Evenings At The Shore: Spies Among Us

Due to weather related and technical issues, this re-cap is published later than usual. However, that hasn’t discouraged me from consistently delivering these posts to my readers. Similar to this season’s second episode, I was surprised by how often spies were brought up in the fifth episode. From Abby thinking Evan is spying on Jess and David’s business to Connor being paranoid someone is spying on him, this subject was somewhat consistent throughout the story. But it made me realize something. When has any of the show’s characters been in serious danger? Maybe there’s been an incident here or there. However, these incidents were, more often than not, resolved in a short amount of time. Come to think of it, safety seems to be an overarching theme among Hallmark’s other shows. I can’t say if this was intentional or if that’s just how things worked out. But it does present an interesting coincidence.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers in this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 5

Name: You Can’t Take That Away from Me

Abby’s story: Abby is still working with Evan on his hotel project. While in Chesapeake Shores, Evan decides to stay at The Inn at Eagle Point, Jess and David’s bed and breakfast. Abby thinks Evan is spying on his competition, but Evan has other plans. While visiting her sister at The Inn, Abby confesses how she finds Evan annoying. Evan overhears this conversation, but takes it all in stride. He introduces himself to Jess and David, leaving a good impression on them. He even shares dinner with Jess, David, Sarah, and Kevin. Over time, Abby learns Evan has a bungalow along the shore. But when she gives Evan a lift home, she begins to see that not all glitters is gold. The next day, at the Inn, Abby learns why Evan likes to stay at the Inn, despite having a place of his own. Evan reveals how there’s always something happening at the bed and breakfast, like a family gathering. He also tells Abby how, growing up, he didn’t really have much family. This information starts to make Abby feel sorry for her client.

Connor’s story: When Mick confesses the news of Dilpher’s lawsuit to Connor, Connor tells his father how his law firm is representing Dilpher. He also tells Mick of the evidence he and Abby recently found. Meanwhile, at the firm, Connor is still paranoid of someone spying on him. Margaret’s words of warning come to mind, as he wonders if his desk drawer is being tampered with. When Connor asks Margaret what is going on, she says he is responsible for what he puts in his desk. This gives him an idea. Later in the episode, Connor places a note to Abby in his desk drawer, hoping his plan will work. The next day, a meeting regarding the lawsuit is held. Linda, as well as the law firm partners, try to use Connor’s note against Mick. The note, written by Connor, tells Abby how Mick needs to tell the truth. However, Connor is able to not only prove Mick’s innocence, but that the partners are overstepping their boundaries. Before the meeting, Connor wrote and printed off another note. This second note reveals how Connor wants Mick to tell the truth about eating Nell’s coffee cake.  Before resigning, Connor brings forth the evidence he and Abby found, as well as revealing how he will report the partners to the bar association. At the end of the episode, Mick tells his family how the lawsuit has been dropped and how criminal charges were being placed on Dilpher.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Bree and Jess see Sarah near the OB/GYN’s office. They think Sarah has good news, but looks can be deceiving. During a dinner at the Inn, Sarah reveals to Jess, in private, how she has been diagnosed with a condition that could prevent her from conceiving. Sarah does eventually tell Kevin the news. However, Kevin reassures her that everything will work out. They see another OB/GYN for a second opinion. The doctor tells Sarah and Kevin to wait six months before taking any more steps. Meanwhile, Kevin is still concerned over Captain Gahagan’s health. During an emergency at the library, these concerns heighten. Kevin tells Gahagan to give the patient a .3 dose of epinephrine. But as Gahagan is about to give the patient the dose, Kevin notices the dose is .6. Since this is a higher dose than was originally said, Kevin stops the procedure to lower the dose. After talking with Sarah about the incident, Kevin decides to confront Gahagan about what happened. But when he arrives at Gahagan’s house, he not only finds the front door unlocked, he also finds Gahagan’s home covered in sticky notes. Gahagan confesses to Kevin how his memory related issues have been going on for a while. The library incident served as a wake-up call. Gahagan tells Kevin he will not only continue to see his doctor, he will also step down from his Fire Chief position. He makes his retirement public after the Chesapeake Day Triahalon.

