Reviews TV Recaps

‘Hart of Dixie’ Review: ‘61 Candles’ (with a side of ‘Alabama Boys’ and ‘The Butterstick Tab’

Last night Hart of Dixie continued its season four adorable streak with an episode cleverly titled “61 Candles.” Like the popular cult classic with a reversed number, Brick found himself disappointed when all of his loved ones (and the rest of the town) completely forgot about his birthday. But in their defense, there’s been a lot going on in Bluebell lately and since I missed reviewing “Alabama Boys” and “The Butterstick Tab” we’ve got some catching up to do.

Starting with Wade and Zoe, they learned they were having a boy, but Zoe had been prepared for a girl, not an Alabama boy. So she recruited some of the town’s boys to tell her what to expect while Wade celebrated the news with Lavon and Earl. Or at least he did until he was faced with Magnolia’s latest boyfriend, an arrogant teenager who reminded him a little too much of himself. As always, Wade and Zoe decided everything would be all right as long as they had each other (are your shipper hearts crying hearts and rainbows as hard as mine?).

hart-of-dixie-407-butterstick-01The next pitfall on the road to parenting came in the form of Wade flirting with every woman in town and getting free stuff out of it. But this wasn’t about Zoe being jealous. Instead, she just wanted Wade to be a grownup and pay for his own muffins at the Butterstick. But Wade being Wade didn’t get the lesson right away and ended up making every woman in town angry when he “broke their hearts” by ceasing the constant flirting. Thankfully, Wade’s grown a lot over the years and realized the error of his ways. He thanked all the wonderful women in his life for taking care of him after his mom died, but now it was time for him to step up and be there for his family (again, hearts and rainbows everywhere).

Meanwhile, George and Annabeth were navigating their new feelings for each other after finally blurting them out after she went on a pretend date with Lavon to get the neighboring mayor to cohost a football game with him (typical Bluebell). Lemon was still supportive and AB made it clear to Lavon that he didn’t have a vote. Unfortunately for the two, things were still awkward because they’ve known each other their whole lives and everyone else seemed to have advice for them. They tried an off the beaten path restaurant to make sure neither of them felt like they were on a date with an ex and ended up with food poisoning for their troubles.

hart-of-dixie-408-candles-02But they didn’t let that get them down and the next morning, AB headed to George’s boat and the two shared their first kiss. Fast forward a few weeks (I’m loving the mini time jumps this season) and the new couple are still going strong when AB ends up being George’s temporary law clerk while Tom is on paternity leave (Wanda had the baby!). George’s parents catch them in a compromising position, but they’re thrilled. That’s how you know this couple is good for each other when even George’s judge-y parents approve. AB goes to bat for her new boyfriend when she tells his parents how passionate George is about working with Meatball (who got a record contract!) and the Truitt brothers. To everyone’s surprise, George’s dad admits he was forced into early retirement and he feels like he wasted his life so he’s glad George found passion.

Does this romance feel a little rushed? Of course it does. I’d love to have seen it buildup and play out over a full season, but I am not complaining. These 10 episodes are likely the last time we’re ever going to see Bluebell and I love that the writers found a believable way to give George and AB happy endings. They’re kind of perfect for each other and last night’s lines about being able to “really fall for each other” were exactly right. Getting married and having a baby would have come out of left field, but slowly falling in love with the right person who you just happen to have known all along? That’s what romantic comedy is all about.

hart-of-dixie-407-butterstick-02As for Lemon and Lavon, AB gave Lemon permission to be happy, but before she could tell Lavon the good news, she spotted Brick coming out of his office with her mother, Alice (side note, how is Andie McPhee Lemon’s mom?!?!). Earlier, Alice’s youngest daughter Scarlett had been brought in with a broken arm and Alice wanted to explain herself to her first family. While Brick did not forgive her for hurting his girls, he left it up to Lemon whether or not she wanted to see her. Lemon voted no, but Alice ambushed her anyway. When that didn’t go well, Lemon eventually sought out her mother to get her feelings out and Scarlett learned the truth in an accidental, horribly scarring way. Lemon had no interest in repairing things with Alice, but she and Magnolia (who had a lovely heart to heart with Shelby) wanted to get to know their younger sister and started by bonding over One Direction (obviously).

This storyline was surprisingly heavy. It hurt my heart to see Lemon and Brick in so much pain and when Magnolia declared Lemon the only mother she’d ever known or needed was beyond beautiful. I appreciate the writers for giving us closure to this major part of their lives and to find a way to give them hope (the siblings getting to know each other) without tying it up in a tidy bow and having Lemon forgive Alice. Mother or not, she doesn’t deserve her forgiveness at this point. It’s the kind of thing that will take years of hard work and I’m glad that wasn’t swept under the rug even if some of the scenes were painful to watch.

In a sweet moment, Lavon told Lemon he was all in and he’d wait for her until she was ready. That came a few weeks later when the whole town was pitching in to take over Tom’s many jobs so he could stay home with Wanda and the baby. My personal favorite was the Blue-Ber driver, but poor Lemon was assigned barn cleanup duty and after slipping in mud and falling flat on her back, she decided she was done waiting. She told Lavon she loved him and wanted to be with him and he wanted the same. I might not be a shipper, but this was a great moment for them and a long time coming. If Lemon’s happy, I am happy for her.

hart-of-dixie-408-candles-03Unfortunately, Zoe didn’t necessarily agree. Last night’s episode brought the return of the feud, beginning with a fight over a baby gift that escalated into an argument that ruined the sanctity of breakfast (by the way, we finally learned the pastries are delivered every morning and Wade and Zoe’s reaction was so cute). Lemon wanted to negotiate a better schedule for each of them to have time with Lavon, but the ladies were not good at compromising. A trip to the new day spa trailer only made things worse and Zoe stormed out in her pink robe to get ice cream. That’s when Tom went back to his Blue-Ber business only to fall asleep behind the wheel and crash into the trailer. Zoe panicked, thinking Lemon was still inside and raced over shouting for Lemon just as Lemon came around a different corner shouting for Zoe (time for hearts and rainbows again).

The two women realized they were genuinely worried about one another and Zoe agreed to give up Sunday nights and Lemon told her that they could keep coming to breakfast every day. But that wasn’t the only amazing thing to happen. Earlier in the episode, Zoe confessed to Lemon that she felt terrible about the way she treated Harley when he came to her graduation and she hated that she didn’t have any memories or heirlooms to pass down to her son. Lemon gave Zoe a wooden duck Harley had made for her when she was a child and assured Zoe she’d spent a lot of time with him and could tell her plenty of stories if she wanted. Zoe got choked up and then they shared a hug (it’s okay to cry over the sweetness).

Finally, let’s get back to Brick. Not only did everyone forget his birthday, but they asked him to be a clown for a little kid’s birthday and he didn’t do a very good job. Things just got worse when he was forced to exit the Blue-Ber in full clown costume and makeup and then he couldn’t even have a quiet drink at the bar because Lavon and Wade wanted to take him fishing. Lavon needed to tell him about him and Lemon and Wade was hoping he had some old paintings of Harley. Unfortunately, he sold those and while he did approve of Lemon and Lavon being together (so much parental approval this week), he didn’t appreciate being misled and finally unleashed his anger over everyone forgetting his birthday.

By that point, Shelby had figured out she’d gotten her dates mixed up and spread the news via Bluebell’s phone tree. Brick wasn’t in the mood to go to a last minute surprise party, but Lavon and Wade pointed out all the people who loved him and just wanted to make him happy. Brick is the absolute best so he put on his phony surprised face and went to the party to celebrate with his family and friends. He even supported Meatball performing (an 80s song that fit the episode theme perfectly). And if all of that wasn’t already too cute for words, Wade danced with a baby.

We’ve only got two episodes left (and a one week hiatus before the next one). I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to these characters and their quirky town.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.