Someone performed a personality transplant on Dr. Zoe Hart this week.
Throughout "Parades and Pariah," Rachel Bilson's character wasn't the same cold young woman she portrayed on the premiere, which would be fine if events on that episode hadn't taken place just four days earlier.
Remember, Zoe took the job at Bluebell because it was a means to an end: the surgical residency she always dreamed about in New York City. But, here, all she could talk about was Harley and following in his footsteps and not letting down her father, a man she didn't even know existed (in that role) until a few days ago and a man she met once.
It was a pretty big leap to suddenly make Zoe inspired by Harley. Wouldn't she be bitter about the deception? Wouldn't she have a number of questions and complaints? Given time, this storyline could have opened up the character and allowed her to realize that maybe she isn't so urban after all. Maybe she actually has a lot in common with these small-town folks.
Clearly, the show is headed in that direction. But I wish it had taken Zoe more time to warm up to her roots instead of having her instantly embrace her role as the next Harley Wilkes.
And then there's the football costume line. Football costume, really?!? Zoe is the same person who instantly recognized multiple Pro Bowler Lavon Hayes. Now, she suddenly doesn't know proper sports lingo?!? Talk about another missed opportunity. For someone looking to fit in down south, there is truly no better way than to talk college football. This would have been a nice character quirk: Zoe is hated on by the women of Bluebell, struggling to prove her worth as a doctor... but, come Saturday afternoons, she's at the Rammer Jammer and cheering on Alabama with the boys.
Based on what we knew about Zoe before, she ought to be analyzing the intricacies of the spread offense, not looking at her "costume" in disgust.
There were aspects of the episode I enjoyed, however, specifically one that may seem small but has loads of potential: the old women on the bench. Basing a series in a small town gives Hart of Zoe a chance to go all Parks and Recreation on us. It can, and it most definitely should, develop a lot of funny side characters, people you look forward to hearing only a line or two every week, but who make Bluebell feel like a real, enjoyable place.
With these women and with the introduction of Dash DeWitt, I'm hopeful the show is headed in that direction.
Overall, it's understandable for Hart of Dixie to still be figuring out its main character. Let's also hope it depicts more dimensions to its supporting players, though, as through two episodes, George is just the overly nice guy; Lemon the spoiled southern brat; Wade the ladies' man. There's not a lot more to these people, but, yes, I need to be patient. I just said it: this is only the second episode.
And at least Zoe's sense of humor is intact. We were treated to some dynamite snark this week (take that, Michael Bay!), most of which is highlighted in our Hart of Dixie quotes section.
Finally, unfortunately, future installments won't feature Mrs. H because Nancy Travis is off to star in an awful sitcom (ABC's Last Man Standing). It's too bad because she and Zoe made a nice team. Team, Zoe. That's a sports term. Look it up.
Just kidding, readers. What did everyone else think?