I loved this episode and found it an almost entirely satisfying season finale. It was cute, hilarious, quickly and fluidly paced, heartwarming and promising. Now that the show has gotten its true spirit back after some pacing issues throughout season 3, I'm optimistic that we will see a grand and full return to form for season 4. Let's review and discuss the exciting developments in our last glimpse of Bluebell until...midseason 2015? Ooh, that's going to be a long wait! Here's what went down...
What really set the scene for how fabulous this episode was going to be was the opening sequence of Dash walking through Bluebell and recording some observations for his blog. According to the wise and observant town spokesman, the apocalypse was nigh. Wade was leaving town to be a successful businessman (?!); AnnaBeth was pondering a proposal from a Gainey (!); Lemon and George's restaurant, Fancie's, was in dire straits following a little fire incident last week; and Meatball was preparing to marry Lily Anne (??!!). There's nothing like complete chaos to kickstart a fun and eventful season finale.
While Lemon pleaded with George to stick with her after her overuse of candles led to disaster, George had to fight past his increasingly reemerging feelings for her to extricate himself from their partnership. In this scene, as Lemon reminded George that he means a lot to her, I found George's rekindled emotions towards her wholly believable. Scott Porter did an awesome job of portraying George's inner struggle not to be Lemon's doormat while also still not willing or ready to show her how he feels.
Zoe was in such denial over how she felt about Wade leaving town that a terrible case of hiccups plagued her. In one too-funny scene, she showed up at Wade's to give him a going away gift of an ice scraper and then ran and hid, only to be given away by her tell-tale "hic!" Really, I don't know how Wade can withstand how adorable and sweet Zoe is without just giving into his love for her, but maybe the strength of that love is what scares him so much. Those hiccups led Lemon to put two and two together a little later and give an amazingly smart and perceptive speech about how obvious it is that Zoe loves Wade. I adore the way Lemon's close friendship and camaraderie with Wade, along with her newly developing friendliness with Zoe, allowed her to be the one to force Zoe to face her feelings with that trademark Lemon pushiness.
Okay, I knew Joel was going to be back, and even though my first reaction was "uggghhh," assuming he was there to vie once more for Zoe's heart, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised by how great Joel was to have in this episode. I completely buy Joel and Zoe as wonderful and supportive friends, and without having to watch "Zoel," now Joel's quiet enthusiasm for Bluebell's quirky residents and ways, as well as his bromance with Wade, are purely embraceable. Especially since he is newly a card-carrying member of Team Zade.
"Don't let Wade leave without telling him how you truly feel. Who knows, maybe he feels the same way... God know why, you're so unpleasant...and ugly." -Joel
AnnaBeth was vacillating over accepting Davis' proposal, not only because she apparently still loves Lavon, but perhaps also due to the way Davis comes off just a few marks shy of serial killer creepy. Let's just say that while I've enjoyed Barry Watson a lot on other shows, this was another one of those thankless roles he can add to his list along with his turn on Gossip Girl's final season. It wasn't an overly difficult decision for AnnaBeth to kindly, but firmly turn down that proposal.
Meanwhile, during Crickett's preparations to renew her vows with Stanley, (and b.t.w., I absolutely loved their OTT goody two shoes performance of "Love Lifts us Up" and all the outfits at their doomed ceremony), it became all too apparent that the showtune-loving Belle was hesitant for some monumental reason. Of course, we've all assumed for some time now that Stanley is gay, but the show had one of its absolute funniest twists ever in store, with Crickett interrupting the big event to announce that it is she who is gay. This wasn't only a remarkably clever and amusing reveal at that moment, but also it sets Crickett up for an interesting arc next season, if, as I hope, she becomes a more prominently featured supporting character.
Meatball and Lily Anne's hasty wedding quickly crashed and burned after the lilting chanteuse listed her many failed romances with Bluebell men in her vows (Lily Anne referencing "Old G. Tuck" was priceless, as was Meatball's earlier realization that "Run from Wade" was about Wade). The two realized they don't really know each other and decided to part ways, leaving the makeshift altar open for any other announcements from the guests. Zoe took the chance to grab the mic and very bravely profess her love for Wade in a touching speech.
