Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 4 recap – “Lay It All Down”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 19, 2020 (Last updated: November 24, 2023)
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Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 4 recap - "Lay It All Down"


A medical emergency floors Dana Sue in “Lay It All Down” as a new arrival threatens the spa’s progress.

This recap of Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 4, “Lay It All Down”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.

Check out the episode guide.

There’s a new face in town, although he’s admittedly not new to the Magnolias, and a medical emergency to handle — among plenty of other things that include more of Cal and Maddie, some tasty-looking fish, and a big old house full of memories. Onward.


Things aren’t going too well for Maddie in “Lay It All Down” since everyone is talking about Cal doing a Magic Mike routine on her driveway. She insists that there’s nothing wrong with them being friends, but he’s clearly a bit put off by the gossiping. Surely, though, the allure of a hot middle-aged redhead will be too much to resist?

Yeah, pretty much. Cal tells Maddie outright that he thinks something could and should happen between them — being just friends isn’t enough for him. But it’s complicated on Maddie’s side, and she feels too guilty about how Ty will react to take things forwards — even if everyone, including her mother, thinks she should.

The problem is, when she does, who should arrive but Bill and Noreen? Naturally, Bill is fuming, not that he has any right to be. Noreen’s face in the car as he endlessly rants about his ex-wife was faintly tragic.

Dana Sue

The mounting stress is evidently getting to Dana Sue since early on in Sweet Magnolias episode 4 she collapses. Turns out she’s verging on diabetes, which apparently killed her mother. Annie takes keeping her blood sugar under control a lot more seriously than Dana Sue does, which leads to yet another rift between them.

After some tactful intervention from Erik, a man of many talents, Dana Sue turns to Pastor June for spiritual counsel and to a veteran’s group for a chance to enjoy cooking while also helping people out. Both lead her back to Annie, who finally gets an apology, a hug, and some deserved attention from her mother.


The already tumultuous renovation of the spa hits another snag in “Lay It All Down”, since the nephew of Miss Francis, the lady who sold Helen the house, arrives on the scene having petitioned to get the place declared a historic site — no work can continue on it until its status is approved or denied.

This gets Helen all aflutter since the nephew, Ryan, is an ex, and even according to Miss Francis he’s only doing this as a way to win back Helen. And it must be said that it seems to be working pretty well, since Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 4 ends with them kissing after a romantic reminder of how much of their history is bundled up in that house.

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