Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nashville 1.03: "Someday You'll Call My Name"

“All you are is the way the music gets heard.”

“Someday You’ll Call My Name” largely continued the stories that have been set up in the first two episodes of “Nashville.” We still have the Rayna/Deacon/Juliette professional and personal triangle, and there was progress made in Gunnar and Scarlett’s musical career and the political machinations, too. The one real new ingredient in this episode is that the plot with Juliette’s mother is ratcheted up a notch. Since, you know, she actually comes to Nashville and pretty much starts stalking Juliette. The appearance of Juliette’s mom also causes Juliette to do something incredibly stupid that, judging from the teaser at the end of the episode, is going to drive the plot next week. One concern I have from this episode is the development in the political machinations/Teddy’s shady financial dealings plot. I feel like the continuing twists and turns in that plot are taking away from time we could spend exploring the drama in the music scene. I know this is probably a move to make viewers not feel too bad if Rayna ultimately leaves Teddy for Deacon, but it’s too obvious a manipulation. I feel like every character in this show has been obviously balanced to have some good points and some bad points. I certainly appreciate well-rounded characters, but I’m seeing the gears in the writers’ brains turning here. The shades of gray in the characterization should be more organic.

We’ll start with the Gunnar/Scarlett/Avery plot, since so far I like them the best. There’s a little argument when Avery comes home to see Gunnar and Scarlett working on a song. This makes Scarlett a bit worried about the future of her relationship with Avery, and when she and Gunnar get into the studio to start recording their demo, she completely screws it up. Watty has a solution, though. Since Gunnar and Scarlett are only looking for a music publishing deal, it doesn’t really matter who sings the tracks. He can bring in another woman to sing with Gunnar. This doesn’t sit well with Scarlett, although she tells Gunnar it’s just fine. At the Bluebird the next evening, Gunnar gives Avery the heads-up about what happened and warns Avery that the thinks Scarlett is self-sabotaging because she’s worried Avery will leave her if she’s successful. Avery responds by getting Scarlett to finally feel comfortable singing and that she belongs in the studio. He also comes with her to the next recording session, and Scarlett looks at him the entire time she sings. Scarlett’s dependence on Avery kind of irks me, but I have a feeling she will fully come into her own eventually. Meanwhile, the music is gorgeous (and I’m not even a country music fan).

Meanwhile, Juliette’s got quite the family drama going on, as I mentioned briefly already. It starts with a call from the record label saying that her mom is at their office and they paid her $100 to go away. Things only go downhill from there. Juliette’s mom finds Juliette as she’s walking down the street from her entourage. Then she shows up at Juliette’s house while she and Deacon are post-coital and contemplating some breakfast. Juliette ends up shutting the gate on her mom as her mom screams for her to help. Her latest boyfriend left her, and she claims she has nowhere to go. Later, Juliette is told by her manager that her mom got into an altercation downtown. He suggests that maybe it would be a better idea for her to come live with Juliette after all, because then they could at least keep an eye on her. Juliette kind of hates this idea, but she relents, and by the end of the episode, her mom is living with her. Juliette starts acting out herself, and she shoplifts a nail polish while some teenage girls (one of which is Rayna’s older daughter, I think) record the incident on a cell phone.

The political drama surrounding Rayna’s family just gets deeper and deeper. Rayna and Teddy’s finances still aren’t in great shape, mostly thanks to Teddy’s financial deal gone bust, so Rayna’s handlers talk to them about some options. One of those options is borrowing money from Rayna’s dad, which of course is not an option Rayna wants to consider. Another option is Teddy asking the credit union for which he used to serve on the board for a home equity loan. Lamar’s already all over option one, unfortunately for Rayna. He sends Rayna and Teddy a check with a slew of conditions attached, all of which amount to Rayna essentially giving up her music career. Rayna talks about this with her sister, who sheds some light on why Lamar wants his daughter to give up her career. Rayna’s mom had a singer/songwriter “friend,” and Lamar sees Rayna going the way of her mother. Rayna confronts Lamar about this, and it leaves her more convinced than ever not to accept his help. Meanwhile, Teddy goes to the credit union to ask about a home equity loan, but he hightails it out of there as soon as the manager mentions there in the middle of a federal audit dating back to the years Teddy was on the board. Clearly something shady Teddy did at the credit union is going to blow up any day now. Oh, and on a less sinister note, there’s also an adorable talent show scene where we get to see the musical talent of Rayna and Teddy’s daughters, played by real life internet singing sensations Lennon and Maisy Stella.

Finally, there’s the ongoing Rayna/Deacon/Juliette romantic/professional triangle drama. Juliette’s still pushing Deacon to record the track they wrote and sign an exclusive contract to be her bandleader. Meanwhile, Deacon and Rayna are trying to plan the set list for their new, acoustic tour. Deacon wants to do the old romantic standbys like what they performed at the Bluebird, but Rayna’s worried that too much of that will lead her to stray from Teddy. She wants to do the big hits because it’s safer. Deacon goes to record “Undermine” with Juliette while Rayna thinks about what she wants to do. The recording session leads to sex, which leads Deacon to seriously consider whether he wants to stay with Rayna or accept Juliette’s offer. Meanwhile, the sordid family history Rayna learns about makes her wonder even more if she’s going to turn into her mom if she does this tour with Deacon. Rayna and Deacon have a heartfelt conversation where they pretty much acknowledge that they should go their separate ways but they don’t want to. Things aren’t really resolved at the end of it, but they’re both pretty emotionally devastated by it. Deacon goes to talk to Juliette, and it looks like he’s going to accept her offer, but actually, he says he can’t. Thank goodness.

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