"Wade, last year you drove across the state to tell me you loved me. And so I'm telling you, I love you." -Zoe
I am so proud of Zoe for this fantastic gesture, which was certainly not at all easy. But Wade couldn't deal with her words in this public forum, and quickly exited. Soon enough, as Zoe confronted him the next day while dressed as a human cupcake for Crickett's ceremony, it became clear that Wade couldn't really deal with Zoe's feelings for him at all. Naturally, that's because he doesn't want to deal with his own feelings for Zoe.
Sigh. I can definitely understand how crushing it must have been last year for Wade when he confessed his own love for Zoe and she ran off to NYC. Okay, but in that moment at the end of last season, Wade had cheated on Zoe fairly recently, and they've both grown so much since then, as Zoe pointed out when she mentioned how the two of them deserve that "second chance" that was the theme of the episode. But somewhere between watching Zoe with Joel and getting hurt by that she-devil Vivian, Wade got himself so walled up behind his self-protectiveness that it's going to take more time than I'd really like for him to open back up.
Frankly, even though I recognize and sympathize with Wade's issues about Zoe and being vulnerable again ('cause no way do I believe his line about how they just don't work together. Bah!), I think it's probably enough already. We waited all season for these two to reunite, and I would have much, much preferred to bypass resolving Wade's emotional baggage for him to just grab Zoe and kiss her at the end of the episode. I feel a tiny bit cheated on that. That said, the ending, with its sweet implications that Wade remained in town not only because a suit-and-tie desk job wasn't for him, but also because of Zoe, was special and charming in its own quiet way. That's right, I also fail to believe Wade's remark about how he didn't stay for Zoe. Of course he stayed for her, probably most of all. The chemistry between Zoe and Wade was just beautiful and so intense throughout this episode that we can be left in little doubt of their soulmates status.
Lemon's side of the episode was probably the one most replete with downright intrigue, since finally we got some answers with regard to her and Lavon's unresolved relationship. There was a truly fascinating little chat between them towards the beginning of the episode, with Lavon mentioning that it didn't work out between him and AB due to his earlier heartbreak with other women. Aha, so I suspected! When Lavon lamented that perhaps those other relationships (I have to assume he meant Lemon and Ruby) didn't work because they only existed in his mind, Lemon seemed really affected and assured him that they weren't....which means that her affair with Lavon carried deep meaning for her. We already knew this because Lemon's bottled-up love for Lavon was made clear last season, but all of this history between them has long been past due for some closure.
When George and Lavon went off to Don Todd's book signing, it was by far the funniest and cutest subplot these two have been granted all year. Don Todd was, predictably, the bomb, and it was really nice to see how his disheartened attitude about his lack of publishing and ratings success was turned around by him coming to Bluebell, where he's a huge celebrity. Don then took George and Lavon, plus Tom, (who's now expecting a baby and alpacas with Wanda, yippee!) off on a journey for him to try and reconnect with his ex-wife. It turned out that Don's utter crash and burn with his former lady led him to monologue sagely about the value of putting one's romantic cards on the table and finding out whether a relationship is truly meant to be or even possible. This theme of second chances was now being explored through George's thinking about Lemon during this speech, but I couldn't help wondering if Lavon was picturing the very same woman at the same time. Well, I am happy to have been right as a Lemon/Lavon fan, even though it's going to be hard for the Lavon/George bromance for them to be in this predicament. And poor AB still seems to be hung up on Lavon, which is kind of a disappointing place to leave her.
The moment of George and Lavon recognizing that they are once more in a love triangle with Lemon happened right as they both failed to get her attention in time for her to get off the depressing singles cruise Grandma had finally talked her into embarking on, both through some ridiculously harsh statements about Lemon dying alone and such, and by promising to finance the repairs on Fancie's. I don't want to see Lemon give up on finding true love, and I don't think we ever really will. However, it was frustrating to see her cut off from those in Bluebell who tried to summon her back - Zoe, who tried to call and tell Lemon that second chances and true love are possible, and Lavon and George, who both want a second chance with Lemon (although again, that is going to be seriously awkward, especially if Lemon does come back engaged).
What did you think of the Hart of Dixie season finale? What do you hope to see happen in Season 4? Share your thoughts in the comments!