Sweet Magnolias 3×05 “On This Foundation” is a rollercoaster of an episode – fitting for the middle of the season. The foundation of Sweet Magnolias has always been, well, the Magnolias, and this episode shakes them to their core, in a way that both makes sense and doesn’t – which is really the only way you can shake up a friendship like theirs. You know, deep down, that their argument is kinda silly and that they will find their way back to each other, but the argument still feels kind of inevitable and not really about them as much as about what each of them is repressing.
In that regard, it is both believable and kinda infuriating to see coming. Just as it will probably be messy to deal with the fallout, because when the three of them aren’t there to hold everything together, well, can Serenity even hold? We’re sure to find out next episode, but for now, let us discuss Sweet Magnolias 3×05 “On This Foundation”:
ARE YOU HAPPY?
It is a valid, honest question, that comes from a good place. And it is the kind of question I’d want my friends to ask if I were in Helen’s shoes. Because it doesn’t seem like she’s happy, it seems like she’s stuck waiting for the other shoe to drop. And with Ryan Wingate, the other shoe always drops.
For Maddie, it’s actually a really big thing that she asks. This season so far has seen a lot of growth from her, and even the way that she asks is a sign of that. She didn’t come right out and ask from the beginning, or demand an answer from Helen or an explanation. Instead, she just wanted to know about her feeling. She isn’t trying to fix Helen, she just wants Helen to look inwards and think about her own feelings – because that’s what Maddie has been doing, and it’s been working for her.
It’s just exactly what Helen doesn’t want to do, what she cannot bear to do right now, because if she does it, and if she listens to Dana Sue tell her that she thinks Helen isn’t happy, well, then Helen will crumble. Because the truth is, she isn’t happy. The truth is, she knows she chose wrong, she knows he made a mistake giving Ryan this new chance to break her heart. She knows she and Ryan don’t work, has never worked, and she keeps holding onto something that has always been broken. And that’s, perhaps, the Helen Decatur problem. While she’s got Ryan Wingate to blame, she doesn’t have to look inward. She doesn’t have to fix her own issues. He will always end up doing her wrong, and she will always have someone else to blame.
Except with Erik, it wasn’t like that. She made that choice, and that haunts her. Because she chose wrong. And no so deep down, Helen knows it. I think Ryan knows it too. He wanted it to work, so he pretended it could. He’s done it before. She’s let him before. But they should have both known better, they really, really should.
Ty and Annie are at a crossroads in their relationship right now, and it’s really interesting to see where they go next. Because Ty has been a good friend to Annie lately. No, a really good friend. But what a great friend would do right now is tell her the truth she doesn’t want to hear, which is that Jackson kinda sucks as a boyfriend and she deserves better than someone who cannot even stand up to his parents for her.
If Ty can be that, then the two of them have a chance at growing into more in the future. Sure, it won’t be now. Annie will have to go through some heartbreak and they will need to grow as friends before they can grow as something else, but as I’ve said before, the setup for friends-to-lovers is perfect and Ty and Annie can really become the best-developed couple on this show. But what they truly need is for this to be a moment where Ty puts the growth we’ve seen from him into practice.
It’s not just about being there for people, and saying what people want to hear – sometimes, it’s about saying the things people you care about don’t want to hear, because you care about them, and you know they need to hear them. That’s also love. And right now, Annie won’t hear the truth about Jackson coming from anyone but Ty, so he’s gotta be the one to say it. It might not even be well-received coming from him, but he’s still gotta try.
Things I think I think:
- This show keeps trying to make me root for Dana Sue and Ronnie, and considering how much I hate Ryan right now, they might almost have me convinced because I don’t have the energy for more hate right now.
- Maddie and Noreen just casually chatting is kinda wild, but it sorta works.
- Poor Kyle, having to find out Nellie moved to Castlewood like that.
- Jackson is just gonna, what, continue stealing moments with Annie till they’re in college?
- I like the foundation idea.
- Ty’s SONG.
- I’m okay, I’m FINE.
- Of course, Kathy was going to ruin Annie’s birthday, of course.
- Why is Ryan even fighting Helen, when no one is even giving him the grief he probably deserves?
- Look, Ty, it’s time to tell Annie that she deserves better than Jackson. Being a friend isn’t just about doing what the other person wants.
- I like Ty coming to Cal for advice.
- Helen doesn’t want to hear her own fears put into words by Maddie or Dana Sue, which I get, but boy is she being unfair.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Sweet Magnolias 3×05 “On This Foundation”? Share with us in the comments below!