This show is SO EXCITED about Rachel Bilson’s prodigious pregnancy cleavage.  They’re also apparently excited about her actual pregnancy, as we will soon see.

To remind you of how we left things: Lemon’s Mean Grandma Betty loaned her a bunch of money to rebuild Fanceeeeee’s after it burned down, but only on the condition that she (Lemon) go on a singles cruise, which she did. BOTH Lavon and George showed up at the docks to declare their love for her, and they’re enraged with and feel betrayed by one another over this. (Lemon doesn’t know any of this; she just sailed off in a great dress holding a cocktail.) Cricket is a lesbian! ToWanda are having a baby! And Zoe declared her love for Wade and Wade was kinda like, “eh,” and let’s just cut to the chase: she spends this whole episode trying to talk him into loving her and he FINALLY shows up at her door and admits it and then she is like, “TOO LATE” and I am like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME” and then it turns out that she’s freaking out because Zoe, like Rachel Bilson, is knocked up. DUM DUM DUMMMM.

Also, speaking of feeling betrayed, there was no Kitchen Pastry:

Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number One: Cookware. Zoe spends a LOT of this episode trying to get Wade to love her again — she tries to get to his heart through his stomach, she tries to get there through his wang, but finally, what gets to him is a Come to Jesus from his father, Formerly Crazy Earl. There are a lot of discussions about how Wade is terrified that Zoe is going to break his heart again and ONCE AGAIN I would like to remind this show that Wade DID cheat on her. And yes, it was because he was Self-Sabotaging and whatnot, and I actually don’t think what he did is an unforgivable act from your romantic interest. I DO think the show has sort of decided to pretend it never happened, though, which they don’t need to do. Wilson Bethel is a good enough actor to play the emotional shading, and that mistake was totally in character, and it would be better if we weren’t pretending it never happened. Work with what you did to yourself, show!

Also back in action, AB’s collection of really, really cute daydresses that occasionally are unkind to her armpits:

(They’re always putting her in dresses where it looks too tight at the armpits. Once you’ve seen this, you will never unsee it.) Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Two: Her lab coat. (Wanda’s suggestion is that Zoe declare her love for Wade by running alongside a train while he “ships off to fight the Kaiser,” which makes me think she would enjoy the GFY Goodreads Book Club.)

While these women are weighing how best to make a giant romantic gesture to Wade, Tom has decided BlueBell needs, as you see in the sign, a volunteer fire department, so they no longer need to wait for “those fatsos over in Daphne to come to our rescue.” I mostly only took this screengrab so you can see how resplendent (and crabby) Lavon looks. I believe his pants are seersucker. Long story short: BlueBell CANNOT pull together an effective fire department, in part because Lavon and George continue to be unable to work together, even for the common good, but also because BlueBell has a higher than average number of crackpots and Tom has drafted many of them into this little scheme:


Those shorts will look amazing with his hideous cat sweater. Speaking of animals, this entire B plot also includes A LOT of Reaction Shots from a dalmatian. And while I actually think Reaction Shots From Animals are funny, this episode had like TWELVE of them and I’m worried about the fact that no one from the network gave the note to cool it with the Dog Reacts. UNLESS THEY DID. Maybe they had, like 26 to begin with. Maybe this season is going to have a running theme about The Dalmatian Who Knows Too Much.

Anyway, while that subplot percolates, the Grand Gesture of Love that the ladies have workshopped is Zoe serenading Wade with Johnny Cash on a portable karaoke machine while they sing back up, and everyone’s dress is so cute but it’s SO AWKWARD AND EMBARRASSING:

(Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Four: A karaoke machine.) That is, it’s awkward and embarrassing and goes on way too long….until it’s AWESOME when the door opens and guess who pops out, totally delighted:

I laughed out loud BOTH times I watched this episode. (Meatball has been staying at Wade’s because “LilyAnne broke [his] house” when they broke up.) Worth it. Meatball, I love you.

So, in terms of winning Wade back, the Grand Romantic Gesture is a bust. George and Lavon put aside their boiling resentment and hate of one another to suggest, as a team, that Zoe try to bone her way back into Wade’s heart, and she kicks this effort off with the Swimming Hole version of Phoebe Cates Getting Out of the Pool in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

She does look GREAT, and Wade, being just a human being, cannot resist her. Especially because she follows this little aquatic number with Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Five: A six-pack of beer and a blouse-y animal print top:

And also with boobs and A LOT more bronzer than we’re used to seeing on Zoe. (Does the show have a new makeup artist? Because I swear Wilson Bethel was wearing guyliner in some scenes. It was very distracting). To wit:

Although Wade cannot resist these new friends, he does, however, tell Zoe multiple times that them hooking up doesn’t MEAN anything and Zoe is like “WHATEVER” but while I know that he does show up at her door later (because this is TV and that’s romantic), the truth is, friends, 99 out of 100 times, when a person says, “this doesn’t mean anything,” IT REALLY DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. But Zoe has never been a rational thinker, and she certainly may not have been fully reasonable, post-bang, when confronted with the following tableaux:


In other news: Guess who’s back?

