Nashville has really turned into quite the televisual gem, hasn’t it? It started out far too soapy for its own good. The show had lots of political drama both on real politics and music politics; it introduced new characters constantly, and had a few detours before finding itself. However, it was never that bad, it just wasn’t shining at its full flaming potential. The last few weeks, though, it really is on fire. You see, once it caught our attention with all those shenanigans and its amazing music, we fell for its characters and then they very appropriately shifted gears. Since my last review, the show has shown great character development and a maturity that ranges from last week’s show (packed with juicy relationship drama and mouth-dropping surprises) to last night’s calmer and more sentimentally focused display of greatness.
It’s nice to finally see a musical series that has that grounded factor. It’s absolutely unfair to compare it to others cause it’s fairly different, but still Rayna reigns supreme both in country music and this particular TV genre. So, why don’t we dig into what we were served last night to figure out the juiciest bits? There was plenty to love and we’ll discuss it all.
Let’s do this by character, shall we? The show opened up with Rayna. After last weeks’s mess of a love life she went through, there was bound to be a heavy emotional toll on her. It certainly hit her hard, especially in the eve of her divorce announcement to her daughters. The way the show treated this was very nice too. I was scared after last week’s promo that they were gonna blow everything out of proportion, but her little choke at the show was simply a glimpse into her mind, but nothing more.
It would have been unbelievable if a Country Queen with years of experience had melted down on stage because of personal issues, when she probably has had similar situations happen to her plenty of times. Let’s remember Rayna had a rough start of her career, having to deal with Deacon’s addiction, her pregnancy to a man that wasn’t fit to be a father, and having to face the decision of moving on from the love of her life to find stability for her child. Yet, it was completely understandable for her to need a moment to recompose herself before turning her diva on.
After that, though, she wasn’t really in the mood for after show parties, but when Liam comes back in and offers her a night away from her life together, the offer sounds appealing. Many people might judge her for it. I mean, she’s still married, has children and yet she’s running around trying to forget it all with a younger guy. Still, given the situation, I think it’s absolutely appropriate. Besides, Rayna is quite the lady and she realizes taking things further than a kiss is a mistake. This, plus the amount of liquor she had drunk, made her suffer a meltdown in Liam’s room’s bathroom. You see, that is believable as well, and relatable. She is going through a lot and breaking down is expected. Especially after she held it all up together at the concert, but knowing Rayna she would do it in privacy. In fact, hadn’t Liam been so insistent, she probably wouldn’t have talked to anyone about it either.
Still, I’m glad she did. I had mixed feelings about Liam until now cause I’ve hated and loved him equally in past episodes. However, I made up my mind last night. He’s one of my favourite characters. He sees Rayna for the person she is, not for the superstar, or supermom, or the powerhouse industry she is to others. He sees her just as a tough human being with great creativity and a messed up life. Besides, the chemistry that Connie Britton and Michiel Huisman have together is incredible. Either they are both amazing actors or actual real life friends, and so they bring a realness to the scene that I fell in love with.
To finish it off, the closing of the storyline was beautiful. The fact that the scene where they told the kids was mute and accompanied by Gunnar and Scarlett’s song brought the sentimentality of it all up three notches. Besides, the final bit where Maddie told her mother about her dad and Peggy leaves just the right openness to the ending that I’m still interested. I just hope that Rayna doesn’t go on stirring the sh*t pot more than she needs to. She should accept that things are ending and just let it go before she hurts the girls and herself further.
On the other hand, we had Juliette. She was moved slightly away from the spotlight this episode in favour of Rayna’s story, which was a nice move because what the sentimentality of that other story needed more screentime to develop appropriately. Still, Juliette had plenty of scenes that were just as good. Last night she was still battling Glenn for the power of changing his career around. The guy was being stubborn about leaving her music as is (after all, why fix what ain’t broken, am I right?), but she felt trapped in her glittery world and needed to escape right away.
