Hart of Dixie Season 2, Episode 11 (“Old Alabama”)
The first episode features a big Bluebell town event, the Pioneer Days Festival where they celebrate the founding of the town. Southern Living magazine is even doing a piece on it which is a great opportunity to boost tourism. The centerpiece of the festival, First Feast, is also a chance for Lemon and AnnaBeth to advertise their catering business, if Lavon would let them. Lavon is still pretty mad at Lemon for the part she played in his break up with Ruby so he won’t hire her. Lemon and AnnaBeth stage a breakup of their partnership so that Lavon will hire just AnnaBeth. Of course he knows that they are scheming, but he does it anyway. He plays along and forces Lemon to be the “grog wench” for the feast, meaning she refills everyone’s drinks. He is punishing her for what she did and successfully keeps her name out of the Southern Living piece. Any hopes of these two getting back together are pretty much shelved for now.
The honeymoon phase of a new relationship is great. But it doesn’t last forever, eventually things are going to get real. Zoe and Wade are one month into their relationship and she is terrified of what will happen when Wade starts being himself again. So Zoe does the mature thing and avoids it. She follows the advice of Crickett, and the wife of the town founder, and chooses to turn from anger anytime that Wade does something Wade-like. This is obviously a terrible plan, especially considering the astonishing number of stupid things Wade does. At first Wade is happy to take the free passes but pretty quickly realizes how unhealthy it is. It turns Zoe into someone completely different (basically a Belle). His response is maybe even more immature, he is going to do a bunch of dumb things to get a rise out of her resulting in them getting into a fight in front of the entire town. Neither of them have ever been in a real relationship before and they have a lot to learn. Zoe and Wade are definitely going to be the couple that fights a lot. They are so different and co-existing is going to take work. If the relationship is worth it, it will be rewarding and if not then they will realize they aren’t right for each other.
Brick and Shelby’s hook up in the gazebo over Christmas has turned into a regular thing, though probably not in the gazebo. Brick is afraid that people will judge him for dating someone so much younger than him so he gets George to help him break up with her. But despite what people might think, he really likes Shelby and she makes him happy. This plot though is much more about George and Brick and the repairing of their relationship. Things have been icy since George and Lemon broke up but Brick seems ready to bury the hatchet and be friends with George again.
Episode Grade: 8/10
HART OF DIXIE SEASON 2, EPISODE 12 (“ISLANDS IN THE STREAM”)
The main storyline of this episode is George, Tansy, Wade, and Zoe’s attempts to navigate their weird relationship circumstances. Since they are the same couple, they find themselves running into each other on date nights, which is awkward. Tansy and Wade used to be married and Zoe and George have their weird history. To make matters worse, George’s ever terrible parents come into town and his mom is convinced that George and Zoe should be together so she literally kidnaps them on George’s boat to try and convince them. This whole bit is completely ridiculous but at least it leads to George and Zoe coming to the realization that they may never be together and that is okay. They are both happy in the relationships they are in. Though they both have seen themselves ending up with the other eventually, they are fine if that never happens. Thank God. This doesn’t close off the possibility of them being together but it at leasts puts it aside for now and offers up the idea that their futures are uncertain.
Tansy and Wade have pretty different reactions to this whole thing. Tansy is very active, Wade much more passive. Tansy is afraid that George’s mom will convince him to be with Zoe so she fights to keep her place. Wade, having been through so much in this love triangle, has decided to take it as it comes and not fret too much about what his future with Zoe might look like, or if there even is one. In some ways this is a healthy response because it keeps him from jealousy. But in the long term it could hurt him.
There are two other smaller plots in the episode, one of which is extremely weird. I don’t even want to get into the whole thing with AnnaBeth and Oliver, the river boat guide with Foreign Accent Syndrome. Even for Hart of Dixie this was too much quirk and I am not sure what we are supposed to get from it. That AnnaBeth is into British guys? That fantasies aren’t real? Ultimately it is not important and spoiler alert, Oliver will not be returning. Finally, Brick struggles to tell Lemon about his relationship with Shelby because she knows Lemon will disapprove, and she does.
Episode Grade: 6.5/10
I liked “Old Alabama” a lot more than “Islands in the Stream”, but I liked the conclusion of the latter. Zoe and George have their love of foreign films in common but that isn’t what makes two people good for each other. This was the first episode in pretty much the entire series that Zoe has said she is okay if her future doesn’t include George and actually seemed sincere. “Old Alabama” was just a lot of fun with all of the Pioneer Days stuff. Every time Rachel Bilson said “project” was fantastic.
- Tom had some great lines in “Old Alabama”.
- “Don’t blow this for me. Blacksmith, Wanda, blacksmith”
- “Strip clubs go back to the Bible”
- This was the first time we meet Meatball, an old friend of Wade’s.
- AB: “Impenetrable? We’ll see about that”
- Shelby: “People almost never love me at first, and then they just give in”
- Episode Title Trivia: “Old Alabama” is a Brad Paisley song and “Islands in the Stream” was written by the Bee Gees and recorded by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.