Mon
Sep 30 2013 10:35am

Cedar Cove Season 1, Episode 11 Recap: Conflicts Everywhere!

Jack and Olivia in Cedar Cove episode 11Debbie 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 premiereepisode 2episode 3, episode 4episode 5episode 6episode 7episode 8episode 9, and episode 10. And now, onto her recap of episode 11, “Stormfront”:

In a show where Big Though Easily Resolved Conflicts have been the order of most every day, it is a surprise and a delight (and also a concern, in a “careful what you wish for” kind of way) to report that in this episode, among the conflicts aplenty with which our favorite small town pretty people are beset, very little gets resolved at all. Some of these conflicts have been a long time in coming, and some are relatively recent developments, but all of them combine to make this episode without a doubt the best we have so far seen—and yes, before you get all snarky, there’s some, if not tough, at least mild competition for that title.

Conflict #1: Remember how Jack (Dylan Neal), newspaperman extraordinaire, was off to his bustling hometown metropolis of Philadelphia to interview for a sports writer gig at the end of last episode? Well, I know you won’t even believe this, but he got the job! It’s a pretty sweet deal, actually, following the Phillies around the country, going to Spring Training, really getting to know the team and basically being their official biographer. It’s his “dream job,” one that he’d have jumped at as little as a year earlier, but now that he has Olivia (Andie MacDowell) ... he turns it down! Which was pretty damned predictable, but also slightly worrisome and not a little insane – hell, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Mets fan who would have had to move to Philly from a different hemisphere, and even I would’ve taken it – because sorry, Jack, we also have...

Justine, Olivia, and Stan in Cedar Cove 1.11Conflict #2: After almost an entire season of clearly being unhappy in his marriage (and, after meeting the shrewish Melanie last week, we can kind of see why) and hankering for his old life, Olivia’s ex-husband Stan (Andrew Airlee) has begun divorce proceedings and is planning a move back to Cedar Cove, or surrounds. He’s bought a boat, he’s reconnecting with daughter Justine (Sarah Smyth) and he flat out tells Olivia that leaving her way back when was a mistake. So Olivia is torn; on the one hand, she’s with Jack, and Jack is awesome and has turned down the opportunity of a lifetime for her, as well as having built her a canoe. (Even if it isn’t entirely waterproof; thus Bob: “The sea has a way of finding your mistakes.” Oh, Bob! You’re so wise.) But on the other hand, she and Stan share so many happy memories, and they were married for so many years that being together seems perfectly natural—plus, who among us would not be comforted to still be missed by the spouse who walked out so many years earlier? Which is probably why Olivia doesn’t mention Stan’s forthcoming move back to town, which leads to...

Stan and Jack in Cedar Cove 1x11Conflict #3: Stan and Jack have a showdown on the shore, with Stan expressing his intention of winning Olivia back and Jack furious that he wasn’t kept in the loop on proceedings re: people with the surname Lockhart. Which, in turn, leads to...

Conflict #4: Jack and Olivia having a showdown regarding said conflict, and then, hey! Where have you gotten to at the end of this episode, Jack? Have you taken your dream job, after all? Or did you just unwisely decide to put to sea in your canoe? Which reminds me of...

Justine and Warren in Cedar Cove episode 11Conflict #5: Seth (Corey Sevier) disappeared, along with his beloved boat, at the end of the last episode, leaving behind a very confused and worried Justine. True, she had just spent several days caring for her hospitalized Machiavellian ex-fiance (Brennan Elliott), and she was not to know that Seth had been denied a bank loan due to Warren’s powerful influence, but now all Seth tells her is that he “has a plan” and that she should try to be patient or something? Try to be patient? Seth, you left without saying a word! And you were living with her! You just can’t do that. And now it turns out you actually sold your boat – without discussing such a huge life step with your girlfriend – and have left her to the tender devices of the man you hate besides? Idiot. Warren, by the way? Very charming in this episode. I’d been wondering all series long how Justine could ever have fallen under his douchey spell. This outing clears it up. And it also clears up...

