Did Helen Say Yes? Who Is the Tire Slasher?

Talk about small-town drama. Sweet Magnolias Season 3 has dropped on Netflix, and the 10 new episodes deliver plenty of juicy moments, from a potentially friendship-ending fight between the three Magnolias to a surprise love interest for Maddie’s mom Miss Paula (Caroline Lagerfelt). It also answered our lingering questions from Sweet Magnolias Season 2, including revealing the identity of Serenity tire slasher and her history with Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) and resolving Helen’s (Heather Headley) fraught relationship with her first love, Ryan (Michael Shenefelt).

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Sweet Magnolias Season 3.]

Helen tries to make things work with Ryan in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 3

In season 2, Helen thought she had finally put her past with ex-boyfriend Ryan behind her. After recovering from a devastating miscarriage, she was pursuing a new romance with chef Erik (Dion Johnstone) and was considering IVF so that she could achieve her dream of becoming a mother. Then, Ryan – who had returned to Serenity for his aunt’s funeral – swooped back into Helen’s life with an out-of-left-field marriage proposal. But the episode ended before revealing Helen’s response from her.

We’ve been dying to know whether Helen would say yes to Ryan ever since. Season 3 picks up immediately after the night of Ryan’s proposal, and it’s clear Helen has mixed feelings about rekindling things with the guy who has repeatedly broken her heart from her. In episode 2, she tells him she can’t accept his proposal until she’s sure he’s willing to commit. He assures her that he’s ready to change. He’s even quit his job and is making plans to move back to Serenity. Helen is cautiously optimistic that they can make things work. She even breaks things off with Erik so she can focus on Ryan.

Unfortunately, Helen and Ryan’s honeymoon period is short-lived. Before long, the globe-trotting Ryan is growing restless. In a heartbreaking scene, he confesses to Helen that he’s not the man she deserves and he can’t make her happy. It’s the final straw for an emotionally exhausted Helen, who’s had a huge fight with Dana Sue and Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) about her relationship with Ryan.

“I have given up more than you can ever imagine,” she tearfully tells Ryan before ordering him out of her house. “I’m done.”

Unlike her previous splits with Ryan, this one really does feel like the end. No matter how much they care for each other, Helen and Ryan are on different paths. She’s finally realized she has to leave her dreams of a happily ever after with him behind if she wants to move forward. But will her future involve Erik? He seems open to a reconciliation, but it’s unclear exactly what’s next for these two.

The tire slasher is Dana Sue’s sister-in-law

Wynn Everett as Kathy in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 3 | Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Sweet Magnolias Season 2’s other big cliffhanger involved a mysterious figure from Dana Sue’s past. In the finale, a woman named Kathy (Wynn Everett) shows up in Serenity. She confronts Dana Sue and Ronnie (Brandon Quinn)’s daughter Annie (Anneliese Judge) and slashes the tires on Dana Sue’s van from her.

In season 3, we get some answers about who Kathy is and why she has it out for Dana Sue. It turns out, she’s Ronnie’s sister. The siblings have a contentious relationship, and Kathy’s combative and volatile behavior has led Dana Sue and Ronnie to cut her out of their lives. But now, Kathy is back in town, and she has some scores to settle. For years, she’s been holding a grudge because she wanted to buy Sullivan’s. Kathy worked at the restaurant as a teen and hoped to make it her own. But Ronnie and Dana Sue ended up buying it instead, and she’s never forgiven them.

Kathy stirs up a heap of trouble now that she’s back in Serenity. She tries to lure Erik away from Sullivan’s by offering him a job at the restaurant where she now works. Erik, reeling from his breakup with Helen, accepts her offer from her, not realizing there’s bad blood between Kathy and Dana Sue. When Erik realizes who Kathy really is, he quits, which leads Kathy to trash the kitchen at Sullivan’s. Ronnie eventually offers Kathy a pile of money to leave town. However, when she learns Ronnie has paid off his sister de ella with their inheritance de ella from Miss Frances, Dana Sue is understandably incensed.

Kathy, Dana Sue, and Ronnie finally resolve their differences at Ronnie and Dana Sue’s vow renewal. Kathy shows up uninvited with Maddie’s ex-husband Bill (Chris Klein), whom she’s now dating. Thanks to some prompting from Bill, Kathy has realized she needs to apologize. She says she’s sorry and gives Ronnie their grandmother’s tea set as a gift, which he’s always wanted. Then, she and Bill leave town.

What’s next for ‘Sweet Magnolias’?

In addition to solving the tire-slasher mystery and closing the door on Helen and Ryan’s relationship, Sweet Magnolias Season 3 wrapped up a number of leftover plotlines from season 2.

Cal (Justin Bruening) focused on working through his anger issues and moving forward with Maddie. By episode 10, they were on stronger ground than ever. However, Jackson (Sam Ashby) and Annie’s star-crossed romance founded. She dumped him, setting the stage for a possible relationship with Ty (Carson Rowland).

One issue season 3 didn’t deal with? Isaac’s (Chris Medlin) big secret. He’s platonic roommates with Noreen (Jamie Lynn Spears), who’s embraced her new life as a single mom. But he hasn’t told her that Bill, who is her baby’s father to her, is also his dad to her. We also don’t know who’s going to be the next major of Serenity. Trent (Paul Rolfes) resigned and then left town with his wife Mary Vaughn (Allison Gabriel). But ace reporter Peggy (Brittany L. Smith) thinks they may have been dipping into town funds, and she’s determined to uncover the truth. However, Helen thinks Peggy should consider leaving journalism behind and running for mayor herself.

Will Ty and Annie finally get together? Will Isaac reveal his secret from him to Noreen? Is Peggy destined for a life in politics? Netflix hasn’t confirmed if Sweet Magnolias will return for season 4, but our fingers are crossed the streamer renews the show so we can get some answers.

All episodes of Sweet Magnolias Season 3 are now streaming on Netflix.

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