Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores is back with the first episode of its final season, and let’s just say it answered all our burning questions but bought up a huge problem for the show.
Hallmark announced earlier this year that the idyllic family drama, which first started back in 2016, would be returning for its sixth and final season. Chessies everywhere were heartbroken at the news they would have to say goodbye to a show that has made them laugh, cry and gasp in shock. Yes, we’re talking about you season five finale.
The much anticipated season six premiere of the show based on Sherryl Woods’s book series of the same name, picks up exactly where we left off in season five. We see the family (minus Jess who has no idea that Connor’s had a heart attack yet) gathering at the hospital, waiting to get an update on Connor. However, while the season five season finale dealt viewers some shockers with Connor’s heart attack and Abby’s mysterious voicemail. The season six premiere didn’t really give us any new shockers or much to go on for the rest of the season. Instead, it just tied up the loose ends and questions from last season very quickly. Too quickly.
The first episode of Chesapeake Shores sixth season was enjoyable, it’s exactly what you’d expect if you’ve been watching the show for the past six seasons. However, with a lot of plot lines to tie up in ten episodes, the pacing of the show just seemed a little off.
By the 20-minute mark of the show, we pretty much have the answers to all our burning questions from season five. Which is very quick even for Chesapeake Shores standards and it left the show feeling unsettled in places. This was apparently clear with Connor’s recovery. When he’s brought back to the family home at around 25 minutes, he’s barely able to walk unaided, but by 29 minutes when his paralegal and romantic interest Margaret Keller (Mariesa Crouse) goes to visit him he’s walking completely fine. The gap in time is not addressed and while it’s completely reasonable that some time has passed, it would have been better if the show indicated that it was a couple days, a week or weeks later. Instead we’re just left confused by the sudden development.
That’s not to say the episode wasn’t enjoyable, the premiere maintains all the aspects of Chesapeake Shore that fans love so much. Such as the way the family are always there for each other and have kept certain traditions from season one. Such as the sister’s ice cream moment, which is an absolute gem in this episode.
The show maintains its excellent ability to intertwine the individual struggles of the O’Brien family while not making the episodes feel cluttered. Even though the majority of the episode focused on Connor’s health issues, it didn’t stop the episode from having comedy elements such as the Bree and Margaret moment in the hospital when Bree helps Margaret sneak in to see Connor. Let’s hope we get more scenes of Margaret with the O’Brien family.
Alongside the main storylines of Abby and Connor, we also have the whole Peck family drama as David’s dad has cleaned out his trust fund and disappeared, leaving the FBI investigating him and his family. This is set up really well in the first episode as we get introduced to the FBI agent dealing with the investigation. It’s an exciting development for the show and not completely new waters for them as we’ve had Mick’s business partner saga, but it’s allowed for a different side of David to be portrayed.
Considering many of the relationships in the show were only established last season and now only have 10 episodes to wrap them up, the first episode showed that these relationships still have a lot of potential.
Even though they didn’t get much screen time, the way in which Connor’s health issues were woven into the journey of Margaret and Connor’s relationship was seamless, and a great move for the show as it not only developed Connor’s story going forward, but it’s allowing for viewers to learn more about Margaret who hasn’t had nearly enough screen time yet. But this looks set to change as she takes over for Connor at his law firm.
Bree and Luke’s relationship added to a bit of the unsettled feeling in the episode. As even though Bree is a much-loved character we just want to see happy, it seems like the show doesn’t really want that for her. The way she discusses her feelings towards Luke seems to be reminiscent of season five and less of a development. It feels like the shows rushing to create problems in light of the fact they know they need to wrap up this show and give this couple some sort of drama. While it’s understandable, it just feels like the wrong move.
Finding out that Evan was the guy that Abby called was completely expected but again, like with Bree and Luke, it just feels like the relationship went from 0 to 100 in 40 minutes. They were talking about taking it slow, waiting for a first date and then all of sudden, we’re having a first date on Evan’s yacht. The whole rushed feeling really made the ending of what could have been a solid first episode a bit underwhelming. The last moments were spent speaking about how they wanted to wait for their first kiss but after the rushing of their relationship now it just feels like a moment we expect to see in the next episode.
The show seems to be very aware that it’s time running out, and while the first episode is what we’d expect from the Hallmark drama, we just hope it sorts out the pacing for the rest of the episodes.
Raylene Harewood is not playing Connor’s love interest this year. It is being played by Mariesa Cruise.