Hart of Dixie Season 3, Episodes 9 & 10
These episodes really demonstrated to me why Season 3 is one that I have such complicated feelings about. If it was just terrible then I could just spend all of these reviews talking about how much it sucks. There are certainly some very pointless plots this season (the merger with Fillmore? Who cares?). But there is also some very necessary character growth that needed to happen to give all of these characters full and satisfying arcs by the end of the series. “Something to Talk About” had probably the best conflict of the season. “Star of the Show” had less interesting conflict but it featured some of the best quirk of the season. I would watch a full 2 hour production of One Cellular Sensation. But I also love seeing Laura Bell Bundy do anything.
At first glance I saw Vivian as Wade’s version of Joel. The distraction relationship that solely exists to keep the relationship that the audience really wants from happening. Which is one of the reasons that Joel falls so flat. His only real function on the show is to keep Zoe from even approaching the idea of getting back together with Wade. He doesn’t really help her to grow all that much since he just goes along with whatever she wants. The only good thing I can really say is that he gives her experience being in a healthy, committed relationship. But their relationship is so boring because there is no conflict in it. They are always happy. What makes Vivian different is that she actually has the potential to make Wade grow. She is not only much more mature and classy than most of the girls he dates, she is a mom. As Wade learned in “Star of the Show” he is going to have to change if he wants to be with her. She has other responsibilities and he is going to have to adapt to that.
Zoe almost ruins their relationship after their first date which results in what is actually a really interesting conflict. Zoe has not really had to deal with what happened with her and Wade. She has distracted herself with Joel and until she sees Wade moving on with someone of actual substance, she hasn’t had to confront how she feels about him. She doesn’t want him to move on and grow with someone else because then she can’t continue hating him. Right now she has the superiority in knowing that he is a disaster at relationships and she has been winning the breakup by being with someone who is much more mature. But the truth is, he has grown a lot already since they broke up and with the right person he could be really great.
But I also understand Zoe’s dilemma here. If I were in her position I would have had trouble telling Vivian to go for it with him. He cheated on her. It would be difficult for her to then have to tell her cousin that he is a great guy. It is hard to see your ex improve in the ways you wanted them to when you were together. And now he is going to be the better man with her cousin. But it isn’t fair of her to keep him from dating someone, especially someone who has the potential to help him really change. Zoe had the opportunity to give Wade a second chance and she chose to leave and started dating Joel. She can’t have it both ways. By the end Zoe realizes that she was in the wrong and fixes it. Hopefully this will make her move on for real. So far Zoe has only moved on by being with someone else. But to really move on you have to forgive and forget. If they are going to live in the same town and be friends, she can’t keep holding their past against him.
Shelby is back to steamrolling over Brick and unintentionally (?) taking advantage of his inability to say no to her. With Lemon’s virtual help, he tries to get rid of her by purposefully tanking her cabaret. He gets Zoe to direct a musical she wrote about cell biology, “One Cellular Sensation”. This was pretty enjoyable. I actually thought the cabaret was really cute and quirky in a way that fits Bluebell. Was it terrible? Definitely. But I always love that there is this sort of group of secondary townie characters that are always used in schemes and productions. As if they literally only exist to support the main characters. I think part of this show really wanted to be a musical considering that they put on some sort of musical production at least once a season. Sometimes the quirk on this show doesn’t land but it did here. Even if it requires you to really believe in Zoe being a doctor.
However, for all the good things we had to also sit through town plots that have no bearing on characterization. They are just a way to fill time. The potential town merger was a big part of both of these episodes. Basically Fillmore wants to take over Bluebell and turn the town square into a shopping mall. I really don’t know why the show felt the need to go down this route this season. The politics of Bluebell has never really been much of a factor in the show before and it is certainly not something I think the average viewer of this show is interested in. I wouldn’t mind if it was a few episodes out of a season that focused on the rivalry of Fillmore, but it is just about every episode this season. And the merger plot is going to be a major part of the rest of the season as I remember.
Episode Grades: 7/10 for both
- Joel is way too easily roped into schemes. He doesn’t even bat an eyelash at the idea of staging a fake affair with AnnaBeth to distract the town from the potential merger.
- “The cicada’s going to lament this one”
- George and Tansy are getting closer again which Lynly is very insecure about. She has been less crazy since they got together for real but it feels like a trap for when this explodes.
- All of Lemon’s video conferencing in on the various dilemmas reminded me of two things, one that the show really suffers without her there. And two that this town cannot get anything done without Lemon.
- I noticed only one biology error – Zoe says that most protozoans don’t move but that isn’t true. Most protozoans are motile.
- Episode Title Trivia: “Something to Talk About” is a Bonnie Raitt song and “Star of the Show” is by Thomas Rhett.