Hart of Dixie Season 1, Episode 20 (“The Race and the Relationship”)
Main characters in television shows are often the least likable. The action revolves around them so they are important, but that sometimes makes them act in ways that are cringy or just unlikable. As viewers we tend to have high expectations for the main character. We feel like we are supposed to like them/root for them and therefore are disappointed when they do something we disagree with. For the most part I find Zoe as likable as a main character can be. She doesn’t always make the right choices, she can be stubborn, oblivious, and judgmental. But that is kind of the point of the show. Having lived most of her life in New York she has a very stereotypical NY mindset and she is learning to change that. Rachel Bilson is also very charming in general so it is hard to hate her. This episode however there was very little to like about Zoe. She makes a fool of herself with George and she crushes Wade in the process.
Zoe is still so obsessed with George and the idea of them being together that it really impairs her judgment. She has this idea that somehow she is in a battle with Lemon for George’s affections. But George’s decision to get back together with Lemon or not should not be based on Zoe. George isn’t deciding if he wants to be with Lemon or Zoe, he is trying to figure out if he wants to be with Lemon. They have been together for 15 years and are currently experiencing issues that have nothing to do with Zoe. Initially she agrees to give George some space until he can have time to process his breakup with Lemon. But she is so terrified that he will decide to get back with Lemon that she violates that space.
She also ruins Wade’s chance to get the start up money for his bar so that she can proclaim her love to George (right in front of Wade) just after Lavon told her that Wade liked her. Wade puts aside his fight with Zoe to get her to join him in the battle because the thinks they would make a good team, and they do actually when they stop bickering. Wade has the town knowledge, strength, good with his hands, adventurous qualities. Zoe has the book smarts and fine motor skills. They start rough but as they begin to work together he thinks thats that he and Zoe are clicking and that maybe there is potential with them. He even cancels on dinner with Tansy in hopes things may go somewhere with Zoe. When he finds out that she was only doing the race for George he is rightfully upset. Especially when she loses him the prize money just so she can go talk to George at a really inconvenient time. She knew why Wade needed the money but was too caught up in her own drama to help him get it.
Lemon is also using the race to win George. He is convinced it will not work, but reluctantly agrees so that he can say he tried. Through it he realizes that he still cares for Lemon and what happened doesn’t erase their 15 years of history together. Once again taking it back to the idea that their relationship is based on their high school selves and not who they are now. Every time we have seen them reminisce about their relationship it is always from those years. They were each others first love, and that can be very powerful, but often it is not the best person to spend your life with. You can still care for someone after they hurt you but that is not the same as being in love with them.
So Lemon and George are back together after George realizes that he doesn’t want Lemon to die. It takes Lemon potentially getting hurt by falling off the roof of the church to make George feel something for her. This didn’t feel like a realistic reason to get back together. Of course he doesn’t want her to die, or get significantly injured, but that doesn’t change what happened. I am not a fan of the device sometimes used on TV to use a physical injury (or potential one) to end a fight between couples. It doesn’t fix what they were fighting about and just feels like an easy way to get two characters back together without actually having to deal with the issue.
Episode Grade: B-
- Town Event of the Episode: The Bluebell Battle
- Lavon does not want to get involved in Zoe’s love triangle drama but can’t stop himself for the sake of others.
- Lavon: “When I say anything about you and George Tucker you either don’t listen to me or you get angry”
- Tom and Wanda continued to be an adorable couple and partners in the race. Tom wasn’t exactly an asset to Wanda and he ends up blowing the race but she doesn’t care because she just wanted to spend the day with him. They also wore matching tracksuits.
- Tom: “You are like the girl of my dreams and the girl I made on my computer all rolled into one”
- Tom was proud of himself for unfolding the instructions to the wheelbarrow, but Wanda didn’t even need them.
- Poor Tansy in this episode, she was hopeful that she and Wade may be able to rekindle things now that he is getting his life together.
- Tansy, Wade, and Lavon all writing down the things they don’t like about the people they are in love with was great. Also Lavon has a lot of notebooks just sitting in his kitchen. Why? Does he have a lot of thoughts he needs to write down while he is cooking?
- Wade: “Selfish. Stupid shorts.”
- Rose goes on her first date with Frederick and then her appendix ruptures… Her mom very unfairly blames it on Zoe convincing her to let Rose got on the date. Appendixes rupture regardless of whether you are on a date or not….
- Even though Frederick and Rose’s date was kind of awkward it was sweet for 14 year olds. Frederick knows that Rose likes science so he tries to talk about fishing because he wants to share interests (though fishing is really nothing like science) and not just make out with her.