“End of Days”

Hart of Dixie Season 4, Episode 9
Cress Williams, Hart of Dixie

The sky is falling in BlueBell! Well not really, but when AnnaBeth is visited by Cyrus Lavinius Jeremiah Jones/Lavon in her dream the town certainly seems to think so. She is given five omens to signal the end of the world all of which can come true if you try to make it so. Hart of Dixie uses the town’s fears of the world ending as a device for all of the main characters to be honest about what they want. This isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept but Hart of Dixie has never really striven for that kind of storytelling. It has always shamelessly indulged in cliches and we absolutely love it for it. This is the penultimate episode of the series and everyone is pretty much settled and coupled up. I’ve said many times that one of the reasons that I love this show so much is the satisfying arcs that everyone gets. This episode demonstrated just how far all of these individuals and their relationships have come over the series.

Let’s start with the show’s central couple, Zoe and Wade. They are having a baby and seem pretty settled down together. Marriage seems like the probable next step for them, except Zoe doesn’t believe in it. She sees marriage as a sexist, antiquated system. It is a valid opinion but not one shared by Wade. Zoe’s opinions aren’t about marriage to Wade, but the institution in general. I’m not sure that we have ever heard her talk about this before, but Lavon assures us it is well known aspect of her character. But whether they get married or not is not really important. At this point it is just so satisfying to see how far they have come. In Season 1 they have a lot of chemistry but it mostly manifests through bickering and a refusal to acknowledge what might be between them. Zoe is convinced that George is the man for her, but he is engaged to Lemon. George is everything that she imagined the right match would be for her. Someone who shares her career ambition, likes the same artsy films as her, understands her love of New York, and wants something bigger than Bluebell. But all of those things are superficial and not something that you can build a relationship on.

In Season 2, Wade and Zoe start sleeping together but keep it casual until they realize that they care too much for that. They attempt a real relationship but neither of them are really ready for it. They are both emotionally immature and don’t understand what it means to be in a committed, healthy relationship with someone. This leads to Wade cheating on Zoe when he gets insecure about George. The heartbreak that Zoe feels from this really fuels the rest of that season and the next. She tries to convince herself that she should have just chosen George and saved herself the heartbreak, but she still comes back to Wade when she ruins that too. Wade tries to win her back but ultimately she moves back to New York for a while and returns to Bluebell with a new boyfriend. While it is well documented that Joel is my least favorite character, his existence does provide some necessary growth for both Zoe and Wade. They learn to actually be friends, something that they never really had before. They both grow from their respective relationships, allowing them to come back together better than before in Season 4. Now they are having a child together, and the only question that remains is will they get married? Wade seems to have assumed they would eventually, but Zoe never planned to. However after a trip down memory lane with George he talks her into it. They have gone through so much together and both changed for each other, it is the ultimate commitment to each other and Wade wants that. And now it seems Zoe does too, unfortunately Lemon and Lavon steal their engagement moment.

Lemon and Lavon too have had a long and winding road to finding love together. It is interesting that though they have a lot of history, we have never really seen them together as a couple until now. They had an affair before the series began while George was away in New York. But by the time the show starts they have ended their relationship and Lemon is engaged to George. They clearly both still have feelings for each other but Lemon refuses to acknowledge it. She has always planned to marry George and that is what she is going to do. Lavon tries to move on and date other people, but his heart is just not really in it. By the time George leaves Lemon though, Lavon has moved on to Ruby and then AnnaBeth. They both date other people for the next two seasons, their timing never really being right. They have always been in the back of each others minds and now they are finally in love with each other at the same time. Though they are not in any rush to get married, when Lemon mistakes Zoe’s proposal to Wade as Lavon proposing to her, she says yes and Lavon goes with it.

The final main couple is George and AnnaBeth. They don’t have the history that the others do, mostly because the show just threw them together at the last minute. But while everyone else is settling down, they are still trying to figure out what their futures as individuals looks like and they are excited to explore that uncertainty together. George gets the opportunity to finally leave Bluebell and AnnaBeth encourages him to take it. He is moving to Nashville to be the manager of country superstar Pam Bailey. I like this development for them. George has always wanted more than Bluebell and I would be disappointed if he stayed for a relationship. That is what drove him and Lemon apart. AnnaBeth too has grown so much and become more than a housewife. She started the series as Lemon’s sidekick and a woman whose entire life centered around her husband and the Belles. When she got divorced, she discovered a whole new world of possibilities and she is now studying to be a nurse. She too is going to have her own life and is not ready to base decisions off of George.

Hart of Dixie is the kind of show that is ultimately going to wrap everything up in a nice bow. Everyone is going to be happy and headed for something great. And at this point we have pretty much gotten there. While in other shows I might find this annoying or unnecessary, in Hart of Dixie it works. This isn’t a show that is striving for innovate storytelling or realism. It is an escapist, unapologetic romantic comedy that has some surprising character growth and a unique brand of feminism not often seen in these types of stories. Though the romantic relationships get most of the attention on this show, each of the couples discussed above features a strong, independent woman whose love life is an important piece of the whole of their life, but never the entirety. The show has always focused on the whole of its characters lives and what they need to be happy. I will dive more into this and the many other reasons I love this show when I cover the series finale next week!

Episode Grade: 9/10

Other Thoughts:

  • The Five Omens
    • A flood will smite a foe – a water main breaks in Fillmore
    • A former couple will say N.O. – George and Zoe go to New Orleans for Meatball’s show
    • A chicken will be sent to bed – Brick orders Chicken Truitt on bed rest
    • A city street will run blood red – red paint is spilled in the street when it falls of a truck
    • Darkness will replace the light – the lights got out in the town square
  • “CLJ-squared”
  • Lavon: “If you don’t marry him I will”
  • There are a couple of callbacks to Zoe and George’s “relationship”
    • Zoe gives George a ride when his car breaks down – a reversal of how they meet in the pilot
    • They go to New Orleans together just as they did when George first broke up with Lemon. Except this time it is completely platonic and Zoe is very pregnant with Wade’s baby. They both look back on it fondly though. Even if they were never really a couple it was meaningful to both of them. It allowed George to realize that he could have more in life and it pushed Zoe towards Wade.
  • Jamestown Revival cameos and Zoe acts like they are a very big deal. I initially discovered them because of this episode and they have become one of my favorite bands. Though it is not that well showcased here because it is a TV show, they are great songwriters and singers. I saw them live right before the pandemic hit and they were amazing. If you haven’t checked them out you definitely should.
  • Brick is inspired by the fake end of the world and decides to go “mud dogging” with the Truitts. I’ve never heard it called that but “mudding” was a popular past time when I lived in Alabama. I never experienced it but my understanding is that it is essentially just driving an ATV on muddy terrain.
  • Crickett wants to make amends because she really does believe the world is ending. She focuses that energy on “Smelly Marjorie” a girl she, Lemon, and AnnaBeth made fun of in high school. They go about it very wrong though and make it more about making themselves feel better than her. This girl clearly just wanted to forget it and move on but they kept making her relive it.

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