Hart of Dixie Season 4, Episode 1
Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie

We have made it to the fourth and final season of Hart of Dixie. This season being only 10 episodes means that things are going to move pretty rapidly. They definitely went into this season knowing that it was going to be the last which is always the best way to end a series. There is much less filler and everything is written with the idea of bringing all of the characters stories to a close. A lot of ground is covered in this episode and though it was a little rushed, I don’t think the season as a whole feels that way. Much of this episode, and season, was shaped by the fact that Rachel Bilson was already visibly pregnant when the season started. So they had to speed things up to get Zoe to both sleep with Wade and find out that she is pregnant all in one episode.

This is one of the rare instances where I actually like that an actress’s real life pregnancy is incorporated into the show. In this case it serves the story well. For much of the episode Zoe and Wade are going back and forth about getting back together. Zoe still believes that they can be better this time. They have both grown so much since they were last together and they are in a much better position to make it work this time. Wade is much more reluctant. He is afraid of getting hurt again but eventually he comes around, though for Zoe it is too late. After she finds out she is pregnant she has a change of heart. She can’t be playing games with him anymore, it is all or nothing. This is why I think the pregnancy storyline actually works for them. There is no question about whether Zoe and Wade love each other. The question is can the make a relationship work between them. Having her be pregnant forces the issue right away and it is honestly better than them spending a season trying to figure out if they are going to be a couple or not. With a baby, they are either going to have to get serious quick, or they are going to co-parent while apart. No more games or casual sex that may lead to something more like it did last time.

What isn’t working as well in this episode is Grandma Bettie who is unfortunately back. This woman is far too concerned with her family’s love life and refuses to leave until she is satisfied with who they are with. Lemon comes back from her cruise with another fake boyfriend, Dr. Henry Dalton. He is essentially perfect. He comes from a good family, he is a doctor, a philanthropist, a hero, etc. But Lemon is only pretending to be with him to get the money for Fancie’s. Bettie is also concerned with Brick’s lack of partner and pushes him to date acceptable women but he just wants to be with Shelby who returns to get him back. They are sneaking around until Bettie leaves which seems to be never happening. Grandma Bettie might be my least favorite character in the entire show. She is one dimensional and her accent is so over the top and terrible. While I can certainly believe that there are rich, Southern grandmas who are overly invested in their family’s love lives they aren’t likely so terrible as her. I am so ready for them to just kick her out.

Crickett also got her first substantial plot of the series. Until now she has mostly just been a background friend of Lemon and AB’s. In the season 3 finale she came out as gay during her vow renewal and this episode deals with the result of that. At first she is terrified of facing the town and specifically the Belles. Which is fair, being gay in that society is not typically welcomed. But AB pushes her to confront the Belles and it is mostly fine. They are supportive for the most part but still ask a lot of insensitive/homophobic questions out of ignorance. But it gives her the confidence to resume life and she even gets a date with Jaysene, the volunteer fire instructor.

Despite Grandma Bettie’s existence I really liked this episode. This season is a lot of fun and is a great end to the series. I don’t know what the season would have been like if Rachel Bilson hadn’t been pregnant but I am glad that it lined up this way. When a show goes into its final season knowing that that is the case, they get to do what they want. There is no concern about how to keep the show going or making the network or critics happy. I remember when they were promoting this season they described it as a season “for the fans” and it definitely feels that way.

Episode Grade: 9/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Zoe’s attempts at getting Wade back include making him a barely edible breakfast, suggesting they go see RoboCop together, serenading him with a Johnny Cash song, and finally just having sex with him.
  • Earl is as ever the biggest cheerleader of their relationship and tries to make them work it out by tricking them into having dinner together.
  • Lavon and George are still fighting over Lemon and are totally thrown off when she comes back with a new boyfriend. They don’t know he is fake but are united in their distrust and hatred of him.

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