Hart of Dixie Review: Caring Can Suck

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Being human. It's more than a series on Syfy, Zoe Hart. It's the experience if living, and you came awfully close to missing out on it this week during "Disaster Drills & Departures."

Indeed, television's cutest doctor was diagnosed with a serious case of the I Don't Give a Damns to kick off this Hart of Dixie installment, understandable, really, given Rose's ailment and Zoe's loss of George to Lemon.

It's easy to see how those events good make someone cold, even in the constant heat of Bluebell, Alabama. But while the penultimate episode of season one didn't conclude with any kind of cliffhanger, it did serve to show just how far various characters have come over the past 20-plus episodes. We all knew Zoe's heart would eventually break down, didn't we?

Return of Ethan Hart

And that's not something we would have said in September. She was all business back then, it wasn't just an act. This surgeon arrived down south for the sole purpose of going back north. One year. Be nice. Pretend to care and I'll be back behind the operating table. That was Zoe's state of mind when we first met her.

But, slowly, that caring ceased being an act and she found herself in a small town where everyone knows everything about everybody - and, yes, that can be irritating at times. It can also be comforting.

No place can it be more comforting, moreover, than inside the local doctor's office, where one is free to discuss one's problems, both physical and emotional. Of course Zoe would get caught up in this quaint, friendly life - and, no, it didn't hurt that the men around her were either Hallmark card nice; or Playgirl style hot.

So that's where Zoe was this week, battling between her old self and her new self. The re-appearance of her father was very well done by the show, as the way Zoe views Ethan also serves to represent how far she's come. He actually distinguished between being Zoe's father and being a surgeon here, a contrast Zoe could never see until, ironically, she learned Ethan was actually NOT her father.

That revelation, though, simply made these two more like family than ever before.

I was glad to see Hart of Dixie didn't drag out the possibility of Zoe leaving for very long. We all knew it wasn't going to happen, right? Therefore, instead of contriving suspense out of this non-storyline, the series used it to reveal a lot about Zoe's character and the changes she has undergone since moving to Alabama. Very well done.

Elsewhere... sorry, but I still don't care about Lemon nor, as a result, her relationship with George. The former became unredeemable a long time ago, even qualifying as the worst character on TV in the eyes of some. She got her head stuck in a bed frame? They reminisced about high school? Sex under the bleacher?

Nope. I don't care. I still see this as fodder for dragging out the inevitable of Zoe getting together with George.

The Wade and Lavon interactions were enjoyable, as they have been all season. It seems hard to believe that Wade wouldn't already know Penny pretty well, as the major point driven home this week was how close-knit a small town can be. But the scene where he stumbled his way out of that loan was still fun to watch. Did we underestimate these two when we didn't include them in our Dynamic Duo poll?

So now we head into the Hart of Dixie season finale without any real suspense hanging over anyone, but that seems apt for a series that more about general life down south than it is any kind of shocking twist or turn, doesn't it? We know George and Lemon plan to get married next Monday, begging the question: Will they?

And also: what should Wade name his bar?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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