I understand both positions. The nice thing about this storyline is that none of them are wrong and Glenn isn’t just being a jerk. He’s actually trying to protect Juliette from falling face first down of her pedestal. He appreciates her and they most likely go way back. I wouldn’t be surprised he has consoled her more than a couple times when her mom was at her worst. Still, Juliette just doesn’t have the same vision as him. She’s hands on and believes you gotta take risks to win.
Unfortunately, Juliette wears her feelings on her sleeve and she has a lot of them as well. So, when he tries to go behind her back to prevent her from changing the show, she explodes, puts him back in his place and he ends up quitting. I hope they eventually come back together when he realizes she was right and it is the correct time to chase a new path. I liked her dynamic and would like to see their relationship explored instead of seeing him turn into an enemy for her. Besides, I think Juliette is slowly changing into a better person and she’s close to getting there, so they might not have as many arguments in a few years.
In the end, Deacon reprimanded the blonde for not appreciating the people and around her and giving them for granted. So, she asked her mum to move in when she comes out of rehab next episode. This, though, seems like it’s gonna be trouble if promos are any indicative. It looks like her mum is gonna have a relapse or at least some trouble at Deacon’s surprise party, and I’m devastated for it cause I was really rooting for her.
The other one of our Country ladies, Scarlett, had some problems of her own when the news of Rayna producing them was ruined by Gunnar’s brother’s appearance. The guy came back from Texas promising he was gun free and asking for a place to crash. It was problematic, though, because by crossing the Texas border he was violating probation. Also, he wanted to stay at Scarlett and Gunnar’s, and that would be harbouring a fugitive.
Of course, Scarlett agreed ultimately cause she’s a sweetheart and she loves Gunnar. The lad stayed on the couch, he was thankful to her, nice to his brother and gave the girl a glimpse of why her song writing loves the guy so much. He’s actually pretty lovable and it seems like in another life he would have been as decent a guy as Gunnar. However, unfortunately he had to sacrifice that part of his nature in order to preserve his brother’s and so he cannot be just good anymore. We learn this the hard way when we realize he’s still carrying the gun and lying about it. This saddens me very much. I mean, I know I said I didn’t care for that story on my last review, but this week actually made me like him quite a lot. It was very smart to bring Scarlett into the mix on this because it made, me at least, feel more invested in it.
It devastates me further (HUGE SPOILER ALERT FOR NEXT WEEK!) that it seems like the guy is dying next week, at least from the promo. On that quick montage right before the ending of it, Gunnar is identifying a body at the morgue and then crying about it. This will probably compel the guy to go after vengeance for his brother, and that might just be dreadful cause he could end up in jail by the end of the season. I really hope I’m wrong, though. I really want to see him and Scarlett together and that could just break my heart if they get together just for him to be dragged to jail the next second.
Anyway, there was only one last storyline in the episode, and it was Avery’s. That girl Gunnar had a brief affair with approached him to sign a publishing deal. She promised there could even be a six-figure check and him, being as rushed for money as he is, decided to take the offer in spite of his manager advising him otherwise. In the end, he ended up being tricked for only $100 000. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to him now, but I’m actually liking where this is going. His manager and him make a strangely good pairing, probably cause they’re both evil and you want them to fail, but everything that’s happening to him makes a good contrast with the rest of the show. At least it helps you ease down in-between dramatic scenes with the gals.
So, in conclusion, the episode was just as fantastic as last week. It almost was the perfect following to all the drama we experienced on S01E12, and it left me wanting more. The only bad critique I have is that I don’t understand why they keep having these one week breaks. It’s becoming annoying and my anxiety grows to unhealthy levels. Still, if anything it strengthens my wish to keep watching. Bottom line is I cannot handle how good a show Nashville has become, and I wish it goes on like this for years. If it keeps on the right track, I can see myself watching season 9 and loving it. How about you?
Luis Ruiz – @Not_reallyLuis