OPINION: Worming My Way into HART OF DIXIE, Rachel Bilson (THE O.C. alum Rachel Bilson) & Wade Kinsella (YOUNG & RESTLESS alum Wilson Bethel)

In light of HART OF DIXIE's full season pickup, I'm particularly happy to write about it this week. Watching this episode something just clicked for me with the show. I'm on board with HART OF DIXIE. They aren't doing anything different so I can't necessarily pinpoint what it is that made me jump on team Zoe. I was watching on Monday and I thought to myself..."I'm kind of digging this show right now." And now we have a whole season to watch it unfold.

That's not to say I didn't have my quibbles. I will always have my quibbles but for the most part I'm entering into squeal of delight territory. Part of the problem may have been me looking at Rachel Bilson as Summer Roberts from the OC. Letting go of that idea, a typecasting frame of mind I don't normally enter into, probably helped me embrace the show more fully.  Let's take a peek at the goings on in Bluebell, Alabama this week!


It's time for the annual gumbo cook off won by Brick every year. Zoe has signed up hoping that winning the contest will help to win the town over. This town seems to have an annual event every day. Sure Zoe messed up the Founders Day Parade but they'll forget about that as soon as they move onto the next annual Zoe has big plans to win this gumbo contest: an overnight package from Emeril Lagasse with his famous gumbo. He just happens to be a client of her mothers. It's obviously not going to be that easy, and lo and behold Wade walks in with her package of gumbo torn to shreds by Burt Reynolds, the mayor's alligator. Wade offers to help her make the gumbo but Zoe refuses. We all know that you aren't a world class chef Zoe. Emeril's recipe isn't going to taste the same cooked by you. Wade's offer of help is probably one that she should be accepting.

Lemon is WEARING YELLOW AGAIN. They need to stop putting this woman in yellow clothing. There are other light and airy colors. Lemon is spewing her jealousy of Zoe Hart to George who calms her down by promising not to talk to Zoe. These kinds of promises are ALWAYS broken. Plus, there are like 13 people living in that town. They are BOUND to run into each other. Nonetheless Lemon is appeased and goes in for a kiss without realizing that Lavon is watching.

The fires of jealousy are stoked in Lavon so he decides that he is going to ask out Dede, the new receptionist at the medical practice who has taken a liking to Lavon. Lavon just can't find the courage. Not wanting to be outdone in the meltdown category, Zoe is having a nervous breakdown over de-veining shrimp when George comes upon her. Already breaking your promise, George. She rants and raves about the cook off and how winning it is the only way to honor Harvey Wilkes, her deceased bio dad. George decides to take her for a drive. Yet another promise to Lemon broken. George had practiced law in New York so he and Zoe bond over their love of certain restaurants and wind up at a farmers market, pretty far outside of town, so he can help Zoe shop for her gumbo. George, you know you're doing something wrong when you take a girl to an out of the way market to go shopping. You might as well just check into a Super 8 Motel.

George, for reasons that are unknown to me, tells Zoe that Lemon asked him not to talk to her. Zoe is obviously hurt since no one else in the town seems to like her very much and she's upset that he would buy into that. This is where I started to get that warm and fuzzy feeling I get when falling in love with an onscreen coupling. I don't know what flipped the switch but as soon as I got on board with the Zoe/George pairing I was on board with the entire show.

Luckily, they don't have to deal with their emotions because one of the farmers is hurt and Zoe rushes off to help him. Some sort of farm equipment was on top of a farmer and because of the bleeding they can't move it. Zoe knows that she needs Brick's help and George is forced to call him to the spot thus blowing up his own spot. Zoe knows what they need to do and wants to walk Brick through it, but he acts all petulant and won't assist her. Zoe schools him and gets him to back down and help her save this guy. They worked well as a team and the procedure was a success but Brick takes all the credit. Zoe and George are both infuriated but they aren't able to do anything about it without exposing George's nefarious shopping trip with Zoe.

Lemon, more worried about Lavon then George, goes to do some recon on Dede when she finds out that Lavon sent the new receptionist flowers. Lemon, who wants to have her cake and eat it too, first convinces Dede to not thank the mayor for the flowers but instead make him wait for the thank you. Then she gets Dede to close up early so they can go and have a drink. Dede is sweet so she doesn't realize that she is dealing with the devil. Back at the mayor's house, he is complaining to Wade that Dede hasn't called to thank him for the flowers. Wade just wants to play video games and I want to know if being the mayor of Bluebell involves any other work then hanging out with your friends.

At the Rammer Jammer, Lemon straight up tells Dede that her father will never give her a raise and knows where she can make twice as much money. She pretended she was doing it for some sort of Alabama women solidarity but how much you want to bet this new job is going to send Dede straight out of town. Not cool Lemon. Not cool.

As you might have imagined the gumbo that Zoe cooks turns out disgusting, so not only is she forced to go to the gumbo cook off empty handed but she has to hear the whole town go on and on about what a hero Brick is. He then gets in George's face about how he can't contradict the story or Lemon will know where he was. Brick is a real bastard. Dede thanks Lavon for the flowers but turns down his dinner invitation because she is going to be moving to work at a law firm in Montgomery. Lemon was real sweet to help her out. Yeah right. Wade wants Zoe to tell the truth about what happened at the farmer's market and thinks that she is keeping her mouth shut to protect George. I see a triangle forming!!!

Zoe doesn't tell the truth but she does lay into Brick and he gives it right back to her. She thinks that he is selfish and is standing in the way of her protecting her father's legacy.  Brick thinks that she is entitled and looks down upon the town. The whole notion of Zoe's bad bedside manner comes up again. Brick does do a good job with the patients, maybe he should try some of that on Zoe. They reach no conclusion but the town does when Brick AGAIN wins the gumbo cook off. Shockingly, Lemon is not wearing yellow. Zoe's gumbo wins second place which is strange since she didn't enter anything. George is ready to call out Brick while he is making his speech but Zoe stops him. Zoe steps up and offer her congratulations for his win. She takes it a step further stating that she looks forward to learning from him in their medical practice. Oh snap...Zoe knows how to manipulate people when she wants to.

George comes clean with Lemon and she doesn't go crazy. She just says they are going to agree to disagree on the subject of Zoe Hart. I bet that one will work out. Zoe thinks that Lavon cooked the gumbo for her but Lavon and everyone else watching knows that it was Wade who cooked it. Wade won't admit it but it absolutely was him. Lemon only gets further aggravated when Dede tells her that Lavon got her a job working as George's assistant for the same amount of money as the job in Montgomery. Now they can be friends! Lemon is just having a horrible day. Finally, Brick overrun with patients directs one of his patients to Zoe. He may come around after all.

I just got the show this week. I don't think that they did anything different. I just needed some time to live with the characters and get on board with their story. Wade, Zoe, George, Lemon, Lavon, and now Dede are all intertwined in a love jumble. We are slowly starting to see where every one's heart lies and in some cases it's in more then one place. I'm getting excited to see how it all turns out!

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