“A United Front” sees Maddie getting closer to Cal, and Dana Sue getting closer to a breakdown in a stronger follow-up episode.
This recap of Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 2, “A United Front”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
With all the ladies now fully on-board with the creation of their luxury spa, it’s time for them to put up “A United Front”, to live up to the title of Sweet Magnolias episode 2 if nothing else.
Maddie’s by-chance meeting with Maddox in the school corridor takes a less-than-romantic turn when he suggests they sit down with Bill to discuss how their messy public divorce is affecting Ty. Needless to say, this goes down like a lead balloon with Ty, and while I typically despise the whiny kid archetype, he has a point here — if his dad is consistently making bad decisions, should he really have much say in the decisions Ty makes?
So, then, Maddie attends the meeting alone (on Ty’s request). Maddox lets her know that he stands to lose his position in the team’s starting lineup if he doesn’t fix his grades and such.
Tyler’s various issues come to a head in a baseball game attended by Maddie, Bill, and Noreen — though the latter two do a runner when Ty underperforms. Some inspirational words from Maddox help him start playing to his potential, even if he has an awkward exchange afterward with a girl who mistakenly went to Kyle for information on how to charm him. Turns out he’s not into High School Musical and ballet. Who’d have thought?
(Note: Tyler takes this super well. In the space of one episode he’s gone from being insufferable to the most likable guy in the show.)
Erik continues to take on an advanced role in the restaurant kitchen, having suddenly styled himself as a kind of all-knowing culinary guru. It’s probably just as well since Dana Sue, despite having insisted how much she thrives on being busy, is stressed. And in being stressed she has little time for Annie, despite Annie obviously needing to talk to her, and doesn’t notice Isaac being all sneaky. She snaps at Helen and at Erik for messing with the menu.
Erik is able to get through to her, though, by being impossibly charming and earnest and rustling up his grandmama’s soup for the new menu. Dana Sue finally realizes he’s perfectly suitable for the sous chef position and offers him the job — only took half an episode!
While Dana Sue finds time for Annie eventually, it isn’t until later that she discovers the photograph that she threw away; all she wanted was to give it to her mother. No wonder she misses her dad.
Helen is working a case in “A United Front” in which she has to choose who gets guardianship of two young girls whose parents were killed in a car accident. Both candidates initially seem viable, but of course, they start slagging each other off at the first opportunity. The whole thing’s resolved rather easily, though, thanks to some subtle interrogation of Annie — turns out one candidate was much more viable than the other.
Still, at least she’s getting on with Erik.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.