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Sweet Magnolias 2×05 “Great Expectations” Highlights

Sweet Magnolias 2×05 “Great Expectations” Spoilers Ahead

Sweet Magnolias. (L to R) Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue Sullivan, Heather Headley as Helen Decatur, Joanna Garcia Swisher as Maddie Townsend in episode 205 of Sweet Magnolias.
Cr. Richard Ducree/Netflix © 2021

“Great Expectations” is appropriately titled because we’re now midway into the season, and that’s exactly where we are with these characters. It takes us to rather delightful places while ensuring that the characters get things done for the town. Where everything seems to be going smoothly, and just as we want them to, it’s a matter of time before another bombshell shakes everything up. But until that happens, we’re going to bask in the gloriousness of relationships because Sweet Magnolias is best when it allows its characters to take quiet moments to be happy.

I’d be lying if I said I cared about council meetings. It’s reminding me a lot of Gilmore Girlsand while it’s fascinating to know that the women are going to succeed, sometimes small-town politics feel too farcical. They’re too good to be true when the real world is a constant struggle. And so, here we are looking into the character moments that are making the show better now than ever before.

Ronnie Sullivan has game

Dana Sue and Ronnie Sullivan in Sweet Magnolias 2x05
©Netflix

I keep saying I really like Ronnie, but you know what, I love him now. The man’s got game—albeit a bit cringeworthy and cliche, but he still knows what he wants, and he’s going after it. He’s making a statement by putting actions behind his words to affirm that this time, he means it. It’s hard to forgive cheating. It happens on such rare occasions where TV gets it right, and in the case of Ronnie and Dana Sue, Sweet Magnolias is doing a great job of making sure that Ronnie is earning trust back.

Plus, don’t even get us started on their chemistry. They got together for a reason, and though we haven’t seen their early stages, it’s rewarding to see their second chance through organic progression. You could feel the weight of their past lingering in all their conversations, but more importantly, you can feel the depth of their adoration for one another. Words are empty, and though Ronnie uses quite a few flowery declarations to win her back, it’s not the words that do the trick, but rather Brandon Quinn’s organic delivery. We aren’t rolling our eyes at Ronnie’s words, but we’re listening and paying attention to the emotions that strengthen them.

Trotter and Ashley and a new plan

Sweet Magnolias. (L to R) Gary Weeks as Ashley Davenport, Hunter Burke as Trotter Vidhyarkorn in episode 205 of Sweet Magnolias 2x05
Cr. Richard Ducree/Netflix © 2021

It’s lovely that Sweet Magnolias 2×05 “Great Expectations” gives us more with Trotter and Ashley. I was worried for a hot second with what Trotter was going to say, but when he confessed that he doesn’t want a baby but rather to adopt a kid who’s older and likely feels neglected and rejected, my heart did a somersault. This is who Trotter’s always been from the moment we met him. He’s cared about everyone, and he’s watched the women of Serenity navigate through hurdles in a way that’s shown him the kind of father he wants to be. He wants to make lives easier, and he wants to give all he has to ensure that someone understands they’re wanted as they are.

And that’s a truth TV shows are doing much better about addressing these days. People always want babies while older kids continually get tossed around in foster homes where they grow up to believe that there must be something wrong with them when that’s never the case.

It’s about the HANDS

Erik Whitley and Helen Decatur in Sweet Magnolias 2x05
©Netflix

Romance fans worldwide collectively lost their minds over this scene, and it’s because it’s always about the hands. Sure, a couple’s first kiss is great, but the first time they accidentally hold hands in a moment where circumstances illuminate that their desires for each other are forged in a fire? Unbeatable. A few things top the tension and vulnerability in a moment like this, and I’m so glad Sweet Magnolias 2×05 “Great Expectations” lets us see every second of it in Helen and Erik’s night on the bench. 

Their friendship is so beautifully special. While the Magnolias are Helen’s sisters, Erik has always been something more—her safe space, the light at the end of the darkness. He’s been there for her in a way she’s always been deserving of. In him, she’s had someone take care of her, and to watch this moment unfold is something we might never get over. What’s happened at this moment will change the course of their relationship significantly, and the fact that it’s happening with such aching tenderness is, in short, what romance dreams are made of.

Someone to love

Maddie Townsend and Cal Maddox in Sweet Magnolias 2x05
©Netflix

There’s also a matter of the first “I love you”—the moment you realize that your second chance with someone is even more incredible than you ever thought possible. And this scene makes me adore Maddie and Cal in ways I never thought possible. They were cute before, but everything we are getting with them in the second season is infectiously endearing. There’s more depth in their relationship now.

Again, great expectations after this episode aren’t hard to hold onto, but they’re necessary. Second chances are happening everywhere, and the series’ means of going by it organically is where it continues to shine.

Pour it Out and Further Thoughts

  • Are we retconning how Cece’s dad treated her? It’s hard to imagine the same person we met last season would be communicative. But also, good for them if that’s the case. She deserves good relationships with her family.
  • Bless. Bill is giving us all space.
  • I—that was not how any of us were expecting Isaac and his mother reconnecting to go? But it’s going to be so exciting to watch where this relationship goes.
  • Cal and Ty starting a book club? Here for it.
  • Can we recast Noreen?
  • Annie and Jackson are really growing on me. The kid is trying and it’s surprisingly, believable.

Now streaming on Netflix: What are your thoughts on Sweet Magnolias 2×05 “Great Expectations?” Let us know in the comments below.

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Gissane Sophia View All

Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.

She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for MovieWeb and Looper.

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