Sweet Magnolias surfaced on Netflix this week to favorable acclaim and finished with a myriad of cliffhangers leaving fans searching to get a season 2. The Netflix Original was developed to a series by Sheryl J. Anderson (Charmed) and based on a book of the same name by Sherryl Woods. Set in the fictional South Carolina town of Serenity, Sweet Magnolias follows three strong-willed best buddies with mysterious pasts, but one of the cliffhangers at the end of season 1 might have a less obvious answer than the show appears to imply.
Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Dana Sue Sullivan (Brooke Elliott), and Helen Decatur (Heather Headley) are best buddies since childhood despite an assortment of ups, downs, and time apart, and they browse motherhood, complex love lives, and even being business partners collectively. While the crowd is provided glimpses into each woman’s past, a lot of Dana Sue’s life remains a mystery. She briefly mentions her time spent outside Serenity, which was filled with partying and getting into trouble. Meanwhile, Dana Sue’s worker, Isaac (Chris Medlen), is a newcomer to town, and at first his intentions are uncertain. In the episode, viewers find out that Isaac is embraced and came to town seeking his birth parents.
The only information Isaac has about his birth parents is that he was born in Serenity, and he’s of mixed race. Isaac becomes convinced he’s found his birth parents when Dana Sue’s old friend Micah Harrison (Marland Burke) comes to town at the season finale. He thinks he can be a child that Micah and Dana Sue had together out of wedlock, although Isaac does not have any proof of that. In the final few minutes of this episode, he faces Dana Sue and asks her if she’s his mom. Before she gets an opportunity to answer, the telephone rings and the audience is left hanging as Dana Sue appears to be side by side with Maddie and Helen. Her most likely answer to Isaac could have been that she is not his birth mother. While Dana Sue proving to be Isaac’s mom would offer the closure he is desperately trying, it would be too easy of an answer from a series that builds play at every turn.
While Isaac is distressed to find his birth parents, that desperation clouds his judgment. In episode 6, he thought for a second his coworker Chef Erik Whitley (Dione Johnstown) would be his father, but Erik quickly dashed Isaac’s suspicions. The most likely possibility instead, is that his mother is Peggy Martin (Brittany Smith), the nosy reporter always snooping around. Peggy comes around as a villain through a lot of the season, but the series indicates that she’s a deep, unexplored pain. In the finale, Peggy alludes to some major heartbreak younger in existence, even hinting that Helen’s ex, Ryan Wingate (Michael Shenefelt) may be the cause of her pain and bitterness towards Helen. Isaac has a similar glimmer of constant curiosity like Peggy, and he is one of the only people in Serenity who appears to appreciate her presence. While she may not be the most obvious choice as Isaac’s mom, making her all the more likely offender.
Dana Sue has a soft, motherly attitude towards her employees and loved ones alike, therefore Isaac’s confusion and trust is not a surprise. Regrettably, Isaac will most likely experience more disappointment if and when Season two of Sweet Magnolias comes out.