Hart of Dixie’s second attempt at a holiday episode proves to be much more substantial

Hart of Dixie season 1, episode 10 (“Hairdos & holidays”)
Jaime King and Cress Williams (Image: The CW)

Hart of Dixie continues on with its second, but much better, holiday episode. Whereas “The Pirate & The Practice” was a light, do-the-right-thing holiday episode, their first Christmas episode had much more personal stakes. Instead of Zoe once again learning the value of community, this episode provided a lot more for the rest of the cast to do that seemed like it really mattered. They used the character’s romantic interests to drive the plot and have them arrive at important conclusions regarding their own happiness. Both Lavon and Zoe stand up for themselves and take steps towards moving on from their complicated love interests.

Through flashbacks, we see how Lemon and Lavon’s affair began. He was there to comfort her when she found out that her mother, who left their family 12 years ago, was living nearby but never contacted them. At the time George was in New York and they were having trouble connecting. Lavon barely knew her at the time, but was there to listen and thus their affair began. In present day Lemon goes to find her mother and learns that she has a whole new family. Instead of talking to George or Brick about it, she returns to Lavon. However, this time he tells her that he can’t be there for her anymore and she needs to go to George. Lemon has been unfair to Lavon, stringing him along while still fully planning to marry George. Lavon finally comes to this realization and cuts off their emotional connection so that he can finally move on.

Through these flashbacks we also learn more about Lemon’s relationship with her mother before she left. She idolized her and wanted to follow in her footsteps. She wanted to be a Belle, win the Miss Cinnamon Cider pageant, marry a doctor or lawyer (like George), and be a mother. It seems like she is on the road to doing just that, but it isn’t what her mother wanted. Her mom regretted giving up on her dreams and it is what caused her to end up leaving her family. Is this foreshadow that Lemon will also want more out of life? Or is she happy to have the life her mother left behind? It has been stated before that Lemon cares about all of these things because her mother did and it makes her feel more connected to her. But now that she knows the truth about her mom will she continue to want that? Or will she want to distance herself from her?

Similar to Lavon’s situation with Lemon, Zoe has been pining for George, and he has been flirting with her. She also realizes that it isn’t fair to herself to get swept up in the idea of her and George being together so long as he is engaged to Lemon. Lemon and Zoe’s difficulties with each other are taken out on Magnolia and Rose as they pit them against each other in the Miss Cinnamon Cider pageant. Both Zoe and Lemon care way more about winning than either Magnolia or Rose. Zoe lets her jealousy of Lemon get in the way of letting Rose do the pageant the way she wants to. It isn’t about Rose winning or being happy, it is about Lemon losing. Realizing that it all stems from her feelings about George, she takes steps to distance herself from him so that she can be happy.

George and Wade also get into a fight over jealousies and judgment. Wade is jealous of George, not just because he has Zoe’s interest, but of his general “Golden Boy” status. This insecurity comes out when George is lecturing him about the way he lives his life. He believes Wade is wasting his time with girls he doesn’t care about instead of settling down like he has. Through his fight with Wade, George realizes that he has flirted with Zoe and that he should back off if he wants to be happy with Lemon. Finally, Wade is encouraged by it as well to finally ask Zoe out (kind of). She doesn’t exactly shut him down which gives him a little hope.

This episode was much better than the previous, in large part because the doctoring was kept to a minimum. The show works best when it focuses on the character’s relationships and less on Zoe’s career. Building these personal relationships will go a lot further to make Zoe fit in in Bluebell than being a good doctor ever will. A show also cannot be sustained on such a concept so it was a good choice to use the fall finale to set-up where the show will be going next. The medical cases will become a much smaller focus and they will be used more as means of moving the plot forward than to teach a lesson. The other characters will also continue to be fleshed out beyond their romantic potential, though romantic relationships will always be a driving force of the show. Watching this episode got me very excited to get into the second half of the season.

Episode Grade: B+

Does Bluebell Get It Right?

  • The episode begins with the town square covered in Christmas decorations and everyone is wearing t-shirts. This is very accurate, more often than not I put up my Christmas tree wearing a t-shirt instead of a cozy sweater.

Other Thoughts:

  • “Do you find a little odd how invested you are in the love lives of 14-year-olds?”
  • Zoe and Lemon act like pageant moms throughout most of the episode.
  • The girl they cast as teenage Lemon looks nothing like her. They probably would have been better off just trying to make Jaime King look younger.
  • Lemon: “It doesn’t make you any less of a woman, that you yourself have no wedding plans. Or a boyfriend. Or even the prospect of one.”
  • Zoe: “And…. clogging it is”
  • “I definitely don’t think other contestants will clog dance, do you Lavon? “I hope not”
  • Lavon: “She has 10 talents, each one worse than the one before”
  • Magnolia’s talent is reciting a monologue from Gone with the Wind, Dash’s favorite movie.
  • Frederick Dean: “Magnolia that was awesome. As good as Katherine Heigl” that dates this show so much
  • Zoe/Wade: “She was amazing” “Well you showed her how to be”

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