“Act Naturally” and “Here You Come Again”

Hart of Dixie Season 3, Episodes 13 & 14
Wilson Bethel and Jaime King, Hart of Dixie

It is unfortunate that Jaime King’s pregnancy had to line up with Hart of Dixie’s worst season but her return in “Here You Come Again” showed just how important she is to this show. Lemon started out as a somewhat flat character, designed mostly to be an adversary to Zoe. But she quickly became one of the best characters on the show, especially after her split from George. Lemon’s minimal presence this season has certainly not been the only issue, but her return made for one of the best episodes of the season so far.

Lemon has been busy while she was away, taking care of Grandma Bettie and getting herself two new boyfriends. The first is the perfect Alabama gentleman, Carter Covington. The second is Bettie’s driver, Enrique. Lemon is unapologetically dating both of them and having the time of her life. Even when they both find out about it, Lemon’s magnetism is too much for either to resist and they agree to compete with each other over her. This whole saga is pretty fun but the best part was the reconnection of Lemon and Wade’s friendship. He is the one she calls when she gets thrown in jail for dancing naked in a fountain because she can trust that he won’t say anything. He even helps her by keeping Enrique occupied when both he and Carter show up in Bluebell to surprise her. Their friendship is one of my favorite relationships in this show and it was great to see that they still have each other’s backs even though they aren’t business partners anymore.

These episodes also revisited Zoe’s relationship with her mom. Now that she has gotten so close with the Wilkes, Zoe has kind of replaced her mom without telling her. But Candace makes a surprise appearance for Zoe’s birthday ruining her attempt to compartmentalize her family members. At first Zoe comes up with one of her insane schemes to keep her mother away from her new family by faking a medical emergency to simultaneously attend a birthday party Joel threw for her and have dinner with her mom. This was maybe her worst scheme yet and it does not work. Joel doesn’t approve but also does nothing to stop her and even plays along. Zoe has always had a difficult relationship with her mom but what they both really want is to be a priority in each others lives.

Candace doesn’t like feeling replaced by the Wilkes so she tries to cement her spot in Zoe’s life by moving to Bluebell and using her PR skills to force Brick to give Zoe her half of the practice back. Zoe knows that this is unreasonable. She gave Brick the practice, he didn’t steal it. But she goes along with the plan to smear Brick for a while because she is enjoying that her mom is actually focused on her for once. She does eventually realize it isn’t worth hurting Brick over. That is the New York way of doing things and she is a Bluebellian now. Thankfully Candace also realizes that it is probably best they don’t live in the same state and goes back to New York.

There were some other familiar faces that returned in these episodes that we haven’t seen much of lately. Magnolia makes her first appearance of the season after she gets kicked out of boarding school for stealing the dean’s car so she could pick up an older boy. Clearly boarding school hasn’t had the influence on her that Brick was hoping for. Sadly she is being sent to Grandma Bettie’s so she won’t be sticking around for now. We also got an Earl appearance and any episode with an Earl storyline is always a favorite of mine. Wade has yet to introduce him to Vivian, or even tell him that he and Zoe broke up. He also hasn’t told Vivian that his dad is known as Crazy Earl and is the town drunk. Earl of course still has his heart set on Zoe and Wade being together, but when he finally gets the opportunity to meet Vivian he gives her a chance and even cleans up for the occasion.

These episodes were a step in the right direction toward fixing this season. Not just Lemon’s return, but both of these episodes focused on relationships that the audience is actually invested in. Zoe’s tough relationship with her mom is a large part of what made her move to Bluebell in the first place so it is good when the show checks in on that from time to time. They are probably always going to have their issues but they are slowly working toward understanding each other better. Wade’s relationship with Earl is difficult for different reasons but Earl loves Wade and just wants to make sure that he is happy and doesn’t end up like him. Family is at the heart of this show and when it remembers that it can be really great.

Episode Grades: “Act Naturally” 7/10, “Here You Come Again” 8/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Zoe and Joel are living in the carriage house while the renovations happen at their new house. I was just so happy to see her back there.
  • Earl is “consulting” on the renovations of Zoe’s house, because he wants to make sure it is good for his future daughter-in-law – he is so precious.
  • Candace just slapped Wade the moment she saw him. Fair.
  • Lavon is distracting himself from the pain of breaking up with AB by party planning. First Zoe’s birthday, then Lemon’s. He is going to pour all of his energy into planning town events.
  • AB takes over as head of the Belle’s when Crickett is deposed. But being the great friend she is she makes Crickett her co-leader.
  • Tom is working as George’s assistant at the law firm. Which apparently also means he does investigative work for George’s personal life.
  • Scooter wins Tansy back by quitting his job and developing a passion for animals and the environment.
  • Don Todd Monster Golf Safari: Lavon and George are watching a lot of Don Todd to work through their pain. This week we see Don Todd in the Sahara desert.
  • Brick throws a massive 20’s themed party in like a day. How did everyone get costumes so quickly?
  • Episode Title Trivia: “Act Naturally” was originally recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos but it was made more famous by The Beatles. “Here You Go Again” is by Dolly Parton.

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