What's life without challenges?
If you're answer is "not much" or something similar, then maybe you're excited for all of the trying times ahead for the characters on Chesapeake Shores.
Internal strife was at the ready on Chesapeake Shores Season 4 Episode 2, that's for sure.
Overall, it was a great episode because every character got equal attention. Sometime's time is not as carefully weight, but everyone got a very fair shake on "Leap of Faith."
It's never good when family and friends are more concerned about your upcoming nuptials than you are.
Not that Sarah isn't excited; she's very happily engaged to Kevin. What she isn't so convinced about is the fancy affair the family who loves events and pretty things wants to plan on her behalf.
Bree: Now that is stupidly beautiful.
Jess: I knew that was a thing.
Sarah: Really? I mean, it's pretty, but isn't it a little much? [silence] I guess it's just not what I imagined.
I mean, just look at the promotional photos featured here. They're all about the O'Briens.
It's Sarah's wedding, but there isn't even a promotional photo of her in the wedding dress she modeled. Instead, it's about the O'Briens and their excitment over the fabulous costumes.
At the heart of it was Megan's need to make up for lost time.
Mick: Have you talked with Kevin and Sarah about this? I mean, they don't seem to me like the big wedding type.
Megan: Mick, I missed a lot, and now that I have the chance, I don't want to give that up.
Mick: No, I understand. But they're not kids anymore. Maybe they'd like to figure this out for themselves.
Megan: You're right. Instead of a caterer, we need to find a dress.
Sure, she missed a lot while she was away from the family, but there are still plenty of opportunities to be there for her children without taking over to satisfy her urges.
None of them are currently married. Megan has all the time in the world to play the overbearing bridal mother with her three daughters instead of thrusting upon poor Sarah he neediness to be included.
Maybe that's not an entirely fair assessment, but it was worrisome that nobody was hearing Sarah's protests. They were so wrapped up in their own take on the event that they failed to consider Sarah.
When they were first trying on dresses, I wondered if she had even bothered to go along!
I wouldn't put it past a close-knit family like the O'Briens to forge ahead on finding dresses without considering whether they even meet the bride's specifications.
Sarah: You know, your mom is really into this whole wedding thing.
Kevin: Yeah, she can get pretty intense. You OK with it?
Sarah: Yeah, yeah. I mean. who wouldn't be OK with lace and tulle and taffeta? [laughs] No, not really.
And Kevin wasn't much help for Sarah, either, because he got sidetracked when he rescued his coach.
It was a rather odd storyline that took a little bit too long to find traction.
When Kevin saved his coach from an impending heart attack, he wasn't all that pleased with the results.
That's because Coach once saved him when he needed the emotional support, and Kevin's discovery that Coach was all alone during the time of his wife's passing made him think.
For all of the times that Coach was there for everyone he encountered when Coach needed someone, nobody was there. Kevin, too, made up for lost time by gathering everyone impacted by Coach to cheer for him.
Now, while that's a cool gesture, was it really necessary? Coach suffered a heart attack; he didn't try to kill himself.
Sure, it's nice to remind someone how much they're loved, but merely spending time with the man seems like a better alternative to a rousing cheer from the front yard.
What happens next? Will they all want to share more with him going forward, or was that an empty gesture?
Professional lives were at the forefront of much of the rest of the hour, and Mick's situation has gone from bad to worse.
He seems to be going around with his partner Paul with the same questions. On Chesapeake Shores Season 4 Episode 1, Paul made it pretty clear that he considered Mick a partner in every sense of the word.
Mick: Well, I verified the specs. I walked and measured the sites. I visit every pour.
Paul: So you believe me?
Mick: I did until I hired Bill Farrell of Farrell Concrete who said that you were cuttin' corners that even he couldn't imagine.
Paul: But that's what made it work so well. I poured fast so that you could build slow, and we never missed a deadline!
Mick: Are you saying I'm complicit in this?
Paul: No. What I'm saying is that we're partners.
Mick: Yeah, and when we partnered up, we talked about doing the right thing -- always.
Paul: Well I'm sorry if I don't follow your moral code in building or partnerships.
Mick: Are you threatening me, Paul?
Paul: If the foundation crumbles, the building does, too. If I'm goin' down, you're going down with me.
There isn't much room for discussion left as Paul got indited, and Mick is named on the suit.
Since Connor is undergoing a career crisis wishing badly he had gone into trial law, is there an opportunity here for him to help his father legally?
