Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nashville 1.18: "Take These Chains from My Heart"

“I love you. That’s just never not been true. I love you, and that is the truth. And I needed to let you know. And so I did.”

Until almost the very end, I found “Take These Chains from My Heart” to be the most depressing episode of Nashville thus far. Everyone was just in such a miserable place, and it made me sad. I think what made me the most sad is what is continuing to happen with Gunnar and Scarlett. They’re farther apart than ever as far as getting back together musically, and their romantic relationship has hit a bit of a snag as well (although they are still together). Maybe what happens between Gunnar and Will at the end of this episode will be the jolt Gunnar needs to get his act back together before the end of the season. I’d hate to not have any more gorgeous Gunnar and Scarlett tunes this year. While I was happy enough for the bit of light at the end of the episode, the fact that the light wasn’t for Gunnar and Scarlett left me a little disappointed. I’ve downloaded all of their songs from Amazon, and I’d like to be able to add more to my collection. Yes, this show has made me listen to (a limited amount of) country music!

I’d like to say that most of the drama focused on a particular character in this one, but this episode advanced quite a few storylines. The storyline that really seemed to reach some closure was Juliette’s, so we’ll start with that. Juliette is basically being a brat, spending all her time smooching and house hunting with Dante instead of rehearsing with her band (a Nashville concert is coming up next, so everybody is spending their travel day at home). Deacon calls her on it, so Juliette proceeds to push Deacon away. Deacon, for his part, tells Juliette that he’s quitting after the next leg of the tour. Which I think is a good move for him. Juliette’s also pushing away her mom, who tries to warn Juliette that she saw Dante kissing another woman. That woman is a Realtor named Esme, and Dante swears up one way and down the other that they’re just friends, and he enlisted her help in the house hunt.

Feeling threatened, Dante ups his game (although we don’t know that Dante is the mastermind just yet). Juliette invites Esme to the Nashville concert and talks to her backstage. Juliette is convinced that Dante’s not cheating on her, but her mom keeps popping up and insisting she saw Dante and Esme kiss. Dante plants pills in Jolene’s bag, and Juliette thinks that Jolene is using again. She’s about to send Jolene right back to rehab when she checks the pills and realizes that they are a medication to which Jolene is allergic. That’s when Juliette finally realizes she’s been had. To make matters worse, she has already told Esme she would buy a particular, very expensive house. Jolene avoids the return to rehab, but Juliette decides to go ahead with buying the house as a reminder to herself not to trust people.

We’ll get the Gunnar and Scarlet mess over with next because it just makes me sad. Scarlett finally gets to take a meeting with Rayna, and she works up the courage to explain that Gunnar missed the audition because of a death in the family, and she asks Rayna to give Gunnar a second chance. Meanwhile, Gunnar’s spending way too much time broing out with Will for my taste (he should be writing gorgeous music with Scarlett, damnit!). Will convinces Gunnar to perform at a nearby open mic night, and Gunnar completely rocks it (thanks to some advice on working the audience from Will). Gunnar enjoys the attention so much that when Scarlett gives him the good news that Rayna is willing to give him a second chance, Gunnar says he doesn’t want it. He wants to try and make it on his own. That freaking cut like a knife. Later, Gunnar and Will are broing out again, and Will tries to kiss Gunnar. Gunnar throws Will out, and I’m hoping, hoping this means he’ll reconsider teaming back up with Scarlett. I need more Gunnar and Scarlett music!

There’s some annoying political machination stuff going on that really doesn’t warrant more than a paragraph (if that) here. Lamar is home from the hospital, and he finds, to his chagrin, that all is not as he left it. Tandy appears to be doing her best to completely take over the company. Lamar makes a really cutting remark about how he didn’t realize it until now, but Rayna, not Tandy, is the daughter who has always had his back. Tandy’s got her work cut out for her, because Teddy seems to be on a mission to destroy the company. Teddy confronts Peggy with the knowledge that she leaked the divorce story to the tabloids, and Peggy lets it slip that Lamar has been using her to try and convince Teddy to build the baseball stadium where Lamar wants. This leads Teddy and Cole to cancel every single contract that the City of Nashville has with Lamar’s company (and there were many). Lamar tries to get to Cole, saying that these contracts served really underprivileged parts of the city, but Teddy tries to convince Cole that they can find new, just as cost effective, vendors. If I never heard about this damn stadium again, I would be a very happy “Nashville” viewer. It’s really all about the music, not the political intrigue.

Rayna spends most of the episode feeling better overall about the divorce, but still very much adrift and trying to figure out what to do next. At that moment, Liam chooses to come back into her life. They decide to meet to do more work on Rayna’s album, but they actually spend more time drinking and making out. Rayna seems almost giddy at the possibility of being with Liam romantically. Maybe she thinks he’d make an especially fun rebound? I wouldn’t blame her for that. Rayna invites Liam to be her lead guitarist for the upcoming Nashville show (what happened to lady bandleader power?), and when said Nashville show happens, Deacon is super jealous over Liam and Rayna’s hot performance. Liam invites Rayna to come with him for a romantic weekend in St. Lucia, and Rayna takes him up on the offer. Then Rayna sees Deacon’s upset, and she tells him about the trip and that Deacon should try and make things right with Stacey. At the end of the episode, we see Deacon still brooding back at his house when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Rayna, and Deacon gives her a well-deserved chewing out for being so wishy washy. Rayna’s about to leave again, but then she and Deacon kiss, and for a moment, all is well with the television world.

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