I know, it sounds like something that comes with a punchline. But sure enough, there is an encounter among Dana Sue, Jeremy, and Ronnie.
First, we see Jeremy and Dana Sue flirting and kissing. Ronnie walks in and the two men are reintroduced having met the first time outside Sullivan’s the day of the prom. Dana Sue explains that Jeremy is taking over Benji’s co-op farm and they will be doing business together.
Ronnie asks if it is his turn next to speak with Dana Sue. She sends him to the bar to wait for her and he obliges. Jeremy then asks Dana Sue about the status of her relationship with Ronnie. She insists that they are “over”. In a completely hysterical moment, Jeremy asks her, “Does he know that?” as the camera pans over to Ronnie staring at them.
Ronnie eventually gets his turn to speak with Dana Sue reminding her that she called him there. Dana Sue reports that she no longer requires his help with saving the restaurant because she now has a new investor. Ronnie first assumes the investor is Jeremy, but Dana Sue reveals that it is Cal.
Ronnie points out that they are “still partners where it counts” referring to being parents to Annie. Dana Sue acknowledges how happy Annie is to have him around. Ronnie shares an idea about their family of three attending opening day of the Serenity Summer Market. They reminisce over old memories of taking Annie there.
More brotherly love, or not
Kyle and Ty are at it again pushing each other’s buttons. Ty walks into the living room and steals the remote. Kyle complains that Ty is in “his room”. Ty fires back saying he would rather be playing on the ball field right now than being there. Kyle suggests that Ty go for a walk, reminding his older brother that he can walk while Kyle is in a wheelchair.
Katie enters the room anxious to sign the casts again. When Kyle asks if everyone thinks he is crazy, Katie says she does not, but she does call him grumpy. Ty tells Kyle how worried their mom is about him and Kyle reports that he has an appointment with Ashley.
Ashley arrives and sits down with Kyle. Maddie receives an urgent call and says she needs to leave.
Bad news confirmed
Erik brings Helen home and helps her to the couch. He very gently attends to her and puts her feet up. Dana Sue and Maddie walk in. Erik called them to come over to support their friend.
In a tragic turn of events, Helen has miscarried. She sobs as she tells her friends that she lost her baby. Erik leaves the three friends alone and walks to the door. He breaks down in tears himself before he makes it to the door.
Cal is in the batting cage at baseball camp. Ty arrives ready to set up equipment or whatever he can do to help. Cal tells him he doesn’t have to do that and suggests he work on core and flexibility, something he can do even while injured.
Ty tells his coach that he blames himself for not winning the championship. Cal assures Ty that “a win is not just one player, and neither is a loss”. The coach commends Ty for being a team leader and talks about the importance of mental rehabilitation, something he did not do well after his injury. Cal suggests that they take time to talk to each other about how it feels to deal with loss from an injury.
Before Ty leaves, Gabe catches up with him to ask how he is doing and remind him to respond to Gabe’s text messages.
Something going on?
Dana Sue arrives at Sullivan’s to pick up dinner for Helen. Erik has thoughtfully and carefully prepared the meal including a quiche with spinach because it will help with Helen’s iron level.
Chef pulls Erik aside to thank him and ask if there is something going on between he and Helen. Why did Helen not call one of the magnolias to help her? He points out that he was close by at the time.
Then Dana Sue stares suspiciously through the kitchen window as Jackson arrives with a gift to thank Annie for all her support for the team. It’s a Bulldogs baseball jersey customized with her name. I guess Dana Sue is wondering if something is going on there also!
The public hearing
Cal joins Maddie at the public hearing.
It is noted that “specialty boutique businesses are creating infrastructure issues at a point where our town revenue cannot take on that burden unaided”. Basically, the council is saying there are parking issues and that traffic has gone up in residential areas and there is a glaring focus on businesses like The Corner Spa.
Construction foreman Skeeter tells Maddie his crews are receiving a slew of tickets while out working. Skeeter points out to the mayor that if his work trucks keep getting ticketed, he will not be able to take on projects like the one Mary Vaughn wants done at their house.
The council the impacted businesses 21 days to generate a plan. Maddie tells Cal that all this sounds very suspect and that she plans to get to the bottom of it!