Conflict #6: Enigmatic art photographer-cum-chef John Bowman (Charlie Carrick) has been dating willowy gallery curator Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) for, oh, at least a week or two, and so now she has decided that this gives her license to pry deeply into his backstory, no matter that he has asked her not to, and has even said that he would rather end the relationship than have her dig any further into his privacy. Admittedly, John is hopeless at keeping the fact that he has a secret past a secret – other people in town are calling him just “John” now, so I can too – and when it transpires that he changed his name in order to avoid his parents, who never believed he was innocent of the drug charges that landed him in prison until it proven otherwise, Maryellen can’t wait to tell him that she Knows All and likes him anyway. Which would be very sweet (and it is: “I don't care what happened to you before, I want to be a part of your life now”), except that John’s boxes are already packed and he’s given notice to his landlord – and that was before he found out that his sort-of girlfriend has discovered all the skeletons in his closet and thinks he should forgive his doubting Mom. Meanwhile, more skeletons are unearthed, because...

Conflict #7: Will and Grace! (Heh.) Yep, Olivia’s devilishly attractive brother, the incorrigible Will (Cameron Bancroft), has still been making the text-based moves on Grace (Teryl Rothery), Olivia’s best-friend, since that illicit kiss they shared a couple of episodes ago. Will had told Grace that his marriage was practically over – but she had to keep it secret, as his family didn’t yet know – and then proceeded to come on all hot and heavy, much to the recent divorcee’s confusion—and later anger when she discovered she had been lied to. Fed up with the whole situation, Grace finally confronts Will about his cheatin’ heart right in front of Olivia, and Will tries denying everything (“She may have misinterpreted...” he suggests; but, how does he think he’s getting away with this? He knows text messages don’t self-destruct when they become inconvenient, right?), but Olivia brings up past infidelities, and so his credibility is totally shot. And then this whole distasteful affair leads to probably the episode’s most upsetting conflict...

Conflict #8: Olivia and Grace! Thus Olivia: ““The one thing I thought I could count on was my best-friend not going behind my back and lying to me!” Ouch, girlfriend. And monstrously unfair. Not that this is the last time Grace will face unjust criticism herein, because...

Will and Cliff in Cedar Cove 1x11Conflict #9: Will finds Grace at Moon’s cafe and attempts to “explain,” and it is when forcibly restraining her that he is given his comeuppance via the flying fist of that consummate manly man, rancher Cliff Harting (Sebastian Spence). Though he has given up his courtship of Grace, Handsome Harting still cares enough to defend her honor – but then, when she confesses that she has been a fool not to have seen him for the hotness that he is, he refuses to have dinner with her because he has been cheated on before, and seeing Grace embroiled with Will has him wary of ever trusting her. And then he just walks away.

Woah, cliffhanger! (Forgive the pun, I beg of you.)

Now, I have no doubt that most every one of these contentious story lines will find their way to a triumphal conclusion across the next couple of Cedar Cove installments (which will be a season-ending Christmas-themed two-parter, originally intended as a TV movie and airing, for some reason, in October). But isn’t it nice that it feels like we are building towards an actual climax, at last? And oh, the questions that need to be answered! Will Justine forgive that silly Seth for pretty much abandoning her completely, for no apparent reason? Will John forgive Maryellen for being so relentlessly nosy (not to mention presumptuous)? Will Grace forgive Cliff for suggesting she’s that kind of woman? Will Olivia be tempted by Stan, or will Jack’s sacrifice mean more to her? (Assuming that sacrifice has still been made.) Will we ever see that tiresome couple Zack and Rosie again? That story doesn’t feel quite completed. And what quaint aphorism will Bob (Bruce Boxleitner) come out with next? Come on back next week – because I don’t know about you, but I’m weirdly excited to find out!

 


Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.

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