Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nashville 1.09: "Be Careful of Stones That You Throw"

“I only hate sunburns and hangovers. This is just business.”

“Nashville kicked off the spring season with much the same level of drama and energy that characterized the fall season. The ongoing plotlines are still ongoing, and everything is chugging along as it should. Rayna and Juliette are going on tour, but since the tour hasn’t actually started yet, there weren’t any real fireworks. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what happens when those two ladies have to spend that much time with each other. I was also kind of glad to see Scarlett and Gunnar find their way back to each other professionally, if not romantically. I think I’d really just like to see Scarlett choose herself for a while at this point. Other characters seem to be going on a more self-destructive bent. Deacon’s being moody while on tour, Juliette’s having a quickie wedding, and Avery’s ditching his band. Somehow I don’t think things will end well in any of those particular situations. So, on with the drama!

The episode opens with Rayna in the recording studio. She’s laying down her half of the “Wrong Song” track, but Juliette is nowhere to be found. That would be because Juliette and Sean just had a quickie courthouse wedding, and they’re enjoying consummating the marriage in a limo. A phone call reminds Juliette that she’s supposed to be at the studio, and she tells the limo driver to go there over Sean’s protest. Before Juliette’s arrival, the managers talk to Rayna about the tour plans. The tour is set to start that Sunday, which is just fine by Rayna. She just wants to take the girls and get away from Teddy and Nashville in general as soon as possible. I kind of don’t blame her, really. Up until the end of this episode (more on that in a bit), Teddy had been a complete slimeball and I really didn’t get what Rayna saw in him at all. When Juliette finally arrives at the studio, Rayna is quite surprised to hear about the wedding, but she stays classy and suppresses the snark as much as she can while she tells Juliette about the tour plans.

There’s plenty of drama still happening over in Scarlett-Gunnar land too, since Gunnar tried to kiss Scarlett and it didn’t go especially well. They’re back to trying to write songs, but it’s not going well at all. Gunnar is criticizing all of the lyrics Scarlett throws out, and it gets to the point where Gunnar just wants to write on his own. Meanwhile, the other point in the triangle, Avery, is still in Atlanta. And he’s agreed to ditch his band for a chance at a solo music career, even though he’s not really loving the style of music that is being produced from his work. When Avery gets back to Nashville, he finally breaks the news to the rest of the band, and to say that they don’t take it well would be an understatement. One of the band members, J.T., literally tries to fight him. Avery then stops by Scarlett’s house to drop off his keys. He says all the right things, and they end up having sex, but the happiness doesn’t exactly last for long. As soon as Avery tells Scarlett about ditching his band, she kicks him out. Again.

Rayna and Juliette both face some pushback from the men in their life over the tour schedule. Sean has gone and told his parents that they got married, and his mom is insisting on a big church wedding to make the whole thing official in the eyes of the church (and probably just to piss off Juliette, too). When Juliette says she has to go out on tour on Sunday, Sean’s mom says that they’ll do the wedding on Saturday. Surprisingly, Juliette agrees, mostly to prove Sean’s mom wrong for her comment about how Juliette would never truly be part of their family. Understandably, Teddy’s not happy at all about Rayna’s plan to take the girls on tour, and he brings his gripe to Lamar. Lamar and Tandy then corner Rayna about her plan, and Lamar, classy guy that he is, threatens to reveal Maddie’s paternity (Deacon, I presume) if Rayna doesn’t change her plans.

Now would probably be a good point to address Deacon’s little side plot. He’s on tour with the Revel Kings and having fantastic success. Of course, though, he’s not really happy. I think he probably just wants to be back with Rayna. Actually, no probablies about it – dude wants to be back with Rayna. A music journalist that Deacon has known for years is working on an article about the Revel Kings, and Deacon and the journalist get awfully cozy. Deacon is just out of sorts in general while out on tour, and he’s very interested to hear that Rayna and Juliette are going out on tour as well. Mostly he wants to know who the band leader will be. Deacon invites the music journalist up to his hotel room, where obviously they have sex, and the journalist says she’s worried about Deacon. She mentions bits and pieces about their past and a car accident, but nothing concrete. Presumably this incident she’s alluding to is related to Deacon finally deciding to go to rehab.

Surprisingly (considering how much I loathe Teddy), Teddy was definitely the better husband in dealing with the crazy tour schedule. Sean is really not thrilled about it at all, which I guess makes sense considering he’s a newlywed and all. Juliette and her mother in law are sniping as per usual while talking wedding plans, and Juliette mentions that her manager will be walking her down the aisle. Which is just sad, really. Sean decides it would be a great idea to arrange a lunch meeting for Juliette and her mom so Juliette can tell her about the wedding. Because of course that will end well. Predictably, the lunch is a disaster. Juliette’s mom basically says that Juliette has the same demons she does and marriage won’t fix that hole in her heart. She’s probably right (sort of), but it’s awfully presumptuous of her to assume that Juliette has the exact same problems relating to people.

Scarlett is working on setting up the Bluebird for the night when J.T. stops by to talk to her about what happened with Avery. They kind of commiserate over being screwed over by Avery (they think they should start a band called “Avery’s Exes”), and J.T. says that the band needs a new lead singer fast. Scarlett suggests that she sing for their next show, since she already knows all the songs. The resulting performance is, of course, awesome, and I think (but I couldn’t tell for sure) that Gunnar was rocking out in the audience. What I am sure about is that Avery later saw a YouTube vid of the performance and was quite jealous. It was a superior version of the song he was recording at that very moment. After getting her confidence back thanks to her moment of triumph, she returns to the writing room, and she and Gunnar get back to work like professionals. And the result is gorgeous, as always.

Rayna storms her way to campaign headquarters to confront Lamar about his de facto blackmail, and Teddy finally, once and for all, proves he has a spine. Teddy is really pissed off when he hears that Lamar threatened to tell Maddie about her biological father if Rayna didn’t cancel her tour plans. He tells Lamar that he’s Maddie’s father even if she isn’t his biologically, and his kids are not going to be used as pawns in Lamar’s game. Later that evening, Rayna and Teddy have a heart to heart. They acknowledge that their relationship is over, but they want to, for some misguided reason, keep up appearances while on tour. The girls are going to stay home for most of the tour, with occasional phone calls and visits as per usual. I really don’t know how they think that’s going to be a good thing for the girls. I question the whole “staying together for the kids” mentality in general, because kids are smart and know when their parents aren’t happy, and the longer the parents insist on staying together, the more miserable the kids get, because they think they can fix it somehow.

Anyway, Juliette and Sean end the episode in a similarly bad place. Juliette tells Sean what her mom said about the whole marriage won’t fix her thing, and they’re both pretty uneasy about it. Juliette tries to deflect, saying that they’ll be just fine while she’s on tour, but it’s pretty obvious that’s not the case. By the end of the episode, Juliette is all in her wedding dress and ready for the wedding. Sean gives her his grandmother’s cameo necklace to complete the outfit, which causes Juliette to freak out more than a little. We see her in the limo, presumably on the way to the church. The limo driver announces that they’ve arrived, but instead of the church, they’re at Juliette’s plane.

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