Cedar Cove, Season Three - Episode 1, "Hello Again" (2015)
Apparently, the end of season two left the residents of Cedar Cove in something of a quandary. I wouldn’t know about that considering the DVD set hasn’t released yet. (Or rather, it hadn’t at the time I “needed” to be watching the premiere of season three.) But no bother. I caught up enough to understand the gist of the circumstances. With that, let’s jump into what goes down. Jack (Dylan Neal) is facing disappointment from Olivia (Andie MacDowell) in the wake of his lying, and worse yet, he’s let himself down. The aftermath of this, what Olivia sees as a kind of betrayal, is anything save for good. To top it all off daughter, Justine (Sarah Smyth) has decided she wants to move out of the house and Olivia’s best friend, Grace (Teryl Rothery) is contemplating some possible changes to her own life. Justine is finally in a good place with her personal life and beginning a promising new relationship with a veteran (Jesse Hutch) while Grace is facing the possibility of losing Cliff (Sebastian Spence)... only he might have something to say about that. Meanwhile, Olivia distracts herself with work cases including the arrival of the new DA, who just so happens to be handsome and seems interested in Olivia.
This is just a sampling of the “catching up” we are invited to do with the lives of these characters. There’s a lot of drama going on in these first two hours - everything from Moon and Peggy's riff (in a humorous way) to Jack's steps to start again, which I can only hope continues to taper out as the show progresses. The end of episode one calms down and gives us some “breathing room” as it were, which, is a nice thing considering all of the ping-pongs the show threw at us up until that point. The only disappointment I had with this was all of the shifting emotions. But, I digress. This isn’t enough to make me no longer enjoy the show. Quite the contrary. I still really enjoyed this premiere and am looking forward to wherever else the show goes in future episodes.
What was really pleasant to see in this episode (and yes, the premiere will run for two hours) is that amidst some of the potentially not-going-back relationships, it seems like some characters have really “grown up.” For example, Justine seems to finally be finding her wings and is ready to discover what it is she wants to do. Good for her, I say. Commenting on whether or not I like her new boyfriend is territory I shouldn’t yet wander into considering I know little about him (season two, here I come). But, he seems like a really nice, cool guy. I’m also exercising my right to reserve judgment on the rest of the newbie gang. I have a feeling the new Mr.-What's-His-Name DA and I are going to have a problem (*wink*), and I know annoying Will and I won’t get along. That dude doesn’t know when to take a hint. Plus, he’s trouble. *grin*
The filming location (in Canada) for this small-town Washington set series is beautiful. I love all of the natural lighting and lovely seascapes each frame represents. It sets off the perfect tone for this setting and the sense of nostalgia the town is trying to express. Whatever your favorite thing about Cedar Cove may be, what it comes down to is its themes of fighting for something or someone you love. At its heart, these book-to-TV-show adaptations are in no short supply of poignant truths and flawed characters, who slowly but surely learn every day from their mistakes. Good storytelling evolves its characters and the one character I was most impressed with, was Jack. He seemed somehow “stronger” in this episode and I can only hope that momentum carries him through the rest of the trials that are bound to be rocky, steep inclines that crop up in his climb back to where he was.
Fans of Cedar Cove will delight in returning to its charms. The characters are all intact, some new faces are breezing in and we are gifted with nuggets of wisdom throughout the quiet moments between favorite characters.
What has been your favorite moment or favorite pairing so far on Cedar Cove? Comment below with any thoughts you have about the show as it enters its third season.
Catch the 2-hour season premiere of Cedar Cove Saturday (July 18th) on Hallmark Channel. Until then, have a look at the promo video.
*Content: There are some minor inferences of couple's having spent the night together.