It’s opening day at the Serenity Summer Market. There is an active crowd bustling among a variety of booths including The Serenity Sentinel, Jeremy’s Jam and Mary Vaughn’s real estate business.
Dana Sue, Ronnie, and Annie walk around as a family and get fake tattoos. Annie ducks out when her parents start getting chummy. Dana Sue and Ronnie continue their walk down memory lane when Dana Sue remembers the amazing lip balm that used to be sold at the market. She is disappointed that the vendor is no longer there.
Then the pair stumbles upon Jeremy’s booth. Jeremy calls to Ronnie saying, “Hey, Annie’s dad!” Jeremy replies with, “Hey, farmer.” It’s a comical exchange as they both try to downplay the other one’s role in Dana Sue’s life.
Dana Sue is looking for Annie and Ronnie points out that she is at the real estate booth with Jackson ready to help him hand out advertisements.
Cece and Ty also run into each other. She’s there chaperoning her three younger siblings. Cece asks Ty about his injury and wonders why it’s taking him so long to reply to her texts. They make plans for a date.
Helen considered going to the market but decided it was better to stay home for now. Instead, Erik brings a piece of the market to her in the way of Beau’s special pancakes.
She tells Erik she is making progress with her recovery from the miscarriage. He cautions her saying, “Pushing past pain usually means not dealing with it.”
She seems to appreciate his concern and shares a bite of the “magical” pancakes.
Maddie talks to Trotter about the public hearing and ponders the complexity of the language used in the government documents. Trotter says they make it confusing hoping you will just give up.
Trotter then cleverly announces he and Ashley’s adoption plans by suggesting a childcare center for the spa. Maddie is thrilled for her friend.
Annie is dressing the tables at Sullivan’s when her mom joins her in the task. Dana Sue asks Annie about Simon. Annie tells her that they are just friends and that he is in Washington, DC for the summer. Then Dana Sue brings up the subject of seeing her with Jackson a lot recently and reminds her that a woman “is not defined by a man”. Annie scoffs at the comment and turns the tables on Dana Sue suggesting that her mom is juggling two suitors. Dana Sue looks a little stunned at Annie’s keen awareness of her social life.
It’s Margarita Night at Helen’s house. Helen tells her friends that she doesn’t know how she would get through her loss without her friends. She also makes it clear that she did not call Erik to take her to the hospital over them. She explains that he was simply there “like an angel”.
Dana Sue and Maddie would like to talk more about Erik, but Helen switches the conversation to the recent hearing. They begin to wonder why this parking issue was not addressed when they first opened the spa. Maddie shares that she thinks there is something personal behind it all.
Maddie says people are talking about Dana Sue being pursued by both Ronnie and Jeremy. But when Helen asks about things with Ronnie, we don’t hear a response from Dana Sue.
A montage begins showing Cal almost crumbling a card from his ex-wife. Then we see Helen saying goodbye as her friends go home. Now alone, Helen breaks down calling out “Why?” about her loss. Then we say Ronnie appear on Dana Sue’s doorstep asking if he can come in.
On the porch
Dana Sue lets Ronnie inside and he gifts her with the special lip balm she was hoping to find at the market. He tracked down the maker in Egret Falls. She seems moved by his gesture and samples the lip balm. Ronnie tells her, “I’d never want you to go without anything you’ve been missing.”
He moves closer like he wants a kiss, but Dana Sue merely thanks him and opens the door. On either side of the closed door, we can tell they are thinking about each other.
Then, suddenly, Dana Sue opens the door and tells him “There’s one more thing I’ve been missing.” They embrace with a passionate kiss.
On another porch
Next, we see Kyle on the Townsend front porch as Noreen walks up! That must be the friend Kyle has been texting. He immediately begins to confide in her when Maddie walks up shocked to see Noreen, her husband’s former but very pregnant mistress.
- Maddie tells Cal that something seems off about this particular public hearing. She says, “Something about this stinks like week-old fish and I’m going to find out what.” I may not want to eat fish for a while.
- “Do you suppose there is a special degree in incomprehensible vocabulary you have to earn to work in municipal government?”, Maddie asks Trotter while reviewing a pile of documents.
Food for Thought:
What booth would you most enjoy at the Serenity Summer Market? I think I would be shopping for jam. I mean, Jeremy’s goats were pretty cute!
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