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‘Sweet Magnolias’ ‘ Justin Bruening Teases ‘Huge Leaps Forward’ for Cal in Season 3

Justin Bruening’s Sweet Magnolias character Cal Maddox will rediscover Serenity during the show’s upcoming third season. Bruening, 43, tells PEOPLE the Netflix series will not gloss over Cal’s violent actions at the end of season 2. “My character just is sort of dealing with the aftermath of what he did last year and how that ended — that whole punching someone thing,” he says. Cal will spend time reflecting on his aggression — and face the consequences they may have on his life as part of a small community. “He kind of takes a step backward, which makes him take huge leaps forward in his relationships with not just Maddie [JoAnna García Swisher], but with everybody,” Bruening says. “So I guess he starts to really become a member of Serenity in that sense. It’s a lot of fun.”

SWEET MAGNOLIAS (L TO R) JUSTIN BRUENING as CAL MADDOX and JOANNA GARCIA SWISHER as MADDIE TOWNSEND in episode 108 of SWEET MAGNOLIAS
When a rowdy fan caused a scene at Sullivan’s at the end of season 2, viewers saw the beloved baseball coach and former MLB star knock him out. Cal was arrested — and gossip about the slugger’s outburst was sure to make its way like wildfire through Serenity. Cal’s history in anger management was just one of the secrets unearthed in the finale. Maddie was dealing with a giant reveal of her own — after a season of questioning who was the birth father of her son Isaac (Chris Medlin), it turned out to be Maddie’s ex-husband Bill (Chris Klein). It seemed like Maddie would be able to make peace with Cal’s past, but with bigger issues at play, the pair’s future remains in question.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Though season 3 of Sweet Magnolias does not yet have a release date, seasons 1 and 2 can be streamed in full on Netflix. In the meantime, Bruening stars opposite his fellow Grey’s Anatomy alum Sarah Drew in Lifetime’s Reindeer Games Homecoming, which re-airs Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. ET and Nov. 19 at 10 p.m. ET.

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