Fans of Sweet Magnolias cannot wait for season 2 to answer some big questions.
Netflix has a big hit in Sweet Magnolias, which debuted last May. The show is based on a series of novels by Sherryl Woods and follows the lives of three longtime best friends. Attorney Helen Decatur, chef Dana Sue Sullivan and spa manager Maddie Townsend all reside in the fictional small town of Serenity, South Carolina.
The trio meets for weekly “margarita nights” to talk about the good, the bad and surprising moments that they face. The three ladies are also business partners in the newly opened “Corner Spa”.
The 10 episodes of season one have definitely left fans longing for more! Thankfully, the series has been renewed for a second season. Viewers are hoping some big questions get answered in Sweet Magnolias‘ sophomore run.
Let’s take a look at 5 big questions that remain after Sweet Magnolias season 1.
***Spoiler warning: This post includes details of season one plot points.***
1. Who is in the car?
Festivities following the Serenity High School prom end with a terrible car accident.
Maddie’s younger son Kyle tries to intervene in a scuffle between older brother Ty and antagonistic party host Jackson Lewis. Ty pushes Kyle out of the way. Kyle shouts at his older brother to stop ignoring him. Kyle is visibly upset and runs out of the house followed by Ty, Dana Sue’s daughter Annie and Jackson’s sister Nellie.
We soon learn that Kyle, not yet of driving age, has crashed his brother’s car. Rescue services transport Kyle to the ambulance and tell the anxious parents that the passenger in the car has not yet been identified.
Maddie, Dana Sue and Helen huddle together at the crash site to pray and support one another. Kyle’s dad (and Maddie’s ex-husband) Bill is on hand as well as Dana Sue’s estranged husband Ronnie. When the EMT announces that there is also a passenger in the vehicle, the three women do not turn to the men but to each other in an embrace.
Fans have been speculating on the identity of the passenger. Most theories suggest it may be Ty, Annie or Nellie who was riding in the car with Kyle. But could it be someone we have not yet thought of?
Actor JoAnna Garcia Swisher (who plays Maddie) seems to be keeping the identity a secret from husband Nick Swisher, too. Nick brings up the question in a recent congratulatory post on Instagram for the Sweet Magnolias season 2 renewal.
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I am so proud of you baby! I have seen first hand the amount of time and emotion that has gone into making this show a success and watching the way you juggle your work with being a mom is nothing short of inspiring! I love you so much and CAN’T WAIT for more adventures with you and the ladies in season 2! CONGRATULATIONS! Let’s go! P.S. now can you tell me #whosinthecar ?
2. Who are Isaac’s biological parents?
Isaac Downey comes to Serenity from Columbus to look for his biological parents. He has a note indicating that his biological mother is from Serenity. Isaac naturally suspects his father may be from the charming small town as well. There are a few theories going around.
Dana Sue has hired Isaac as a dishwasher at her restaurant Sullivan’s. Isaac is a dedicated employee and quickly begins learning food preparation and other line skills from sous chef Erik Whitley. When Erik becomes a mentor to Isaac in the kitchen, Isaac entertains the idea that Erik may be his father. When approached about the idea, however, Erik confirms that he does not have any children.
Dana Sue Sullivan?
Isaac does some snooping around the restaurant kitchen wondering if Dana Sue might be his birth mom. After all, we have learned that Dana Sue spent some time away from Serenity after high school with her silent business partner Micah. Isaac asks Dana Sue if she is his birth mom in episode 10. Dana Sue is visibly emotional. She is unable to respond to his inquiry, however, when she is interrupted by the call about the car accident.
Some fans believe Peggy Martin from the newspaper may be Isaac’s biological mom. A few interesting conversations could point in that direction. Maddie’s ex-husband Dr. Bill Townsend is now engaged to Noreen, the pregnant nurse with whom he had an affair. As you might suspect, the residents of Serenity are not terribly gracious with Noreen “the mistress”. Peggy, on the other hand, tells Noreen that she is praying for her and mentions how it must be hard for Noreen facing her circumstances in a new town.
We also hear that Peggy missed part of her junior year when she lived in Memphis after her parents separated for a time. Another possible hint may be a conversation Peggy has with Helen Decatur. Helen has just broken up with longtime off and on sweetheart Ryan Wingate. Peggy tells Helen she may know more about her feelings of loss with Ryan if the two ladies had been friends in school. Wait, could Peggy and Ryan be Isaac’s birth parents? This would be especially curious since Ryan and Helen broke up over him not wanting to have children.
3. Does Erik have a medical background?
There has been a lot of mystery surrounding Dana Sue’s second in command at the restaurant. We know that Erik recently graduated from culinary school. We also know that his brownies are legendary. Beyond those things, however, we do not have a lot of details about Erik.
Erik finds solace in a PTSD support group at the local VFW even though he claims he is not a veteran. What kind of trauma has Erik faced in his past? We learn of the tragic loss of his wife but have scarcely any details of the circumstances.
On more than one occasion, Erik steps up with practical medical knowledge. When Dana Sue collapses due to a genetic blood sugar issue, Erik confidently intervenes by elevating Dana Sue’s feet and telling Helen to call 911.
Erik demonstrates medical knowledge again when pregnant Noreen feels stabbing pain in her abdominal area while at the restaurant. Erik calmly instructs Noreen to stand up and breathe deeply. Before you know it, the pain subsides and Erik explains that the baby needed room to move to a different position.
