Cedar Cove, the Hallmark Channel television series based on Debbie Macomber's romance novel series of the same name and starring Andie MacDowell, is back for Season 2 and H&H is all over it! Stay tuned for weekly recaps of this year's small-town shenanigans, and if you're just catching up, be sure to go back and read Rachel Hyland's Season 1 posts.
This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Cedar Cove, including Saturday night’s 2x03, “Relations and Relationships, Part 1.”
If Cedar Cove episodes have a theme, and most of them do, then the theme of this one is “Olivia and Jack are Awesome." There is a secondary theme, of exes and the fact that new loves are emphatically not them, but mostly it’s the Jack and Olivia thing.
So, let’s see how they, and our other couples, fared this week, shall we?
OLIVIA AND JACK
I’ve always quite liked Jack (Dylan Neal), but this week he is super-adorable. He is desperate for Olivia (Andie MacDowell) to take a key to his house, and comes up with an elaborate attacked-by-a-bear scenario to try and convince her; he also is struggling with a title for his new granddaughter to call him. “Which one makes me sound youngest?” he asks on a grin. None of them, dude! Get used to it. Also, he goes on this whole broccoli rant, and I loved it! “It’s an oxymoronic vegetable.” You’re a funny man, Jack.
Olivia, meanwhile, is totally over-thinking the whole key thing, and they spend most of the episode arguing over whether she’s going to take it and what it means and other ridiculous things for a middle-aged woman to worrit herself over. Finally, Olivia says what the audience is thinking: “This is just a really stupid argument.” And, guess what! She takes the key; and later, gives him one to hers. Welcome back, Big Though Easily Resolved Conflicts! How this show has missed you.
We also get some Olivia in Court action, and wow, nice sentencing there, Judge Lockhart! This episode may just have made Olivia and Jack my new favourite Cedar Cove couple. Sorry, Grace and Cliff, and also Bob and Peggy!
OLIVIA: I don’t want to talk about this.
JACK: Well, you know what, there are two of us in this relationship and I do want to talk about this.
GRACE AND CLIFF
Grace (Teryl Rothery) is having major money worries, with her house falling apart and her credit card getting declined at Moon’s Cafe. Cliff (Sebastian Spence) is Supportive Boyfriend Guy and counsels her to sell, just as Olivia had done earlier in the episode—Grace is sad, because of all the memories, but ends up realizing that she was holding onto the house because it was the last vestige of her ex-husband, Dan, and so decides to sell after all (to an interested buyer who fortuitously came out of the woodwork a few months earlier). Dan comes up quite a few times in this episode, actually. Because FORESHADOWING.
Meanwhile Grace, when reluctant to sell the house, says “My girls grew up there.” I may be mistaken, but I believe this is the first time I have heard her mention more than one daughter. More FORESHADOWING? We’ll have to wait and see.
CLIFF: I don’t gloat.
GRACE: No. Dan would’ve.
CLIFF: I’m not your ex-husband, remember.
GRACE: Yes, that’s correct. You are not.
JUSTINE AND SETH
Seth (Corey Sevier) is heading off to sea for a few months or so and Justine (Sarah Smyth) gets all dewy-eyed resolute and moves back in with her Mom. Justine’s beginning her odyssey of self-discovery, since she just doesn’t know what she wants to do with her so-blessed life—which should make for a few fun episodes of her staring off into the distance and wondering Where She Belongs—but meanwhile: BYE, SETH. Sorry you had to wait so long to be not the worst thing in this show, and to be kind of sweet and lovely, actually! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but... I think I’ll actually miss you. See you soon, I guess?
SETH: I love you.
JUSTINE: I’m pretty lovable.
MARYELLEN AND JOHN BOWMAN
No Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) and John Bowman (Charlie Carrick) this week: they’re in New York! Which reminds me... what is going on with the Gallery now? Is Justine running it? Tell us more about the small business dealings of this town, won’t you, Cedar Cove? Some of us worry about this stuff.
ERIC AND SHELLY
Jack’s Sulky Son Eric (Tom Stevens) and his baby mama Shelly (Hayley Sayles) are staying with Jack, and are about to celebrate the first anniversary of when they met (and they already have a new baby! Kids these days, am I right?). Eric is overwhelmed by the cost of living, and wants to take Shelly out on their FIRST real date, which they have never had because they met at a party and then just “hung out.” (Kids these days, am I right?) And then they go on their date and it could not be more awkward—they know nothing about each other, have nothing to say to each other, after which Shelly decides they have to break up. (‘Cause, kids these days, am I right?)
This is beautifully contrasted, by the way, to the comfortable dinner shared by Olivia and Jack while they babysit, as well as their very adult Talking Out of Things. Really, they are Star Couple of the episode, without a doubt.
ERIC: I want to do something for her. Let her have a little fun, she deserves it.
Cecilia Randall, not seen since way back in the pilot, returns this episode in a whole different guise (and a far less good acting-y one—I mean, sure, I realize Katherine Isabelle is rather better occupied these days, but you couldn’t do better, show?) turns up briefly to inadvertently make Justine feel bad for her directionlessness. Elsewhere, we meet Carl the Plumber (David Ingram)—bane of Grace’s existence for much of the episode—and our sage friend Bob (Bruce Boxleitner) is back to bro it out with Jack and to make with more of the patented Bob Wisdom. But most noteworthy is Bob’s super-foxy, seemingly ageless wife Peggy (Barbara Niven), who makes a quick appearance after a visit to the hardware store and, my goodness, could this show get any more intense than when we are forced to wonder DID THEY HAVE THE SINK STOPPER FOR THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM IN STOCK OR DID THEY HAVE TO ORDER IT IN?
Come on back next week and find out! (About the intensity thing, not the sink stopper. Fret not: they had it.)
Rachel Hyland is the Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.