“61 Candles”

Hart of Dixie Season 4, Episode 8
Jaime King and Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie

With only a few episodes left in the series, Hart of Dixie is really starting to wrap things up. This episode had some big developments, Lemon and Lavon finally getting together, but also tied the knot on some smaller threads from the series. Zoe and Lemon finally reach some understanding and appear to be on their way to something that resembles a friendship. Zoe’s desire to find family and roots in Bluebell are revisited. George’s dreams of doing something more are finally starting to be realized and his parents are finally not terrible. We are also reminded of just what makes Bluebell such a charming little town when everyone pitches in to help out new parents, Tom and Wanda.

Lemon decides stops her stalling with Lavon and they finally get together, however the story this episode really ends up being more about Zoe and Lemon. Ever since Zoe arrived in Bluebell, she and Lemon have been at odds. Zoe is always finding herself inserted into Lemon’s life in various ways and now they are fighting over who gets custody of Lavon. Zoe of course loves Lavon and wants him to be happy, but him being with Lemon is going to be tough for her. Lavon is family to her. She lives on his property so she sees him daily. He is also her confidant. Lemon coming into the picture jeopardizes all of that and Zoe reacts less than ideally. Lemon too is not exactly happy to have to spend more time with Zoe. However, she has waited a long time for her relationship with Lavon and she isn’t going to let Zoe come between them. Lavon and Wade force them to spend some time together and get over their issues, which they do reluctantly. They go to Stanley’s new trailer spa, Le Mobile Spa, and have it out. They eventually make some compromises, Zoe gets to still have her breakfasts with Lavon and Zoe gives up some nights to Lemon. But more importantly they come to understand each other a little more and though they will likely never be friends, they do respect each other. Lavon is important to both of them and they are going to have to share.

In connection with this plot is also Zoe’s quest for family. Zoe moved to Bluebell initially because she had no other options for a job. She quickly learned that the practice had been left to her by her real father, a man just met just once and wasn’t even aware of it. She stayed in Bluebell though in hopes of finding her own place in it and fostering something that feels like family. This season has kind of forgotten about the Wilkes but we can assume that she still has them. But she also has Lavon and now she is starting her own family with Wade. She may not have much to pass down to her son but he will have a whole family around him in Bluebell.

George’s story is also staring to come full circle, even if it requires the audience to makes some leaps to actually believe in it. George goes from lawyer to music manager and his two clients are mediocre redneck musicians. They might be fine for playing local joints but neither group is very likely to get a record deal or any sort of national attention. However, I like it for the completeness of his story on the show. George has always dreamed of his life being more than a small town lawyer. He loves Bluebell and is proud of his position to do good in town but it is not enough for him. It is a major part of what drove him and Lemon apart and his interest in Zoe. Music managing gives him the opportunity to have a life bigger than Bluebell. He will get to travel and it will likely take him away from Bluebell in the long run. Even his parents are finally proud of him. His dad has been laid off after forty years of working for the same firm and he regrets that he didn’t pursue his passions. He doesn’t want George to make the same mistake. They are also approving of his relationship with AnnaBeth. George’s contentious relationship with his parents has been a small thread throughout the whole series and it is nice to see them finally being decent people and supporting their son.

Finally, Tom and Wanda have just had their baby, which they named Froda, and the whole town shows up to help them out. It turns out Tom is pretty vital to the functioning of Bluebell as he holds many jobs in town. This plot was very reminiscent of Gilmore Girls, a show that Hart of Dixie not only shares sets with but is certainly inspired by. Tom is Bluebell’s version of Kirk, the main difference being that Tom seems to be actually good at his many jobs. All episode there is a long line of people outside of their house waiting to give them gifts and offer congratulations. Something very similar happens in Gilmore Girls when the whole town lines up to say goodbye to a dying man. Bluebell is more of a community oriented town than Stars Hollow. Part of what makes Bluebell and Hart of Dixie such great escapist TV is how everyone in Bluebell is always willing to come together to help out a townsperson in need. Even Lemon is willing to get covered in mud and feces while cleaning out a barn when Tom needs it. I don’t know if a town like Bluebell actually exists but the world would probably be a better place of there were more places like it.

Episode Grade: 9/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Tom and Wanda’s baby’s name is Froda. Earlier in the season Tom told Wanda he wanted to name the baby Fredo, I am assuming this is the female version.
  • Just a few of Tom’s jobs include driving Blueber, working at the Dixie Stop, George’s legal assistant, school crossing guard, party clown, and the library.
  • Lemon and Zoe fight over who gets to give Tom and Wanda the last baby gift at the Dixie Stop. Zoe wins because she is pregnant. Frank offers Lemon a one-eyed teddy bear and later in the episode we see her carrying it but she has sewn an eye patch on it.
  • It is Brick’s birthday and everyone seems to have forgotten. Brick is pretty upset that no one seems to care enough to remember but in the end he realizes that it isn’t lack of care, everyone is just busy and more important things are going on. They do however throw him a very last minute party. And I did enjoy him practicing his over the top surprise face.
  • Somehow Brick has also been completely oblivious to Lemon and Lavon’s history.

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