'Hart of Dixie' recap: Zoe fights for her half of the practice while Joel continues to be the worst

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Joel is literally the worst. 

In addition to delaying the inevitable reunion between Zoe and Wade (it's clearly going to happen, because how can it not?), that's not the only reason why he's the worst on "Hart of Dixie" -- though it certainly is enough. He's also making Zoe's life in Bluebell as hard as it can possibly be, which was evident in Monday (Oct. 21) night's all-new episode, "Take This Job and Shove It." So what exactly did Joel ruin for Zoe?

The New York transplant (who just can't seem to get life in Bluebell down pat) almost ruined any chance for Zoe to get her old job back at the practice with Brick. Since she signed over her half of the practice to Brick when she had decided to stay in New York, when she returned to Bluebell she didn't have a job anymore ... and Brick was not eager to give her her old job back. She was going completely stir-crazy without work ... take away a New York workaholic's reason for waking up in the morning, and it's not pretty.

Zoe crafted a detailed, sure-to-succeed plan for winning back her half of the practice that involved a lot of schmoozing of the townspeople, but all of her work and planning was for naught. Joel, who just can't seem to do anything right, misspoke to Brick, hurting his ego and just generally pissing him off, ruining any chance for Brick to take Zoe back. She can't even open her own practice, because according to George, she has a non-compete clause in her contract that forbids her from practicing medicine in Bluebell for at least a year, meaning she's got six more months to go with no medicine.

After getting Wade's help and saving George from a bloody zipper incident (more on that later), Zoe realized the right thing to do was talk to Brick and apologize for leaving so suddenly. Wade explained that Brick had never fully gotten over Harvey Wilkes' death, so having his new partner, Zoe, leave again was just too much for him to handle. Zoe gives him a really heartfelt apology, and Brick confesses his failed marriage, plus Magnolia leaving, all piled on with Zoe abandoning the practice made him extra grumpy. The two former enemies turned friends make up, and Brick offers Zoe a way back in to the practice: He'll hire her as an associate that can work her way up, and earn her place back at the top.

So everything turned out okay for Dr. Hart in the end, but Joel made her journey to get there that much more difficult. Yes, okay, Joel was just trying to help his girlfriend by talking with Brick, but that's not the point. Maybe in New York Joel and Zoe would have worked as a couple, but Joel's complete ineptitude at all things Bluebell means that their relationship won't work here. Zoe's adapted to her southern home, and needs a southern guy who gets her ... a.k.a. Wade.

This exchange from Monday's episode sums up this argument perfectly:

Zoe: If anyone asks, you don't know where I am.

Joel: Emotionally? Because that's correct.

Zoe: Shut up.

How much longer until Joel realizes he doesn't belong in Bluebell and with Zoe? Can we make it sooner rather than later?

Other notable happenings in "Take This Job and Shove It:"

- Lavon tries to get Bluebell's very own minor league baseball team, but his pitch fails miserably since the owner of the team has had a crush on Brick since college, but he thinks she's the most annoying person in the world. After spending all day ditching her, she finally catches on and moves on to another town's bid. Sorry, Lavon.

- George was supposed to help Lavon with his pitch, but he was a bit stuck in a personal emergency ... namely, after Lynly spent all day trying to manipulate George into dating her (Ugh, this story line is awful. Can we please please please not have George succumb to Lynly's obnoxious, heavy-handed, controlling ways?), she posed in lingerie on his bed. When he rejected her (again), she quickly threw her dress on but couldn't get the zipper to close. George, being the gentleman he is, tried to zip it for her but it caught on his hand. Cue a lot a blood, screaming, and Zoe's help getting him unstuck and stitched up.

- Lemon tried to stage a coup against Cricket's dictatorship as the leader of the Belles, but when she gets caught trying to lead a resistance, Cricket makes her face sanctions, which basically means she has to clean up the entire town -- scraping gum off sidewalks, cleaning graffiti, scrubbing stairways, etc. Lemon does the work -- she actually kicks the sanction's a** -- but she realizes that she doesn't want to be a part of a group that would make her do those things. She and AnnaBeth quit the Belles, and seem excited about their plethora of free time. How long will that last?

- Wade really proved his maturity in the episode. Not only does he help get Zoe to realize what she needed to do to get her job back, he also gave all of the credit to Joel, prompting Zoe to forgive Joel for screwing things up in the first place! Wade was the bigger man, but Zoe doesn't even know it. That's heartbreaking.

- The Head and the Heart performed at the Rammer Jammer, kicking off another season of awesome musical guest stars. 

What did you think of "Take This Job and Shove It?" Do you agree that Joel is just the worst (of course you do)? Let us know in the comments below.

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

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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