Hart of Dixie season 1, episode 12 (“Mistresses & Misunderstandings”)
“Mistress & Misunderstandings” is the third episode in a row that really steps up the shows quality from the first half of the season. This episode actually manages to use the medical case in a way that parallels what is going on in Zoe’s life without it being over the top or lesson-oriented. Sal’s affair with Delia Ann parallel’s Zoe’s relationship with AnnaBeth. Sal and Zoe both try to get what they want by forcing their secret partners to choose them, but both end up being the one to lose.
I said in my last review that I was excited for AnnaBeth’s role to be expanded and this episode did just that. It gives us a lot of insight into who her character is and what her relationships with both Lemon and Zoe are going to be. At this point AnnaBeth is very stifled, she wants a lot but doesn’t know how to get it. For a long time she has let Lemon walk all over her, but Zoe shows her how to stand up for herself and say no. She enjoys her girls night with Zoe because it is laid back and Zoe treats her as an equal. But when the time comes to really stand up for what she wants, she is too afraid of how it will affect her reputation. She also appears to be in a passionless marriage. She mentions how unsatisfying her sex life with her husband is to Zoe and proceeds to list off all of the single men in town she would have sex with if she could. She wants to live vicariously through Zoe who has all of these options but isn’t taking them.
Wade similarly doesn’t know how to get what he wants. He thinks that Zoe is dating Judson when she is really just hiding her relationship with AnnaBeth. He is supremely jealous of the idea that Zoe is dating anyone and it doesn’t really bring out his best self. But as Lavon points out, he hasn’t really tried with Zoe. Wade has likely never really had to try in anything. He isn’t particularly ambitious, he seems to be happy bartending at the Rammer Jammer. He is also ridiculously good looking and charming enough to get girls to go out with him, but none that he takes seriously. If he wants to be with Zoe he is going to have to start trying. You can’t be upset that you aren’t winning in a game that you aren’t playing. But Wade’s biggest obstacle right now is that he is afraid that if he plays he will lose, so it is easier to just sit it out.
We have heard Lemon talking about the Memory Matron position all season and it is now finally available and she tries too hard to get it. Her attempts to win over Delia Ann are too transparent and she ends up giving the position to AnnaBeth when she sees her stand up to Lemon. Lemon wants to use her knowledge of Delia Ann’s affair with Sal but George stops her. He is starting to get frustrated with her unusually high levels of intensity. Lawrence, Delia Ann’s husband and George’s lawyer rival, tells George about how Delia Ann has been distant and angrier than usual over the past year. We know that it is probably because of her affair with Sal, but Lawrence doesn’t. George hears this and sees the same in Lemon. Some of which may come from Lemon’s own affair with Lavon, but also because of the stuff with her mother which she still hasn’t told George about. Though they are still very committed to each other, their relationship is beginning to crack. It is unclear why Lemon hasn’t told George about her mom, she wanted to talk about it with Lavon but even when he shut her down she didn’t then confide in George. George is a part of her picture perfect life and her mom isn’t. Maybe she is compartmentalizing what fits and doesn’t fit into her picture.
A lot of this show is about figuring out what it is you want out of life and how to get it. At this point almost everyone is struggling to actually get what they want either because they are too scared to go for it or they are blind to what it is they really want. Zoe wants to fit in in Bluebell and have real relationships with the people there. She is blind to the potential she has with Wade and continues to go for the guys who fit into her picture, but not necessarily the ones that will make her happy. She sees a person’s career first and who they really are second. We know nothing about Judson other than he seems pretty bland and he slept with her friend when he was trying to date her. Probably not a soulmate. AnnaBeth wants to be more than Lemon’s minion but is too afraid of rocking the boat to have both her Memory Matron position and be Zoe’s friend. Wade is too afraid of getting hurt to fight for Zoe. Lemon is used to getting what she wants but isn’t always aware of the costs.
Episode Grade: B+
- “What’s gotten into her?” “Must be the drugs”
- Wade/Shelley: “I’ve been trying for months” “Well maybe somebody else tried harder”
- AB: “If you can accept that she is always right and you are always wrong, it’s not too hard to be her friend”
- AnnaBeth is very thirsty for the single men of Bluebell.
- Zoe/AB: “I don’t think I could ever go there. He’s just so… Wade” “Which equals delicious”
- George: “Man brought his own easel”
- Wade/Lavon: “I hear J.T.’s single now” “I don’t think it’s Justin Timberlake, Wade”
- Zoe’s imitations of Lemon were pretty funny.
- Wade: “Who peed in your cornflakes?” Seriously nobody in Alabama talks like this.