Mick wasn't impressed with his son's attitude working with Thomas, but instead of firing Connor for insubordination, Thomas demoted him back to research.
Connor, it's not about winning or losing. The point is, it wasn't your choice to make. When you work for someone, you do what they ask, and if you don't, you have to suffer the consequences.Mick
Connor is more of a corporate attorney, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's unskilled in the courtroom. There are just a lot more avenues to consider before acting as aggressively as he did with his client.
Maybe someone like Paul needs that kind of attitude. He might balk if his hand was forced. It's unlikely the two stories will converge, but it would be an interesting idea.
Abby chose to blow the whistle on the client that got away.
You might believe that if you blow a work-related whistle, your job is automatically protected, but from what I can see in this situation since Abby was exposing potential criminal actions against a firm other than her own, her suspension is warranted.
She ran into Trace who knew she'd make the best, if most difficult, decision, and he was faced with doing the same.
It's getting to be kind of a drag with everyone trying to tell Trace what is best for him in the same way it's a drag that he took so long to realize what was in his heart.
People trying to lure him back to the road (or push him there in Ella's case) is incredibly assuming on their part.
They all want to influence Trace based on how he'd feel in the same situation, but with as many times as Trace has tried the road and questioned himself, they should support him instead of questioning him.
What I didn't catch onto quick enough was that he was struggling at The Bridge because Chris was running the joint. There was a clash of wills, and Trace needed that outlet.
The smile of satisfaction on his face when he regained control seemed to show that Trace was all in again. He will have the option to be as creative as he wants to be when he wants while also helping others achieve their dream.
I can attest that there is a lot of enjoyment in being able to fulfill many sides of yourself professionally.
Jess' career crisis got revisited when she had to face the fact that all hope was lost for her former, much-beloved inn.
It's easy to feel her pain. She grew into a strong, capable woman when she opened that inn, and she fell in love, too.
But termite problems can't be overcome with grit and determination, and her father and David had strong and supportive words helping her make the transition away from the location.
Never owning an inn, it seems like location would make all the difference. Jess could have razed the cottage and rebuild right there on the shore, but they appear to be going in a new direction.
A bed and breakfast in the woods, though, offers an entirely different set of challenges than one on the shore.
Not only will they be offering their guests an experience far from what they offered at the shore, but they'll also be faced with weather-related issues that might not have been as prevalent before.
Keeping the new place safe and accessible during the winter could be daunting, and since many guests go to the shore hoping for, well, the shore, it might not be as easy of a sell for potential guests.
Getting Jess and David back on track, though, and dealing with guests and inventing in the kitchen will make it all worth the effort.
That leaves Bree. Bree's book is climing the charts. She's successful, but she's not happy.
She discovered through watching her fictional version of her life play out on stage that she did not entirely write about her experience with Simon, after all, but that Jace was a combination of a successful, passionate relationship with a successful intellectual one.
Who doesn't want to have it all? And why should anyone settle for less than what they deserve?
That's part of the reason that Abby isn't with Trace any longer. She knows she deserves a man who puts her first ahead of their careers, and she wasn't getting that from Trace.
But Trace is trying to prove that people can grow and expand their horizons without changing his inherent nature. Is that something that might work with Bree and Simon?
Honestly, it doesn't appear that way.
The actor playing Simon's fictional self was trying to get a handle on Simon who, while a charming wordsmith, appeared to only arrive at unexpected times.
Simon offers no stability to Bree, not an ounce. They're intellectual and artistic equals, but that doesn't mean they're compatible in other ways.
Did you see the look oh his face after he was forced to kiss Bree during the reading? He was almost mystified as to why he had to do it.
That kiss was almost curt in a scene that was written with passion. Bree didn't accept it any easier than Simon.
It could be the distance between them that is keeping Simon from fully indulging his feelings for Bree, but their location doesn't account for the vast expanse that existed with that kiss.
And isn't it telling that Bree doesn't do book readings because the pain was so great in bringing a book to life that it's not even a part of her when she's finished?
What does that even mean? If her love story was painful to write, then she needs to examine that for what it is. It's not the result of the creative experience itself, but what she learned about herself during the process.
The O'Briens have a lot to face as the season continues, and with only four episodes remaining, they don't have much time to do it!
What is your take on all of this? Don't Hallmark fans like to discuss? Drop me a line below!
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, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.