“Red Dye #40”

Hart of Dixie Season 4, Episode 4 (“Red dye #40”)
Laura Bell Bundy, Hart of Dixie

Now that Zoe and Wade have gotten back together and decided to raise the baby as a couple, the show can shift its focus to the other characters. This episode had a very different style than any other I can think of in the series, but it still felt right for the show. In jumps around in time as much of the episode focuses on solving the mystery of who sabotaged Shelby in the town talent show. Shelby has an allergic reaction to red food dye in the middle of her performance of “All That Jazz” during the show and it is believed to be an intentional sabotage. It is a pretty fun, light story that brings most of the main cast together as well as many of the favorite Bluebell townspeople.

Instead of the more clichéd “good cop, bad cop” set up, Hart of Dixie uses Sheriff Bill and George to question the suspects with Bill being the mostly incompetent cop and George being the voice of reason. In the sleepy town of Bluebell, Sheriff Bill has never really had to investigate a crime and he doesn’t really know how to go about it. George has to constantly pull him back on track when his questioning isn’t very effective. Of course with this being Bluebell, it ends up being an accident, no one purposefully tried to sabotage Shelby, though there were many people who stood to benefit from her losing including Lemon, the Truitt brothers, and Stanley who were all primary suspects.

Through the flashbacks a lot of the more substantial stories are set up. The most important being Lemon’s which focuses on her continued efforts to get back Fancie’s and her relationship with Shelby. Lavon sets up this whole talent show as a means of giving Lemon the money she needs to repair Fancie’s without officially giving it to her. But with the prize money so much, a lot of people are competing. Brick also uses it as an opportunity to bring Shelby and Lemon closer. But Shelby entering the contest makes it almost impossible for Lemon to win. The thing is if Lemon actually got to know Shelby she probably would like her. Shelby can be ridiculous but she is a good person and very upfront with who she is. And they both do love musical theater. Even though Shelby ultimately wins the contest, she gives the money to Lemon because her friendship is more important to Shelby than the money. If she and Brick are ever going to be happy together, they need to get Lemon on board. So now Lemon finally has the money for Fancie’s and she can get back on track with her professional dreams. Now the only issue is Lavon. She is in love with him, but her friendship and loyalty to AnnaBeth is more important to her.

The only people who were not at the talent show were Zoe and Wade. Now that they are back together they are starting to focus on how to make things work. This episode jumps forward another six weeks, likely to lineup closer to Rachel Bilson’s actual pregnancy timeline. Zoe and Wade have been back together but keeping it a secret, even from Lavon. They are enjoying the bubble it has given them but Wade is ready to tell everyone. Zoe is afraid that once they do people are going to start asking a lot of difficult questions concerning them as a couple and their parenting. They haven’t really gotten around to having those conversations and she is terrified that once they do it will be their undoing. This is mostly setting up what their story is going to be for the rest of this season. Now that they don’t have to worry about if they are going to be together or not they can focus on building their life together and raising their child. It is great to see them getting to have such a mature storyline in this last season and the perfect way to end their story.

This is a really fun episode but it is mostly a setup episode. The talent show investigation was cute and a fun way to shift the focus onto some of the other characters. The first three episodes of this season focused so much on Zoe and Wade’s relationship but the rest of the season will feature the other characters much more. Lemon finally got the money for Fancie’s so that part of her story is mostly wrapped up. Now the show can focus on her romantic and familial relationships which will dominant her story the rest of the series. George starts managing the Truitt brothers’ band and though reluctant at first, he finds it surprisingly fun. He has wanted to expand his horizons since the beginning of the show and he might finally be doing so.

Episode Grade: 7/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Zoe is so desperate to keep her and Wade’s relationship hidden that she is willing to pee in a bucket to keep from revealing them. However, she finally does when she is the one who figures out the mystery of what happened to Shelby.
  • Being allergic to red food dye seems very inconvenient. I imagine it is in a lot of things.
  • Lemon: “I’m a Southern lady, my methods of warfare are purely psychological”
  • Stanley bedazzles his jazz shoes to give him and Crickett a competitive edge. He and Crickett are finally getting a divorce since they are both ready to move on. Crickett with Jaysene and Stanley with Sadie.
  • Tom: “Maybe a goat isn’t a great pet for a baby” Wanda: “Well maybe a baby isn’t a great pet for a goat”. Wanda seems more interested in their pet goat than the baby.

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