Debbie Macomber's sweet small-town romance series Cedar Cove is now a weekly television show on Hallmark starring Andie MacDowell! Check out Rachel's recaps of the 2-hours series premiere, episode 2, episode 3, and episode 4, episode 5, episode 6, episode 7, episode 8, and episode 9. And now, onto her recap of episode 10, “Conflicts of Interest”:
Relationship discord is the order of the day this time out in Cedar Cove, except between the blissfully happy Jack (Dylan Neal) and Olivia (Andie MacDowell), who apparently never tire of looking soulfully into each other’s eyes and saying the darndest things. Jack, indeed, is a font of pure schmaltz, forever telling Olivia just how lucky he is to have met someone so beautiful, so intelligent and just so generally awesome—compliments Olivia always takes placidly in stride because, after all, they are manifestly true.
The two of them are very cute, of course, and only the not-at-all-predictable, I-cannot-believe-that-happened plot twist of his possibly being offered a job on a real newspaper back in his beloved Philadelphia could possibly rend them asunder. Although, if Olivia’s ex-husband Stan (Andrew Airlee) has his way – as Jack has long suspected – there may soon be something else with the potential to tear them apart.
See, Stan has been spending a lot of time in Cedar Cove just lately, away from his home in Seattle and his second wife, Melanie (Anne Marie DeLuise). Much mentioned but only just now met, this shrewish leggy blonde with the chilling death stare arrives in town to tacitly accuse Olivia of attempted home-wrecking, outraged by the fact that her husband has “changed” so much in recent months. She seems especially upset that he has been seeing a therapist to deal with his long-denied grief over the death of his son, and is sure that Olivia is entirely to blame. As misplaced as her anger is, you’ve really got to feel for Melanie, being shut out so utterly from her husband’s life—though in fairness to Stan, she does appear to have been incredibly unsupportive, and she is certainly not fond of the idea that reconnecting with his daughter Justine (Sarah Smyth) has become increasingly important to him.
I said you had to feel for her. I didn’t say she wasn’t a bitch.
Still, she does have a point about his sudden interest in all things Cedar Cove being about more than just his kids; when confronted by his furious second wife about having bought a boat to facilitate easier trips over to see her, Stan pretty much admits to still loving his first one. But, don’t you know, Stan? A real man builds his own boat for the woman he loves. That’s what’s Jack’s doing, and it seems to be coming along nicely, too. Sorry, dude. (And sorry, Melanie! Buh-bye.)
Another married man apparently having lost that loving feeling is Will (Cameron Bancroft), who so recently kissed Grace (Teryl Rothery) after a friendly dinner out, and is now somewhat obsessively texting her. He’s all “I can’t stop thinking about you” and hoping she’ll give him a shot, which leaves Grace in a terrible quandary. On the one hand, you can tell she is enjoying the attention, and she obviously cares for the handsome, debonair Will. On the other, he is her best friend’s brother, and for all that he claims that his marriage is over – but secretly; he can’t bear to break his mother’s heart by telling her so, you know – all evidence points to the contrary, leaving Grace unable to confide in Olivia about all that is besetting her. (Not to mention: poor Handsome Harting!)
It’s lucky she has her pesky daughter Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) to get the whole sordid affair out of her then – “I’m not leaving you alone until you tell me!” – and the two conduct a terribly private conversation within the confines of the improbably busy town library (at which a Debbie Macomber book is prominently displayed... oh, Cedar Cove!), in full hearing of about seventy different people. Seriously, what is this, an Elizabethan play? People can hear you even if they’re just extras in the scene, Grace and Maryellen! I’m sorry, but in real life, all that “shushing” would be too little, too late, and it would be only a matter of time before word of this fell on busybody Charlotte’s horrified ears. Let’s just hope the people of this town decide to be discreet on this one, shall we?
And let’s hope they’re better at keeping secrets than John Bowman (Charlie Carrick), Maryellen’s long-time crush and recent-time squeeze, whose “mysterious past” is a big facet of his, ahem, personality, but who is really, really bad at keeping it mysterious. This time out, Maryellen deduces from only some earnest discussion of his photography and a mac.com e-mail address that his freaking mother paid a visit to the gallery (without buying anything; huh, thanks a lot, Mom), and it is confirmed in her mind that he is “Daniel Kirkland,” recipient of the unopened letters she happened upon when first she visited his house, last episode. Taxing him with this, Maryellen makes the fatal mistake of suggesting that their relationship can’t work without total honesty, to which John Bowman – or whoever he is – replies: “Then I guess maybe we should reconsider the relationship.” And then just up and walks out! Um, Maryellen? You are pretty much the only person IN THE UNIVERSE not to see that coming. Just so you know.
Meanwhile, poor Justine has been similarly blindsided by the total jerkiness of her boyfriend Seth (Corey Sevier), to whom she has been a truly excellent girlfriend, even going so far as to buy him a waterbed to help him sleep better on land, he being such a salty seadog and all. But then Warren the Douche (Brennan Elliott) has to up and have a suspected heart attack, causing Seth much jealousy as Justine ministers at her ex-fiancé’s bedside. Warren, of course, is not above using this happenstance to make a play for Justine, saying he knows she’s with Seth and it’s not fair to hound her, but “When you’re scared that you might die and you might not get to say to that special someone how you feel, you don’t care about what’s fair” (ha! As though you’ve EVER cared what’s fair, Warren!). Still, all of this is no excuse for Seth to just pack his stuff and leave Justine’s apartment without another word about it, even if it does turn out that he has been rejected for a business loan because Warren the Big Shot has thrown his weight around down at the bank.
So we leave things with Stan (jerk) and Melanie (jerk) very much at loggerheads; with Maryellen and John Bowman (jerk) at an impasse; with Seth (jerk) having bailed on Justine because he loves her so much, and is so jealous of Warren (jerk) that leaving without a word just makes sense; and with Grace drawn to the very persistent Will (total jerk), but angrily certain that he has not, in fact, left his wife—a planned anniversary trip to Paris does somewhat give the lie to that one. Meanwhile, Jack (not at all a jerk) and Olivia bid a fond farewell at the ferry dock, that job in Philadelphia possibly in the offing, which will give him a big decision to be make. (There’s no way Olivia would ever consider relocating to Philly – she wouldn’t even move to Seattle to become a Federal Judge!)
Oh, how will we stand the suspense of all of these Big and Not at All Easily Resolved Conflicts? (Nice work, show! I knew you had it in you!) Well, next week is the season finale – followed, oddly, by a Christmas-themed telemovie – so at least we won’t have long to wait. Come on back and we’ll see out this ever-so-mildly tumultuous story line together...
Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.