Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nashville 1.07: "Lovesick Blues"

“You know what, Teddy? I believe you. I just don’t think anybody else will.”

Man did the drama heat up in “Lovesick Blues.” Well, the heat was turned up, and then kind of turned back down, to be accurate. Thing got pretty testy between a number of characters by the mid-point of this episode, but by the end, everything seemed to be on an even keel again. Except for Avery and Scarlett. They’re still most definitely broken up, thank goodness. I liked this episode because it really focused in on the music. The political stuff was only on the periphery and barely took up any of the episode’s time at all. Instead of political drama, this episode focused on a big concert for the 25th anniversary of Rayna and Juliette’s record label. Although, honestly, I’m not sure why either of them are still with this particular label. The label doesn’t treat them especially well, and both could probably make plenty of money for any label in Nashville. Overall, the episode was better structured than most. All of the plot threads came together, at least loosely, at the big anniversary concert. I like to see care taken in the structure of individual episodes, so that was definitely a sign that “Nashville” is trying to be more than a simple nighttime soap.

Since both Rayna and Juliette are in the doghouse with their label, Rayna for wanting to change her sound and Juliette for being a PR disaster, the label is putting a lot of pressure on both of them regarding the anniversary concert. Marshall Evans, head of the label, even wants to meet with both of them individually. He is only going to let Juliette perform one song in the show, and it’s going to be a duet with Rayna of all people. Rayna doesn’t like the idea of performing a duet with Juliette any more than Juliette wants to perform with Rayna. Marshall’s tactic for getting Rayna to do his bidding is the threat of an immediate Greatest Hits album. Rayna hated the idea of greatest hits when her dad tried it, and she hates it just as much now. More than she hates Juliette, apparently. This time, however, Rayna takes the pressure and uses it to get something positive. She has her manager tell Marshall that because she’s doing the label a huge favor by helping to rehab Juliette’s image, the label is going to let her do whatever she wants with her next album, and that means Liam will be producing.

There is also, of course, plenty of Gunnar/Scarlett/Avery drama in this episode. Thanks to sleeping with his manager, Avery and his band get to headline a pretty big show. Meanwhile, over at the Bluebird, Scarlett is still moping around about the break-up, even though she was the one who left the relationship. Gunnar suggests that maybe Scarlett should write about it, barely hiding his frustration at their inability to get any work done, but Scarlett’s not having it. She wants to keep on moping. She’s driving her Uncle Deacon crazy, too. We get a kind of amusing scene of Scarlett bustling around Deacon’s kitchen like there’s no tomorrow while poor Deacon is just trying to get some breakfast. Deacon thinks Scarlett needs to get out and get her mind of Avery, so he offers to get her and Gunnar tickets for the big anniversary show. Hayley has a similar idea and takes Scarlett out to a club. When Gunnar sees her, he can’t take his eyes off of her, even though he’s supposed to be with Hayley. That can’t end well.

Meanwhile, in the brief foray into the political plot this week, Coleman calls Teddy while Teddy is just about to sit down for a family dinner. He wants to meet by the Riverwalk to talk candidate to candidate, and Teddy agrees. At the Riverwalk, Coleman shows Teddy the pictures of him and Peggy and tells Teddy to withdraw from the race, or he’s going to leak the photos. Teddy takes the problem to Lamar, who advises Teddy to just come clean. Teddy hasn’t really done anything wrong that can be proven (he hasn’t had an affair and the credit union stuff has been buried), so he’s better off getting it all out in the open. Teddy calls Peggy and tells her he can’t have contact with her anymore. She’s pissed, and I have a feeling she’ll do something drastic by the end of the season. Lamar also wants to turn up the head on Coleman’s drug possession case. The DA wasn’t going to press charges, but Lamar’s going to change that. Lamar is just gross.

Anyway, Scarlett enjoys her night out a bit too much for Gunnar’s taste. She flirts with some guys and she sings a (gorgeous) karaoke version of Ring of Fire. Then she starts making out with one of the guys she as flirting with. Gunnar gets really pissed at Scarlett, says some unkind things to the guy she was kissing, and says some even more unkind things to Scarlett herself (including implying that she’s a slut). Scarlett, enraged, goes home to Deacon’s house, and Hayley is just flabbergasted and doesn’t know what to make of the situation. Instead of heading home, Scarlett goes to see Avery. She misses him and thinks she wants to get back together. Just as Scarlett’s starting to apologize, the manager walks out into the living room in her underwear and makes Scarlett look like a fool. Scarlett leaves the house again, hopefully for good this time.

There’s storminess going on all over Nashville in this episode. Rayna and Juliette are having a rather epic fight over what song to perform for the duet. Each wants to perform one of her own songs. Rayna just really lays in on Juliette, giving her this huge preachy speech about how Juliette is still new to the business, and Juliette storms out. Deacon tries to stand up for Juliette, and he gives Rayna a copy of “Undermine” to show that Juliette is actually a decent songwriter. Then he storms out too. Things don’t go any better for Juliette at home. She and Sean are getting pretty hot and heavy, but he backs out at the last minute when Juliette wants to have sex. This brings all of Juliette’s insecurities to the surface, and she kicks him out of the house. Later, Rayna stops by to (sort of) apologize, and she says that the only way they’re going to break through their impasse is to write a new song together. And they do. And the result is a whole lot of fun.

We get to see that result at the big anniversary concert. Before the show, Scarlett and Gunnar make up, which pissed me off just a little. I’d like to see Scarlett and Gunnar together eventually because he treats her better than Avery, but what he said to Scarlett at the club was in no way okay, and she doesn’t ever really call him on that. Sean and Juliette make up too, when he comes to see her in her dressing room before the show. He explains that he respects Juliette too much to have sex with her before marriage. Which is kind of cheesy, but sweet, I guess. The concert itself is a huge success. Rayna and Juliette blow the doors of the place with their finale song, which is a song about a cheater that really reminds me of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” Everybody seems to love it except for Teddy, who just looks guilty.

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