Recap: ‘Hart of Dixie’: Zoe follows her heart
Last season my favorite surprise came in the form of the CW’s ‘Hart of Dixie.’ I didn’t know if it would succeed, I only knew that I liked Rachel Bilson and I knew that I’d pretty much watch
Jason Street Scott Porter in anything. What I didn’t know was that by the end of the season I’d have spent hours drooling and thinking about Wilson Bethel’s abs. Nor did I expect to fall in love with the show the way that I did.
‘Hart of Dixie’ might not be the greatest show on the planet, hell, it’s not even the best show on The CW (‘The Vampire Diaries’ holds that title, obviously), but it is the first show that the CW has created that really feels like it could be from the WB era of television. It’s warm and inviting and it’s got the small town charm (thanks, in part, to the fact that they film on the old ‘Gilmore Girls’ lot) that makes you feel like these are people whom you could stand to spend time with.
It might not be described as solid or breathtaking (unless we’re talking about Bethel’s abs again, and then, yes, duh), but there’s just something about this show that makes you want to watch it.
So when the season finale came around last year, I was both happy and sad. I was happy because the sexual tension that had been brewing between Wade and Zoe all season was finally acted on, and I was sad because I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to survive an entire summer without Wilson Bethel’s abs or Wade’s southern twang.
But look at me now! I’ve survived and you’ve survived and we’ve both seen tonight’s season premiere. So let’s get to it!
We picked up almost immediately after the season finale, with a sexy, shirtless and sleeping Wade in Zoe’s bed. But our favorite dress shorts wearing doctor is still confused about the fact that George showed up at her door, right after she and Wade had sex, and confessed that he left Lemon for her. I really don’t understand her confusion; the choice would be easy for me. But for some reason, Zoe sees something in George and so she runs off to her and one and only (girl)friend in Bluebell, Lavon Hayes.
Lavon tells her that she should just be honest with both men before they each find out about the other, and of course this it terrible advice because Lavon is a dude and Lavon doesn’t know crap. Also, I’m not certain he’s exactly the best person to ask considering he had an affair with Lemon and all that jazz. But whatever, Zoe trusts him and Zoe actually follows his advice.
Well, she doesn’t so much follow it as Wade walks in on Zoe and George talking (because, OF COURSE, George shows up to Lavon’s house) and makes a big show of thanking Zoe for the “house call” she made last night. George and his law degree are apparently smart enough to read between the lines and catch the sexual innuendo. Zoe tells him that she didn’t know what she wanted (hm, where have I heard that before, Elena Gilbert?) and that she needed time.
George gives her about 3 hours, during which time Zoe meets Ruby, whose grandfather is stubborn and cranky and apparently never learned what the proper uses for Q-tips were. What we later find out is that A) Ruby and Lemon don’t get along (for hilarious reasons such as the fact that Ruby made fun of her for being named after a fruit) and B) Ruby and Lavon used to date back in high school. In fact, the two were pretty serious until Lavon went to college and apparently caught a case of the High School Jock Makes it Big in College and Forgets All About the Girl He Left at Home Disease.
But before we go there, let’s back up a bit. Because even though it didn’t seem like it, some important stuff actually did happen in this episode.
A recently left-at-the-altar Lemon decides that since she is now a single 30-year-old woman, that it might finally be time to move out of her father’s house and set out on her own. Personally, I have no idea how she even managed to live with her father until she was 30, but then again, I’ve never understood a single thing about the cartoonish Lemon Breeland. Which brings me to my next point.
At some point this summer, I think the ‘Hart of Dixie’ writers must have read my previous posts, because they’ve already attempted to fix one of my major problems with last season. They’ve actually given Lemon a soul, a purpose beyond being George Tucker’s girlfriend/fiancee.
As I’ve mentioned before, the few times I enjoyed Lemon last season were when she had a chance to show a little emotion. Most of the time she was portrayed as a high-strung southern belle who was more concerned with Memory Matrons than her own relationship. I liked her best when she let loose, had some fun. I think my favorite episodes of hers were when she pulled the prank with George and Wade and when she pretended to be someone else and got drunk with Wade.
Lemon is a character who has a lot of potential and I’m happy to see that the writers are moving past the one-note caricature that they’ve painted her out to be. Moving out of her father’s house, getting a job and moving on with her life is probably the best thing she can do right now. And going to Zoe for her panic attack was a big move in the right direction.
Lemon spent most of last season as a one-note villain, out to destroy and blame Zoe for every single thing that went wrong in her life. And even though she says she’ll hate her until her dying days, I have faith that maybe one day Lemon will grow and move on and be able to, if not be friends with Zoe, at least be cordial. Because even though I’ve already had more Lavon/Lemon drama than I can handle, I foresee the writers bringing these two characters back together at some point. And where Lavon Hayes goes, so does Zoe Hart.
But perhaps the biggest storyline of the night wasn’t Lemon’s growth as a human being, but instead the choice between Wade and George that Zoe was forced to make. Anyone who’s seen even a season of a WB show could have predicted that Zoe would pull the “I choose me,” card. But what we perhaps couldn’t have foretold, was that Zoe would fall back into bed with Wade by episode’s end.
I, of course, hoped and wished and prayed that Zoe would choose Wade, as we obviously know how I feel about the southern Lothario with a heart of gold (and Abs of Glory) – and a heart that, no matter what he might say, is longing and yearning for one New York doctor. Wade can say all of the sarcastic things he wants and he can play it off like the night he spent with Zoe didn’t mean anything, but we know better. We just spent a season watching him look longingly in middle distance after her, an entire season of him pining for the pint-sized doctor, so anyone with half a brain could see that his reaction is nothing more than a defense mechanism.
And I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Because next week’s previews show that Zoe and Wade have a lot more sex. And that’s always a good thing, right?
My favorite line of the night: “I finally understand what R. Kelly’s been singing about all these years.”
Note: Photo courtesy of the CW.