Chesapeake Shores Season 4 Episode 1 Review: The End Is Where We BeginCarissa Pavlica at .
Sometimes what is done can be undone, and other times, it cannot.
Chesapeake Shores Season 4 Episode 1 proved that when you throw away a good thing one time too many to chase your dreams, well, you might have to face a reckoning about what comes next.
Yes, Trace returned to town, and things with Abby may never be the same. But if one relationship has fallen asunder, others are growing to take its place.
The biggest family development has been Kevin's desire to do what Trace couldn't -- snag the woman he loves with a lifetime commitment.
Kevin and Sarah faced similar challenges to Abby and Trace, but instead of parting ways to chase their career aspirations, they realized on their own that those achievements would mean nothing without the other in their life.
That's a crucial step in a relationship, and since Kevin had already tried the long-distance romance unsuccessfully, one that made all the difference in how he feels about Sarah.
Although Jess can sometimes be a little grating -- there, I said it -- as younger sisters can be, her mission to keep her family informed of Kevin's proposal progress was adorable.
From the minute his sister's got wind of his plans, they were supporting him and cheering him on to his happiness.
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With as close as the O'Briens are, it wouldn't have made any sense for them to stay in the dark while Kevin proposed. They're always deeply invested in each other's adventures and sorrows.
Thank goodness Kevin decided to do the deed at The Tanglewood Inn, or we may never have seen it in operation!
It was not at all as I would have expected a place curated by Jess and David to be. From the stuffy front entrance to David's chef garb, it was nice, but not them.
Their inn was cozy and comfortable without the pretense but with all of the service associated with a more snooty establishment.
Kevin: You and David seem to be in perfect sync.
Jess: Yeah, well, not here. I HATE it here. Everywhere I turn, I see David's parents, and not in a good way because there isn't a good way. It's just, this place will never be ours. It's a job, not a family.
It wasn't determined to be the issue, but even Kevin realized he couldn't propose to the woman he loved by falsifying a situation to perfection at a place where even his sister didn't feel comfortable running it.
Sarah: I feel like Goldilocks. We hike a cliff, and it's too high. We try to canoe, and it starts to leak. And now, we're picnicking.
Kevin: And it's just right?
Sarah: It's pretty close.
It had to BE perfect, and what they experienced at Tanglewood wasn't.
Of course, just like Jess and David were in sync even as far as their hesitance about sharing their feelings of unhappiness in case the other might be disappointed, Kevin and Sarah were on the same page.
Kevin, there's no such thing as perfect, and you don't need perfect because you have each other.Jess
Kevin was trying too hard to create perfection when in fact perfection is created by a moment and how you'll remember it.
It's never life's preplanned moments that hold the most weight in your memories, but the spontaneous scenarios that you couldn't have imagined.
When something beautiful springs to life, it cannot be ignored.
So playing by his gut worked out in Kevin's favor because when he stopped trying to make it happen, they stumbled right to the most beautiful place at the perfect time.
They could have pulled off of the road anyplace, but fate took them to the spot they will remember for the rest of their lives.
They might even return to recapture the moment when they solidified their future to become husband and wife.
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I don't think Kevin's question was coming as a surprise, and I think Sarah maneuvered the situations at Tanglewood because she knew they weren't going to be magical and unexpected.
Heck, when he said her dad has weighed in on their picnicking, it seemed pretty clear he had gone the traditional route and asked for her hand in marriage.
Their future is going to be so exciting. Hopefully, it means remaining in Chesapeake Shores because when O'Brien siblings leave, they often lose too much of themselves.
That's why Jess and David will be returning to make another go at their Inn.
I'm so glad because that was one of the most beautiful sets on the show, and it always made me think about going to Canada to visit a bed and breakfast so I could recreate the feeling.
Yes, this takes place in Maryland, but the vistas are so clearly Canadian I don't understand why it's not set in that location. Are we United States citizens so snooty as to not want to watch something that takes place elsewhere on the North American continent?
Taking the inn from David's parents pleased them momentarily, but Jess and David have a different vibe as a couple and as caretakers than what they got at Tanglewood.
The pace was too hectic, it was too big for their comfort, and by design, the customers' expectations were different from the kind of experience they want to provide for their guests.
It won't be easy to repair the inn to the state they want it to be, but Trace is back in town. He'll have to stick around the family someplace other than The Bridge or else how can he wear away at Abby?
Abby's decision seems steadfast when it comes to Trace, and I can't blame her one bit, but viewers are too invested in their romance for their paths not to reconverge again.
Trace made a bad decision. He was grasping, once again, at the shiny object dangled out in front of him instead of clinging to the shinier one he already had.
Abby was a little too magnanimous in thinking she could set him free and not be left reeling with her feelings after he left.
But it's too early for her to accept him back. She believed him about staying, and he turned on his word and left her behind. Again.
Trace will have to prove himself to her and to do that he needs to stick around Chesapeake Shores because he wants to be there for himself not because she wants him to stay.
The look on her face when she first saw him on the jogging path said a lot. She lit up like a Christmas tree.
But when it came time to face his apology, she clammed up and turned off that radiance. She was hurt many times by the same weak promises Trace offered.
But was it too many times, as she indicated? The nearness of Trace will get to her, and the longer he remains in town and makes it his home, the more likely it will be that they'll find their way back to each other.
Whether Trace will fight the good fight to win her back is the question.
Was I the only one who got flashes of a future with Emma at The Bridge?
It would be just like a television show to toss Trace into a relationship with someone more suited to his lifestyle, but it would be the wrong move if he wants to have a future with Abby.
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Fingers crossed that anything Trace does with Emma takes a music focus only. Maybe getting involved with an up-and-coming artist will appease the musician in him by helping her find her voice and take the next steps.
The Bridge is an apt name for a venue that prepares artists for their next steps, and it would also work to the benefit of the club for a shooting star to come back for concerts. It seems like a win/win.
Speaking of winning, does anybody else get the sensation that Megan and Mick are reestablishing their relationship in an unexpected way?
Megan had to persuade a lot of her family that she deserved to be in their lives after how she left things years earlier, but it was never even a question that what she shared with Mick was over.
But is it over? They're spending more time together whether talking about their children or just enjoying the evening air with ice cream -- an O'Brien family ritual that the two of them began.
Call me a romantic, but I'm a sucker for second chances, and these two deserve one.
Best-selling author Bree used her family to launch her success, but they have forgiven her.
Will Simon be as forgiving when it's revealed his relationship with Bree is the center of her latest project? I'm not so sure.
With Hannah Brown on board to help Bree clean up her story, maybe it will ultimately be different enough from her real life so as not to be as traumatic for Simon as it was for the O'Briens to find themselves in the spotlight.
It's a little bit concerning that Bree can't write outside of what she's experienced, though, and you have to wonder how long her career will last if she can't separate the two.
Abby's career is in an odd place at the moment as a client is not all that he seems. Will she soon find herself seeking new employment as a result?
Connor finally realized that after he took the bar instead of following his dreams, he took a job with his uncle because he was afraid he wouldn't get hired anywhere else.
He doesn't much like environmental law, and threw his latest opponent a real curveball when he decided to take a case to trial instead of continuing discovery on it.
Yes, there is a lot at play on Chesapeake Shores already, so get ready for more excitement!
You can watch Chesapeake Shores online and visit us after every episode to get the full rundown, and to start talking about all things Shores related.
Hit the comments and share your thoughts on the premiere.
I can't wait to take this ride together!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.