Going into the Season 2 finale of Hart of Dixie on Tuesday night, there were a few things I was expecting: Zoe (Rachel Bilson) would inevitably regret her drunken one night stand with Wade (Wilson Bethel) that occurred at the end of last week's episode, but ultimately would look for a deeper meaning in their tryst and question her feelings for him and his feelings for her again. Or Zoe would also try to get together with her supposed soulmate George (Scott Porter), now that they were both single at the same time. And amid all of her emotional struggles, she would wrestle with the decision to go back to New York and accept a job at her old hospital, thus saying goodbye to Bluebell for good.
However, none of these things happened. Well, to be fair, they each happened but in ways I was not expecting. And that is what made "On the Road Again" the perfect season finale for a show like HOD. Let me explain...
First of all, Zoe didn't actually end up choosing between #Zade and #Zeorge, as the Bluebell public named the couples. In the end, she chose herself. She decided to move back to NYC for the summer and take up the job at her old hospital, give herself some space to figure out how she truly felt about Wade (after he confessed his love for her and promised he was ready for a real relationship now), and do what she loves in the city she loves. The distance would help her see things more clearly. As she told Wade, it was only three months.
The hopeful look on Wade's face when Zoe told him she'd be back in three months spoke volumes on how he feels, but the appearance of Jonah (Travis van Winkle) at the wedding Zoe was attending in NYC means the doctor probably won't be pining for Wade alone.
So, what about George? After pouring his broken heart out through song (and many, many beer pitchers), he realized, with the help of country performer Lily Anne (Amy Ferguson), that singing was actually therapeutic and joined her on the road to tour. With those lingering glances and musical chemistry, something tells me sparks might be flying on the road for these two.
The episode ended without any true resolution to the Zoe/George/Wade love triangle, because each component of the triangle found another entity to focus on/distract themselves with until the inevitable conflict rears its head again in Season 3. And while that might sound like it would make fans mad, that is actually the exact reason why this was the perfect season finale for HOD.
This show is all about adult relationships in a small town. Sure, sometimes those relationships can get melodramatic and unrealistic but most of the time, the couples on HOD represent real issues and struggles. People cheat, people fall out of love, people fall in love with people they used to hate, and nothing is ever tied up in a happily-ever-after bow. Life and love are messy and there is no The End once you've found happiness.
Maybe Zoe didn't choose George or Wade just yet, but she's got three months away in the city that never sleeps with a hot, uncomplicated doctor who just wants to have fun with her. George found a new way to pass the time, and someone to pass the time with. Wade finally realized he was ready for a real relationship, and can prove to Zoe he meant what he said by responsibly running the Rammer Jammer, cultivating his new successful business over the summer. Life will keep moving, and when Zoe returns to Bluebell in three months time, things will probably have changed. If she and Wade still feel the same way, then they can try again. If they don't, then the relationship was doomed to fail anyway.
The choices Zoe made were real, and in my opinion they showed major growth on her part. Instead of just jumping back in to a relationship, she's going to focus instead on herself. By using a bit of patience and thinking things through, she can make a healthy choice once she returns to Bluebell. And when Season 3 picks up this fall, you can be sure that the love triangle will also pick up steam again. After all, it isn't HOD without a little drama!
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Crystal Lake. Dumb kids in the woods. Sex drugs booze. A hulking maniac in a hockey mask wielding a machete. Yeah that about sums it up.
Are you kidding? The new Jason Derek Mears probably fares best among the actors because he doesn’t have a single word of dialogue. Everyone else unfortunate enough to stumble in front of the camera – Jared Padalecki Amanda Righetti Danielle Panabaker Travis Van Winkle – is basically fodder for the slaughter. Some of them get naked. Most of them get dead. Some die more gorily than others. No one dies quickly enough. Having previously (and woefully) directed the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre helmer Marcus Nispel does his best – and worst – to resurrect yet another popular horror franchise from the past. He also adds absolutely nothing new to the formula. Quite frankly anyone could’ve directed this film. Judging by the results anyone did. This is the 12th Friday the 13th film for those keeping score at home and with any luck it’ll be the last. Of course it won’t be. But we can always hope.