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Are you having a tough time getting through this work week? Well, have no fear because it’s Wednesday and you know what that means! Music, Lights, and Diva Star Power! We have Rayna James and company to get us just past that midweek hump!
After last week’s somber episode answered all of the season one cliffhanger questions, let’s see if episode two has a spark to light the way to a more energized hour. Rayna is out of her coma, Juliette needs a hit album, Deacon is getting out of jail, Gunnar wants Scarlett back, and Will wants only stardom. There’s so much going on in Nashville this week! What could happen next!?
Well, you’ve come to the right place because I’ll tell you what happened next…
THIS WEEK ON NASHVILLE:
We open with Juliette making a guest appearance on ‘Conan’ to promote her album, “Inside the Dream.” Of course she’s asked about Rayna, who has been released from the hospital into the care of Teddy. She’s back at home with her children, of which Maddy is still very upset. Juliette is quite resentful that on her media tour all she talks about is Rayna, Rayna, Rayna!
Edgehill Records has a new boss in town, Jeff Fordham, who is shaking things up in Nashville. He’s a man who only sees numbers and the business side of things, having very little interest in the art. Juliette feels threatened as her sales are down. On the other hand, Jeff has an encouraging meeting with Rayna, pledging his allegiance to her smaller label and work.
Nashville is in for a little two-step shake up!
Things may be going well for the country diva on the business side of life, but her home is another matter entirely. Maddy and Rayna attempt to have a conversation about all that has transpired. Maddy won’t hear it as she’s confused and upset, for good reason, of course. There is no solving this situation in the moment for Rayna. While this aspect of Rayna’s home life continues to get worse, her car accident ordeal seems to be bringing Teddy closer to her.
Deacon, returning home from jail, has a new caretaker: his niece Scarlett. His anger has taken over his being, but Scarlett won’t have it. She takes him to see the doctor Juliette set up for his hand. The stubborn Deacon can’t forgive himself for what he’s done to Rayna, so he opts to have his hand put in a cast. This, of course, will make it much harder for his hand to fully heal, not allowing him to play the guitar. Deacon is punishing himself for his sins.
Jeff seemed like a nice enough guy in the early goings, but shocker, he’s not! While watching Will rock out at a bar performance, Jeff offers him a spot as a new emerging solo artist for Edgehill records, which would poach him away from Rayna. And, in another twist: Jeff’s PR guy? Will’s ex-boyfriend! AHHH! (I may need a Nashville family tree for this episode.)
Moving onto the sales hungry Juliette Barnes:
During Juliette’s trip to her old trailer park stomping grounds in Alabama (I know, I know. That’s not Nashville), an old neighbor surprises her with a quilt. Apparently this neighbor was a big part of her young life when her drug-addicted mother wasn’t around. Juliette quickly rejects the quilt; a reminder of the past. As Juliette wanders her hometown, she has a hard time keeping her emotions in check, blaming it on her attempt to sell more albums. Her filmed origin story will manipulate her audiences into buy her new, heartfelt record. Avery can only watch as she struggles through her past for marketing purposes.
Rayna, having felt the forced affection, confronts Teddy about living together in the wake of her accident. She believes that it confuses the kids, as they aren’t getting back together. Teddy just wants his family back, acknowledging that he knows they’ll never be together again. In another move to clean up her newly messy life, Rayna approaches Will about his possibly leaving her label for Edgehill. She genuinely seems to care about Will, his choices, and his future as an artist, siting that Jeff will not have his back in the long run.
What’s happening with Gunnar you ask? Well, let me tell you.
Gunnar has hit a major wall when it comes to lyrics. He’s in his head about Scarlett and frustrated by the world. He snaps at Will, ignoring him, even though Will seems ready to open up about the decisions that he has to make. Luckily Gunnar is interrupted by Zoe, Scarlett’s best friend. Although she only comes to pick up some items for her BFF, Zoe helps Gunnar through the darkness by giving him some worldly advice. Later, at the Bluebird Café, he premieres his new song, about the pain of his brother’s death. This brilliant, heart wrenching song makes Will realize that he’ll never be as talented as his roommate. Also, cue longing stares from Zoe.
In the episodes’ most anticipated moment, Deacon calls Rayna and they meet near the site of the accident. Deacon didn’t know what else to do, but call his ex to help him through his struggles. Rayna has no choice but to reject his camaraderie. This is a new beginning for her and they need to save themselves, not each other. In a heartbreaking instant, she returns the original engagement ring, kept as a memento/reminder all these years. Deacon tosses it into the flower shrine in defeat. He wants nothing to do with music anymore, so he decides to sell his guitars. Scarlett, however, grows an even bigger backbone and calls her uncle out on all of his excuses and negativity. He reveals the reason he broke thirteen years of sobriety: Maddy. In an amazing moment, Scarlett tells him that it isn’t worth throwing what he loves the most away: Music. Deacon, finally seeing the stupidity in his actions, has a reversal and attempts to saw off his cast.
And now for the Edgehill party:
After being assured by his ex-boyfriend that his secret is safe, Will agrees to join Edgehill as a solo act. He doesn’t see himself as an artist with Rayna, only a front man with Jeff. Juliette proudly attends the party, as her Country Music TV special gives her reason to brag. Her numbers are up on iTunes and can flaunt it in Jeff’s face. But as we’ve learned so far this episode, Jeff’s no good! It turns out that Jeff has signed a 19 year old singer, who didn’t even win her reality show, to cater toward Juliette’s fading tween demographic. She even sings a Juliette Barnes song at the party. Rude! Rayna sees that Jeff is undercutting Juliette, so she wants out as soon as possible. She wants nothing to do with the label that she helped to build.
Woo! Now this is the Nashville I know and love. This week brought more of the drama, backstabbing, and genuine feeling. Rayna, having missed a week last episode, was on an extended screen time rampage! It was really nice to have her back, as this show can only go so far with out her. And did she look good after her coma or what?! It’s like she was never in one to begin with!
What I liked about this week is that with all the new characters and plot we were thrown, we were still treated to a nice sprinkling of character moments. That’s why we come back week after week, right? For those relationships and wonderful character chemistry. Rayna and Deacon still have it and their scene, for me at least, stole the show. Behind all that hurt, there is still an immense amount of love, and that always shines through, regardless of circumstance.
The writers seem to be moving away from the fallout of the premiere pretty quickly with all the new characters and stories. I hope the ramifications of the cliffhangers linger through the season further than the first few episodes. But, this week we were treated to some really enjoyable plot developments, which, I assume, will make this season all the more interesting.
Some other thoughts:
- Maddy is turning her sister against the family. Oh my!
- Lamar and Peggy were left out this week, but I’m sure their time will come. Honestly, I forgot about their plot lines, as I am not as invested in their cliché nature.
- The songs this week were a little lackluster, but as forgettable as they may be afterwards, I always enjoy them in the moment. Gunnar’s performance was the definite standout musically.
- The Avery and Juliette friend dynamic seems genuine and interesting. I hope that is explored more before they hook up again. (I mean, come on. It’s going to happen.)
- Zoe and Gunnar are just asking for trouble.
- I LOVE that Scarlett has developed a real feisty spirit since day one. Her new backbone is encouraging.
Have a good week and try not to miss Tennessee too much!
Keep on Watchin’!