Brick’s reaction: “Shelby!? Wha? Huh?” I have to admit that I love Shelby, and not just because we can run down this little plot with a quickness. Laura Bell Bundy is so funny in this part. There’s a moment where Grandma Betty calls for “Bertram” and LBB’s “your real name is BERTRAM!?” was laugh-out loud funny. Anyway, because Betty doesn’t approve of LBB — who HAS gotten up to some crazy shenanigans, it’s true — there’s some sneaking around with these two, like this, later in the episode:

Don’t ask me why they are eating orange slices in the middle of a hedge. Or making out in the bushes behind the Rammer Jammer, as Shelby takes over for Zoe Hart in the WHAT FORMAL SHORTS HELL IS THIS?! sweepstakes:

All you need to know is that she’s back, she loves him, he loves her, it’s ON…as soon as Grandma Betty leaves town.  Which will happen GOD KNOWS WHEN. That Betty. She’s like a barnacle.

Over with the Belles, (a) it takes forever for Lemon to reappear, and (b) everyone’s dress is soooooo cute:

I LOVE that dress on AB! And also, (c) because BlueBell is a very progressive and remarkably accepting town, everyone is super on board with Cricket being a lesbian and very supportive WRT to finding her a girlfriend, although the Belles DO ask about Ellen and wonder “what lesbians eat” (I WILL NOT MAKE THAT JOKE THAT JUST POPPED INTO MY HEAD) and “whether [Cricket’s] a vegetarian now” and if this means she’s “going to start watching the news.”  And trust me: I am glad that everyone in BlueBell is lovely and supportive. That is not a complaint. This is not the show you turn to if you want to deal with the sometimes shitty reality of the world when it comes to sexism or racism or homophobia. It’s a fantasy land, and nothing other than, “well, let’s find you a nice girl, then!” — which is EXACTLY what the Belles snap to — would be tonally appropriate. I also love that this cozy little CW fantasy is going to have a lesbian couple in their stable of rom-com townspeople, and that it’s presented as it ought to be always in real life: No big deal.

On the further topic of the Belles: FINALLY LEMON IS BACK and she’s wearing this totally cute dress and she’s brought a TOTALLY HOT DUDE of whom I forgot to get a screengrab because I am THE WORST:

The best part about Lemon’s new boyfriend — who we learn at the end of the hour is not really her boyfriend, they’re just using each other (Lemon is using him to get Betty off her back; he’s using her for reasons that are unsaid [perhaps Lemon is his beard?]) — is that he’s not only super hot, he’s also perfect. He’s LITERALLY SAVED ORPHANS FROM FIRES. He saved people from an avalanche! He is a Doctor Without Border! And the OTHER best part is that all of these facts about him are TRUE. I was worried we were going to get into some kind of He’s A Con-Man From Whom Lemon Must be Saved thing, but no. He IS awesome, he’s just not really her boyfriend. And next week, I will get you a picture of him.

Speaking of new significant others:

I’d like to introduce you to Jaceene (??!?!? I have no idea how they’re spelling it) Charles, the tough and sassy fire fighter who has attempted to help Tom — BUT ULTIMATELY FAILED — with the volunteer fire department. She’s basically just important because she asks Cricket out on a date at the end of the episode and Cricket is delighted, because she was worried that she had very few options as a Lady-Loving Lady in BlueBell (the Belles put together a list of Eligible Lesbians for her, as they do Eligible Bachelors, and it was disappointing in its lack of scope). I look forward to Cricket finding happiness with a feisty ginger. That’s what I want for us all, after all. That, and cute outfits, and luckily Cricket is also wearing one when Jay-Seen (?????!?) asks her out:

It’s SO preppy. I want it.

On the clothes tip, in addition to lying about her love life — as usual — Lemon’s experimenting with mixing patterns. In case you were wondering:

And Zoe wears a VERY cute dress when she and Wade get, as she puts it, “Reverse Parent Trapped” by Formerly Crazy Earl and HIS Girlfriend, who really want these two crazy kids to realize that they love each other, dammit:

Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Six: Her doctor’s bag.

Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Seven: Our old favorite, the tablescape.

And finally, Rachel Bilson Pregnancy Disguise Number Eight: her pillow, which she clutches to herself as she freaks out that she’s pregnant, and that it’s Wade’s, and that after weeks of chasing Wade and Wade being hard to convince and totally terrified that she’s going to break his heart, he listens to the kind and wise advice of Formerly Crazy Earl and comes to her with his heart in his hands and declares his love to her and she tells him IT’S TOO LATE AND TO GO AWAY BECAUSE…WHY DID YOU DO THAT ZOE? WHY ZOE? WHY?

I guess because she is freaked out and also because Wade is like a skittish faun who’s only just come back to her and will ALSO freak out and probably run away at least temporarily but you have to tell him, Zoe, because you’re clearly going to have the baby, because you love him and also this is a show on The CW, and YOU CANNOT HIDE BEHIND BOXES FOR EVER.


But what I really want to know is how Joelle is faring with that comedy writer he was dating in Los Angeles. ARE WE HAPPY?