Winner’s medal image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/golden-awards-set-with-colors-details_844356.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/gold”>Gold vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Jess and David’s story: After hearing about Sarah’s struggles to conceive, Jess shares this news with David. This information disappoints David, giving Jess the indication he would like to have children someday. Jess begins to realize how Megan’s absence has affected her life, making her feel unprepared to be a mother. She turns to Bree about her concerns, but Bree tells her how she will figure it out as time goes on. Later in the episode, Jess confesses her thoughts to David. She’s afraid David will want to end their relationship. But David proves her wrong by just giving her a hug. The next day, Jess tells David how she isn’t sure if she wants children. David tells her that even though he would love to be a father one day, what matters most is if he and Jess are on the same page. What Jess can make a decision on is Abby being her Maid of Honor and Bree officiating the ceremony.

Bree’s story: Bree is still making preparations for her upcoming class. While the class’s structure is there, Jerome tells her she needs to come up with an official name. Bree knows it has to catch the attention of potential students. So, she sets to work as soon as possible. At Sally’s Café, Luke shows up just as Bree is coming up with ideas for the class name. After bouncing off suggestions, Luke finally helps her come up with a name that they both think is perfect. He also jokes how he’s an undercover spy, giving Bree an explanation for his appearance at the café. Luke gives Bree his number in case she sees anything “suspicious”.

Megan’s story: One morning, Megan finds Nell in the O’Brien family kitchen. Nell explains she is making dinner for Arthur, helping Megan have a more meaningful interaction with the artist. When they arrive at his home, Arthur is about the close the door on Megan again. But when he sees Nell, he changes his mind, inviting them both for dinner. During their meal, Arthur talks about how he hasn’t created any new art in many years. He says that part of himself existed in another life. As Nell and Arthur reflect on the past, she recalls a schoolhouse that used to stand in Chesapeake Shores. Arthur not only remembers this location, he also captured it in a painting. After giving this painting to Nell, she places her hand on his hand.

Art tools image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/flar-art-tools-pack_835368.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>.  <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/paint”>Paint vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • During Bree’s conversation with Jerome, it was revealed Bree’s class would be taught in the fall. I also noticed Connor’s note bared a June 27th date. This disappoints me, as I was hoping to see Bree interacting with her students. I was also hoping to see who would be cast as the students themselves. I’m wondering if this creative decision was made to combat COVID concerns by featuring less cast members on screen? Nevertheless, it gives me something to look to if Chesapeake Shores returns for a sixth season!
  • In my re-cap of the fifth season’s third episode, I wondered if Luke would join Kevin’s Triathlon team. However, I was proven wrong when David was shown participating in the event. Looking back, it makes more sense for David to team up with Kevin and Connor. Not only is the O’Brien family more familiar with David, but he will soon be joining the family through marriage.
  • On a wall in the law firm’s meeting room and on Connor’s note, the initials D.L.P. can be seen. These initials belong to the names of the law firm’s partners. But if you watch the end credits, you will see that D.L.P. also stands for Daniel L. Paulson Entertainment, one of the show’s production companies. It’s always cool to see “Easter eggs” like this on Chesapeake Shores! It reminds me of the band manager, Mark Hall, from season three. His name was a variation of the word Hallmark.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What are you hoping to see in the fifth season’s second half? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) Review (Clean Movie Month #1)

1939; a year that many people have considered the “Golden Year of Film”. As I mentioned in my editorial, What the Code Means to Me: Breen, Hallmark, and Me, it seems like there was something for everyone at the cinema. Several films that are well known today were able to find success in the box office in 1939. One of those films was Goodbye, Mr. Chips. I had planned on reviewing this film exclusively for The Robert Donat Blogathon. But because July is Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month, I decided to review Goodbye, Mr. Chips for that event as well. Like last year, I will be writing about films that were released during the Breen Code Era. Some of my other submissions for upcoming blogathons will also double as entries for Clean Movie Month. Now, it’s time to read this review of the 1939 movie, Goodbye, Mr. Chips!

Goodbye, Mr. Chips poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Denham Studios. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/76737/Goodbye-Mr–Chips/#.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: This was my first time watching any of Robert Donat’s performances, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, I was impressed with what I saw! Robert did a good job using a multitude of emotions at various moments in the film. Even when he wasn’t speaking, his performance still carried emotional weight. A great example is anytime something bad happened to Mr. Chips, as his facial expressions alone show how emotionally exhausted he can become. Despite appearing in the film for a limited amount of time, Greer Garson gave a pleasant performance as Katherine Ellis! Not only did she have a good on-screen personality, but she also had good on-screen chemistry with Robert Donat. One of their best interactions took place on a mountain in Austria. As they exchange witty banter, it is obvious to see that both actors enjoy each other’s company. Because most of the story takes place at the Brookfield school, many young actors are present in various scenes. Even though the movie doesn’t favor one child or a small group of children, the acting from the young actors was very on-point for what those scenes called for. On April Fool’s Day, the students are excited at the idea of pranking their teacher. As soon as one of their fellow classmates shares some unfortunate news about Mr. Chips, their happy expressions quickly turn somber. This collective acting quality shows what these young actors are capable of talent-wise!

