Something is happening, and it could either be dreadful or usher in a change of guard.
Of course, after Chesapeake Shores Season 5 Episode 8, it could be neither of those things.
But something doesn't feel right, so let's break it down.
This hour was most assuredly about Mick, Abby, and a potential changing of the guard. The other story of interest involved Bree discovering Luke's secret, so let's start there.
Bree's predicament hits home because, once upon a time, I accepted that a man with a felony assault on his record had changed.
He was everything that we see with Luke: charming, repentant, hopeful. But after an experience like Luke's, it's not as easy to recover as you'd like to think.
And yes, recovery is the term for what Luke is going through just out of prison after three years. Through his own actions, his life changed in an instant.
Luke's motivation for his actions doesn't factor in. Juries aren't asked to weigh mitigating factors; they're asked to determine the outcome based on facts unanimously.
The distinction matters because an otherwise righteous person convicted on a one-time crime and repents still has to spend time in prison with fellow criminals. Although we talk a lot about reformative justice, prison isn't it.
Without services that help prisoners come to terms with what they did and why, getting out of prison can create entirely different and additional anxiety once released.
So, on Chesapeake Shores, Luke is Bree's high-school crush. She's got the opportunity to connect with someone she once adored from afar. It's not easy to slough off those feelings. We all wish for a second chance now and again.
The good news is that Luke remains humbled by his imprisonment. He knows how it affects every aspect of his life now and will in perpetuity. When he got his chance with Bree, he had to weigh carefully how he would present his situation to her.
His approach of confiding in her father and brothers ensures that he's got to stay on the straight and narrow. He's got support and encouragement from them, and Bree has a level of comfort knowing that they're watching over them.
Whether Jerry was pure in his intentions to warn Bree for her safety or if he was hoping to bolster himself by revealing what he knew about Luke doesn't matter.
Luke was just a step too late in sharing his past with Bree, but he made up for it by being sincere about how he got in this position and why he was hesitant to tell her.
The only sticking point comes from Luke's attempt to switch parole officers. While it's understandable to want someone you don't think has it out for you, Luke's barely out of prison, and it seems he should be more concerned about doing what he can to inspire confidence in the guy than trying to ditch him.
It's too easy for someone who has committed a crime and served time for it to descend into that place again. Bree has to be on alert as they begin their relationship, and if Chesapeake Shores doesn't show that aspect of their courtship, it's doing those of us who were in her place a disservice.
The depth of the story is worth exploring. Connor's story at the law firm suggested that the family will encounter hardships, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Bree and Luke are handled.
Let's be honest. None of us ever know what's going through someone else's mind, and all the conjecture in the world doesn't mean squat.
Bree and Jess were sure that Evan had a romantic whisk-away planned for Abby. And even though Abby had planned on a business trip and knew that she was meeting with the board while in Pennsylvania, it was easy to start thinking along the same likes as her sisters.
Abby was both concerned, since she has been seeing Jay, and intrigued, especially once the whisk-away idea got planted. She feels the electricity between her and Evan. But she didn't expect that he was going to try to poach her from the family business.
Now that Evan has done that, though, a lot of other pieces are falling into place.
Abby's connection with Jay reminds me of what Elizabeth experienced with Lucas on When Calls the Heart. It's fun and exciting but still comfortable. Jay fits into Abby's world.
Evan fits, too, but in a different sense. Even though I've formulated a hypothesis that works, a part of me still wonders if Evan did a quick about-face when Abby put up such a fuss as he began talking.
But Abby's story during Chesapeake Shores Season 5 has made Evan's offer worth consideration.
Mick has been moving Abby closer and closer to the pinnacle of the business. He's weaning off and empowering her to take over.
After what Dilford put him through, Mick must be tired. Working so hard for so long only to be dragged through the mud for your effort stinks on every level. When you could retire and enjoy everything your life-long career affords you to do, it stings a little bit more.
Losing a friend who got you through one of the most difficult phases of your life can light a fire under your butt to change it for the better.
Mick might not have remembered Buzz or even known his real name, but the bond they shared the summer that Megan left the family behind was profound. Sometimes, the most meaningful relationships are slow and steady, offering you a safe port in a stormy sea.
With everything else Mick has been considering, from his business to falling in love again with Megan, being reminded that life is very short and you can go at any time is bound to have an impact.
And now, Mick is lost. There are a lot of reasons why he could be missing now. He could have turned off transmissions. Unwise, but possible. But he could have crashed, too. Anything is on the table.
This is where Abby and Evan's story coincides with Mick's. If all things remain the same, and Mick's trip isn't nefarious in any way, then her answer to Evan's proposition could stay.
On the other hand, if Mick is alive and transformed to the point he's ready to live his life instead of working day in and day out, Abby might consider Evan's offer to buy the firm.
She could also do that if -- God forbid -- Mick is no longer with us. If you watch Chesapeake Shores online, you know that Abby and Mick have grown very close this season. He's made amends with all of his children. He cried.
It was a shining moment for Mick, sharing that kind of emotion with Abby. In addition, the entire episode offered Treat Williams so much material to work with that Mick doesn't ordinarily encounter.
It feels like a defining moment for the show. There's an air of change coming about as the family finds happiness, and Evan's introduction is a large part of that.
If Robert Buckley didn't join the show for Evan to be Abby's romantic partner, he might be here to add another central male figure who is not a sibling. He can't take Mick's place, but he has a similar uplifting spirit the O'Briens would need should such a tragedy strike.
We have no way to know what lies ahead, but it's hard to deny that change is coming, and with change, sometimes comes a broken heart.
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.