Hart of Dixie Season 1, Episode 4 (“In Havoc & In Heat”)
This episode begins to break from the pattern of the “case of the week” acting as a lesson for Zoe about Bluebell that was being set up in the first three episodes. This is a welcome change because that would certainly get exhausting. There is still a case but it is much less directly connected to some lesson. As the show goes on the weekly medical cases are pretty much dropped, probably because they are the least interesting parts of the episodes. This episode features a heat wave that brings out a different side to everyone. For both Zoe and Lemon, it brings out a side of them that they have been trying to suppress and sets up the complicated love triangles already going on.
Zoe’s storyline this week is much less about her medical practice and more about her life in general. It sets up the personal journey that she will have living in Bluebell. She needs to learn to let go and enjoy life as it comes, sometimes its okay to be a little reckless. Her life is so much about her plan for her career. Even her life in Bluebell is just about doing what she needs to to get the surgical fellowship. Everyone is telling her that the heat wave will lower her inhibitions and that is okay, she should just go with it. She is very against the idea and too afraid of the potential consequences. However, as the heat wave goes on, she too starts to succumb to it. She is seconds away from hooking up with Wade, when he heat wave breaks and her inhibitions are restored. She decides that casually hooking up with her neighbor isn’t who she is and she walks away. She is proud of herself for not doing anything she would regret, but Lavon tells her that is no way to live life. In the end she takes more of a baby step towards enjoying life in Alabama and goes skinny dipping in the pond.
The heat wave is also affecting Lemon like a pressure cooker, leading her to ultimately breakdown and have an honest conversations with George’s parents as well as Lavon. She is under a lot of pressure in this episode to deal with George’s parents coming to town. They don’t approve of her, and are kind of just the worst. His mom is constantly picking at her flaws and his dad just seems to care about drinking bourbon and fighting with Brick about football. Her plans are continuously ruined as she tries to be flexible to impress his parents, but when Zoe interrupts their dinner for help with a patient, she loses it. Adding to her frustrations is Lavon going on a date with Didi. They finally confront each other about their past relationship and how hard it is for them. They broke up six months ago, implying that they had an affair while she was with George. She is confused about her feelings for Lavon. He is understandably upset at this because she is the one that broke things off. But they both still have feelings for each other and don’t know what to do. They too almost kiss, but are stopped when it starts to rain and the heat wave breaks.
This is one of my favorite episodes of the season. The heat wave is an interesting device to make both Zoe and Lemon confront things about themselves. Zoe doesn’t take risks and that is getting in the way of her really enjoying her life. Living in New York has made her obsessed with her career and the only way she knows how to gauge her quality of life is if her career is successful. In the South, this idea is much less prevalent. People tend to aim for a more balanced life and see work as something that you do to make a living, but it isn’t everything. Her story in this episode is much less about whether or not she is attracted to Wade, but about taking a chance and doing something because it feels good, even if it isn’t necessarily wise. This is also the first episode to really feature a storyline for the other characters that has nothing to do with Zoe. Lemon is being pulled between her feelings for both George and Lavon. Melding her and George’s family is a step towards their steady, planned life together and that is important to her. But Lavon represents a risk for her and that is exciting too.
Episode Grade: A
Does Bluebell Get It Right?
- The football talk is maybe a little exaggerated but it really does run as deep as the show portrays. College football is a religion for many. It is also accurate that they would be watching Pro football for the former players from their respective teams.
- Polly mentions that she drives to Mobile everyday for work because it is typically faster than taking the bus. I am fairly certain there is no bus between Mobile and the Eastern Shore (where Bluebell is supposed to be). If there is it would likely be extremely slow and never faster than driving.
- Zoe is wearing a very tight dress for how hot it is.
- There is a new assistant at the office – Addy.
- Case of the Week: Polly and Fiona sisters that are fighting a lot – they are George’s clients. George suggests separating the two between doctors. They got into a fight over their mom’s will. Polly is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning which caused her to throw a clock at her sister.
- Wade: “Now I know there are snakes in there”
- Mrs. Tucker: “Fresh squeezed lemonade. Did you do that all by yourself dear?”
- Mrs. Tucker: “Can’t imagine why I ever called her high strung”
- Just to illustrate the craziness of the multiple love triangles I made this graphic. There are 3 triangles.