People tend to look down on soap actors. They forget that as actors, they have to be able to cry on cue and express real emotion, memorize as many as 60 pages of dialogue in a day, and one other thing as well -- they have to make their unbelievable story lines believable. And they succeed.
In Eden Lake, Minnesota, it's a week before Christmas, and Hannah Swensen (Sweeney) who owns Hannah's Cookie Jar is very busy indeed filling orders. At this point she has two men after her, Mike (Mathison) a police officer, and Norman, a dentist. Her mother Delores (Barbara Niven) likes Norman. Her sister Andrea (Lisa Durupt) likes Mike.
That's one feature of Hannah's life; the other is that she keeps finding dead bodies. This time it's one of her own customers, Larry Jaeger, who co-owned the Crazy Elf Christmas tree lot with Courtney Miller (Farah Fath, another soap actress), his fiancée.
Mike hates that Hannah becomes involved in these cases; she gets in the way of his own investigation.
The major suspect is a friend of Hannah's mother, Nancy Schmidt (Ona Grauer), better known as "Dr. Love" on the radio. She is still married to Larry, but she hasn't seen him in years, since he stole all her money and disappeared. Larry was collecting money from the Christmas tree store but his fiancé was doing all the work.
It turns out that Larry has a few enemies, so Dr. Love is just one. And Hannah may be in danger as she gets too close to the truth.
I guessed I missed something during this - I mean, how big is this town that Dr. Love never ran into Larry? He's obviously in town because he was killed there.
Plot hole or no plot hole, this episode has a nice atmosphere, and the acting is fine. Kristoffer Tabori does a good job of directing as he keeps the action moving. The romance is nice, too, with Sweeney and Mathison having good chemistry.
As an aside, Cameron Mathison is one of the sweetest people in the world. If you tell him your friend so and so met him in Chicago, he'll say, right - she came with her mother, right? He's amazing that way. It's always nice to see him.