Zoe's dad comes to Bluebell and it is pretty awkward

Hart of Dixie Season 1, Episode 17 (“Heart to Hart”)
Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie

As we near the end of the first season, much of the established relationships from the beginning of the season are starting to crumble. George and Lemon are the most obvious and in this episode it seems that their relationship is a ticking time bomb. Zoe became disillusioned with her father after she found out he moved back to New York without telling her, and in this episode she finally gets to confront him. It is very awkward for most of the episode but it does end on a reconciliatory note, though I wouldn’t hold my breath that things are suddenly going to be great again. The only way forward for this show is for everything to fall apart and I am excited to get to that in the coming episodes.

In this episode, Zoe finally reunites with her father after months of estrangement, though the only way she was able to get him to talk to her was because of a medical emergency. She wants so badly to be mad at him and to let him know how much he has hurt her, but when it comes time she struggles to actually have the confrontation she needs. As a fellow confrontation avoider, I can relate. She has always wanted her father’s approval and it is probably a large part of the reason she became a doctor to begin with. She has let him take the lead, dictating where their relationship stands. When he offers to let their relationship be more that of colleagues/friends she takes it instead of telling him how she really feels. Ever since she moved to Bluebell and found out the truth about her biological father, Zoe has had a bit of an identity crisis. She doesn’t know where she fits anymore and her relationship with both of her parents has been rocky at best. They end the episode in a better place after he admits that he has been wrong and wants to try again at a relationship.

Lemon is convinced that it is only a matter of time before Zoe tells George about her affair with Lavon. She doesn’t trust Zoe and with how helpful she has been with George’s dad in the hospital, Lemon is even more insecure. She can’t imagine that Zoe wouldn’t tell, probably because it is exactly what she would do (though she would find some clever way to have the person find out instead of directly telling them herself). She kind of knows she has to tell George but the time is not right with his dad in the hospital. It is pretty clear he is going to find out sooner rather than later and I am certainly ready for the secret to be revealed. These kinds of things never stay secret on television and the fallout from it will prove to be much more interesting for both characters than continuously watching Lemon try and keep up the appearance that they have the perfect relationship.

Wade is starting to show ambitions of doing more than bartending, instead he wants to own the bar. The owner of the Rammer Jammer makes an appearance for its 30th anniversary and holds a signature cocktail making contest between Wade and Shelley. Wade gets very into it and it is apparently something he is pretty good at. He purposefully blows the contest so he can save up his best recipes for his own bar someday. Probably after last episodes realization that people don’t think much of him, because he doesn’t really give them reason to, he is getting a bit more ambitious. The Rammer Jammer contest also gives us the re-introduction of Wanda who was previously seen as the woman who gave the preacher’s wife syphilis from piercing her belly button in “Faith & Infidelity”. She is the niece of the owner of the Rammer Jammer and she is going to be working there from now on and will become another fun townie.

This episode begins to set up a lot of character’s future journeys in Bluebell. Zoe has to figure out her place here and what she wants out of life. Most of her life so far has been driven by her desire to be like her father, but now it’s a question of which father? Though she ends this episode on better terms with the man that raised her, it is really not what the show or her character is about. Wade is finally starting to show some forward momentum and figuring what it is he wants out of life. He is never going to be George, but he can still be a better version of himself. George potentially saw Lavon kiss Lemon which means that the secret has to be getting out fairly soon which is good because it can only be dragged out for so long before it gets exhausting.

Episode Grade: B

Other Thoughts:

  • Tom was very excited for Wanda’s general presence “All right, Wanda!”
  • Wanda is very excited to be in Wade’s presence and flirts with him a lot.
    • “I can help you if you want, I’m real good at drinkin’”
    • “You can be my daddy”
  • Should Zoe have been assisting on Mr. Tucker’s surgery? She doesn’t really know him but he is the father of someone she is close to.
  • “Call me Ethan” oooh so cold.
  • Lemon enlists Crickett to help come up with ideas of how to stop Zoe from telling her secret and I’m a little concerned for Crickett’s mind – she brings up the possibility of water boarding.
  • Drunk Lavon, “I like myself”.

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