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'Hart of Dixie' recap: Dating games

Season 3 | Episode 18 | “Back in the Saddle Again” | Aired Apr 18, 2014

They say that breaking up is hard to do. Some cope with massive amounts of ice cream and leftover Easter candy while binge-watching Dawson’s Creek episodes and trying unsuccessfully not to digitally stalk the ex. The ladies of BlueBell, however, are too sophisticated for such nonsense. Zoe is totally cool with being a single version of a happy couple and plans to keep her house, thank you very much, without Joel on the mortgage. And even though Lemon and George were only an item for one night, Lemon has “decided to start a three-month man cleanse.” It shouldn’t be hard because “it’s not like fantastic guys are just floating around BlueBell.”

I think this is the perfect opportunity for a sidebar: There are no boys just floating around BlueBell?

EXHIBIT A: Judson Lyons

EXHIBIT B: Jonah Breeland (I know they are related, but go with me here.)

EXHIBIT C: Wade Kinsella

Which brings us to EXHIBIT D: Peter from the Halloween party (Robert Buckley) is back in town and wants to have dinner with Lemon. Tomorrow.

It’s a battle of the wills. In this corner, we have the hot scientist guy, who studies algae. And in this corner, we have the three-month man cleanse. Decisions, decisions.

Zoe finds herself in the exact same place as Lemon: stuck between a rock and a hot guy. Tall, dark and handsome Vince nearly crashes into the good doctor with his bike, but was savvy enough to turn the uncomfortable moment into a dinner invitation. He pulls a business card from his fitted cycling tights and asks Zoe to call him. Let the record show that I too stuff a couple of business cards in my sports bra when attending yoga class. You just never know, reader. You never know.

Meanwhile, Annabeth and Davis Gainey are holed up in her house, refusing to go outside to officially announce their updated relationship status. This proves to be highly inconvenient for Lemon and Zoe, since they both need Annabeth’s advice on how to proceed with their respective dinner invitations.

Zoe decides that three weeks is enough time to get over Joel, just as Lemon decides that she is no longer a Belle and is free to be as casual as she wants with Peter. Both pull an array of wardrobe choices and each employs Brick to help them pick the perfect outfit. Just like Annabeth, Brick tries to get the girls to interact like girlfriends and give each other advice instead of bothering him with turtleneck queries and skirt-length polls.

Opting out of her signature shorty shorts, Zoe pairs a little black dress with a black leather bomber jacket. She’s hot. She’s confident. And she is NOT having sex with the bike dude. Small talk leads to career talk, and we learn that Vince is a “doctor specializing in teeth” and who quickly concludes that Zoe’s New York heritage explains her snobbishness.

Across town, Lemon ditches her signature hair accessories and hits the straightening iron hard. Her legs are bound by DENIM and a hint of cleavage peeks from a plunging neckline. There is not a tube of fire-engine red lipstick to be found. She’s gorgeous. She’s casual. And she is NOT having sex with someone who is just passing through town.

Both Lemon and Zoe experience a bit of a meltdown and are forced to confide in the other about how their dates are crashing and burning. The call is made, the meeting place is decided, and we find them sitting on opposite sides of Brick’s leather couch, having just ditched their suitors to find sanctuary with the other. After a few glasses of wine, Zoe and Lemon spill their guts to each other with their hands over their eyes. I loved every second of this bit. Jamie King and Rachel Bilson played this entire exchange beautifully, and although I love Lemon as the pseudo-villain of BlueBell, I love her even more as Zoe Hart’s frenemy.

Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 9.02.17 PMZoe tells Lemon that Peter is just another detour like Meatball and Enrique. And Lemon tells Zoe that going on a date three weeks after breaking up with her boyfriend is ludicrous, and she should tell Vince to shove his bike up his keister.

Lemon returns to Peter to break the bad news. I can’t tell you what exactly was said because I was so distracted by Lemon’s amazing shoulder pads. Peter continues his relationship with algae, and Lemon returns to her normal self. Hair piece? Check. Bright vintage dress? Check. Fire-engine red lipstick? Check. Slight flirtation with George Tucker? Double check.

Wade is also moving on. He’s moving on to a deeper relationship with Vivian. He’s practically a Wilkes now and enjoys hanging out with her relatives at picnics, getting quizzed on the many branches of the family tree and making out with Viv behind some bamboo — staple vegetation in Alabama. He’s been such a great sport that Vivian dedicates the entire next night to Wade Kinsella.

Yes! A shirtless scene! I’ve almost forgotten what Wade’s abs look like!

Vivian’s ex takes Harley to the family fish fry so Wade can take Vivian to his friend Lucy’s new wine bar. Think Rammer Jammer, but replace the bottles of beer with wineglasses, clear out all the tables and add a dance floor. It’s pretty much the opposite of every wine bar you may have been to or imagined.

Vivian gets a call from Harley. His dad took him to the batting cages, and he got his first hit! Apparently the entire family was there to witness the blessed event, and they are going to take him for ice cream to celebrate. After receiving enough photos to document the night with its own scrapbook, Wade gives Vivian the green light to join them. She does and he mopes with his sad little glass of wine. Lucy sidles up next to him and offers to host an after-party to cheer him up. He declines.

The next day he arrives at Vivian’s house to surprise her, only to find the ex-husband leaving after spending the night on the couch. Vivian assures Wade that the ex has no ulterior motives, but Wade appears skeptical. I’m skeptical too, only because I am and will forever be Team Zade. I don’t care how much bamboo you put in a shot to try to distract me — there is no chemistry between those two.

Continuing our “moving on” theme, it took a drunken pitch to the County Fair committee for Lavon to realize that he is not over Annabeth. Upon hearing that Davis was seen purchasing some unmentionables from the prophylactic section at CVS, he drowns his sorrows in shaken-not-stirred martinis and makes a fool of himself in front of the committee, Annabeth and all of BlueBell. He may have been as drunk as a skunk, but the fedora was undoubtedly awesome.

In minor moving-on news, Magnolia (Claudia Lee) is back and up to her same shenanigans. She tricks her dad into thinking that she is going to a grown-up party at Carter Covington’s house. While Brick and George drive seven hours to retrieve the little rebel, they learn that she was throwing a huge party back home the entire time. We also learn that Carter Covington wears navy blue silk pajamas. Adorbs. Brick is done fighting with Magnolia and asks her what she thinks he should do. She admits that she needs to get out of her grandmother’s house and attend a boarding school that is far away. This is highly convenient since Claudia Lee is currently starring in Surviving Jack on FOX.

And speaking of Carter Covington, if he lived in BlueBell, he’d totally be EXHIBIT D.


Butter Stick Waitress: Joel used to put a hole in his English muffin and pretend it was a bagel. Now you’re ordering one to fill the hole in your heart.

Zoe [when it is suggested she girl-talk with Lemon]: I’d rather talk to my laundry.

Lemon: I’m a casual free-thinker, like the people on HBO.

Magnolia: You put me in exile, and I’m living in a house that smells like Icy Hot and cruelty.

What did you think about “Back in the Saddle Again”? Will Lemon find love in BlueBell? Are Wade and Vivian headed for a breakup too? Will Annabeth ever speak to Lavon again? Sound off in the comments section!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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