Friday, February 8, 2013

Nashville 1.11: "You Win Again"

“That’s because you’re one of the good ones, Gunnar.”

“You Win Again” felt like sort of a filler episode of “Nashville,” setting up some situations that could result in some major drama in the next few episodes, but not just yet. By the end of the episode, Deacon is part of the Red Lips/White Lies tour as Juliette’s band leader, and Gunnar and Scarlett are rehearsing with Avery’s old band. But we had 45 minutes to even get to that point. We got to spend a little more time in Nashville in this episode compared to the last episode, which was nice, although I think I prefer the immersive quality that the pre-tour episodes had. That probably wouldn’t be realistic, though. Successful musicians do have to go on tour at some point, after all. On a positive note, we got another great Gunnar and Scarlett song. I think “One Works Better” is my favorite Gunnar and Scarlett song to date. I like that it’s more upbeat. Don’t get me wrong, their ballads are gorgeous, I just like the change of pace. Mostly, the previews at the end of this episode just have me excited for the next episode. It seems like most of the relationship plots are going to reach a boiling point, and that’s what I really watch “Nashville” for. That and the rather awesome music (and I’m not even usually a country music fan).

Anyway, the episode opens on the road at the end of a big show. Juliette is pissed that Rayna seems to be getting all the accolades for the success of the tour and this show in particular, and everyone seems to be forgetting that Juliette did a substantial amount of the writing on “Wrong Song.” Despite their differences, though, Juliette and Rayna are going to be flying back to Nashville together because Juliette, to Rayna’s chagrin, is the only one with a private jet. The reason for the trip to Nashville is a party Edgehill is throwing in honor of “Wrong Song” going to number one. Before they leave, a woman from another record label called Countless approaches Rayna. The record label rep loved the show and loved the demo tracks that Liam sent to her. She really wants to sign Rayna to her label for a five album deal. Rayna’s flattered, but she doesn’t commit to anything right away.

Back in Nashville, Gunnar and Scarlett are doing their songwriting thing, and the crappy backup guitar Gunnar is using keeps going out of tune. Gunnar hasn’t told Scarlett the truth about what happened to his old guitar, he’s just said that he lent it to someone who lent it to someone else. Scarlett thinks that maybe they should think about performing their own songs, considering all they’ve got is one song on hold at the moment. They could earn more money that way. Gunnar is dubious, mentioning that they don’t want to be like Avery. Speaking of Avery, he’s back in Nashville and still working with Madelyn (but he still has his contract with Domenic, too). Madelyn’s doing her best to show Avery she’s got his best interests at heart. She got him a gig at a substantial pay raise compared to the last one, and she also got him into the big Edgehill party. Avery just wants to make sure that the sign at the gig just says “Avery Barkley” instead of “The Avery Barkley Band.” Narcissistic, much?

On Juliette’s plane, one of the folks in the band mentions that they’re actually going back to Nashville so Juliette can attend her mom’s court hearing. Juliette is pissed that Rayna gets to know this personal information. The indignation is cut short by a very unflattering magazine article about Deacon and the circumstances under which he left the Revel Kings (it’s implied he fell off the wagon). We quickly cut to a scene of Deacon screaming over the phone to his reporter lady friend. He’s understandably pissed that she would believe what Cy told her about Deacon’s situation. He tells her the truth about how he saw Cy trying to rape Scarlett, and he says that he didn’t tell the story sooner because he was trying to protect Scarlett’s privacy. When the plane arrives in Nashville, Rayna heads right home, where Teddy is in a rather pissy mood. I guess he’s upset that Rayna still hasn’t decided if she wants to stay with him, and while she’s out gallivanting, he has to take care of the girls. Poor baby.

At the courthouse, Juliette is trying to deal with her mom’s hearing. Deacon was supposed to speak on behalf of Jolene, but considering the magazine article, he doesn’t think he’s the best choice anymore. Juliette is going to be the one who testifies. Juliette’s testimony is kind of lacking. She basically just says that she’s glad her mom is finally getting the help she needs, and she hopes it sticks this time. Needless to say, Jolene is ordered back to rehab, with another hearing scheduled for after she’s done her stint. Outside the courtroom, Juliette invites Deacon on her tour again, but Deacon still says no. Despite feeling majorly sorry for himself, he still wants to help Jolene. Since she has the rest of the day out of rehab, he thinks they should make the most of it, and he convinces Juliette to let Jolene come to the big Edgehill party. Because that will end well.

