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TV Review: Hart of Dixie – “In Havoc and in Heat”

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The newest episode of the CW’s Hart of Dixie, “In Havoc and in Heat,” finds a heat wave striking Bluebell. The residents lose inhibition, and begin to act a bit crazier than normal. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) resists, but is soon overcome by her attraction to Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel). Similarly, Lemon Breeland (Jaime King) has trouble keeping her mind off of Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), who she spies on a date while trying to create the perfect evening for George Tucker’s (Scott Porter) parents.

On a quick side note, Nancy Travis’s presence in Hart of Dixie is already missed sorely. Please let Last Man Standing be canceled quickly so she can return!

Having never lived in the south, it’s impossible to know if this heat wave effect is legitimate. Based on personal experience, it’s odd that the characters are wild and drunk-like, rather than slow and sluggish. Is this real? Or is this just something created for a television drama? After all, none of the people on screen can stop talking about the effect, mentioning it over and over again throughout the hour. Even if the phenomenon exists, it’s overdone in “In Havoc and in Heat.” A little less heavy dialogue about it would have made for a better episode.

While still not a fan of Bilson, who seems to be trying too hard to express emotion, the character of Zoe in Hart of Dixie is progressing nicely. Upon arriving in town, she is reviled and pressured to leave by many of the citizens, most notably Lemon and Lemon’s father, Brick (Tim Matheson). Brick even finds a clause that will get Zoe removed as his partner if she can’t bring in enough business. If he can run her off, he gets the entire practice to himself. This is a major focus of the first few episodes, even after viewers get a chance to witness Zoe doing selfless things, and really helping patients.

But those things have eased up. Brick isn’t giving Zoe too much trouble anymore. Sure, there’s the token grumbling when Zoe pulls him from dinner to help her with a mentally unstable woman in “In Havor and in Heat.” But he goes, and together, they solve the case. In fact, he seems less resistant to working with her every week. They are beginning to act as a team, a welcome respite from their bickering. Brick tosses Zoe patients. He doesn’t seem to be following up on the clause mentioned above. It seems Zoe may finally be settling into Bluebell, and not at such a risk for being run out of town so much anymore.

Lemon still hates Zoe with a vengeance, but that is probably just jealously. After all, Zoe is stealing away part of Lemon’s father’s business. Lemon’s fiance, George, won’t stay away from Zoe, even after being expressly told to. Lavon makes her breakfast. The men most important to Lemon, the ones she cares about, are sharing their attentions with the new doc. Zoe is not just the central character in Hart of Dixie, but also a fixture in these men’s lives already. Perhaps one day Lemon and Zoe can be friends, but not until Lemon learns to share a little better.

Speaking, of Lemon’s inability to share, she needs to pick one man and stick with him. Presumably her main squeeze is George, and yet she can’t seem to let go of Lavon, who it is hinted at is her ex. Lavon says she ended things between them six months ago, prior to the series start, but Lemon is already planning a wedding with George. Was there overlap? Either way, watching Lemon get flustered when seeing Lavon with Didi (Nadine Velazquez, My Name is Earl, The League) reveals that the blonde is not over the town’s mayor. Given that this is a drama, it would not be surprising if Lavon and Lemon are heading towards a renewal of their relationship, especially if it comes on the eve, or just before, Lemon’s wedding to George.

Which will make George’s mom (Ilene Graff, Mr. Belvedere) happy. She takes an instant liking to Zoe, unlike her obvious distaste for Lemon. Lemon has her faults, but she is working very hard to please Mrs. Tucker. Why does Mrs. T. hate Lemon so much? Is it the airs Lemon puts up? Her insincerity? If this is the case, surely she can see just how much Lemon is trying? It’s nice that the woman likes Zoe, as hopefully Zoe and George will date, for awhile, at least. But her hating Lemon while Lemon is showing her absolute best self is sad, and makes Mrs. Tucker an unlikeable character.

George may have some competition for Zoe. At first, Zoe sees her neighbor, Wade, as a pesky annoyance. Viewers know that Wade is sweet on Zoe, but it’s not in his personality to show it in the traditional way. This may be why it takes a little while for Zoe to start to see Wade as a potential love interest. Yet once she does in “In Havoc and in Heat,” and they share the moment on the porch, before the rain cools down Zoe’s head, it will be hard to go back. She even smiles at him after, when he catches her skinny dipping. This is one cat that will not be put back in the bag.

The only question now is, will George or Wade get to Zoe first? Most likely, it will be at the same time, and she will have to choose. But her choice is anyone’s guess. Ah, Hart of Dixie. Quite fun, but still an angsty CW drama.

The heat lets Zoe loosen up in more ways than just considering being a looser woman, sexually. As mentioned above, she strips off her clothes and jumps in a dirty pond. Probably unwise, given that Lavon owns an alligator. Still, nice to see, and not referring to a lecherous manner. It’s a continuation of the mellowing that begins in the “Pilot,” when Zoe leaves New York City to move to Bluebell in the first place. While she still maintains some of the uptight facade, anyone willing to take such a big risk is well on their way to a personality change. In this case, it’s a positive thing.

Watch Hart of Dixie Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com
  • well its not bubba

    What is this the 50’s? We actually have air cons and cement ponds in Alabama.