CEDAR COVE – THE GOOD FIGHT – After Will moves in, Olivia tries tough love to teach him to start taking care of himself before her efforts start to backfire. Then, Jack is faced with a dilemma in Seattle as Jeri refuses to support him for stealing her job, daring him prove his loyalty. Meanwhile, Alex slyly asks Paul on their first real date, but Paul immediately second guesses if he is ready for romance, and Warren sees his real estate deal go south after Buck conspires with Olivia to con him once again.
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT
While my reviews are typically spoiler-free, I cannot guarantee you will not learn something you didn’t know previously about this particular episode. I do my best to only reveal what Hallmark has revealed already. If you are worried about possibly ruining your viewing experience, please stop reading now. If, however, you are ready to learn more, let’s jump in the ring.
Let’s start with the couple that I said I would love to see more of–the sensational Sarah Smyth (Justine) and the jocular Jesse Hutch (Luke). While we have seen much of their love story and even some dramatic elements from them this season, all too often, we have not been as privy to tender and affectionate moments between them. I am quite pleased to report this is the episode where we will see the state of Justine’s and Luke’s relationship played out as only these two talented actors can.
As you might be able to surmise from these expressions, there just might be some serious discussion going on. While I refuse to divulge the details of this tale, I will say that this is the episode where we see yet another test of their relationship. You would have thought that Warren’s blurting out his past relationship with Justine would have been the most arduous thing the couple has had to face, but all I can say is fasten your seatbelts as we delve into the choppy waters ahead. As these two sweethearts face this momentous test of their love, here’s hoping they are able to navigate the storm without losing each other. This is another couple that deserves to remain together since they seem to complement each other perfectly. Or do they? Furthermore, when you see Sarah and Jesse playing their respective roles in their endearing ways, you can’t help but root for them. It has been such a treat to see the depth of their acting this season and their sweet chemistry on-screen.
Now I comprehend the fact that multitudes of people (including Bob Beldon and me) have been complaining about Colin Ferguson’s character all season long because of his potential attraction and intentions towards Olivia. Well, Paul Watson takes a different turn in this episode. As you can see, Rebecca Marshall’s character is in this scene, too. And if you have read the synopsis, you grasp the fact that she and Paul are finally going out on a date. (Watch out for Moon’s hand in this too–small but powerful and funny.)
I can’t tell you how euphoric I am to see this alteration in the story line! I have been an Olivia/Jack champion from the show’s inception (before I knew who any of the actors were). I saw Paul as an interloper and potential threat. I absolutely adore seeing Paul and Alex on a date together, and I sincerely hope this is the first of many.
Aren’t they just the cutest thing? I adore seeing Alex and Colin together on-screen. Their chemistry is restrained, but that is due to the fact that their characters are nervous around each other (well, at least one of them is, that is). While it is a challenge to determine if they would make a good match or not, I think they are simply precious together. There is an easiness between these two that rings true. Suddenly, I didn’t find myself worrying about Olivia and Paul. After all, Alex is a strong woman, too, but she is free (unlike Olivia). Seeing the darling exchanges between these to is divertingly refreshing.
Speaking of Paul, he has his own work issues. While his personal life is taking a turn he didn’t foresee, his professional life is fraught with his assistant, Rebecca Jennings (Cindy Busby). As usual, she is being her “type A” self and attempting to substantiate the indubitable fact that she is is astute and adept. As Paul propels her out of her comfort zone, even he begins to recognize that she is expecting too much out of herself. This leads to us seeing a genuinely caring side of Paul (we have caught a few glimpses of this with Olivia, but he usually falls back on the crutch of humor), but Rebecca doesn’t back down. Previously, I mentioned just how much I relish seeing Paul and Rebecca butt heads. And Cindy and Colin are up to the task. While Colin may portray his character with a enthralling sense of humor, even he knows that sobriety is compulsory.
Thankfully, Grace is still engaged to Cliff (we can breathe a sigh of relief on that point). She is preoccupied with her wedding preparations as well as her community organizer responsibilities. Maryellen (Elyse Lavesque) has become a great support to her, and both actresses portray such a delightful and credible mother-daughter relationship. All season long, it’s been pure rapture to see the depth and joie de vivre that Teryl has brought to the role of the sweet and feisty Grace. Her character has proven to be one who doesn’t give up easily, and the way Elyse portrays Maryellen is the perfect foil for her mom. She is able to remind her mom of what is important in life, and when things get tough, she is the daughter that come along to save the day. Additionally, Grace is only other character who is privy to one of the showdowns of the ages–Olivia and Warren (hold onto your hats!).
Lest you think this episode will not have delectable Warren scenes, let me put this concern to rest. Last week, Buck categorically double-crossed Warren. While some would say he deserved it, we still have to shake our heads and realize that what he did was an abominable thing for any father to do to a son. If you haven’t yet guessed what the exactly what Buck did, you will learn early on in this episode, and let’s just say you will see a very different Warren this week. This time, Brennan Elliot plays the somewhat desperate and defeated Warren, but we still witness his signature style–completely captivating and charmingly deceitful.