Across town, the Countless Records lady stops by Rayna’s house to talk business some more. She’s really putting the hard sell on Rayna, emphasizing how she’s a mom too and understands work/life balance. Apparently a lack of understanding about family was something Rayna always disliked about Edgehill. Later, Rayna, Liam, and Rayna’s management talk about the offer from Countless. Rayna’s skeptical and a bit worried that it could be too good to be true. Not one for tact, Liam makes an unkind remark comparing Rayna’s marriage to Edgehill. Both things that she just barely tolerates because they’re safe, pretty much. Rayna then stops by Deacon’s house to check on him. Deacon says he wants to sell his house and go live in his cabin for a while. Rayna says she’s worried about him, and they fight and say some pretty hurtful things to each other. So Rayna’s really not having a good visit home.

Meanwhile, Scarlett makes the dumb move to go see Avery’s gig. J.C. happens to have made the same dumb move, and they kind of wallow in their mutual hatred of Avery together. After the show, they have the idea to combine musical forces on a more permanent basis. J.C. invites both Scarlett and Gunnar to join the band. Scarlett thinks it’s a great idea, but she has to run it by Gunnar, obviously. Gunnar’s over at the Bluebird, being all emo and taking a call from the police down in Texas. They want to know where his brother is since he never showed up at the halfway house. They warn Gunnar that he could be in serious trouble if there’s any information he’s hiding. Just as he’s getting this news, Scarlett bounces in all happy and perky with her idea to join the band. Gunnar is grumpy and makes an unkind comment about Deacon, and Scarlett storms out.

The big Edgehill party is where all the drama really goes down. First of all, Deacon doesn’t show up, and Juliette is pissed at having to babysit her mom all night. Actually, she’s a little extra harsh on her mom, who is just trying to be nice and sociable to all the musicians. Avery, against Madelyn’s better judgment, decides he’s going to try to talk business with Juliette, and Juliette rightfully gives him the brush-off. Marshall, the head of Edgehill, corners Rayna and tells her that Countless has offered Liam his own imprint if he can bring Rayna to the label. So he’d be getting a whole lot more out of a potential Countless deal than she would be. Rayna is extremely pissed about this and she dumps Liam as her collaborator right then and there. Teddy sees how upset Rayna is and accuses her of having had an affair with Liam. They have a huge argument, and Teddy tries to lay the “I did it all for you” guilt trip on her.

Scarlett, meanwhile, meets up with the band, thinking she’s going to apologize for her and Gunnar not being able to join them, but she finds that Gunnar is already teaching them a song. Specifically, he’s teaching them “One Works Better.” He apologizes for what he said to Scarlett, but he still doesn’t want to talk to her about what is bothering him. Smooth move, there. The best part is when Avery drives by the garage where they’re rehearsing, thinking he’d play his song as it’s on the radio and make Scarlett jealous. Instead, he finds Scarlett, Gunnar, and the band totally jamming out to a song about how Scarlett is better off without him. I think it’s one of my favorite Scarlett and Gunnar songs of the season thus far because it’s so upbeat as opposed to their usual ballads.

Surprisingly, Juliette, not Rayna, is the one to really save Deacon in this episode. She breaks into his house and finds everything a mess. Deacon threw a major tantrum, but somehow he’s still sober. Juliette thinks he needs to go out on tour with her. He can do what he loves, and there’s even an AA group among her crew. Deacon still seems to be low on self-esteem, saying that he didn’t get sober for himself, he got sober for Rayna. Now that Rayna has completely rejected him, he’s finding it difficult to stay on the wagon. When we next see Juliette, she’s having a really sweet conversation with her mom before dropping her back off at rehab. They both say they’re proud of each other, which is a long time coming. Finally, the tour is about to head out again, and Rayna tells Teddy that she’s staying with him for now, but she still needs time to think. She gets on the plane, happily telling her agent her new list of demands if she’s going to stay at Edgehill (she wants her own imprint, too). Suddenly, though, Deacon runs through the airport and hops on the plane, leaving a really pissed off looking Teddy in his wake. Deacon’s not rejoining Rayna’s band, though. He’s joining Juliette’s.

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