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Sweet Magnolias Season 2: Noreen's Return Forces Maddie to 'Grow as a Person,' Says JoAnna Garcia Swisher

Sweet Magnolias Season 2

Friendly warning, y’all: We’re getting into some light spoilers from Sweet Magnolias Season 2. If you haven’t seen Episode 6, you might want to Netflix and Pour It Out

Bill Townsend may be the most polarizing person in Serenity, but he’s got some pretty stiff competition in Noreen Fitzgibbons.

When Jamie Lynn Spears‘ character was introduced in Season 1, some viewers recognized her as yet another naïve victim of Bill’s toxic manipulation, while others refused to consider her as anything more than the woman who contributed to the downfall of Maddie’s entire world. At long last, Sweet Magnolias has returned to Netflix for its second season — and guess who’s back!

But listen, if you think you’re having a difficult time grappling with Noreen’s return to town, try walking all the way to the Corner Spa in Maddie’s shoes. She isn’t thrilled to have Noreen back in her life whatsoever, so learning in Episode 4 that Kyle secretly reached out and opened up to her is quite the unwelcome surprise.

After a long-overdue (and seemingly genuine) apology from Noreen in Episode 6, Maddie reconsiders her approach to Bill’s other ex, once again acting as the bigger person in an admiral (but ultimately futile) attempt to restore peace to her world.

“Maddie doesn’t want to live with that resentment anymore,” JoAnna Garcia Swisher tells TVLine. “She’s trying to step outside of herself and grow as a person. She’s realizing what she wants to take on. At the end of the day, that baby coming into the world is her children’s sibling, so it’s important for her to find that grace.”

Swisher says that Maddie’s new perspective is indicative of who she is as a person. “I always want to make sure she’s grounded, because I don’t want people to always expect her to be the bigger person,” Swisher says. “It’s not easy to do. And it’s not just because she’s this great person, it’s for a lot of reasons. When life gets tricky, sometimes you just have to be the bigger person.”

Whether the fans will be as forgiving as Maddie remains to be seen. But as showrunner Sheryl J. Anderson tells TVLine, “We have a saying in the writers’ room: No one in Serenity is beyond redemption, it just takes some folks longer to get there than others. In looking at the whole picture, she and Bill both made mistakes. We wanted to examine who owns up to their mistakes and who tries to run from them.”

Did your opinion of Noreen change after watching Sweet Magnolias‘ second season? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the polarizing character below.