Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nashville 1.08: "Where He Leads Me"

“You have more talent than anybody that I know. Somebody should tell you that every day. So I’m telling you.”

“Where He Leads Me” was definitely the most relationship-focused of the very relationship-driven “Nashille.” We had the Gunnar/Scarlett/Avery/Hilary quadrangle of doom, the Rayna/Teddy/Deacon triangle of doom, and Juliette and Sean all sharing the spotlight. Each relationship had their important moments in this episode for sure. I like the soapy relationship stuff better than the political intrigue, so this was definitely an enjoyable (for the most part) episode for me. The only thing that could have made it better would have been more music. Gunnar and Scarlett music, specifically. Their stuff is just so gorgeous. It’s pretty much the only country music I own (yes, I have downloaded “Nashville” songs…only Gunnar and Scarlett songs, mind you…although “Wrong Song” is quite tempting as well…from Amazon). I like that this show, unlike much of what I watched, left us with emotional cliffhangers as opposed to life or death cliffhangers. It’s nice to have some variety in the television viewing for sure. It satisfies the girly side of my brain that likes soapy television now and then.

Anyway, this episode picks up pretty much right after the last one left off. It’s the aftermath of the big Edgehill Records anniversary concert. Rayna’s team is all fawning over her and congratulating her, saying that the big finale with Juliette was awesome. The only person who is being a downer is Teddy. He just wants to go home, presumably so he can unload all this “affair” crap on Rayna. And when they get home, unload he does. He tells Rayna about the photos. He also, however, completely lies about the context. He tells Rayna he was trying to comfort Peggy, who was going through a hard time. He mentions nothing about the whole credit union scandal. Rayna really does need to leave that slimebag. Preferably yesterday. She’s too good for his games. Rayna confronts Coleman about the situation, and he shows her the photos. She seems to be more upset about Coleman stooping so low as to hurt her family as opposed to being upset at Teddy being a complete idiot.

On the opposite end of the relationship spectrum, Juliette and Sean appear to be progressing nicely, even with Sean’s determination to wait until marriage for sex. Sean tells Juliette that his parents really want to meet her, and he’s hoping she can come with all of them to church. Because Juliette Barnes in church will so turn out well. It actually isn’t all that horrible, really. Sean’s little sister loves Juliette, and she invites Juliette to sing with the church choir. Instead of Juliette just singing along with some hymns, it turns out to be a whole big production number with Juliette as the soloist. That was a little irksome, but I think overall, this plot was one of the more compelling of the episode. After the service, Sean’s mom invites Juliette to dinner, and Juliette starts to feel like she might be gaining the family she never had. Juliette seems to be continuing to win over Sean’s family at dinner, especially when she gives Sean’s sister pink cowboy boots from one of her music videos. After dinner, though, Sean’s mom is a total bitch, telling Juliette that with her background, she’ll never fit in with their family.

Some of the biggest drama in this episode, I think, revolves around the Scarlett/Gunnar/Avery/Hayley quadrangle of doom. Before work one day, Hayley complements Scarlett on her rendition of “Ring of Fire” at the bar and gives her information about a band that is looking for a new female lead singer. Scarlett mentions this to Gunnar while they’re writing, and he’s kind of pissed at Hayley. He’s seeing it as a deliberate attempt by Hayley to keep him from spending too much time with Scarlett. Scarlett goes all innocent and “well obviously I wouldn’t be good enough for them to actually pick me,” which I found really freaking annoying. Just as soon as she’s broken up with Avery, Scarlett’s acting like the subservient shrinking violet for Gunnar. This kind of makes me rethink being a fan of their relationship. Still love their music, though. Speaking of Avery, a bit time record producer want to work with Avery in Atlanta, and Avery is thrilled. He stops by to see Scarlett and gives her his “record deal” bottle of champagne as a sort of peace offering. Now that he knows what it feels like to have some success, he’s feeling bad about acting like a jerk when Scarlett first got her deal. Scarlett looks a little wistful at this, which proves she’s just as much an idiot as I thought she was.

Rayna talks to her sister, Tandy, about the whole Teddy situation. Tandy assures Rayna that as far as she knows, Teddy’s not a cheater, but she also lets slip that the famiy is about to have a strategy meeting to figure out how to best spin the situation. Rayna decides to invite herself to this strategy meeting, and just as she’s chewing her family out for not planning to include her in the first place, the pictures of Teddy and Peggy go up on a TMZ-like website. Rayna goes to Peggy’s house, thinking maybe they can talk things through, but she finds a gathering of neighbors and an ambulance. Peggy has overdosed on pills. Rayna demands the whole truth from Teddy, smartly realizing that there must be something to these pictures if Peggy is attempting suicide over them. Teddy finally comes clean about the credit union incident, although he places a bit too much of the blame on Peggy for my taste. The realization that her husband is a thief makes Rayna (finally!) consider leaving him.

Gunnar rather stupidly yells at Hayley for giving Scarlett the information about the band looking for a singer. Hayley calls Gunnar on the fact that he clearly has a thing for Scarlett, and she breaks up with him before he can protest too much. Later that evening when he and Scarlett are prepping the Bluebird for opening, Gunnar goes and does something even more stupid. He starts telling Scarlett how talented she is, and he kisses her. Scarlett seems into it for about two seconds before she pulls away. Normally I’d be happy to see some Gunnar/Scarlett progress, but to kiss Scarlett less than a day after getting out of another relationship just seems tacky. That night, Gunnar sings one of the songs he and Scarlett wrote for the crowd at the Bluebird. It seems like he might be winning Scarlett over, but the next day at their day job, Scarlett says she “needs time” and wants to try writing separately for a little while. B the end of the episode, an executive at the publishing house tells Gunnar and Scarlett that one of their songs has been put “on hold,” which apparently is another step towards getting an artist to actually record it. They share a celebratory bottle of champagne, but the callback to Avery’s gesture earlier in the episode makes me wonder if this will just drive Gunnar and Scarlett farther apart. Especially considering that the producer told Avery that he only wants to work with him, not the rest of the band. Avery might be back in Nashville sooner than expected out of guilt.

Deacon is friends with the members of a successful band called The Rebel Kings, and they’re in town for a short respite before heading back out on tour. Deacon is hanging out with them and finds out that the band members are all newly committed to being sober and they also want Deacon to play with them on the next leg of the tour. Deacon tells Juliette about this, and Juliette thinks he’s crazy for even considering turning the opportunity down. Then Deacon makes the mistake of trying to give Juliette a letter that her mother wrote to her in rehab. Juliette throws Deacon out for that one. Deacon then talks to Rayna (the person who is really keeping him in Nashville), and she gives her blessing for the tour. Rayna then goes and plays the Good Wife at a press conference for Teddy (blech), and Deacon finally accepts the offer to go on the tour. After the press conference of disgustingness, Rayna meets up with label head Marshall Evans. Thanks to Rayna and Juliette’s song blowing up on the charts, he wants Rayna and Juliette to do truly co-headlining arena tour. Surprisingly, Rayna doesn’t say know. Juliette might have other plans, though. Desperate to have a “real” family, Juliette asks Sean to marry her. While I applaud Juliette for going after what she wants, it made for a kind of terrible cliffhanger. I really want to know what is going to happen to Gunnar and Scarlett since I like their music so much.

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