4. What about those love triangles?
The Sweet Magnolias have some complicated history in the romance department. We leave season one not knowing for sure what their futures will hold with the men in their lives.
Maddie, Cal and Bill
Maddie is recently divorced from Bill Townsend who has taken up residence with pregnant fiancee Noreen. Now Maddie is being courted by her son Ty’s hunky baseball coach, Cal Maddox.
Bill and Maddie each seem to have found their next partner in life. Circumstances change, however, when Noreen leaves Bill upon realizing they would probably not be engaged if she were not pregnant. Noreen suspects she may have merely been a distraction for Bill.
Cal and Maddie hit a rocky patch when Maddie presumes that Cal brought a baseball scout to town to see son Ty. Suddenly Ty is no longer interested in going to college and Maddie blames Cal. Cal tries to explain that he was not behind the scout’s conversation with Ty. He explains that he was merely planning to catch up with an old friend.
With Noreen gone, Bill begins to realize all that he has lost by cheating on Maddie. While being selfish in so many ways, Bill has made some progress in co-parenting with Maddie as a divorced couple. Somehow Bill thinks he has a chance to reunite with Maddie and asks her to to give him another chance. Personally, I cannot imagine any universe where Maddie would take Bill back, but we do not know for sure. Plus, they now have shared worries over Kyle’s accident.
Dana Sue, Ronnie and Jeremy
Dana Sue banished husband Ronnie from their home after he cheated on her. He is currently living in Atlanta, but has been called to Serenity when Dana Sue faces a financial issue. The restaurateur is seeking a small business loan to buy out her silent partner Micah when he needs the money to help his ailing brother.
It turns out that Ronnie and Dana Sue are estranged but not actually divorced. Dana Sue tells Ronnie that they must get divorced so she can apply for the loan. Ronnie suggests they get back together saying he will help out with the money for the buyout. There is noticeable passion still brewing for this couple, but Dana Sue is understandably still upset about Ronnie’s indiscretion.
Meanwhile, Dana Sue seems to have a little crush on local organic farmer Jeremy. The two have some immediate chemistry not to mention a shared interest in quality produce. Dana Sue and Jeremy go for a ride in his vintage Skylark. They share a kiss and plan for dinner together.
I suspect Dana Sue’s doubts about Ronnie’s fidelity would be more of an obstacle to a reunion than her flirtation with Jeremy, but we will have to wait and see.
Helen, Ryan and Erik
Distance has been an ongoing issue for the relationship between Helen and Ryan Wingate. They have been together off and on since they were teens. They have also disagreed about having children. Helen believed Ryan would have come around to the idea by now. Sadly, he is steadfast in his resolve to not have children. This is the final straw for the pair in season one. Ryan packs up and leaves Serenity. Helen says this is their last and final break-up.
Many fans are rooting for a romantic pairing of Helen with Erik Whitley. The sous chef always takes notice of Helen when she passes through the restaurant kitchen to see Dana Sue. The two share witty banter as well. Furthermore, when Helen is feeling very low after the breakup with Ryan, Erik comes to visit her with brownies and ice cream in hand. He encourages Helen to let her tears flow and face the pain of the breakup. Erik is a good listener. We have seen him be very supportive of Dana Sue as well. Helen and Erik visit and laugh together until Helen receives the call about the car accident.
Are Helen and Ryan over over? Could Erik be more than a supportive friend? I cannot wait to find out.
SWEET MAGNOLIAS (L TO R) JASON MACDONALD as TOM PATTERSON and HEATHER HEADLEY as HELEN DECATUR in episode 105 of SWEET MAGNOLIAS Cr. ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX © 2020
5. When do we get season 2?
Fans were ecstatic upon hearing the announcement that Sweet Magnolias has been renewed for a second season. With that said, it is certainly hard to be patient when you are as passionate as the fans of Serenity. Delivering a whole new season, however, is a monumental task. Time is required for writing, filming, editing and so much more. Plus, there is the wrinkle of the COVID-19 pandemic that impedes production in a variety of ways.
We reached out to Sweet Magnolias showrunner Sheryl J. Anderson seeking any sort of tidbit to satiate our longing for the next season. Sheryl graciously responded with a message of anticipation for another exciting season.
“All I can confirm is that I can’t confirm when we’ll go back into production. 😉 But I can pledge that we will do everything possible to make sure the patience of all our viewers will be rewarded. 🍹” – Sheryl J. Anderson
Wonderful things are worth waiting for, right?
Be sure to try your hand at our Sweet Magnolias Trivia for season 1 while we wait!
A few other things on our minds:
- Can we all have a Trotter in our life, please? Trotter brings a wealth of support and humor to Serenity. The Dolly Parton loving personal trainer seems to know just what to say when his friends are in need.
- Will we ever see Noreen in Serenity again? Remember what Helen said, “That woman is having his baby. There is no way she is gone gone.”
- Is there a romantic future for Ty and Annie? These two have been friends for so long, it may be hard for them to make sense of new feelings. Ty seems to be trying to distract himself by dating CeCe after Annie’s inebriated pledge of love on a voice memo to Ty.
Please leave a comment about your biggest question for season 2 and share your theories about all things Serenity!