In the third season, viewers really start to see the effects of the depression settle on the town of New Bedford. After the bank’s foreclosure on the mine, other businesses suffer. The town is divided in its attitude toward the Bailey family and many bear grudges toward May, who is seen to still be living high and mighty. However, the Baileys begin to rally, and with them, the town. They arm wrestle the bank into action and begin to take control over their own destinies. This season highlights the character of Grace Bailey, whose yearning for love and adventure takes her to new places. Guest stars include Greg Spottiswood, Carl Marotte, Ron Lea, Neil Crone and Bob Bockstael.
Max discovers the truth about Bob and Toppy’s shaky marriage; Hub rebels against Honey to prove that he’s no longer a child; a revealing front page picture of Honey earns the Bailey-Sutton family unwanted attention; Fat learns about the birds and the bees; May inherits a Crystal Skull that is believed to have magical powers; a local crime gang called the Burlesque Bandits springs up in town; Grace inspires a filmmaker travelling through town to make a movie with her in the leading role; residents couple up for a five-day dance marathon; the flu epidemic enters the town and seriously affects Honey’s health.
3.1: The Resurrection of May
Following the custody hearing, Honey is still living in the rooming house with all three of the children, and has a job working at Yuen’s Laundry. Relations with May are tense, although Fat in particular misses his grandmother and May misses the children as well. Life at the mine office is not going well. In addition to some financial difficulties, Toppy is doing the bookkeeping, which she is not very good at.
3.2: The Long Weekend
Three couples evaluate their relationships. Grace and Del have been dating, but Grace feels that they are still incompatible as a couple. She thinks she has scientific evidence to this fact when she takes a magazine romance quiz and fails. However she doesn’t bother to tell Del why she’s been so standoffish as of late.
3.3: The Forever Leap
Everyone in town seems to be getting a new job. Hub is apprenticing with Ollie at the garage. Honey is opening her hair dressing salon. Callie is taking over responsibility for managing the radio station from Alden. While Grace, depressed at being recently fired from her telephone operator job, is asked by Max to manage his radio show with Del and Fat’s help on this one specific occasion when he has a school board meeting as the new Vice-Principal. Grace had better do a good job as Callie is threatening to move Max’s radio program to a less lucrative afternoon slot, a time when he would be unable to work at the station.
3.4: My Beautiful Mom
Max and Honey have decided to give Hub a little more leeway in his life, something difficult for Honey to do as she still does not agree with many of the choices he is making. Doris is coming back to New Bedford to visit with her mother. Along with Doris are her two snobbish friends, sisters Frankie and Clarice Bloore, to whom Doris has told fanciful stories of her mother’s glamorous yet tragic life, the stories seemingly straight out of a romance novel.
3.5: The Fever
Many in town are getting into new business ventures. With the demise of the North Bridge bus, Alden and Callie want to start their own bus line both to keep the viability and need for the hotel by bringing people to town, and to make money. They talk Del into being a 25% partner, Del who is solely to provide mechanical support and the driving.
3.6: The Crystal Skull
Penniless recluse Orvy Potter has just passed away. In his will, he has bequeathed a Mexican crystal skull to May. Orvy states in a note to May that the skull has psychic powers, but also contains a curse that will be unleashed to anyone who disposes of it unwisely. Despite not having any emotional ties, Orvy’s bequest to May was because he figured she would know what to do with it. May thinks that the claims of the skull’s powers are nonsense, but Grace, Toppy, Fat and Maisey are intrigued.
3.7: Public Enemies
Crime is on the minds of New Bedford residents. Baby Face Nelson has been pulling his bank robberies in the States, and locally a band of robbers known as the Burlesque Bandits have been holding up unsuspecting victims. The Bandits have not yet arrived in New Bedford, but the Cramps have been stirring up fear through what May considers sensationalistic journalism by glamorizing these acts of crime both in the Chronicle and on CRNB radio.
3.8: New Directions
With silver prices down and nickel prices up, May thinks it’s a good time to move mining operations out to the Bass Lake property. To do so, the company will need to have their line of credit reinstated, which should only be a formality. For added insurance, May asks her old friend, Senator Carlisle Woodman who is now a board member with the Royal Dominion Bank, to use whatever influence he has to ensure the line of credit is approved.
3.9: The Strap
The birth of the Dionne Quintuplets is all the talk in New Bedford. Grace in particular is fascinated by the story, she who is keeping a scrapbook on the babies. May is concerned that the Dionne Quintuplets and the scrapbook are replacements for Del, who has left both New Bedford and Grace. Other town news is the permanent nervous leave taken by teacher, Mr. Bedoes. The reason for his leave brings to the forefront the ongoing disagreement between Mrs. Whitney and Max about the strap to punish ill-behaved students.
3.10: Grace of Hollywood
Star struck Grace is trying to fulfill her fantasies of a starlet’s life. She starts a business selling undergarments as advertised at the back of Tinsel Times magazine, but the venture is an utter failure. Just then, Nathan Sparks arrives in town. A director with Associated Screen Productions,a production company that specializes in newsreels, he is only passing through on his way to do a newsreel on the Dionne Quintuplets.
It’s the Christmas season, 1934, and a time for reflection for many New Bedford residents. On pragmatic matters, May is quickly called away to Cape Breton to take care of Cousin Jessie, who has taken a fall and requires care. Doris is spending the holidays in New York with her friends, which gets both Grace and Toppy thinking about their own lives and dreams.
3.12: A Mission for Honey
Left to their own devices, Fat, Maisey and Violet get into an animal care/cooking mishap. This incident is only the latest which gets Honey into an old feud with May regarding what Honey sees as May’s criticisms of her both as a mother and a human being.
3.13: Life on Mars
The mood in the Sutton household is somber as Honey is still in the hospital in Toronto, with little news making it back to New Bedford about her condition. The family is trying to continue with life. Max in particular is exhausted and is asking more from the boys to keep the household functioning. Fat, with Maisey and Pritchard, have a new fascination with Buck Rogers. Jim fuels this fascination with theories of life on Mars.