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2 YEARS

'Hart of Dixie' Cast, Creator Address Affair Repercussions, Reveal Finale Hints

Executive producer Leila Gerstein, Cress Williams and Wilson Bethel teased the final episodes of the CW drama's first season.

Heart of Dixie Bachelorettes and Bullets - H 2012
Doug Hyun/The CW
"Hart of Dixie"

[Warning: Spoilers ahead.]

Smallville alum Justin Hartley dropped by Bluebell on Monday’s Hart of Dixie, but his appearance wasn’t the only surprise: Lemon and Lavon’s secret affair finally comes out in the open. The repercussions for the two will be devastating.

Executive producer Leila Gerstein told a roomful of reporters last Thursday that next week’s episode, the 19th of the season, is “enormous for [Lemon’s fiancé] George in terms of how he reacts to this news. It’s a bombshell. His whole life has changed. Everything he thought he knew was wrong. The future is wide open. You’ll find what happens to George in episode 19.”

Included in George’s dilemma is Zoe’s prior knowledge to Lemon and Lavon’s relationship and as Gerstein reveals, Zoe’s No. 1 priority is repairing her friendship with George.

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“George is the person she cares about if he’s angry at her,” Gerstein said. Don't expect Wade and Zoe to make up just yet. Wilson Bethel said, “It’s what you kind of expect from Wade and Zoe, they treat each other like children and children don’t go about trying to make their relationships right, they go about ignoring and being fifth graders. George and Zoe definitely have a more grown-up approach to things.”

What does this mean for Lavon, now that he’s on the outside looking in? “Damage control is the best thing I can tell without getting into too much of it,” Cress Williams says of Lavon’s journey now that the affair is public knowledge. “If Lavon had not kissed her at the end of episode 17, George possibly would have never found it,” Gerstein brought up.

News of the affair will shift dynamics between all of Bluebell’s residents.

“The triangle of George, Wade and Zoe, the weight changes from week to week. The fact that George now knows the truth about Lemon is going to change things in every single triangle so there are ripple effects everywhere,” Gerstein offered, with Lemon in clear denial that her romance with George is over. “She would do anything to get George back and she will try almost everything. She’s at a low point and she still feels there’s a fighting chance.”

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Wade found himself in a bit of a predicament by episode’s end after Zoe overheard his cruel remarks at her expense. “Obviously with his interaction with Zoe in the end, he’s masking it – but it’s getting harder for him to ignore his own feelings,” Bethel said. “For the rest of the season, it’s more about him coming to terms with his feelings for Zoe.”

“For some people, it maybe felt like a tease, but I think the payoff is worth it by the end of the season to see where it ultimately ends up. If people can will themselves into a few more episodes of sans the prickly banter, it’ll pay off by the finale,” he said moments earlier.

But Bethel noted that episode 20, centered on the Bluebell Battle race, is big for Wade-Zoe fans.

“They’re definitely thrown back together. That’s a really great episode for Wade and Zoe fans on multiple levels, I think,” Bethel teased, “by virtue of them spending a whole episode together. There’s a lot of the banter-y stuff and where [they] end up sets up the last couple [episodes].”

The other surprise from Monday’s episode was the brotherly connection Hartley’s character Jesse has to Wade. There wasn’t much resolution to the pair’s past issues and Gerstein addressed the potential for Hartley to return if a second season is ordered by the CW.

“We would love to have him back,” Gerstein said.

As for as the upcoming season finale, airing May 14, things will not be neatly tied up. (“There is an event, a really big one,” Gerstein said, before adding that there’s a storm.) “Some things are tied up, some things are not tied up, some things are blown wide open,” Gerstein said. “I think that it will satisfy a lot of viewers and keep people excited for season 2.”

Other developments of note:

  • Episode 19 is a big episode for Lemon and her father Brick, who still has no knowledge “of the Lavon of it all.” Lemon will admit to her father that she’s delusional about her relationship with George.
  • "We're really developing these people who started out as smaller characters are starting to blossom. In episode 19, there's a small but endearing storyline between Tom Long and Wanda and Annabeth gets a funny story in the next one," Gerstein said of the side characters.
  • Lemon's mother will come up again, but she will not drive more story.
  • Somebody in the central cast will find an outside love interest before the end of the season, Gerstein teased.

Hart of Dixie airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on the CW.