Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nashville 1.20: "A Picture from Life's Other Side"

“You walked away from the kind of life that your brother led because you know that it only ends in grief. You might want to consider doing that again.”

If it’s even possible, things just went from bad to worse in this particular episode of “Nashville.” The drama has all been kicked up into (even higher) gear, and everything is going to hit the fan in the finale for sure. By the end of this episode (spoiler alert) Maddie has figured out her paternity, Scarlett has broken up with Gunnar (*tear*) and holy crap Jolene’s a murder/suicide. Yeah, Nashville seems to have gone more the HBO model of not really forming each episode around a specific event or theme. Each episode is really just the next chapter in the twisty, soapy tale. Maybe that’s how most nighttime soaps are? I really don’t know considering the only other one I really watched intently was “Grey’s Anatomy,” and that creative team does indeed center each episode around a theme (made painfully clear by Meredith’s voice overs). As long as they keep bringing the beautiful music (again…Gunnar and Scarlet broke up…sigh), I’m good with it.

This episode starts with the end of another concert on the Red Lips/White Lies tour, and again, the crew is about to go home for a few days before the next stop. Deacon and Rayna are quite cuddly, and they’re talking about the future. Deacon kind of insinuates he’d like to be Rayna’s bandleader again (since he quit Juliette’s band and all), and Rayna invites him over to dinner with her and the girls. Depite all this, they still tell each other that they want to take it somewhat slow. Once back in Nashville, the dinner itself starts off well enough. Rayna has Deacon play guitar with the girls out in the living room so she can finish dinner, and watching Maddie and Deacon play together, it’s clear there’s a connection (since she’s his daughter and all). Teddy walks in on this and is extremely pissed off, mostly because for some reason he thinks that Rayna is going to tell Maddie and/or Deacon the truth.

Teddy backs up his displeasure with a restraining order saying that Rayna can’t take the girls near Deacon. Rayna fights back by going to Lamar, who agrees to call the judge on her behalf (and Lamar uses this as a confidence booster to take control of his company back from Tandy). The judge in turn agrees to quash the temporary restraining order and take up the issue at their next court hearing. Teddy is furious, but Rayna asks him to please trust her that she isn’t going to do anything to put his relationship with Maddie in jeopardy. Unfortunately, Maddie’s doing plenty to jeopardize it herself. She hears Rayna telling Deacon about the restraining order and ending the phone conversation with “I love you”, so Rayna has to tell her that yes, she and Deacon were together in the past, and yes, they’re back together now, and it’s a complicated story that she’ll fully explain to Maddie when she’s older. This isn’t good enough for Maddie, though, who goes snooping in Rayna’s room and finds an old paternity test. We see her tearfully telling a friend on the phone that she doesn’t think Teddy is her father.

We’ll go with the (*tear*) Gunnar and Scarlett drama next, since Juliette’s drama has the best cliffhanger. Gunnar’s been putting in a lot of late night recording sessions, which has Scarlett a little concerned. More concerning, though, is how he’s kind of desperately trying to take on the “outlaw” persona of Jason’s song lyrics. It’s kind of pathetic really. He’s changed his style of dress and everything. The most painful scene to me is when he has an interview with a Vanderbilt radio station, and he goes on about how he may have an outlaw past and he also does whatever he wants in his romantic life. It’s just painful to watch Scarlett listen to this foolishness on the radio. Scarlett confronts Gunnar about it, and to his credit, he apologizes and promises to be at her big Opry debut later that night.

Gunnar’s plans, however, get derailed thanks to a real life run-in with the law. Scarlett asks Will to talk to Gunnar about his behavior as payment for Will using Scarlett’s name to get an audition for Rayna’s new record label. Will goes to see Gunnar perform at a really seedy dive bar. While Gunnar isn’t thrilled to see Will at first, they’re just starting to get past the awkwardness of Will’s attempted kiss when one of the bar patrons causes trouble. The patron wants to know exactly where Gunnar did time, and he questions Gunnar’s authenticity. This leads to a big brawl at the bar, and Gunnar and Will find themselves in jail instead of at the Opry. Instead of a visit from Gunnar before the show, Scarlett gets a pep talk from Deacon and a whisk from Avery (calling back to the scene where he had her sing into a whisk to gain confidence). The performance, of course, kicked ass, but of course it would have been better if it had been a duet. Later, Scarlett does bail Gunnar and Will out, but she also breaks up with Gunnar, saying that she fell in love with him, not his brother.

So let’s wrap this up with the increasingly tragic tale of Juliette Barnes. Dante has a sex tape of himself and Juliette, and he is using it to try and blackmail even more money from Juliette than he stole from her in his last scheme. Juliette refuses to call the cops about this and insists on handling it only with her private security firm. Dante wants $2 million, and Juliette and the security firm organize a hand-off. Nobody is there to meet the hand-off, and Dante later calls with an explanation. He’s decided that he wants $10 million. This is the final straw for Juliette, and she puts her foot down. She’s going to go on The View and announce what happened. She’s decided that Dante’s not going to get anything. Jolene is feeling incredibly guilty for bringing Dante in to Juliette’s life and causing so much pain, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. She tricks Dante into thinking that she’s on his side, and then while she’s high on Oxy, she kills both Dante and herself. Hayden Panettiere’s performance as Juliette discovers the murder scene is just heartbreaking. There is certainly going to be quite a lot of drama going down in the season finale.

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