Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 5 recap – “Dance First, Think Later”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 19, 2020 (Last updated: November 24, 2023)
View all
Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 5 recap - "Dance First, Think Later"


Some scheduling conflicts cause issues in “Dance First, Think Later”, Annie gets carried away, and Maddie and Cal meet in the middle.

This recap of Sweet Magnolias season 1, episode 5, “Dance First, Think Later”, 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.

All is not going well for the Magnolias in “Dance First, Think Later”, and the grand opening of the spa is threatened by not just rival events but acts of god and municipal services. Let’s see what’s what.


Maddie’s long-time rival has purposefully caused a scheduling conflict that threatens the spa’s opening in Sweet Magnolias episode 5, assuming it’s even in a fit state to open at all. But Maddie decides on the age-old tactic of killing her enemies with kindness. And thanks to her mother, the spa is able to open — the eagerly-awaited painting is a pretty nice portrait of “her sweet magnolias”, and it neatly covers some impromptu workmanship.

While Bill attends the baseball fundraiser, who should attend the spa opening but Noreen? She enjoys another strained but civil meeting with Maddie, who puts the situation best to Helen: “What could she say?” Bill, meanwhile, wins over the baseball team by unsubtly (and childishly) competing with Cal and throwing money around.

Despite a date with Cal being purchased by Maddie’s mother for $500, they nonetheless find their way together by episode’s end. If everyone’s going to insist they’re together anyway, why not just be together?

Dana Sue

Isaac and Erik do Annie a solid so that she can take photos of the fundraiser for the school paper, even though it takes a good while to get Dana Sue’s attention for long enough to tell her she’s going.

This leads into some coming-of-age subplot shenanigans as Annie gets drunk, embarrasses herself, and is rescued by Tyler. He gets a kiss and a soppy voice note for his troubles.


Helen and Ryan seem to be together now, which is cute. But their relationship is strained because Ryan has to travel constantly with work. There’s also the small matter of Erik jealously watching from a distance —  a love triangle, anyone?

Netflix, TV Recaps
View all