The third season of Netflix's hit romantic drama Sweet Magnolias has landed on the streamer.


Based on the series of novels by Sherryl Woods, the series follows three best friends from South Carolina as they navigate the ups and downs of life.

Season 3 wasn't short of drama, with Helen, Maddie and Dana Sue's bond put to the test, and then some, leading to an epic finale.

But did the main trio manage to resolve their differences and what's in store for them now? And what about the rest of Serenity?

Read on for a rundown of the Sweet Magnolias season 3 finale and where the show could go next.

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Sweet Magnolias season 3 ending explained

What happens to Helen in Sweet Magnolias season 3?

Maddie, Dana Due and Helen clinking their cocktails together in the kitchen
JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Maddie, Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue and Heather Headley as Helen.

Helen chose to commit to Ryan in season 3 – the weight of their history combined with his proposal was too great to ignore – on the condition that he would settle in Serenity with her. But despite assuring Helen that he was ready to put down roots, Ryan was unable to shake his reservations and eventually, he decided to leave, which brought their relationship to a close for good.

"I am done!" she said emphatically, unwilling to give anymore of herself to him. She then left town for a short while to seek comfort from her mother.

When Helen returned, her relationships with Maddie and Dana Sue were thankfully repaired as the trio resumed their weekly "pour it out" sessions, which no doubt elicited a huge sigh of relief from viewers.

Do Helen and Erik end up together in Sweet Magnolias season 3?

As for Erik, there's clearly still some chemistry between the pair, but it remains to be seen if they'll build back to up to a solid friendship, or something more.

Elsewhere, Helen is now running the Magnolia Community Foundation with Dana Sue and Maddie, and she also offered to act as Peggy's manager for her mayoral campaign after Trent's surprise resignation – on top of her existing attorney responsibilities – which will keep her busier than ever.

Does Maddie end up with Cal in Sweet Magnolias season 3?

Cal gently holding onto Maddie's chin
JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Maddie and Justin Bruening as Cal. Netflix

Maddie spent much of season 3 focused on her relationship with Cal. The pair worked on strengthening the foundations of their connection, with the former baseball player opening up to Maddie in ways we hadn't previously seen. They also implemented a strict "no touching" rule for a couple of weeks, which proved a challenge for the duo.

Thankfully, their game plan was a resounding success, with Maddie and Cal in their best shape to date following the horrors of the season 2 finale and that incredibly awkward dinner with Cal's ex Vicky, who still hasn't moved on emotionally despite being in a new relationship with Drew, who Cal used to play baseball with.

Alongside the foundation and the spa, Maddie also took up the challenge of working on a book with her daughter Katie and her mother Paula, who is heading to the coast to live with Jimmy for the foreseeable.

Do Dana Sue and Ronnie stay together?

Ronnie and dana Sue stood next to one another in their home
Brandon Quinn as Ronnie and Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue. Netflix Netflix

Dana Sue and Ronnie's relationship has endured its fair share of struggles, but the pair are now unbreakable following their vow renewal, which Sweet Magnolias season 3 ends with. What was supposed to be an intimate ceremony morphed into a town event, with every woman and her dog turning out to toast the happy couple – even Kathy.

Ronnie's sister arrived in Serenity like a tornado, slashing the tires on one of Dana Sue's delivery vans, trashing Sullivan's kitchen and attempting to steal pastry chef Erik for her own endeavour. She believed her sister-in-law had stolen the restaurant from her and would not stop until she received fair payment.

Eventually, Ronnie wrote her a very large cheque and with that, Kathy decided to leave. But before she walked away, she gave him their grandmother's beloved tea set and apologised to Dana Sue for her behaviour. For the first time in a long time, there was peace, or a version of it, between the two warring factions.

Dana Sue also turned her attention to the aforementioned foundation, which she used Frances's money to establish, and her kitchen is firing on all cylinders once again after she convinced Erik to return to Sullivan's.

What happens to Bill in Sweet Magnolias season 3?

Bill holding a baby
Chris Klein as Bill Townsend. Netflix

Bill spent much of season 3 reflecting on the mistakes he made in his relationships with Maddie and Noreen. He offered heartfelt apologies to both and promised to do the work to become a better version of himself, including spending more quality time with Tyler, Kyle, Katie and baby Rebecca. But with his teenage sons wrapped up in their own lives and Noreen unwilling to let Bill into her child's life at this current moment, Bill quickly learned that making amends would take time.

Bearing that in mind, he decided to leave town with Kathy, "just for a bit", which came as a shock to Maddie after his promise to "do better". He assured her that he wouldn't revert to his old ways, but the expression on her face suggested she wasn't convinced.

Will Bill stay true to his word or was it all just empty promises?

What happens to Erik in Sweet Magnolias season 3?

Erik standing in the kitchen with his kitchen whites on
Dion Johnstone as Erik Whitley. Richard Ducree/Netflix

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Erik's relationship with Helen. His romantic feelings for her haven't disappeared, and she is evidently still drawn to him, but revisiting a relationship after she chose Ryan over him could be a bridge too far. How do you put that aside in order to begin anew? Is it even possible?

Their breakup saw Erik distance himself from Sullivan's to clear his head, but during his time-out he considered taking a job offer from Kathy and began devising some menus for her. In the end, he decided not to accept, but Erik was wracked with guilt for even weighing up her proposal given the rift between Dana Sue and Ronnie's sister, which nearly saw him walk away from the restaurant for good.

But after Dana Sue insisted that he return, Erik said "yes", and they're back on track once more.

What happens to Noreen and Isaac?

Noreen smiling and Isaac stood in the kitchen looking concerned
Jamie Lynn Spears as Noreen and Chris Medlin as Isaac. Netflix

Caring for a baby is far from easy and Noreen felt the pressures of that in season 3, but the people of Serenity were there to lend a hand when needed – particularly Isaac. Noreen also secured herself a job at The Corner Spa, with Maddie welcoming her into the fold and illustrating the value of putting your differences aside in pursuit of peace.

There was also a suggestion that romance could be on the cards for Noreen, with Dana Sue's ex Jeremy taking a shine to her. Today goat milk recommendations, tomorrow a romantic dinner for two? We'll have to wait and see.

As for Isaac, he has yet to tell Noreen that Bill is his biological father (and Rebecca his half-sister), but at the vow renewal he said that he had something he wanted to talk to her about. Is he finally going to reveal his true identity?

And Noreen also has something she wants to discuss with him, although what that could be is less clear.

What happens to Tyler and Kyle?

Kyle and Tyler stood next to each other at school
Logan Allen as Kyle and Carson Rowland as Ty. Netflix

Maddie's eldest son was conflicted about his future in season 3. After distancing himself from baseball, he began considering the other shapes that college could take for him – and the options were overwhelming. But eventually, he decided to take a gap year, with Maddie's blessing, to pursue his passion for craftwork.

As for Kyle, his heart was set on Nellie for much of season 3, but when their relationship fell apart he turned his attention to Lily, his secret admirer, and it's evident that they're a much better fit.

Who does Annie end up with?

Annie wearing an orange top and smiling
Anneliese Judge as Annie Sullivan. Steve Swisher/Netflix

By the end of season 3, Annie's view of her boyfriend Jackson had shifted dramatically and she decided that he wasn't worth all of the lies she was telling to those she loved in order to keep their relationship secret – so she dumped him.

It was a painful decision, but she knew she'd made the right call. However, her friendship with Tyler looks like it could be morphing into something more. Watch this space.

Sweet Magnolias season 3 is available on Netflix from Thursday 20th July 2023. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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