After the highs come the lows, and “The Rules of the Game” introduces a few more problems for everyone.
This recap of Sweet Magnolias season 2, episode 8, “The Rules of the Game”, contains spoilers.
As we approach the end of the season, you can definitely feel the focus begin to move more towards the kids of Serenity. In the previous episode, Annie caught Dana Sue and Ronnie getting closer than they said they were, and this becomes a problem for her. It isn’t just that she caught her parents having sex; she’s more put off by the fact that they’re treating their reconciliation as a secret, something to be ashamed of. She shares this concern with Jackson, which doesn’t help to repair the rift between her and Dana Sue, but certainly brings her and Jackson closer together. He asks Dana Sue for permission to take her out, and as insufferable as Jackson tends to be, I don’t think he has ulterior motives here.
Sweet Magnolias season 2, episode 8 recap
What’s funny here is that Jackson is more sure of what he wants than Dana Sue is. She keeps writing off what’s going on with Ronnie as just nostalgia, imploring him to prove that he’s changed while refusing to accept it even as he shows her again and again. That’s his angle, anyway, and it causes him enough frustration to confront Dana Sue at work about it. Later, he visits Pastor June to arrange some couples’ counseling, if Dana Sue can find it in herself to be flexible enough to attend.
Outside of Annie and Jackson, the other unlikely relationship involves Kyle, of all people, who is getting close to Sophie, the budding game designer who wants to use him for voice acting and motion capture in her fantasy adventure. Ty, seeing his little brother with friends for the first time in forever, actually finds himself happy for him, despite things not going well in his own social life. CeCe continues to ghost him, yet he still hasn’t quite figured out that she had a very good reason to do so. It’s a nice switcheroo of the usual big-brother-little-brother dynamic. Kyle even seems to be getting involved in a love triangle when Nellie cycles by and he invites her to join their game design brainstorms.
For what it’s worth, Ty does go to see CeCe… and then ruins everything again by idiotically demanding an apology from her despite the fact that she didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.
Meanwhile, Cal takes Maddie to a fundraiser where she gets to see quite how popular he is and how much he means to people. It also helps with accumulating enough signatures to oust the mayor, which Mary Vaughn will be entertainingly annoyed about. But tragedy strikes during the celebration of this achievement, though, as Frances, basically the matriarch of all of Serenity, seemingly collapses at the toast.