With these two episodes being the last of the ones to air before the holiday hiatus, one would hope that this is the point in which they would have gotten rid of Joel by. Similar to Ruby in season 2. She came in, did her damage, and was gone by Christmas. However, it is sadly not the case and Zoe and Joel seem as solid as ever. This was the first season I actually watched from week to week when it first aired and it was rough having to watch each week waiting for Joel to leave. Because it was so obvious that he would. At this point I was tuning in every week just to see when he would leave. And I was certainly not alone. On season 3’s wikipedia page you can see the ratings dipping each week that he is here. My roommate at the time was watching with me and I think she gave up before the season was out. If you are going to have a character stick around for more than half a season, they have to be compelling. And even eight episodes in, Joel still isn’t.
Hart of Dixie Season 3, Episode 7 (“I run To You”)
This episode almost gave Joel a real storyline, but it still provides him no depth. Zoe is concerned with Joel’s writing block and blames Wade for distracting him. This could have been a plot for the show to actually start exploring Joel’s character but again he was still just as flat as ever, even though the storyline should have been about him. Unless they really don’t want us to care about Joel. I still cannot tell if we are supposed to or not. Is he supposed to be a boring character? Or did they want him to be compelling and just failed? The story ends up being more about Zoe and Wade fighting over the best way to help Joel get over his writer’s block. As if they are the couple and Joel is their child. Zoe is still insecure about Joel and Wade hanging out, but not for the reason she thinks. She claims that she is afraid that Wade will be a bad influence on Joel and distract him from his writing. But she is still hurt over what happened with Wade and is afraid that Joel being friends with Wade means he won’t be on her side. She probably chose Joel because he was so different from Wade. In the end neither of them really help him and it is the Truitt brothers kidnapping Joel, and his experience spending a night with them, that finally gives him an idea.
The Bluebell town event this week is a relay race against other towns in the area, specifically Fillmore. I actually liked how they used this Fillmore rivalry story because the actual race was a side note and the real story was George and Lavon’s friendship. George has started dating Lynly, even if he struggles to define it. He knows that Lavon will be upset when he finds out so they agree to wait until after the race. Lynly ends up telling him though and Lavon kicks George off the relay. Even though it means they will most definitely lose the race since George’s replacement is Meatball. George and Lavon’s friendship has gone through a lot. Lavon had an affair with George’s fiancee. And somehow they are still friends. So I have no doubt that Lavon will get over George dating his crazypants cousin. But it is to George’s credit that he doesn’t bring that up when defending his relationship with Lynly. I definitely would have.
Lavon is also using the relay to avoid AB since she told him she wanted things to be more serious. Even when he finally talks to her about it, the signs aren’t good. He talks about wanting to take things slow but forward. It is vague enough to get her hopes up but very non-committal. AB is fantastic and deserves the best. And I think these two could make a real powerhouse couple if Lavon would commit. AB has shown how great she can be as his partner in political stuff. And they seem to get along great. So what is Lavon’s holdup? He doesn’t seem to be falling over himself for her like he was for Lemon or Ruby and maybe that is what he wants. But his relationship with AB is the most mature and steady we have seen. But there is definitely something holding him back.
Episode Grade: 7/10
Season 3, Episode 8 (“Miracles”)
Instead of the normal Christmas episode, Hart of Dixie went with Hanukkah for this season’s holiday episode. Zoe knows nothing about Hanukkah which isn’t surprising since she has never really seemed that connected to her Jewish heritage. Joel’s family though is much more so and his Grandma Sylvie comes to join them for the holiday. The episode mostly just set up a lot of new things to expect in the New Year, including Zoe getting closer to the Wilkes’s and a very probable romance between Wade and Vivian.
Zoe wants to mend fences with the Wilkes’s but there is still a lot of ice between her and Vivian. Her Uncle Brando though is more willing to embrace her, he also falls for Grandma Sylvie. Eventually it is revealed that Vivian is being so hard on Zoe because her husband left her recently and she is taking it out on Zoe, being extra protective of her family. However having the episode end with the flirtation between Wade and Vivian makes it feel like they did all of this just to get to these two connecting. And to make Zoe jealous because it is going to be weird that he is dating her cousin. Who she only just got onto okay terms with.
Wade is convinced by Tansy to start trying to move on from Zoe by dating someone of substance. I always enjoy the friendship between Wade and Tansy. They really care about each other and are always there to give the other one the harsh truth when they need it. Tansy makes Wade get his tooth fixed and lectures him about his dating choices. He gets Tansy to quit a job that she hates and hires her so she can save up money to buy a salon chair. After he tells Tansy he will start dating more serious women he pretty much immediately sets his eyes on Vivian. If he can’t date Zoe why not date her cousin? From the little bit we get of them in this episode I can already say they have more chemistry than Joel and Zoe but that is a low bar and I think pretty much everyone has chemistry with Wade.
Episode Grade: 7/10
- Tom’s obsession with Joel is adorable. He is ready to blame Zoe for causing Joel’s downfall as a writer. He even dresses up as a homeless man to give Joel some New York City vibes.
- Shelby returns as the new owner of Fancie’s and she is very pregnant. Brick is falling under her spell again and is all ready to marry her and raise their child, until he finds out the child isn’t his. Shelby is turning Fancie’s into a cabaret which sounds amazing.
- George gets back on the relay team and somehow ends up beating the collegiate champion athlete.
- Don Todd Monster Golf Safari: Don Todd is playing golf in the Horn of Africa. Everyone seems to be into it now, not just George.
- Lemon has to go take care of Grandma Bettie who broke her hip. This is obviously a way to give Jaime King maternity leave. All season she has been sitting and hiding behind things.
- Seeing Zoe in Lavon’s kitchen in the morning reminded me of how weird it is that she isn’t living in the carriage house. It is another thing about this season that makes it feel off.
- Episode Title Trivia: “I Run To You” is by Lady Antebellum. There are a lot of songs called “Miracles” but my best guess is the one by Don Williams since that is the first I could find that was a country song.