“A Good Run of Bad Luck” and “Back in the Saddle Again”

Hart of Dixie Season 3, Episodes 17 & 18
Rachel Bilson and Jaime King, Hart of Dixie

These first two episodes post-Joel are a huge step in the right direction in getting this show back on track. There are a lot of characters on this show, many of which have rich histories and interesting dynamics. Getting rid of Joel allows the show to get back to focusing on those things. Zoe’s story this season being so wrapped-up in Joel made it so she barely interacted with her friends like Lavon and AB. In both of these episodes we see her returning to those friendships for advice. She and Lemon may even be getting closer.

In “A Good Run of Bad Luck” Zoe is convinced that a curse is the reason that she and Joel didn’t work out. She needs to believe this because otherwise she has to admit that it is her fault. She believes that the curse is punishment for her breaking up Lemon and George’s wedding and wants to right that by getting them back together. Of course Lemon and George have already slept together but they don’t seem to actually want to be together, or at least Lemon doesn’t. Now I don’t really believe that these two should be together, they didn’t work out the first time, not because Zoe ruined it, but because they are incompatible. However, returning to this relationship is a nice way to get the show back to its roots. Lemon and George’s relationship is very important to the overall story since their breakup was the catalyst for everyone else’s personal journeys. They are all once again at a crossroads and George revisiting his feelings for Lemon may be exactly what he needs in order to figure out what it is he really does want.

Lemon seems much more over George and she is still hoping to find the right person. She has Fancie’s which fulfills her professionally, but she wants to be fulfilled personally as well. The return of Peter from Halloween reminds her of this. She has been in multiple casual relationships this season, but none that had any real possibility of a future. Meatball was clearly just for sex, Enrique and Carter were fun but not right, and Peter is fantastic but his job makes him unable to have any real relationship. She and Zoe are facing very similar internal conflicts in “Back in the Saddle Again”. They both are unsure if they should go on their respective dates. For Zoe it may be too soon post-Joel but also she wants to move on. Lemon knows that she can’t have a future with Peter but does that mean she shouldn’t go out with him? They both learn that the answer is yes. Lemon wants something real and Zoe is probably not ready. Plus that guy Zoe went out with sucked.

Predictably as soon as Joel left, the show is already taking steps to dissolve Vivian and Wade’s relationship. This pairing has been more interesting than Zoe/Joel, but clearly it is not going to last. Wade has had to really grow up for Vivian. She is a single mom of a demon child and that has taught Wade a lot of patience. He is tested again after Vivian ditches their date to spend more time with her extended family (because apparently no milestone is too small to celebrate). An attractive lady friend of his hits on him and he swiftly declines. There is no danger that he will make the same mistakes he did with Zoe, but Vivian already has one foot out the door. Family is very important to her and the idea of getting back with her ex-husband is very appealing. They can be a real family unit. At least they are putting more effort into this separation.

AnnaBeth has officially moved on from Lavon and found a new boyfriend, Davis. He is played by Barry Watson who played the oldest son, Matt, in 7th Heaven. Something I only remember because it was heavily promoted when these episodes originally aired. For some reason they thought viewers would be really stoked by this guest star. They may have just been getting desperate to improve their ratings. Davis is kind of weird but seems like a nice guy. The only problem is he is Mayor Gainey’s nephew. This isn’t really a problem for AB, but Lavon is very upset. His jealousy leads him to ruining Bluebell’s bid to host the county fair and insulting AB. This was a rare instance where I felt like the town plot actually worked, because it was integrated into the personal lives of AB and Lavon, instead of just being a boring, unimportant side plot.

I really liked both of these episodes, they felt much more like classic Hart of Dixie. Rating of this season really tanked and it seems they finally realized what they needed to correct to get them back. I loved the return to focusing on the core dynamics of the show and the growth of Lemon and Zoe’s relationship. They are never going to be super close, but considering all of their mutual friends, they are going to have to be more willing to talk to each other.

Episode Grades: “A Good Run of Bad Luck” and “Back in the Saddle Again” 8/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Zoe eventually admits that if she had wanted to be with Joel she could have been. He wanted her to move with him, but she chose Bluebell. They didn’t work out because the relationship wasn’t worth the move. Which means it wasn’t right.
  • Zoe officially puts her house for sale after the renovations are done. She can just live in the carriage house forever!
  • Due to his renewed feelings for Lemon, George steps back from the restaurant and gives Lemon the reigns. Which is probably for the best anyway.
  • I loved Zoe and Lemon both asking Brick what outfit they should wear for their dates. Especially since Lemon was specifically asking Brick which outfit was better to signal that she is open to casual sex.
  • Zoe’s date is awful. He describes his job as a “doctor that specializes in teeth”.
  • Lemon: “I will be having sex tonight and enjoying my own liberation”
  • “Pro-phyl-laaactics!”
  • Magnolia returns to pull off one of her greatest deceptions yet. She tells Brick she is going to a party at Carter Covington’s in Charleston which sends Brick there to get her back. But she was never there, she wanted him out of town so she could throw a party. Genius.
  • “I have sired an evil genius”
  • Brick was able to let Lemon figure her own stuff out but Magnolia needs much more guidance. And she seems to really want it. A lot of her acting out is just to get attention.
  • Episode Title Trivia: “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is by Clint Black and “Back in the Saddle Again” is Gene Autry.

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