Review: ‘Hart of Dixie’: Keeping Up Apperances
There are two things that make the world of ‘Hart of Dixie’ go ’round right now, and that’s Zoe’s relationship with Wade, and Wade’s relationship with Lemon. I’m not talking about their fake relationship, but their real, honest to goodness friendship that has flourished since the beginning of the series. It’s the kind of friendship that only comes from knowing someone your entire life. We only glimpsed it in Season 1, but since that time Wade took Lemon out drinking and dancing, we knew their relationship was a special one.
Wade brought out the best in Lemon that first season. She spent most of her time fretting about George and screeching about how much she hated Zoe. She still spends a lot of time fretting about things and complaining about Zoe, but she’s been fleshed out as a real character with real emotions, whose not just a one-dimensional caricature of a southern belle. And Wade Kinsella is at least partly responsible for that. Sure, the two of them together was always comedy gold because of their opposite personalities—Wade’s laid back, Lemon’s the damn definition of being uptight—but they care about each other, and the scenes in which they put aside their differences for each other is what really makes their friendship so wonderful.
When the two of them entered the contest to win the boat and Lemon was forced to leave because of her father, Wade removed his hands at the exact same time so they’d both lose or they’d both win. You could see the emotions flash across his face like a shadow, you knew how badly he wanted to win so he could have enough capital to buy the Rammer Jammer, but his heart knew it was right the thing to do. We’d already known Wade was a good guy underneath all the sexual innuendos and bad reputations. But his good-natured actions had been limited to Zoe up until that point. So when he was there for Lemon, it was the birth of a real friendship, one that showed us he was capable of being a great friend, and that he wasn’t just doing those nice things for Zoe all that time because he was selfish. It was because he cared. I won’t rehash the season 2 finale in which Lemon was the person responsible for Wade admitting his feelings to Zoe, because we all know that’s true, but it was just another example of how the two of them bring out the best in each other.
Lemon and Wade buying the Rammer Jammer together and being business partners is obviously a comedy gold mine, but it’s brought them closer together than ever, and when Lemon concocted her scheme of a fake relationship so Wade could win the breakup, it was sweet and from a good place. We all knew Zoe would be staying in Bluebell, but Lemon didn’t, which meant this week she and Wade had a lot of kissing to do to placate their public audience and to make Zoe believe the two of them were really in a relationship. The moment at the dinner party when Lemon put her own happiness aside (with Captain Awesome!) for Wade is the moment you realize just how deep their relationship goes and how much their willing to go to help one another. It’s the deepest platonic bond on this series, one that not even Zoe and Lavon’s friendship can come close to, and I love it. Season 1 Lemon would never in a million years have put aside her own happiness for Wade Kinsella, and that pleases me more than anything else about this episode. Character growth, yeah!
Speaking of character growth, Zoe’s sure done a bit of it. Sure, she fell in to Wade and Lemon’s trap, where she spent most of her time trying to figure out the truth of their relationship, but the end of the episode when she approached Wade and attempted to have a real, honest conversation with him is something Seasons 1 and 2 Zoe would never have done. Zoe’s never been good about discussing her feelings with Wade, and it’s because she was never willing to accept them for what they were. She was always clinging to that false relationship with George, one she was able to talk about freely because it wasn’t real, both in a physical sense and to her. It was a dream of something, while her relationship with Wade was a real thing.
It was hell for Zoe to admit to Wade how badly he hurt her when he cheated, and it was very hard for her to admit that she still had very deep feelings for him in the finale. But this week—in only the second episode of Season 3— she walked right up to him after the party and told him point blank that seeing him with someone else bothered her and freaked her out. The fact that she was able to admit that to herself and to Wade is a big step for her. And though we glimpsed for a moment the patented Wilson Bethel sad eyes, coupled with the deep love he still has for Zoe, his willingness to play a joke on her about there being a mosquito, shows that he’s grown up some too. At least where it counts.
For some, that encounter might have come off as a nail in the coffin of the Zoe and Wade relationship, but if anything, this episode showed us that Zoe still cares deeply about Wade. If she didn’t, there’s no reason for her to pay constant attention to his (fake) relationship with Lemon. This is a classic case of Zoe being lured into Wade’s trap and letting it get to her. It happened in Season 1 in (I think) the Halloween episode where he kept playing pranks on her. And it happened again tonight. The only difference here, is that it wasn’t really Wade’s trap. This was a concoction formed in the mind of Lemon Breeland, Wade was just playing along. That’s another step in the right direction for Wade.
The summer in New York definitely changed Zoe, and while I don’t see Joel packing his bags any time soon, he is good for her. And when he called her out for not being the best girlfriend, I laughed. Because it’s true. Zoe is kind of terrible at being his girlfriend in Alabama. She didn’t tell him about Fire Ant Rock. She was paying more attention to Wade and Lemon’s charade than to what Joel was eating at the party—which, granted, the dude really should have asked if he knew at least one of the things was fried is peanut oil. People who have nut allergies do this all the time for obvious reasons so that one’s pretty much on Joel, but the show treated it as another one of Zoe’s problems, so we’ll just go with it. Joel is actually a nice person whom we have no actual reason to hate other than the simple fact that he’s not Wade. At the beginning of the episode he was the stereotypical New Yorker in the south and it was grating, but by the end of the episode he seemed to be fitting in better than he was 24 hours earlier. I’m not saying I like the character (Team Wade!) but I like the character simply because I really have no reason not to like him.
Some stray observations
— I hate everything about Lavon’s cousin Linley
— I hate everything about George’s hair
— I hate everything about Linley and George’s one-night stand and everything after. Well, that’s not true. The scenes of Lavon and George were pretty funny. George is the best when he’s playing the straight man to a town full of crazies, and I am so glad the writers are letting George be funny and not just wooden.
— I’m enjoying having Annabeth around full-time, especially as the receptionist at the medical practice, but I need more of her. And more of her in regards to her relationship with Lavon.
— I really hate that everyone in Bluebell still seems to look down on Wade despite everything he’s done in the last year. Get over yourself, Crickett. Wade is a good guy, and is not below Lemon.
— How long until Zoe returns to the practice? Right now she’s just bouncing around Bluebell but she doesn’t have a job. I wonder when that will come up.
— LOL @ Crickett’s husband and at Crickett’s complete ignorance of the fact that he’s gay
— LOL @ Wade’s “Ew!” when Lemon came up and kissed him on the cheek. See? They really are hilarious and have the best relationship ever.
— Lavon didn’t like Joel’s book and he wrote a bad review about it, which of course Joel remembers. That one of the one moment in this episode that Joel really bothered me and made me want to slap him. I wonder if there will continue to be more tension between Joel and Lavon.