“Casseroles and Casualties” picks up where things left off, but its easygoing pace is a reminder that the first season’s last-minute cliffhanger was one of the only exciting moments it produced.
This recap of Sweet Magnolias season 2, episode 1, “Casseroles and Casualties”, contains spoilers.
It takes an effort to remember this now, but the first season of Sweet Magnolias ended on a pretty major cliffhanger, so “Casseroles and Casualties” opens with tensions still pretty high on the back of it. Kyle and Nellie have been in a car crash, everyone’s blaming Jackson for it, there’s a lot of pushing and shoving and bickering, but the kids are, ultimately, fine. At least until the next stupid thing they do, but teenagers will be teenagers, won’t they?
Sweet Magnolias season 2, episode 1 recap
This premiere takes its time to settle back in, which is good since two long years have passed since the first season’s release, and there’s always some detective work to be done when returning to a series like this with a lot of characters and dynamics, especially when it’s intentionally a pretty generic middle-ground suburban melodrama at the best of times. We quickly move into that hazy morning-after-the-night-before feeling as everyone begins to settle into the new season and pick up on subplots left dangling last time, such as whatever’s going on between Ronnie and Dana Sue. (He offers to stick around to help her through everything she’s going through, while, of course, “respecting any and all boundaries” she sets.)
So, while we’re lingering, let’s try and take account of what’s going on. Dana Sue is still enjoying a passionate romance with Jeremy, so that’s good news. Maddie insists that things are totally, 100% through with Bill despite him playing the doting dad routine, and she’s still happy with Cal after a tentative conversation about where they stand. Annie is still reeling from the crash, particularly the guilt she feels in relation to it, and for that matter, everyone is pretty curious about its exact circumstances and cause.
Kyle stays in hospital for a while considering he only seems to have a minor concussion and a dislodged knee. He spends most of his time sulking, which is expected. Like Annie, he’s holding on to a lot of guilt over the incident. Tyler’s injured too because Jackson shoved him in the hospital waiting room and the landing somehow broke his whole arm, and he’s still stinging over not being able to go to State.
Handily from a recapping perspective, Dana Sue, Helen, and Maddie still do that thing where they sit around over cocktails and discuss all the current events, which is how we learn that Kyle is coming home in a wheelchair — he hurt his back as well as his knee — and Dana Sue is really struggling with Annie’s involvement in everything. What also comes up is Isaac’s quest to find his birth mother, which is the closest thing we have at the moment to an overarching mystery, and Helen’s obvious sexual chemistry with Erik. But speaking of Helen, she drops the season’s first big bombshell right at the last minute — she’s pregnant.
You can stream Sweet Magnolias season 2, episode 1, “Casseroles and Casualties”, exclusively on Netflix.