Hart of Dixie‘s Season 3 premiere is a rough go for “Zade” and “Zeorge” fans alike, with the reveal that — during the CW charmer’s five-month time-jump — pint-sized doc Zoe Hart has moved on with a surprisingly likeable (and smart and adorable and…) new love, played by Dexter‘s Josh Cooke. What’s more, George is missing in action and Wade, well…. Wade is the same as he ever was. Only single, if not quite ready to mingle.
Here’s how the hour unfolded:
Zoe Hart is happily (?) adjusting to her full-time life in New York, except for one very distracting thing: She keeps imagining some of her Bluebell faves are hanging in the Big Apple. Oddly enough, one such hallucination turns out to be real, as sweet Rose is in town for a school trip — and she’s livid with Zoe for bailing on her Southern home.
“Maybe before we start our new life, you should put the old one to bed?” Zoe’s supportive new novelist beau, Joel, suggests — thus leading to the fashionista’s brief return to Bluebell. (She does, after all, need Brick to send along a reference letter to a co-op board in NY so that she and her guy can move in together.)
Once back in town, Zoe’s first interaction is with her sexy ex-y Wade, who tells his runaway former love — who, for the record, calls Bluebell “a rest stop on my way to reality” — that there’s “no need to explain. I don’t have any regrets.” The rest of Bluebell, however, is not as understanding and has little interest in welcoming back the woman who essentially broke up with them all over an email. Luckily, Zoe’s quickly able to win them over after she locates a disheveled and drunken George (more on that later) and, as such, saves the town’s beloved Founder’s Day parade.
As it turns out, George spent his time touring with Lily Anne realizing what a mistake he made letting Tansy go. (Cue a hilarious training montage between George and his fearless leader Lemon.) Unfortunately, as he later learns, Tansy’s now dating the attorney of Bluebell’s rival town Filmore. (Fret not, shortly thereafter he rebounds with Lavon’s cousin — unbeknownst to either of the men, of course.)
After riding a float in the big parade, Zoe makes her way to her New York-bound plane. However, Wade’s very ill dad intercepts her and keeps her in town. Finally forced to spend some actual time together, Zoe explains to her onetime love that she thought a lot about his finale declaration once she got to New York — “but then real life just took over. Being back in New York reminded me of who I was, who I’ve always been… It doesn’t mean that it’s not nice to see you.”
Responds a genuine-but-clearly heartbroken Wade, “I just wish you good luck in New York and with the rest of your life. I hope you’re happy.”
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After saving Wade’s dad’s life, dealing with the surprise arrival of her boy-toy Joel (and his subsequent introduction to Wade!) and surfing through the parade, Zoe makes a major choice: to stay in Bluebell.
“This place is where I belong,” she explains to her writer boyfriend, who it just so happens is free to master his craft wherever he pleases. “I’ve been trying to fight it, but somehow it is.” (Too bad that Lemon — who was under the impression that Zoe was on her way out of town — spitefully told Zoe that she and Wade were dating!)
In other Bluebell happenings: Lemon has a secret boyfriend, none other than Wade’s band buddy Meatball! (Wade’s reaction to said love connection is priceless.)…. Dixie‘s lovely leader Leila Gerstein enjoys a brief cameo during the parade, alongside the little girl who waves hello to Zoe…. Lavon and Annabeth are as adorable as ever, but his dietarily-restricted cousin is… not. And she’s causing trouble for the two.
Did Dixie‘s return draw you in? Are you OK with Zoe’s new beau? What about George’s hot hookup?Follow @MegMasters