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!
The Fate of ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 4 Finally Revealed—Will There Be Another Season on Netflix?
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?
On October 19, 2023, Netflix officially renewed the hit series for season 4, which means we’re now officially going to be spending more time with our favorite residents in Serenity.
Yet another season means that fans 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!
Season 2 was confirmed two months after the first season was released, while Season 3 was three months after the second season aired.
There’s currently no premiere date set just yet, and with the SAG-AFTRA strike still looming large, it might delay the upcoming season just a smidge, but with the WGA strike finally over, at least the writers can get back to penning a worthy script to move things along when the time finally comes to start filming again!
You can read all of our Sweet Magnolias Season 3 reviews right here!
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?
Sweet Magnolias Review – A Game of Telephone (309)
For a penultimate episode, Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Episode 9 fell kind of flat.
It’s almost as if this season is saving anything good for the final episode, lulling along with each episode and introducing possible storylines that don’t exactly go anywhere and fizzle out with no purpose.
I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the good people of Serenity—even if half of the time was spent navigating a feud between the Magnolias and trying to figure out whose side you were taking.
What was the point of introducing Kathy if she was just going to skip town the moment they paid her off? Did she decide not to leave after her heart-to-heart (if you can even call it that) with Bill? Will she crash Ronnie and Dana Sue’s vow renewal? It’s the only thing that makes sense, though I wish that weren’t the case unless it’s going to be with a heartfelt apology.
I’m glad that’s still happening as they’ve been teasing it for half the season only for Dana Sue to announce it was canceled because of the budget. Maddie and Helen convinced her to go through with it on a small scale, though it quickly turned into a massive event as they invited “just one extra person” a few too many times. The truth, however, is that this is such a small town that everyone is like family, and excluding any of them would be a disservice, especially when everyone is offering a service in exchange for their attendance. If they are going to get married again, they better do it right! And I have full faith in Maddie and Helen that they will pull this off without a hitch.
Kathy’s exit also lets Erik off the hook so easily when, as I mentioned in a previous review, it was grounds for a good altercation between him and Dana Sue.
Erik seems to be thriving with Genevieve, and I’m happy for him, I just hope Hurricane Helen doesn’t blow in there and try to muddle things and confuse the man. It’s clear he’d do anything for her, so I’m concerned that if she tries to smooth things over with him or rekindle whatever they had, he’ll do it, even if it isn’t the smartest decision. If Genevieve is as good of a person as we’re being led to believe, Erik needs to move on from Helen and pursue this healthy relationship. Though I can see the situation unfolding as Genevieve being someone Kathy brought to town to get close to Erik, and thus, he’d run to Helen. Either way, I hope that they steer clear of each other when it comes to matters of the heart because they’ve done enough damage to one another. And yes, I write that fully knowing Helen and Erik’s reconciliation is bound to happen, whether it be in the finale or in a future season.
Genevieve also seems to be a blessing to Serenity’s skincare, and that’s enough reason to love her. Plus, her books are always full, which means Maddie’s business is thriving.
Maddie was also inspired to start on another project through Katie’s sweet letters–and it’s going to involve her daughter and her mother, Paula. Three generations of Vreeland/Townsend women putting their light out into the world.
Who would have ever thought that the most exciting relationship in this series would be the bubbling romance between Jeremy and Noreen? I thought there was a spark there in the previous episode, but when he brought her goat’s milk at the spa and stuck around to chat, it was official.
And honestly, go get ’em Noreen—this mama’s got game! Serenity has a place for everyone, and it also seems to have soulmates for everyone…. the deserving ones anyway. And lord knows Noreen deserves it all after Bill!
Can you just imagine his reaction once he realizes that even Noreen upgraded and found peace?
Bill’s been going through it this season—it’s what I call consequences of your own actions, and it seems like he’s finally waking up to realize just how much he’s missed out on and how much of his life, especially with his kids, has passed him by.
When he went to Ash Grove Park and saw it in ruins, I got this unsettling feeling that the moment convinced him to run for Mayor, which would be bold, but it would also be in line with his character, so there’s that. The mayor storyline definitely seemed like a big one for the series, though once Trent Lewis stepped down, it took a backseat. And why didn’t Peggy pursue Mary Vaughn and the Lewis family for stealing town funds? The whole family just disappeared and aside from Annie and Kyle, no one seemed to bat an eye.
I hope that by introducing her friend Charles from journalism school, Peggy is on the verge of bringing this whole storyline to life.
As for Noreen and Bill’s custody agreement—all verbal for now—Helen advised the single mom not to pursue it in court as a litigious matter could make things ugly. An agreement in writing is definitely better, but a verbal contract is legally binding nonetheless, especially if they revisit the conversation in the presence of a lawyer.
And I genuinely love that she’s giving Noreen the best advice she can. Serenity has really stepped up and come through for Noreen when it would’ve been all too easy to push her aside and pass judgemental glances.
Speaking of Ash Grove, the teens are all amped up to get it fixed and refreshed, with Kyle leading the charge. His leadership skills even caught the attention of Lily, who confessed to being the secret admirer sending him carnations. I knew it! Kyle may have been moping after his breakup with Nellie, but you know how young love is; the moment he realized someone else has feelings for him, he was open to pursuing the relationship.
Maddie and Cal’s relationship veered into new territory when his ex-girlfriend Vicky reached out to him asking to meet for dinner so that they could catch up. Cal insisted that Maddie come as a buffer, and Vicky said she’d bring her new beau, Drew, who just so happened to be Cal’s old friend and the one behind the infamous fight.
Dinner was, well, awkward, and it was very clear Vicky was trying to make Drew into Cal’s image while also trying to make Cal jealous—though it didn’t exactly work because, as Maddie made very clear during the bathroom altercation of sort, their relationship is very secure.
Cal has been actively working to be a better man, and they’ve poured a lot of work into their romance and commitment to each other, so there was no room for Vicky or her drama. You could see it eating at Vicky as she witnessed their pure love. I’m so proud of them—and I’m so proud of Maddie for expertly handling that situation and not getting intimated.
Other Major Moments
- Cal finally slipped the Fox on Maddie’s porch and she couldn’t believe the mastermind framing her was her own mother this whole time. But it was worth it to see the look on her face.
- CeCe admits she didn’t give Ty the closure he needed when they broke up, and it’s nice to see them back on good terms and mature enough to admit they hurt each other.
- I love how Annie accepted her punishment and didn’t fight it knowing that her parents meant well. I think she’s also realizing that a true love would never get her in so much trouble or force her to sneak around, and I’m just hoping she pieces it together and realizes that the man that loves her unconditionally is Ty! Though Ty is now getting close to his tutor, so I hope she doesn’t miss her opportunity.
- I’m also loving Ty’s journey this season as he finds a new purpose in life after baseball and realizes that he doesn’t actually want to go to college. And the fact that all the kids feel so safe and comfortable about reaching out to Helen just proves she’s built up such a good rapport with them and is an adult they feel like they can trust and use as a soundboard.
- The Magnolias came together and presented their Magnolia Community Foundation to the board, hoping to fill in gaps of existing food programs and impressing members along the way. They’ve got their work cut out for them, but there’s no one else more fit for the job.
My final suggestion would be to give us some momentum on Bill being Isaac’s dad. He said he’s not ready to face him, nor does he want to town to find out, but it was such a huge moment—along with a lot of building up to it—that I want to see Bill’s reaction when he finds out.
What did you think of the episode? What do you think will go down in the finale?
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