Hart of Dixie Season 2, Episode 8 (“Achy Breaky Hearts”)
The idea of people being other’s placeholders for something better is very prevalent in this episode. Wade feels that he is that for Zoe while she waits for George. He also thinks that George sees Tansy as someone to have fun with until he can be with Zoe. Lavon is afraid that Ruby is going to replace him with a job. I don’t think there is much wrong with dating someone who you know isn’t a serious contender, so long as you are both on the same page. The problem here is that in each situation there is a person who is potentially more serious about the relationship than the other. In the cases of Wade and Lavon, they are going to have to make choices about whether they want to be seen as more than that.
Wade goes on an Eagle Ranger (read Boy Scout) camping trip to avoid talking to George about his relationship with Zoe. He is afraid that George has found out and will be mad at him for hiding it for so long. However, George is desperate to talk to Wade, about Tansy it turns out, so he tags along on the trip. A lot of Wade’s insecurities about his relationship with Zoe come out, project them onto his disapproval of George and Tansy, who are essentially the same couple with reversed genders. Wade thinks that George would only be biding his time with Tansy, having fun with her until the real thing came a long. This is of course how he thinks that Zoe sees him, just a placeholder until she can be with George.
Wade is specifically put in charge of a kid, Connor, that doesn’t want to be there. He isn’t interested in camping but his parents have forced him to be there. There are a lot of parallels between Wade and Connor. They would both rather not participate than put themselves out there and fail. Wade realizes that he has always seen himself as lesser than guys like George and that has stopped him from going after what he wants. He thinks he deserves less so he accepts that. After the trip Wade goes to see Zoe with the intention of talking to her about their relationship. But after he tells her that George knew about them and was fine with it. Her face tells him everything he needs to know. She is so disappointed that he didn’t care. Zoe definitely sees Wade as a placeholder, and Wade knew that getting into it. Maybe he hoped that would change if they dated for a while. Now Wade has to decide if he wants to actually try with Zoe or take the defeat to George.
Lavon and Ruby’s relationship is in jeopardy now that she has decided to take the job in Dallas. Zoe and Lemon’s scheming certainly helps to accelerate that happening, but it was always going to happen. Ruby was kidding herself if she thought that she is going to be happy settling down with Lavon over pursuing her career, which she stated she wanted in the previous episode. She basically retracts that statement by the end of the episode. She was always going to leave when something better came along.
“Achy Breaky Hearts” is an apt title for this episode as pretty much all of the relationships are looking doomed. Brick and Emily also breakup because neither of them are willing to move for the other. Brick asks Emily to move to Bluebell and her only reason not to is she likes her life in North Carolina, or where ever she lives. Brick never offers to move there though, probably because he already knows that is not an option for him. Things are left murkier for Zoe/Wade and Lavon/Ruby but both Lavon and Wade are going to have to be the ones to stand up for themselves and ask for more if they want to keep their relationships alive. George has yet to actually ask out Tansy so that is still up in the air, but I don’t think that he specifically sees Tansy as a placeholder. He felt a connection with her and wants to explore that. Which is pretty much how dating works.
Episode Grade: 7/10
- The episode starts with Wade and Zoe having a conversation about Zoe’s problems with Ruby and then later in the episode she calls Wade when she wants to figure out how to fix what she did to Lavon. Of course when she learns George is there she wants to talk to him instead. But their relationship is clearly about more than sex at this point but Zoe still says that they don’t talk. Such denial.
- Zoe also puts zero effort into hiding her feelings about Ruby in front of Lavon and Ruby.
- Why would anyone put Wade in charge of children? It is a good thing George showed up.
- Connor: “I can do impressions. Want to hear my Jay Leno?” Wade: “God, no”
- Wade talks about his dilemma with Connor but puts it all into snack analogies, does this kid actually think that is what they are talking about? Or does he just accept the analogy and not press?
- Connor tags along with Wade when he tells George that he can’t date Tansy and then Connor gives George the sassiest look.
- Episode Title Trivia: “Achy Breaky Heart” is of course a Billy Ray Cyrus song.