Review: ‘Hart of Dixie’: Lemon Fresh
You know that saying about good intentions, or whatever? Well I had every intention of continuing to review ‘Hart of Dixie’ this season, but unfortunately, my real job got in the way, which is actually a wonderful thing. I had the opportunity to review Fox’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (OMG I’M OBSESSED) and the final season of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ over at TV.com on Monday evenings during the 2013-14 season, so I’ve had a great excuse. But I do miss chatting about Wade and Lemon and the latest stupid thing Zoe’s done on a weekly basis, which is why, despite my initial concerns about our favorite Bluebellians moving to Friday nights, I’m also kind of happy that it happened. It will give me the opportunity to maybe, hopefully, review the rest of the season. Depending on my schedule, I’m hoping to post over the weekend.
It kind of works out well that this is the first episode I’ve had a chance to review since October, because it means no one has to listen to me whine about how horrible Lynley was (she was really fucking terrible, guys) or how much I missed Lemon while Jaime King was away on maternity leave. If you’d have told me last season that I’d miss Lemon freaking Breeland that much, I’d have laughed you off the face of the planet, and probably all the other planets too. Lemon has come a long way from the stuck up cardboard cut out of the stereotypical southern Belle that she was in Season 1.
She’s a fully-fledged character who became more fleshed out as her friendship with Wade became an actual living, breathing entity. She’ll always be a pain in the ass, but she’s now a welcome pain. She’s funny, she’s likable, and those long months without her scheming in Bluebell felt like the longest drought imaginable. It makes sense that my last review of the season dealt with the power of the Wade and Lemon friendship, because it has become a stabilizing force on the series. There’s not much else that pairs better than Lemon’s uptight insanity mixed with Wade’s laid back attitude, so when she called Wade to have him pick her up from jail, it made perfect sense. Who else would she have called? Certainly not her father, not George (although he’d have done it, because they also seem to be in a good place), not Lavon, and certainly not Zoe Hart. (Side note: I’ve only recently noticed that Lemon constantly refers to Zoe by her full name, and it works so well because coming out of Lemon’s mouth, it feels as if Zoe Hart is an evil mastermind and Lemon’s arch-nemesis rather than someone who constantly fucks up her life because she’s too stubborn to realize she’s an idiot most of the time.)
The time away from Bluebell has even made Lemon a more relaxed character. She appears to be less uptight than she was when she left, which makes sense in a way, because even though it was hell for Lemon, it was also a vacation from all of her worries in Bluebell. The fact that she returned with two boyfriends is something Lemon of Season 1 would never do. Yes, she had an affair with Lavon—and I’m not defending her actions, only stating fact—but George was living in New York. That was a serious offense, which ultimately was at least partly responsible for the fracturing of their relationship, but this is different. Lemon’s simply playing the field in a way that her upbringing and her longtime relationship with George never allowed her to do. I won’t say she’s doing the right thing, and I won’t say that Wade is rubbing off too much on Lemon, because we all know this is just a brief reprieve from the Lemon we know and love, and that she’ll probably revert back, at least to a degree, to her natural state within a few episodes, but this new Lemon sure is fun to watch.
And speaking of Wade, I’m still not sold on Vivian, but I think—and please don’t stab me, guys—but Vivian is a good influence on Wade. One of the things I’ve hated the most about not being able to review the episodes on a weekly basis, is that I didn’t get to chart Wade’s transformation over the course of the season. When Season 3 began, he was still hung up on Zoe—even if he didn’t let it show the way previous incarnations of his character would have—and we all know there’s still a part of him that loves her, but I’ve said time and again that both Zoe and Wade needed time apart to grow and find themselves as individuals before they could possibly think of carrying on a healthy adult relationship.
As much as it might pain Zade shippers to watch Zoe with Joel or Wade with Vivian, this is exactly what needed to happen for these characters if there was ever going to be a shot at a happy ending for either of them. Zoe has grown as an individual during her relationship with Joel. She’s not as selfish as she once was. Yes, she still makes the dumbest mistakes, like allowing her mother to take her on as a client instead of just talking to her about how much she’d rather just have a normal mother/daughter relationship, but she’s definitely more secure in her relationship with Joel than she ever was with Wade. That obviously stems in part because Joel is a safer choice—he’s never going to hurt her the way Wade could, possibly because the stakes aren’t as high—but it’s also because Joel’s a more stable adult (his profession aside).
I genuinely (again, please don’t hurt me) like Joel. He’s a fun guy. Hell, I’d date Joel! But do I think he’s going to end up in Foreverland with Zoe? Of course not. Not only is Josh Cooke not around for the entire season, but eventually Zoe will get bored with him. But—and this is a big but—he was the perfect stepping stone. And I think that’s what Vivian can be for Wade. Do I want to stab her beautiful eyes out sometimes? Obviously. Deep down in my cold, frigid heart, I want Zoe and Wade to reunite. But Vivian is also more mature than Zoe often is.
I have no idea how this season will turn out, but I am currently busy setting up e-mail addresses to e-mail The CW in order to beg them to renew the series for Season 4, because there’s no way the series will be able to wrap up the Zoe and Wade relationship this season. Zoe and Joel might break up—maybe over the stress of buying a house together?—but it’ll take more time for Zade to find their way back to each other. Right now, though, I’m enjoying spending time watching them grow up together but apart. That way, if/when they do reunite, they’ll both be ready for it.
Some Stray Observations:
— Where the FUCK do they get costumes on such short notice? I’m sorry. I need to know. Because whoever runs the local costume shop has to be the richest person in Bluebell.
— I love that Lavon is throwing himself into planning town events. Hogs and Hogs (motorcycles and bacon) might be my favorite.
— The actress who plays Magnolia has a role in the upcoming series ‘Surviving Jack’ which—I am assuming—is why her character was written out this season. To have her appear this week was a nice reminder that A) she still exists, and B) a nice explanation for where she’s been (even though it was mentioned early in the season that she was away at boarding school)/
— George continues to be the straight man in a town full of weirdos and it works very, very well. I’m so glad they found his role in the series last season.
— Tom’s obsession with the fire drill: I should have realized that was foreshadowing, but I didn’t. Still love it though.
— More Lemon and Wade friendship, please!
— Annabeth and Lavon need to get back together ASAP because my heart.