Hallmark networks love a good chili cookoff, and Good Witch Season 6 Episode 2 found everyone in Middleton taking part in their latest chili extravaganza.
And chili wasn't even the only food on the menu, as Martha and Tom, suddenly competing for Mayor, both wanted the Tinsdale on Toast to become a staple on Stephanie's menu.
But the real discovery came with the addition of another Merriwick to Middleton.
So far, they've been right on the money, and the latest season is off to a terrific start. Interestingly, the adult focus didn't forget about kids entirely, either.
With Grace and Nick away at college, that allows for other families in the community to get a little airtime, and with the introduction of Pressley and her pre-teen confidence issues, We got a chance to see how Stephanie would be as a mother. Hint: Very good.
Stephanie still relied on Cassie to do what she does best -- guide those she loves to find their best selves.
Just like Sam needed to chat with Nick to realize what he needed to do for Cassie's birthday, a quick chat Cassie allowed Stephanie to realize that mothering comes from your experience as a child just as much as it comes from on the job experience.
The more time we spend with Stephanie and Adam, the more fully realized they become as a couple. It makes Stephanie's close calls with marriage in the past acceptable. Barring catastrophe, it seems like Stephanie and Adam are in this for the long haul.
Not only was it pleasant seeing them mentor Pressley together. It was also a lot of fun watching Adam stumble his way through chili preparation.
Adam: What is with that face?
Stephanie: I think you may have broken a rule.
Adam: Oh, yeah? What's that?
Stephanie: Never confuse sugar with salt!
No wonder he had no idea chili could have secret ingredients when he so easily mistook the sugar and salt!
Remember when Sam was barely a part of the Middleton landscape? When he first arrived, taking part in a chili cookoff would have never crossed his mind.
Sam: My chili's star ingredient won't make it in time for the cookoff.
Adam: Your chili has a star ingredient?
Sam: Yeah; doesn't yours?
But falling in love with Cassie has connected Sam with his small-town heart, too, and his quest to get the special ingredient for his chili became just as important to him as the chili cookoff was for the rest of town.
I liked that the secret ingredient came from Sam's father, as the more we learn about him and his past, the more fully developed Sam becomes in his own right instead of merely a love interest for Cassie.
Chili is so simple, and one, small ingredient can separate the good from the gold.Sam
Abigail, too, was revisiting her past when her dad, Arthur, brought his girlfriend, Josie, for Abigail to meet. When your dad is introducing you to his girlfriend, you know it's not a fling.
Arthur was ready to propose marriage, but he had yet to share the shady details of his past with Josie. Abigail knows how contrickly it can be to weather romantic storms as even a century-old family curse kicks up dust between her and Donovan.
Abigail mistakenly spilled the beans on Arthur's past, but Josie wasn't holding bad decisions against him. She was holding it against him that he kept his secrets so close to the vest. If you love someone, you should trust them.
It took very little time to discover that their love was true as all was forgiven and the couple got Abigail's blessing.
I wasn't upset that you had a past. I was upset that you hid it.Josie
We have to talk about the Tinsdale on Toast. A tuna melt is a lovely sandwich. But a tuna melt with Sauer kraut is the Tinsdale on Toast. We'll have to hold out judgment until we taste it for ourselves when we visit the cafe.
Sam really should have asked about the secret ingredient and whether it had blossomed in Martha's spice room before going to the ends of the earth to secure the Tinsdale on Toast a place on the menu.
But part of that fun was seeing how Tom and Martha challenged, yet complicated each other.
Tom was so adamant about changing the footbridge to a traffic bearing way into town that he was willing to get back on the mayoral ticket and run against Martha. If anything was going to light a fire under Martha's behind, it was a threat to her governance of Middleton.
They can happily eat their Tinsdale on Toast sandwiches knowing that the history of Middleton was safe with the footbridge and they could ride into the future together with the new deal Martha made with a neighboring community for automotive access.
George was passionate about winning the chili cookoff, too, and when Joy spotted his passion, she scored his assistance developing film she found in Cassie and Grace's time capsule.
All she had to do was stir chili all day and get to know George better for Cassie to ensure Joy found her link to Middleton and the Merriwicks.
Joy's snooping paid off with that film, as on it was a photo of her mother -- holding hands with a young Cassie on her seventh birthday!
Yes, Joy is yet another cousin of Cassies, meaning that the Good Witch version of the Power of Three continues even in Grace's absence.
Isn't it exciting that Joy is a Merriwick? Why do you think she's only discovering the magic of being a Merriwick now?
With others paired off and happily ensconced in relationships, Joy's arrival on canvas assures us that we'll still get to explore dating within the Merriwick family. Maybe they'll even admit more often to each other that they share something very special as Cassie and Abigail help Joy open to her otherworldly senses.
We can also look forward to George growing closer to Joy. It seems like they could both use a little more family, and they worked together very well to win the chili cookoff.
So, what did you think of "The Chili"?
What do you hope will come of Joy's addition to the show?
You can watch Good Witch online to get more from the Merriwick family, and come back to TV Fanatic often for more Good Witch interviews, news, and reviews.
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.