How ‘Chesapeake Shores’ Handles Trace & Abby’s Breakup in the Season 5 Premiere (RECAP)

'Chesapeake Shores' Stars Jesse Metcalfe and Meghan Ory in Season 5
Spoiler Alert
Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Chesapeake Shores Season 5 premiere “A Kiss Is Still a Kiss.”]

Heading into the new season of the Hallmark Channel drama, we know that we’re about to say goodbye to Trace Riley (Jesse Metcalfe). But what does that mean for his and Abby’s (Meghan Ory) relationship, considering last we saw them, they were sharing a kiss and seemingly poised to get back together? Buckle up, because you’re in for a tense ride.

It’s been two months and three weeks since Kevin (Brendan Penny) and Sarah (Jessica Sipos) got married, to give you an idea of how long it’s been in-story on Chesapeake Shores. And with Trace already gone by this point, it’s through flashbacks that we see what happened after his and Abby’s kiss.

“That was a kiss goodbye, wasn’t it?” Trace asks. He’s right. “We can’t keep doing this to each other. We can’t keep living in the past, we’re not the same people anymore,” she explains. And while he may think he’s looking to the future and they won’t break up “this time,” she can’t ignore the fact that she has to consider her daughters and the effect on them. They both deserve to be happy, and neither is with their back-and-forth.

As he sees it, she ran off to New York when she thought he wasn’t going anywhere, but now that she wants to stay in Chesapeake Shores, she’s blaming him for their failures. She blames “us,” not just him. “Listen to us,” she points out. “Does this sound like a healthy relationship?”

They want different things out of life, Abby tells him, and while he may say he just cares about music and her, “you say that but as soon as you have me or as soon as you have some success with your music, you figure a way to throw it away. You need to figure out what you actually want out of life…I think we need to stop trying to recreate something that wasn’t supposed to last in the first place.” Ouch!

'Chesapeake Shores' Stars Jesse Metcalfe and Meghan Ory

Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

“What we had was beautiful, but it’s not going anywhere,” she continues. “I think it’s over, we both know it. … Maybe we’re both more in love with our memories than the person standing in front of us.” A few days later, he left, and while it certainly sounds like it’s over for good, we also can’t help but think that it’s also possible that one day Trace does return and he and Abby do end up together.

But what does this mean for Abby now going forward in Season 5? She insists she’s fine. She’s focusing on herself and working with her father, Mick (Treat Williams). What about the other man in her life, Jay (Greyston Holt)? Well, he’s very open about wanting to see her outside of school events. He’s a sweet guy, she says, and there’s no “but…just friends,” like he expects. Plus, he’s really good with her daughters, so he remains a contender.

And what about the incoming Evan Kincaid (Robert Buckley)? We don’t see him just yet, but we do hear about the developer who rubs Mick the wrong way. Abby says he comes across as witty and dynamic in interviews, and as for Mick considering him stubborn, well, he’s the same way.

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'The relationship between Abby and Evan is just so fun,' Ory says. 'It's kind of cantankerous and sweet at the same time.'

Also in the premiere:

  • Bree (Emilie Ullerup) returns home, an internationally famous playwright, with a job offer from her high school nemesis, Jerome: to be the playwright-in-residence at the University of Maryland. She’d teach creative writing for a semester.
  • Jess (Laci J. Mailey) and David (Carlo Marks) are planning their wedding, and his parents are in town. Not only do they break the news that they’re not following Peck tradition and marrying in Wales, but they also reveal their plans to make it a small, intimate event in Chesapeake Shores. (David’s dad tries to recruit Mick to change Jess’ mind; it doesn’t work.) Plus, David’s mom leaves a prenup in Jess’ room. Awkward.
'Chesapeake Shores' Stars Andrew Francis and Emilie Ullerup

Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

  • Newlyweds Kevin and Sarah are trying to get pregnant, and Mick assures his son he’ll be a great father — and better than he was. “I’m sure you will,” Mick says. “I set a very low bar.”
  • Connor’s (Andrew Francis) happy at his new law firm and seemingly doing well. (We already love Raylene Harewood’s Margaret, a paralegal he asks for her perspective on a case about wage discrimination.) But what he doesn’t know is Linda (Catherine Lough Haggquist) brought him on to have an inside track because Paul Dilpher (Aurelio Dinunzio), who’s trying to bring Mick down with him, is a client.

Chesapeake Shores, Sundays, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel