Season 2 ends with Zoe leaving town

HArt of Dixie Season 2, Episodes 21 & 22 (“I’m Moving ON” and “On the Road Again”)
Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie

At the end of last season, when Zoe made a mess of things she tried to leave town instead of dealing with it. Now that she has once again ruined things for other people she is leaving again. This time she actually does, though it is not meant to be permanent. The end of a season is a great time to evaluate how much people have changed, or not, and this season has some clear winners and losers. Zoe seems to be back where she started and selfishly tries to revisit her interest in George. Lemon and Wade have both grown a lot, and despite some hiccups, are in a much a better place than they started. Through what is mostly Zoe’s fault, George ends the season making some rash decisions he is likely to regret.

Lemon and Wade are undoubtedly doing the best in these last few episodes. Though they both had some rough patches, they have learned and grown the most of any of the characters. Running the Rammer Jammer has given them both purpose and a reason to feel good about themselves. In the season premiere Lemon’s goal was to do things on her own. Have a job, her own source of money, and live by herself. And though it has been a bumpy ride, she has finally achieved that. She probably never saw herself going into business with Wade or owning a bar but it is working for her. She even lucks out with getting a popular band to play a show at the Rammer Jammer making it a music venue as well. Things are looking up for Lemon.

Wade hit bottom when he cheated on Zoe and he definitely recognizes that. Ever since then he has really worked to be better and he wants Zoe to see that. He hopes that their sleeping together at the end of “I’m Moving On” means that she might be able to give him a second chance. But he learns that this time he can’t just hope that casual sex will lead to a relationship. He is actually going to have to work for it. He finally puts it all out there for Zoe and does a pretty good job of apologizing, accepting responsibility, and he tells her that he loves her.

Zoe hits her version of rock bottom in these last few episodes and it makes her realize that she needs to back away from it all and get some perspective. She ruins George and Tansy’s relationship, sleeps with Wade when she feels bad about herself, and in general just makes a lot of bad decisions. She at least finally accepts that her feelings for Wade are greater than her feelings for George. And funnily it is George that forces her to see that. George is who she thinks she is supposed to be with, but her heart really wants Wade. She had her opportunities to be with George and she chose Wade. But understandably she isn’t really ready to forgive and forget what Wade did so she tells him that she is going to spend the summer in New York. It is implied that she might be willing to revisit their relationship when she gets back. But when she gets to New York, Jonah finds her and convinces her to take him as her date to her friend’s wedding. He could be just a rebound or maybe another love triangle is going to form.

George also ends this season on a bit of a meltdown. After Tansy breaks up with him because of Zoe’s idiocy, he has a lot of anger. I can understand Tansy’s insecurities about Zoe and George but making him leave town is a bit of an overreaction. George hasn’t done anything to indicate he still had feelings for Zoe and she should trust that. George refuses to leave town even if it means giving up his relationship with Tansy. He is very bitter towards Zoe which is fair, but we are led to believe he may have been willing to forgive if it meant that they could actually have a chance to be together. But when he goes to her house he finds her with Wade and that seems to be the final straw. She broke him and Tansy up because of her supposed feelings for him but she always goes back to Wade. George is pretty broken up about all of this and funnels his range into writing a scathing song about Zoe with the help of Lily Anne and then leaves to go on tour with her. I’m sure nothing could go wrong there.

There are some other plots in these two episodes that will be explored more next season. The feud between Lavon and Mayor Gainey intensifies and that will continue to be a big part of the next season. AnnaBeth also proves to be a great first lady, helping Lavon deal with Gainey in a more diplomatic way. The alligator rescue mission was pretty fun too though it felt like a weird thing to include in a season finale. Brick and Shelby also potentially eloped. They made the plan to elope the next day in “I’m Moving On” but then they were absent in the finale. We will have to wait until next season to see if they went through with it.

I’ve really enjoyed revisiting the end of this season because it is a chunk of the show I haven’t seen as much. Historically I’ve been too annoyed with the cheating storyline to watch it but there is some great stuff in these episodes. I had forgotten a lot of what happens including George going on tour with Lily Anne. But overall I think season 2 is one of the show’s best seasons. There is a lot more character development than the first season and more exploration of what each of them want. The medical stuff took a back seat thankfully since no one is watching this show as a medical drama. Using the doctor’s office as more a set piece and as a way for Zoe to interact with the town is much more effective then the first season’s attempts to make us care about medical cases.

A common criticism of the show is that Rachel Bilson isn’t a convincing doctor, which is true. But is also not the point. The show is very aware of itself and never tries to be something that it isn’t. This is not a show that is concerned about realism. Its portrayal of the South is idealistic and not at all accurate. The show isn’t trying and failing to accurately depict a medical practice or the deep South, because they aren’t trying in the first place. This season really showcases what the show wants to be and what it is best at. Quirky, charming townspeople, overly complicated love lives, and a surprising amount of character development. This show was never a big hit and was easily written off by many. But I am certainly not alone in seeing its value. Since its end I have seen it show up on several lists of hidden gems and underrated shows. I can’t wait to continue the journey with season 3!

Episode Grades: Episode 21 – 7.5/10, Episode 22 – 8/10

Season Grade: 8/10

Best Episode of the Season: Episode 3, “If It Makes You Happy”

Worst Episode of the Season: Episode 16, “Where I Lead Me”

Other Thoughts:

  • Zoe does some online dating in Bluebell and accidentally gets setup with Meatball. Who apparently makes a lot of fake profiles.
  • She eventually gets a pity setup with Max’s dad who fairly points out how much drama she is.
  • Magnolia might actually be more devious than Lemon. Her plan to spike the punch at prom and completely take the suspicion off of her was pretty brilliant.
  • Though from what we see her put in there it would be fairly weak punch.
  • I wasn’t sure if Gloriana was a real band but when they showed up their acting told me they probably were.
  • Next season we will see a lot more band cameos like this at the Rammer Jammer and the show always likes to pretend that the bands are much bigger than they are.
  • Lavon sets up an “elite” team to get his gator back including Frank, Rev. Mayfair, Sergeant Jeffries, Meatball, Tom, and Wanda.
  • Lemon: “Women have smaller bladders than men, it’s a proven fact. It’s to compensate for their larger brains”
  • Episode Title Trivia: “I’m Moving On” is by Rascal Flatts and “On The Road Again” is originally by Willie Nelson.

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