Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nashville 1.19: "Why Don't You Love Me"

“Am I witnessing the death of a bromance?”

Thank goodness for Deacon and Rayna. It’s nice to have some maturity in and among the craziness that is “Nashville.” They know what they want and just go for it, despite the games that people around them are trying to play. They also let everyone who could be negatively affected by their reunion know what’s going on right away. Deacon is completely honest when breaking up with Stacey, for instance, which I found admirable. All of this happens in the middle of CMA award nominations. Juliette and Rayna have both been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, so there’s clearly going to be some fireworks around that. Moreso from Juliette than Rayna, since Rayna’s kind of been there, done that. Gunnar and Scarlett’s storyline continues to depress me and leave me wondering when and if I’ll ever be buying any more “Nashville” tracks on iTunes (I always bought the Gunnar and Scarlett tracks because they were always gorgeous). And the political intrigue continues to be uninteresting. So basically this episode was a mix of all the major positives and negatives of “Nashville” overall.

The episode begins not too long after the last one left off, although now Rayna and Deacon are post coital. Their bliss is interrupted by a phone call, which Rayna would have ignored if it wasn’t from Maddie. She’s all excited to give Rayna the news about the CMA nomination. This news leads to Rayna’s phone just plain starting to ring off the hook, so she and Deacon don’t get to have the chill morning they were planning. Rayna seems to see the whole thing as an imposition more than a source of excitement. Juliette, however, views her nomination in the exact opposite way. She takes it extremely seriously and intends to win, because she’s never won a CMA award before. She is really disappointed when Edgehill doesn’t seem that interested in putting too much money behind promoting her, so she decides she’s going to self-finance her award promotion. She orders her assistant to start buying expensive gifts for all 7,500 members of the CMA, and she doesn’t want to hear it when her assistant warns her that she might not be able to afford it thanks to the money Dante stole from her.

Rayna and Deacon are all too quickly pulled back into the real world. Rayna talks to Tandy about what happened, and Tandy thinks starting things up again with Deacon is a bad idea. She knows that a relationship with Deacon can only be all out or all in, and she questions whether Rayna’s ready to go all in so soon after the divorce. It’s a valid concern, but I think that Rayna has truly thought this out and new the implications when she told Deacon she loved him. Meanwhile, Cole is similarly trying to dissuade Deacon from pursuing things further with Rayna. Cole warns Deacon that Rayna is his addiction. Deacon has a pretty good comeback for that one, I think. I asks Cole if he would consider his wife an “addiction” or just the love of his life. Deacon also has to break up with Stacey, and it what I thought was a classy move, told the whole truth and admitted to sleeping with Rayna. And he lets her keep Sue the dog.

Let’s get the Gunnar and Scarlett of this over with, because, like I mentioned in the intro, it just plain makes me sad. Gunnar’s working on setting up his demo recording session with the producer who noticed him the night before, but nobody really knows that he stole Jason’s lyrics for his new song. He’s also being really irritable with Will, and Scarlett definitely notices that. There’s an amusing bit where Scarlett tries to joke about witnessing the end of a bromance, which I thought was hilarious, but Gunnar didn’t seem to find it very funny. He’s digging himself into a deeper and deeper emo hole, and it’s just not at all enjoyable to watch. He can’t even go with Scarlett to the big Edgehill CMA nominations party because he’s recording his demo. Will has to go with Scarlett instead. He spends his time at the party being kind of a schmoozing asshole, and Scarlett is pretty embarrassed by it. Will even manages to get some face time with Rayna and she agrees to listen to some of his music. When she gets home from the party, Scarlett sees Jason’s notebook and recognizes the lyrics in the book from Gunnar’s song. She confronts Gunnar about stealing Jason’s song, but Gunnar insists it’s not a big deal.

Juliette spends most of this episode drunk, still reeling from Dante’s betrayal. While shopping for her CMA dress, she downs one mimosa after another. Jolene notices, but Juliette doesn’t want to take Jolene’s warning seriously. At the Edgehill party, she keeps the drinks coming, and other folks start noticing, too. She bothers Deacon when he’s in the middle of an especially intense conversation with Rayna, and she gets really pissed off when he doesn’t want to jump and do what she wants right away. The tension escalates, and Deacon ends up quitting as Juliette’s bandleader right then and there. Not to be deterred, Juliette asks if any of the rest of her crew can play guitar. Avery of all people volunteers to take over as bandleader, and he actually does a really good job. He’s like a cockroach, that one.

There’s also some really stupid political intrigue continuing to happen. Tandy continues to want to take her father’s place, getting all upset that the family business just lost all those city contracts. Cole, however, seems to be sick of all of it. He turns in his resignation to Teddy. Teddy doesn’t want to accept the resignation. He’s pissed off that he stuck his neck out for Cole and now Cole is throwing it all away. Cole doesn’t care, though. He says that Teddy is only working for his own interests, and he doesn’t want to be a part of that anymore. We later learn, however, that Cole’s motives are far from altruistic. In a conversation between Cole and his wife, we learn that they are hoping that Teddy’s mayorship will implode due to the skeletons in his closet, and completely distanced from the administration, Cole will be able to take his place. Cole’s wife seems very Lady MacBeth-like in this scene.

Maddie is a big piece of why the transition into Deacon and Rayna being a couple isn’t as smooth as it could be. Teddy really wants to take her to the father/daughter dance at her school, but Maddie is still pissed off at him due to the divorce. When Rayna tells Teddy, in the interest on laying all the cards out on the table, that she’s getting back together with Deacon, Teddy completely flips out. He’s worried that if Rayna and Deacon are together, Rayna will reveal that Deacon is actually Maddie’s father, and Teddy really doesn’t want that to happen. Rayna is understandably offended that Teddy thinks she would hurt Maddie in that way. Teddy still doesn’t believe that she’s going to keep the secret, though. He and Maddie do end up going to the dance, and Maddie warms back up to him a bit, but it’s inevitable that she’s going to find out the truth sooner rather than later. TV rules. Meanwhile, Rayna and Deacon decide that they’re going to try to make things work. It should certainly be a drama-filled last few episodes of the season coming up.

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