'Hart of Dixie' recap: Wade proves to be the smartest person in Bluebell ... and the right guy for Zoe


Raise your hand if you still don't think Zoe and Wade are endgame on "Hart of Dixie." Yeah, that's right, no one is raising their hands because Monday (Nov. 4) night's all-new episode, "How Do You Like Me Now?" proved that not only is Wade the right guy for Zoe, but he also knows it and doesn't seem to sweat the fact that she thinks she belongs with Joel. Wade is patient, and knows she'll end up with him at the end of the day. Joel is just the "Act 2 complication" in the story of Zoe's love life.

So how did Wade step up to the plate to prove both his newfound maturity and his assurance that Zoe will end up with him? After Zoe finds out via Dash's weekly poll that only 13% of Bluebell thinks Joel is the right guy for her, she sets out to make it her new mission to make everyone in Bluebell like Joel. Step one: teach this New Yorker how to drive a car.

Unfortunately, her aggressive driving lesson goes horribly awry, and Joel rear-ends the town priest in front of everyone -- certainly not helping his case to be liked. While patching up the priest, Zoe asks him for a favor: to tweak his Sunday sermon to send the town the message of "love thy neighbor ... thy new neighbor." Zoe figures if the message is coming from the beloved town priest, then everyone will take to it with hardly any questions. But the only way to give the priest enough time to rewrite his sermon is to take over his responsibilities as leaders of the Christian Youth Group zip lining trip.

Of course, Joel being lame Joel, he's afraid of heights and refuses to go. Even after Zoe confesses that the entire town doesn't believe he's the right guy for her, he still refuses. He clearly doesn't care what Bluebell thinks of him, which is just awful. If fitting in to his girlfriend's home town is important to her, it should be important to him.

Zoe is forced to find a new co-chaperone, though her options are severely limited. George is still refusing to be Zoe's friend, even after she helped him out of Lynly's zipper and kept their ... indiscretion a secret. But she tries once again by asking George to take Joel's place as chaperone of the zip lining trip, and after he refuses, Wade maturely offers his services as co-chaperone. Since Zoe is still in denial about her feelings for Wade, she refuses his help. Hasn't she ever heard the saying beggars can't be choosers?

But Zoe needn't worry that she can't find a co-chaperone, as the priest uses God and Jesus to guilt trip George into agreeing to co-chaperone the trip with Zoe ... but the two ex-loves are thrown for a loop when the girls on the trip reveal the reason Joel's approval rating was so low: the entire town wants Zoe to be with George. His viral hit song that he recorded after Zoe chose Wade over him -- after he left Lemon at the altar for Zoe -- isn't helping matters either, since it very clearly is about Zoe.

Bluebell's desire for George and Zoe to be together also bugs Lynly. She finally backs off from aggressively pursuing George, but obviously their whatever-it-is isn't over. Ugh.

And lo and behold, later that day after Tom Long leaves a trivia competition early, he subs in Lynly to be George's partner. They end up winning the game, and George invites her to play darts the next day in a tournament, which only encourages her crush.

After Lynly asked Wade for help in learning how to play darts (in order to impress George), Wade warns George not to get involved with her for his own sake due to Lavon's extreme protectiveness over his cousin. Surprisingly, George listens to Wade and cancels his plans with Lynly.

While drinking away their sorrows at the Rammer Jammer, both Lynly and Joel finally get the 411 on the saga of George and Zoe via Dash. Joel gets the epiphany that we've all known since the Season 3 premiere: he is actually just the "Act 2 complication" standing in the way of Zoe's reunion with her epic love.

But the whole town of Bluebell -- and Joel -- has it wrong: Zoe's true love isn't George Tucker, it's Wade! But why isn't Wade saying anything to correct everyone's incorrect belief? Oh that's right: it's because he knows how ridiculous everything is right now with Zoe's love life and is just waiting for it all to blow up so he can step in and save the day when the time is right. He even offers to take a drunk Joel out to the woods to confront Zoe, laughing the whole time at the sheer hilarity of it all. How has Wade become the smartest person on this show?

Wade really proved how far he's come both in maturity and patience when he confidently told Zoe that Joel and the whole town are idiots. Instead of worrying about George, Wade tells Zoe everyone has it all wrong, because he knows Zoe is still in love with him. The smile on his face when he oh-so-matter-of-factly told her that they belong together was just insanely perfect. He has not a care in the world, because he knows deep down what he's saying is the truth, and he has all the time in the world to wait for everyone else to come to the same realization. Seriously, if you're not shipping these two, what show have you been watching?

Joel obviously screws everything up, and tries to zip line to show that he can overcome his fear of heights and be the hero of the "Zoe story." The fire department has to come to help him down, and he sleeps off the rest off his drunk stupor, while George apologizes to Zoe for refusing to be her friend. He confesses that he doesn't fully blame Zoe for his mess of a life and would like to be friends again. Not completely sure where this sudden apology came from, but hey ... we'll take it. We've missed this friendship.

The weird thing is, Joel's drunket antics turned all the campers on his side. How? Why? Huh? And then after the priest's pro-new-neighbor sermon, Joel's poll numbers shot up to 35% approval ratings. And yet, even as Zoe and Joel celebrate the new numbers, Wade isn't fazed at all. He knows that Joel is just a fleeting fling, like Meatball, and Peter (well, hopefully not Peter, more on that in a bit).

And even after George once again lets Lynly know that nothing is going to happen between them in the nicest, sweetest way ever, she point blank refuses to accept that and tells him she still plans on wearing him down. Ughhh. This girl. This story. Just no.

Back to the idea of a fleeting fling ... Despite Lemon's upbeat demeanor post-perfect-Peter's one-night stand, the Belles don't believe that Peter is real. They all think that Lemon is just making him up to save face -- especially since she already cried "boyfriend" over Wade. Meatball overhears the conversation and thinks that if Lemon is so desperate to make up fake boyfriends, she might take him back.

In this episode's random Southern tradition of the week, some pretty gazebo in Bluebell made it into some gazebo calendar, and since the gazebo is the Belle's jurisdiction, Cricket is in charge of one of the biggest public relations projects of the year. Lavon wants Lemon to step in and help out (knowing that Cricket can't possibly pull something of this magnitude off), but she refuses ... until he agrees to prove that Peter No Last Name exists in exchange for her help. Lavon hires the town PI, who actually -- for once in his life -- does a good job and figures out Peter's last name: Galecki.

One of the meaner-spirited Belles convinces Meatball to chain himself to the gazebo to prove his love for Lemon ... which he does right as the photographer arrives to shoot the gazebo. Lemon gently breaks it to Meatball that their fling was just that -- a fling, a nice memory to hold on to, but not a real relationship. As she tells him that, she realizes that was what her night with Peter was ... a fleeting fling. Meatball agrees to unchain himself as long as Lemon gives him one last goodbye kiss. She obliges, and Meatball goes full on romance, dipping Lemon as they passionately kiss ... and of course the photographer captures the moment in the front of the romantic gazebo.

And of course, Lemon and Meatball's passtionate kiss actually landed Bluebell the cover of the Gazebos of Alabama calendar. Go figure.

So what did you think of "How Do You Like Me Now?" Do you agree that Wade has clearly grown up and deserves to be with Zoe, or are you still Team Golden Boy Tucker? And if you say you're warming up to Joel, please leave now. Thank you!

"Hart of Dixie" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW