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 3×10 “Save My Place” is probably the best episode of the season and an hour in which a lot of things we were waiting for finally happened – as well as some things we didn’t see coming at all. It’s a good hour, one that doesn’t end on an overt cliffhanger, but that still leaves enough open that invites, nay, even asks for a Season 4. Ronnie and Dana Sue might have gotten their happy ending, and Cal and Maddie might be in a good place, but Helen and Erik’s story is still very much in the middle, and Ty and Annie’s, well …that hasn’t even gotten started, not truly.
In that regard, though, Sweet Magnolias has played its cards right. This is a show that could go on for another season, or multiple seasons more, with the younger cast even taking over if Netflix wanted it. There are enough stories in Serenity beyond Helen, Maddie and Dana Sue, even if they have been at the center of it all for the first three seasons – and probably would need to remain at the center of it all for at least one more. After that, well …the sky is the limit.
So, let us talk about what the show gave us and what it set up as we discuss Sweet Magnolias 3×10 “Save My Place”:
I NEVER WANNA GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT THE TWO OF YOU
It was a bumpier season than it had any right to be, but Sweet Magnolias 3×10 “Save My Place” remembers that the relationship at the center of this show is that of Helen, Dana Sue and Maddie, and it grounds the entire episode in the friendship, not in the wow renewal. Sure, Ronnie, Cal and Erik (Ryan before), are important, and these women’s love lives will remain a big part of why we follow the show, but their friendship is the rock that holds everything together, including, in many ways, Serenity.
And it is the thing the new generation strives for, too. Annie wants love like her parents, yes, but above all, Annie wanted friends like her mothers, because Annie always understood that some romantic loves might come and go, but the friends that hold you up, the ones that are there through good times and bad times, those are forever.
That’s always been what has made this show special. Yes, this is outwardly a romance, and yes, we still want the ships and will swoon over them. But most of us also have at least that one friend we would go out and commit crimes for and with – and Sweet Magnolias doesn’t just represent us in that, it understands us.
JUST BE THERE / ALWAYS
Ty and Annie might not be a romance yet, but they are nonetheless the romance of Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias, and it’s mostly all on Ty, who has grown so much in the last two seasons that if someone were to go back and rewatch Season 1 right now they would almost not even recognize him as the same person.
It’s what Annie needed, but above all, it’s what Ty needed. He was always this person deep down, but he didn’t need to find this person for Annie, he needed to let out this person for himself. He deserved to be this Ty, outwardly, in front of everyone else. His mom deserved this Ty, his friends deserved this Ty, his siblings deserved this Ty. And yes, so did Annie, but she was the only one really seeing him before.
As for Annie, she regressed a little thanks to Jackson, but in a way, that’s also okay. She’s a teenager, and being a teenager is about making the wrong choices and learning from them. We could all see Jackson was the wrong choice, but Annie had to learn that for herself. Just as she has to learn a bunch of other lessons before she and Ty can get to a place where they can be good for each other. Right now, the best thing they can be is just …be friends. Their time will come. It isn’t now. It probably shouldn’t be now. They have a lot of growing up to do yet.
GOD BLESS THE PEOPLE WHO WALK WITH US
“…however rough the road. And the ones that show us that we didn’t get lost, we just wandered a bit.”
Helen and Erik have taken a long and winding road to each other, but the thing that truly gives me hope is that Erik isn’t single. He’s dating someone, and she seems kinda great, actually. I appreciate that, to be honest. Because things shouldn’t just be easy for Helen. She shouldn’t get to just walk back into Erik’s life and get him back.
No, instead, she should realize she wants him back and have him be with someone else. She should have to fight for him, because that’s what she didn’t have to do before. She’s had it too easy with Erik Whitley and, in a way, I think that’s been part of the problem. She’s taken him for granted, again and again. It’s time Helen Decatur realizes what she had, what she threw away – and what she wants.
It’s time she fights for it, for him. Now that’s something I would watch a Season 4 for.
Things I think I think:
- There are a lot of things I liked about this final episode, but the fact that we had to wait till now to see this Erik and Dana Sue convo isn’t one of them. We needed it before.
- “You deciding this is something I can’t forgive makes it better?”
- Hey, I kinda agree on Peggy.
- I like Kyle with Lily, what can I say?
- Bill Townsend, who are you?
- Ty and Gabe are BFF goals.
- Annie breaking up with Jackson was glorious.
- I must have rewatched this scene 734 times.
- Running to Ty after! His face! The way he asks what he can do!
- Miss Paula, you go get that romance.
- Look Helen, you deserve to have to fight for Erik now. Things should not be easy for you.
- This Kathy apology came outta nowhere, didn’t it?
- “Worrying is how some people express love”
- TY’S LOOK
- THE HANDS.
- I’m good, y’all, I’m good.
- Annie found her sisters!!
- Sure, end with Helen and Erik just staring at each other just after she catches the bouquet.
- At least Cal and Maddie are kissing.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Sweet Magnolias 3×10 “Save My Place”? Share with us in the comments below!
Sweet Magnolias Season 3 is now available to stream on Netflix.