The set design: A visually appealing aspect of this film was definitely the set design! The Brookfield school alone boasted several eye-catching design choices. One of those was the ornate detailing found on wood surfaces, such as doors and walls. In the Headmaster’s office, you can even see these details over the marble fireplace. Exposed stone walls are a consistent feature at the school, bearing the old-world charm found in structures with a long life-span. These design elements reminded me of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. Brookfield is not the only place that highlights fine details. The ballroom in Vienna was a showstopper! Like the Headmaster’s office, there was ornate wood detailing found on the walls. It also showcased sparkling chandeliers and a spacious layout. All of the combined elements gave this room a grand and larger-than-life personality!

The dialogue: Throughout the movie, I was very impressed by the characters’ dialogue! As I mentioned before, the banter between Mr. Chips and Katherine was witty. But it’s also important to point out how the dialogue was written with care and thought. During a private gathering, one of the fellow teachers of Brookfield states that he read a book by H.G. Wells. Another teacher comments about H.G. Wells’ short-term success, saying that his works are too “fantastical” for a lasting career. Earlier in the film, Mr. Chips falls ill. When his housekeeper tells him to address his medical concerns to the doctor, Mr. Chips says he’ll give the doctor “a piece of his mind”. The film is based on a pre-existing novel, so I’m not sure if some of the dialogue can also be found in the book. However, the lines in the movie were memorable and, at times, thought provoking because they were crafted so well!

The Robert Donat Blogathon banner created by Maddy from Maddy Loves Her Classic Films. Image found at https://maddylovesherclassicfilms.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/announcing-the-robert-donat-blogathon/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Little to no impact on the students: In stories about teachers playing a role in the lives of their students, the audience comes to know the students as characters while witnessing their growth as young scholars and individuals. Since there were so many students at Brookfield, there was no possibility for this to happen. Even when this opportunity arose in the story, it was not taken advantage of. When Mr. Chips reflects on his past, he remembers meeting a new student that was so upset, he ends up crying on the train. Several scenes and years later, this same student visits Mr. Chips to thank him for changing his life. This exchange would have been emotionally affective had we seen this character evolve from a scared child to an independent young man.

Some parts feeling rushed: I know there is only so much a movie can accomplish in an hour and fifty-four minutes. But this should not be an excuse to rush through important parts of a story. When Mr. Chips starts looking back on his past, he recalls his time as a new teacher at Brookfield. After a montage featuring students during various sporting activities, the story progresses by several years, making Mr. Chips a seasoned teacher. Personally, I don’t feel this was a smooth transition between the two points in time, as it made the story feel like it was in a hurry to reach its destination. What would have helped instead was showing a title card with the year before a new part of the story started.

A weaker plot: Before watching Goodbye, Mr. Chips, I knew the story would be about Mr. Chips’ life. While this was the case, it made the story straight-forward. The straight-forwardness of the narrative left little to no room for intrigue. Like I mentioned earlier in this review, the evolution of the students was not shown. This means that the ways Mr. Chips impacted his students or how his lessons affected the people around him wasn’t put on display. There was never an opportunity to wonder how Mr. Chips would accomplish his goals or what would happen to the students. Instead, the story put more emphasis on his private life than his career as a teacher.

Clean Movie Month banner created by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society. Image found at https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/cleanmoviemonth2020-is-here/.

My overall impression:

This is the first movie of Robert Donat’s I’ve ever seen. As I said in my review, I didn’t know what to expect, so I approached this film with an open mind. Now that I have seen Goodbye, Mr. Chips, I can honestly say that it was a fine film. There are definitely elements that help make the project a likeable picture. These are the strengths of the movie, from acting performances that come across as believable to dialogue that is clever and witty. But it does contain flaws that hold Goodbye, Mr. Chips back from being better than it was. Parts of the story were rushed and the plot was on the weaker side. This film is mostly Breen Code friendly. However, I was surprised by some of the language used in the movie. One example is when some of the students say the word “ass” as a swear word. I’m aware of how Gone with the Wind was able to include the word “damn” in their script. But I guess I was naïve to think that was the only exception in the Breen Code Era.

Overall score: 7 out of 10

Have you seen either version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips? Are you looking forward to my Clean Movie Month reviews? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen