Your friends always know, even if you’re too afraid to see the truth or confront what’s really lurking just beneath the surface.
Helena’s anxieties about Ryan were always there because she knew, deep down inside, that the other foot would drop. She was always reminding him to stay and to feel at home, and that’s why it was evident that he wouldn’t—he shouldn’t need a reminder; he should be content.
But this record has played on repeat many times before, and despite his promise that this time would be different, all of his actions were pointing at the exact opposite. And so, on Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Episode 6, Ryan proved precisely why he’s the worst and why Helen giving him another chance was a bad life decision. She would’ve regretted never pursuing this avenue had he been serious about staying, but unfortunately, it was destined to end up in heartbreak.
Ryan and Helen convinced themselves that being together is what they wanted, but the cracks were deep and present, and noticeable to everyone else around.
The unfortunate thing is that they had to arrive at this moment on their own. When Maddie simply asked Helen if she was happy, she started a feud between the Magnolias unlike anything we’ve ever seen before—with the rift causing them all to opt out of margarita night, and their traditional way of dealing with issues—to pour it out—no longer adequate.
The one rule of thumb is to never turn your back on your friends for a man, which is a lesson that Helen learned the hard way. To be fair, I don’t think she turned her back on them for Ryan but rather from the reality that they were underscoring a truth she didn’t want to face. She wasn’t yet ready to let go of this fairytale dream just yet, so when Maddie and Dana Sue suggested that maybe it wasn’t all that she was expecting, it was a reminder of a reality she was trying to avoid and outrun.
I feel terrible for Helen because she followed her heart, and no one should ever have that held against them, but it was the risk she took, knowingly, once again by opening up her life to Ryan, a man whose track record was disappointment after disappointment.
If Ryan hadn’t promised things to be different this time around, one might have accepted that this would be their proper closure, but he fooled and hurt her all over again.
On the other hand, if Ryan hadn’t brought it up, I don’t know if Helen would’ve had it in her to end things. She was too scared to admit that they failed once again, so she plastered on a fake smile and pretended everything was fine. It was an upsetting direction for a character who has always been one of the most authentic.
I truly hope that she’s learned that will and desire do not guarantee change; sometimes, leaving your first love in the past is the best and only option, especially when it’s been made abundantly clear that they have now and always will want different things and neither of them were willing to compromise their own happiness.
Helen needs her friends now more than ever, and I don’t have any doubt that both Dana Sue and Maddie will be there for her when she makes the call, but admittedly, watching their fight was so frustrating.
Helen was being sensitive because of the situation, but I think Maddie was right for asking the question. It may have been interpreted as insinuating that she wasn’t, but again, friends call it like it is, and true friends should never sugarcoat it.
Maddie has been through hell and back with her divorce and Bill and Noreen’s pregnancy, so she knows what it’s like at the bottom—and she didn’t want her friend to get lost in that darkness and hoped to spare her the pain if she could help it. It was a sweet intention, though, from the looks of it, poor execution. Her lesson in all of this is that you can’t help those who don’t want to be helped, and you cannot save everyone; people have to figure things out on their own in their time.
Dana Sue was caught in the middle of it trying to smooth out both sides—bless her for trying.
Helen and Ryan’s split was undoubtedly the biggest development of the episode—and disappointing since we all invested so much time in this second chance— but there were other things happening in Serenity that required attention.
Harlan Bixby’s father suffered a stroke, and the town rallied behind him with support, including Mr. Skeeter, Ronnie and Cal, who helped build a new ramp at the house. Meanwhile, Dana Sue was able to put her foundation money to good use, a testament that her donations are needed.
Maddie’s spa hired Genevieve, the woman that made her move on Erik at Z’s, and while she seemed lovely and personable and the right fit, I can’t get past the fact that I think she’s working for Kathy. Was she sent here to infiltrate the Magnolias? It would be genuinely disappointing if that were the case, but she just seems too eager to immerse herself into the town.
Erik is also consulting on a new menu for Kathy, and her reaction to it should’ve been yet another major red flag for him. Kathy basically shut down all of his ideas saying that they’re too small and not “elevated” enough for her destination dining idea, a concept she failed to mention when she first recruited him. We saw her manipulation tactics at work as she questioned whether he really was the best as everyone suggested, prompting him to stick around and try to prove himself. This woman has less than 10 minutes of screen time per episode and still manages to annoy me.
Her romance with Bill is also super intentional, and she picked the perfect victim since he’s totally and completely unaware of what’s happening around him at all times. Though to be fair, I did feel bad for him when he dropped in to take his kids out for pizza and was turned away at the door cause everyone had extracurriculars. However, it goes to show that he’s not really a present dad in the way that he thinks he is as his family is functioning just fine without him.
Ty didn’t even turn to his dad when he considered enrolling in a school so that he could play baseball once again, which is all the more telling. Cal offered to help him every step of the way, even tagging along to tour it, but Maddie had some reservations as to Ty’s change of heart. I love that she’s working on herself and approached the situation by hearing her son out rather than shutting him down because she wanted to keep him close by. It’s progress! She also didn’t try to make the decision for him, or even influence the decision, instead suggesting that he needs to figure out why he wants to pursue baseball again—is he running from something or is he genuinely passionate about the sport?
Other Moments to Highlight
- Pastor June signed off on Dana Sue and Ronnie’s vow renewal—and I can bet Kathy is going to ruin that one for them as well.
- Jackson and Annie are trying to keep their secret relationship afloat, but hiding it from their families is proving to be quite difficult as they barely get to spend any real time together. Is it even real if no one knows about it?
- Annie and Ty have some weird vibes going on as he informed her he wouldn’t drive her to see Jackson again.
- Isaac is killing it at Sullivan’s as Dana Sue’s right-hand man.
- Cece and Helen’s friendship is absolutely delightful, and you can see the latter thrives in a space where she can be a mother figure to someone. It’s her saving grace at this point after her split from Ryan.
- Poor Kyle is concerned about his relationship with Nellie, and let me just say, Mary Vaughn is the absolute worst for ruining so many good things for everyone.
- What does Kathy want with Erik’s keys? Is she going to use them to break in and destroy Sullivan’s? When will he realize he’s just a pawn in some twisted game that Kathy is playing?
- Heather Headley deserves an award for her acting when she figured out that Ryan was not worth her time. I was shaking right alongside her and fully expected her to throw that milkshake across the kitchen, though I’m glad she didn’t cause that would’ve just been a lot of work for her to clean up for no reason.
What did you think of the episode? How will Helen bounce back? I sure hope she doesn’t run back to Erik now. And we can all agree Ryan sucks, right?
Who Is Kathy on ‘Sweet Magnolias’?
Sweet Magnolias Season 3 hit Netflix on Thursday, July 20, and finally gave fans some clarity on a cliffhanger from season 2—who is Kathy?
In the final episode of season 2, a nameless woman confronted Annie and asked her if she was Dana Sue’s daughter before commenting that she looked like “something she’d spit out” right before calling her mother a “home wrecker.”
We then saw the same woman popping the tires of a Sullivan’s food truck, and once the Magnolias saw the video, they all let out a deep sigh and declared: “She’s back.”
Now, we finally have our answer.
SPOILERS AHEAD *** Stop reading if you haven’t watched the new season yet ***
Kathy (portrayed by Wynn Everett) blows into town like a hurricane, setting her sights on destroying Dana Sue and her brother, Ronnie. There’s plenty of animosity between the siblings as audiences learn that Kathy still holds plenty of resentment for the fact that Dana Sue and Ronnie got Sullivan’s instead of her; she believes they “stole” it from her.
And naturally, she wants revenge, even after all these years. She sets her sights on Erik, propositioning him to join her restaurant, Z’s, where she’s an assistant manager. She attempts to poach him from Dana Sue’s business so that he can help elevate the place and make it a Southern destination, clearly hoping to put Sullivan’s out of business.
Erik is in a low place after his split from Helen, so he takes some time away from Sullivan’s and agrees to work with Kathy without knowing the backstory of her feud with Dana Sue.
Kathy also sinks her claws into Bill, whom she meets at the restaurant while he’s dining alone and who has no idea who she is. They seem to be kindred spirits in the fact that they’ve hurt a lot of people and don’t have anyone to turn to—they are lonely, and it’s a situation of their own making.
In later episodes, Kathy crashes Annie’s sweet 16 party to hurl nasty comments at everyone, including Maddie and Helen. It’s unhinged behavior and a clear indication that she hasn’t found peace or moved on with her life, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When Erik turns in his resignation letter—after learning that she’s related to Ronnie and hired him out of spite, something he feels very guilty about—she retaliates by trashing Sullivan’s kitchen. It’s clear she wants attention from her estranged brother, and when he meets her to talk, she promises that she won’t leave town until she gets what she’s owed.
Ronnie determines that it’s a hefty check, later informing Dana Sue that Kathy only understands money.
Kathy decides that it’s a sufficient payout to leave town, but Bill’s pretty disappointed with the news, informing her that running away isn’t the answer and it isn’t going to fix all the pain she’s caused—and he’s someone who would know a thing or two about hurting people in Serenity.
In a surprising twist, Kathy and Bill show up at Dana Sue and Ronnie’s vow renewal with a thoughtful gift in hand—she hands her brother a vintage tea set that belonged to their mother because she understands what it feels like not to “get what you want.”
She then apologizes to everyone she’s crossed paths with, while Dana Sue shows plenty of grace, informing her that she wishes they could’ve been friends all these years.
Kathy and Bill then leave town “for a bit” to find themselves and get back on the right track.
It’s unclear if we’ll see this random couple in the future if/when Netflix decides to renew Sweet Magnolias for the fourth season, but if so, hopefully, they’ve made good on their promise to “do better.”
You can read all of our Sweet Magnolias Season 3 reviews right here!
Will There Be a Season 4 of ‘Sweet Magnolias’?
Sweet Magnolias just dropped its third season on Netflix with 10 exciting episodes taking fans back to the town of Serenity alongside Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Helen (Heather Headley), and Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott).
SPOILERS AHEAD *** Stop reading if you haven’t watched the new season yet *** SPOILERS AHEAD
While the third season ended on an uplifting note that would suffice as a series finale, fans absolutely don’t want the story to end as they are heavily invested in all of the friendships and relationships that have formed over the course of three seasons.
And thus, the question on everyone’s mind remains—will there be a fourth season of Sweet Magnolias?
As of writing, Netflix has not renewed the series for a fourth season, or any additional seasons, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t. Previously, the streaming giant waited a few months after the arrival of a new season to give a renewal verdict.
Season 2 was confirmed two months after the first season was released, while Season 3 was three months after the second season aired.
The gap likely gives Netflix enough time to gauge audience interest and assess how well the previous season performed.
This time around, it’s possible that Netflix won’t be issuing any renewal news during the current writer’s and actor’s strikes, which don’t seem to have an end in sight.
Things in the TV world, both streaming and primetime, have come to a bit of a standstill amid contract negotiations between studios and the unions representing writers and actors.
And that all means we may have to wait a little longer to find out if and when we’ll be able to spend some more time with our favorite residents in Serenity.
There’s definitely an interest in feel-good, Hallmark-esque shows on Netflix, however, which is a good sign that Sweet Magnolias may stick around for at least one more season so we can find out if Helen and Erik will give their love another try, whether Isaac will tell Noreen about Bill (and confront Bill about being his son), and get more insight about the future mayoral candidates of Serenity—while also getting justice for the town that was mistreated and taken advantage of by the Lewis family!
You can read all of our Sweet Magnolias Season 3 reviews right here! And we’ll update this post accordingly if we hear any news about the fourth season!
Sweet Magnolias Season Finale Review – Save My Place (310)
Let’s pour it out for Dana Sue and Ronnie… and the three leading ladies of Serenity.
Sweet Magnolias Season 3—through all of its bumps and hiccups—continued to be a love story not only between three best friends, but between them and their significant others, their significant others with each other, and their found families within the community.
It’s a love story for Serenity, highlighting everyone’s dedication and commitment to the charming small town.
Much of the season finale, Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Episode 10, was focused on Ronnie and Dana Sue’s wedding, one that was picture-perfect and the epitome of love and renewed beginnings.
Dana Sue and Ronnie recommitted to each other in front of the whole town, with their loved ones by their side—and may I say, everyone seriously dressed to impress. The wardrobe team really outdid themselves as all of the Magnolias rocked dresses that complimented them, their personalities, and their personal styles. And I dare say that Maddie stole the show in that baby blue dress!
One of the season’s overarching storylines came to an end, a positive one at that. Kathy showed up at the reception, as expected, with Bill in tow, announcing their relationship of sorts to the public, but instead of bringing pain and destruction, she offered an apology and gave her brother their mother’s tea set as a peace offering. Everyone seemed rather surprised that this change of heart was brought upon by Bill, though, in his defense, he did tell Maddie he was going to do better.
And this is his start. He’s trying to turn his life around and find meaning in his life while finding his place amid a family that he’s hurt and that has moved on all while he’s been trying to hold on. It’s not doing anyone any favors that he’s just there, randomly popping in, so he has to figure things out for himself before he can be there for others. Bill’s been quite the pain, but at least he’s aware—that’s all we can ask. He’s putting in an effort to make this second half of his life as a father be a little more intentional and meaningful.
His relationship with Kathy may have been surprising to everyone, and vengeful on her part at the beginning, but in a way, they are good for each other—two villains trying to claw their way back to the top and find peace and love.
There were many unspoken, off-screen moments that we didn’t get to see that I feel would’ve made the storyline stronger. Why didn’t we get to see Bill finding out who Kathy is? Are we to assume he wasn’t phased by it at all.
Dana Sue and Ronnie deserve this second chance, and I’m glad it wasn’t tainted by Kathy’s antics yet again. She’s done enough damage, and for nothing, when they all could’ve simply been a family. You could tell it meant a lot to Ronnie that his sister finally acknowledged that she was the problem.
Dana Sue and Erik also figured things out prior to the vow renewal, which meant that she had her kitchen team back together and someone to make a scrumptious cake. All’s right in the world.
It seems that in Serenity, it’s all about moving forward with grace, love, and forgiveness—and this season taught us that simply being there for people and giving them the space to accept to reach out for help when they are ready is essential. It’s an important reminder to everyone who always wants to leap into action and fix things.
Dana Sue didn’t hound Erik, ultimately letting him come to her when he was ready.
Helen and Erik also cleared the air, starting over fresh as friends, though there’s so much unspoken love and longing between them. I truly believe that their biggest obstacle was always timing… and Ryan. Helen couldn’t fully give herself over to Erik and envision a future with him because she didn’t close the chapter on Ryan; she was still holding onto that hope for their fairytale ending. But now that she’s gotten closure and Ryan is officially out of the picture, it’s clear that she and Erik are like two magnets pulling towards each other; it’s inevitable, especially after Helen caught the bouquet and they locked eyes across the space. Though this time, I hope they take their time and honor each other’s feelings, first and foremost.
It didn’t help that she didn’t attend the event, telling Erik that she works with the Magnolias and doesn’t feel ready to party with them, which is fair. I fully expect things to get messy in the Erik, Helen, Genevieve love triangle next season, and I’m ready to see these two women fight it out for him. May the best woman win.
Maddie and Cal remained unproblematic this season, and they couldn’t be more in love, constantly supporting each other at every turn. It’s just nice to see her finally find a man that treats her the way she deserves to be treated as we know that was never Bill’s strong suit. Even now, she’s doing much of the heavy lifting when it comes to parenting, with Cal subbing in when necessary. Maybe next season, we’ll get to attend their wedding!
Also finding love again—Noreen and Jeremy! The way my heart melted when he was just walking around with Rebecca as if she was his own daughter. He’s a keeper! After everything Bill put her through, Noreen deserves a good man who will step up to the plate. Look at Maddie and Noreen, both finding good men after Bill.
And in the spirit of love, Ty is head over heels in love with Annie. He’s surrounded by CeCe and his new tutor friend, and yet he only has eyes for her. I think he’s slowly coming to the realization, but since Annie is nursing a broken heart, it’s not exactly the right time.
Annie broke up with Jackson, and though it hurt like hell, she realized she deserved so much better than to have to lie to all her loved ones to be with him. She needed him to grow up and stand up to his mother, and he was too scared, and it took a toll on their relationship. Jackson was admittedly shocked, but I don’t think anything hurt more than Annie turning around and running straight into Ty’s arms for comfort. It’s clear that her heart is also with her childhood best friend, even if she’s not entirely aware of it right now.
Love was definitely the theme of the episode as Peggy showed up with Charles, her journalist friend helping her dig up dirt and evidence against the Lewis’, which sadly wasn’t revisited much this season (I know, I know, they’re building a case), while Pastor June brought her date from bingo, and Paula came with her good friend and the man who continuously commissions her work, Jimmy. Or should I say, recently divorced Jimmy who planted one heck of a smooch on her at Sullivan’s and then basically asked her to move in with him into his new house—under the guise of commissioning her to paint. Listen, Paula, get it girl. Isaac’s face was a mirror reflection of mine, but as Maddie noted, she deserves to find joy, and if it means letting her mother fly free, so be it.
As for Peggy, Helen was adamant that she needs to run for office, even offering to run her campaign for her. And to that I say, Team Peggy and Helen has my vote!
It’s exciting to see everyone getting invigorated and involved, trying to do what’s best for the town and the people living in it.
Another storyline that wasn’t addressed was Isaac and Bill, though, after a heart-to-heart with Paula about lies, Isaac decided that he wanted to tell Noreen the truth about his birth father. It’s going to be quite a bombshell, but I don’t think anything can shake their friendship—if anything, it will bring them closer together.
Annie seems to have found her “sisters”—the friends for life she wished for—in CeCe and Lily, who is also putting the moves on Kyle. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing some episodes focus heavier on the teen Magnolias… yep, that’s what I’m calling them.
- Bailey is truly one of the best supporting characters!
- Erik and Helen have a lot in common including blaming and being hard on themselves and running away from their problems.
- Wayne is home—and Skeeter and his men were there to greet him and lend a helping hand. I love the small scenes depicting the true realities of small towns.
- I hope Maddie decides to publish her novel even though she said she’s just doing it for fun.
- And you know the Magnolias treasured being by each others’ side during the wedidng so much more after their big fight. They won’t ever take their friendship for granted again!
This wasn’t my favorite season of Sweet Magnolias, but it did have a sweet ending that gave us potential for new, and old, relationships, while also showcasing plenty of character growth for everyone, including Serenity’s least-liked residents.
Whenever we finally get another season, I hope that we’ll explore Erik and Helen’s rekindled spark, Isaac telling Noreen and finally confronting Bill, and all the drama with the Lewis’.
What did you think of the season? Did you enjoy the finale?
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