No matter what you think of Warren this season, there is one thing that is undeniable. Brennan Elliot has taken Cedar Cove by storm. His story line, acting, and incredible devotion to his fans has made his character probably the most-talked-about and treasured character this season. And this episode will be no different. Be sure to keep your eyes open for two fantastic scenes in which he faces off with Olivia (Andie MacDowell) and then Moon (Timothy Webber). It’s safe to say that Warren has not been this subdued in quite some time, but in true “Warren fashion,” Brennan is able to make us feel sympathy for this diabolical but complex character due to his sensitive and beguiling approach. Just when you thought you had Warren figured out, Brennan is able to bring yet another new dimension to this mephistophelean character. Unlike season one when so many (myself included) wished for Warren to go far away and never return, Brennan has the majority of the audience imploring Hallmark for even more Warren Saget in every episode. That is the sign of the ultimate master. While I know the writers have given him a phenomenal story line this season, it is the brilliant Brennan who is able to bring this devilish character to life in such a way that we unrestrictedly revere him. And, of course, Brennan’s handsome features only make his character even that more irresistible.
Thankfully, Hallmark has been benevolent to us #COVErs by giving us more Jack and Olivia in this episode, and Jack (Dylan Neal) has been handed many emotional moments in this episode that remind us why Dylan is an absolute master at his craft. While Jack has continued to be a character plagued with his demons and attempting to win Olivia back, we haven’t seen some of his admirable traits as much this season until more recently. To see him fight for Jeri’s job and continue to display his loyalty in the face of all odds completely captivates my heart. I think as a result of Jack’s struggles the past two seasons, he has emerged stronger than we ever could have imagined.
Dylan’s character is truly conflicted through so much of this episode. Though not pictured, Jeri (Julia Benson) and Jack battle it out a couple of times, and you simply must watch for the scene where Olivia walks in on this showdown. Without a doubt, Andie has snagged the most brilliant line of the whole episode in that scene (I reveled in seeing this side of her character, but more about her in a moment). I am always partial to the heart and soul that Dylan consistently brings to this intricate character, and without a doubt, Dylan brings that charm, warmth, and devoted nature to his character with such authenticity.
The conflict that Jack wrestles with as he faces this decision about whether to accept his dream job is a troublesome one. We are treated to that inner struggle played out as only Dylan can portray this multi-faceted character. I always am overcome with Dylan’s attention to detail and the way he immerses himself in his character without exception. Before viewing this episode, I was beginning to lose interest in Jack because he has been so much in the background this season. This is the episode when Jack makes a triumphal return to his rightful place.
Yes, indeed, these are the kinds of scenes Jack and Olivia fans have been petitioning Hallmark for all season long. Finally we see those tender scenes and captivating chemistry for which Dylan and Andie are so famous. This is the heart of the show, and God bless Hallmark for finally giving us fans what we needed.
I have declared all season long that it would take time for trust to be rebuilt between Jack and Olivia after his betrayal last season. Gratefully, it seems that his alcoholism is a thing of the past (I think the finale of season two was enough to shock him back to reality), and he seems to be on the straight and narrow. I even believe that maybe Olivia is ready to consider a more intimate relationship between the two of them (time will only tell).
As magnificent as Dylan is, I have to say that this episode highlighted Andie in a way she hasn’t been all season. As we know, Judge Olivia Lockhart is the heart and soul of this community. She is always the central character, but sometimes her character takes a backseat to other story lines and characters. No matter what, Andie’s acting always is phenomenal and her characterization is stunning.
Sometimes, however, her character gets a singular opportunity to shine, and this is the episode where that occurs. Every scene in which Olivia appears is absolutely riveting, but in this episode, Andie has been handed a virtual smorgasbord of unique opportunities to display her amazing abilities. Every scene in which she appears is always top-notch, but the writers have given Olivia some dazzling lines this time around. As I have mentioned, be sure to watch Olivia take on Warren (you will see a side of Olivia that you may not know exists, and it is delightful in the extreme). Additionally, don’t close your eyes nor get a cup of coffee when Olivia and Jeri appear in a scene with Jack. Remember how I said that Andie rarely raises her voice? Well, just remember I said “rarely.” I actually replayed that scene because I enjoyed it so much. Oh, don’t get me wrong–Olivia is still sweet, kind, and fair. Don’t question her heart. But just know that Olivia has a few loose ends to tie up with people in her life who think they can just run her over.
Speaking of annoying people, Will (Cameron Bancroft) is still around and thinking he can sponge off his sister. For Olivia, Will is potentially her “Waterloo,” but we are confident that in the end, Olivia will prevail. But the way in which Andie plays this sister who is struggling with her lazy brother is perfect. The brother-sister contention is written all over her face, and we never question the credibility of her inner pathos thanks to Andie’s outstanding prowess.
Unfortunately, there may be a potential issue for Jack and Olivia that is revealed towards the end of the episode. So don’t let their joy lead you astray. Hallmark is not done with the roller coaster ride yet, dear reader, so please fasten your seatbelts and hold on for dear life.
Also, make sure you keep track of Rebecca Jennings (Cindy Busby). Not to give anything away, but she figures into the cliffhanger too. Don’t expect this episode to end with any kind of closure for anyone. Hallmark is always clever in the way they end their weekly shows, but we can rest in the knowledge that this is Hallmark, and true love and genuine heart will guide the story lines. So don’t worry–I will keep the faith concerning all of our couples and unfinished storylines. Just know that you will probably be quite unsettled at the end of the episode.
So don’t forget to watch the best show on television on Saturday night. You do not want to miss it!