Hart of Dixie's latest installment is "Heart to Hart." Zoe's (Rachel Bilson) dad, Dr. Ethan Hart (Gary Cole, The Good Wife, Office Space), comes to town to perform surgery. Zoe is determined to tell him off for his boorish behavior towards her, but is thrown off balance when he suggests that they be friends, since he is not her biological father. This doesn't go well, erupting at a dinner that Lemon (Jaime King) throws the pair in an attempt to befriend Zoe, thus keeping her enemy close.
What makes a father? Is it DNA, or being there to raise a child? Most people would probably say the latter, but there is no denying that this is a complicated issue. Zoe and Ethan have to deal with it head on in "Heart to Hart." He still feels paternal instincts towards her, but is deeply hurt by his wife's betrayal. Zoe has also been lied to, and it is unfair for Ethan to take his anger out on her. But Ethan's behavior can somewhat be forgiven for the pain it causes him to see Zoe, and what she reminds him of. So the two just have to talk through things, and try to redefine their relationship based on what each wants and can handle.
Zoe and Ethan decide to try to keep their father/daughter bond intact. After all, neither one of them are to blame for what happened. Maybe Ethan doesn't handle the news well, but he's certainly trying to make up for it in "Heart to Hart." After all, he did fly across the country to do Zoe a favor, and that says a lot about how much he cares for her. And she will forgive him because he is the father she grows up loving, and that isn't something easy to shake.
The only possible complaint about Cole being cast in this role for Hart of Dixie is that his schedule may not stay open enough for frequent appearances. Cole is an in-demand actor for a reason, and has recurring parts on several series already. It seems like it can only be a matter of time until he finds a starring role. He definitely deserves one. And that would leave Zoe missing her daddy a whole heck of a lot in the future.