This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Sweet Magnolias wouldn’t exist. We stand with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
Sweet Magnolias 3×04 “Be Bold” is all about that, taking those big steps, even if sometimes, we don’t know what we’re stepping towards. For Erik, that means putting some distance between himself and Helen, for Helen it means welcoming CeCe into her home – despite telling herself she believes in Ryan promises to stay. For Cal and Maddie, it means finally coming together as a couple again, after rebuilding a foundation – and for Ronnie and Dana Sue, it means a big declaration that backs up all the work the two of them have been doing.
But there are hints of more in Sweet Magnolias 3×04 “Be Bold,” when it comes to the other stories this shows wants to tell, stories maybe not for this season, but for the future, like Ty and Annie. It’s a welcome sight for a show that doesn’t seem to be anywhere near ready to wrap up, but that instead seems to have a lot of life left in it, if Netflix allows.
So, let us go into all this episode sets up, for this season and for the future as we discuss Sweet Magnolias 3×04 “Be Bold”:
BACK IN SERENITY TO STAY
Ryan Wingate keeps insisting he’s in Serenity to stay, and it’s one of those the lady doth protest too much scenarios. The hardest part of how much he’s insisting is that he seems to be trying to convince himself this is what he wants – and Helen is walking into the trap again, even though she should know better, even though she’s been here before. It’s got tragedy written all over it and I don’t even know what to feel about it other than sad.
For Helen, for Ryan even, for Erik, and for me, because I’m stuck watching a season of this trainwreck when I could be watching Helen with Erik Whitley. You can love a person a lot, but love isn’t enough if what makes the two of you tick, what keeps you going, is incompatible. Helen cannot comprehend life outside of Serenity. Ryan cannot exist in just one place. Those things cannot coexist, and it’s why they’ve never worked as a couple. Some things you cannot compromise on, and they are, once again, trying to trick themselves into believing love conquers all when it doesn’t, when it never has, and when they have proof positive of this.
And they’re just going to hurt each other – and Helen has, of course, also hurt Erik. Not so deep down, Ryan knows their love has an expiration date. Soon, he’s going to get a great job offer that isn’t a substitute teacher. Something he “can’t” say no to. And he’ll choose that over Helen, as he’s done so before, who will then be left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart, again. When she is, I’ll feel bad for her, I will. But I’ll also shake my head because she’s too smart to be here once again.
A FUTURE SIDE BY SIDE
Sweet Magnolias 3×04 “Be Bold” once again gives us the certainty that, whatever the future holds, it will be Ty and Annie, side by side at one point. The show has certainly set the two of them up from the beginning, but it started way too overtly romantic with them, in a way that hardly ever works for a slow-burn friends-to-lovers. Now, however, they are kind of on the right track for the young couple in a show like this one.
We are in the friends phase, which is right where we have to be. Where they need to stay for a while. Ty and Annie were friends first. They lost that for a while, and if things are ever going to be something more between them, they have to find that first. They have to rebuild the foundation like Maddie and Cal did. And if the show takes the time to do it right, and gives them this season, and hopefully a Season 4 to build up, they could end up being the most satisfying romance in this show.
The chemistry is already there. For this trope to work, you have to believe in the friendship first, but you have to be able to pinpoint the switch. You have to be able to see the way they look at each other change. With Ty and Annie, it’s there. You can see it. The rest is just time and the writing taking them where they need to go.
Things I think I think:
- You’re compensating hard, Ryan Wingate. Not even you believe in yourself.
- I like what Peggy is doing, I do.
- When is Annie seeing through Jackson?
- I kinda like the UST between Cal and Maddie these days.
- “You don’t have to be good at something for it to be worth doing.”
- Friends do Kyle good.
- Is Bill …growing up?
- Look, I wish Erik wasn’t taking some space and going to work for Kathy, but man needs space for sure.
- The thing about Ms. Frances kinda makes sense, I guess.
- I got a little emotional at Helen and CeCe, not gonna lie.
- Love how the show has doubled down on friendships for everyone, even the kids.
- That’s what Annie wants too, and it’s what she deserves.
- Well, that’s an awkward double date.
- Maddie working on herself is one of my favorite parts of this season so far. We all forget to take the time to do that sometimes, I feel.
- Cal and Ronnie work together, though.
- Ronnie’s grand gesture works too.
- I also really, really enjoy Ty and Cal together. But I just love Ty in general. He’s such a good kid.
- “You have 30 minutes before I’m back to take Annie home.” More than you deserve, Jackson.
- I guess Ryan has reasons to be upset, but also, meh. He isn’t gonna stay. He isn’t. Writing’s on the wall.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Sweet Magnolias 3×04 “Be Bold”? Share with us in the comments below!