Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: 'Nashville' Episode Five

This week on ABC's Nashville, we finally started getting somewhere. (Praise the Lord.) We have plot  points. We have erupting emotion. We have a reason to tune in next week. And most of all, we had an intriguing reversal in Rayna and Juliette's likability factors.

As the show opens, we find Deacon playing on a recording session with Juliette on a catchy song about  yelling from a rooftop or something. Apparently it's the never ending session from hell because Juliette's not in the mood to go home and deal with her mother. Deacon, being a pro at recovering from drugs, offers Juliette help in getting druggie mom Jolene into rehab. She's like... no. That is, until she comes back to a suspiciously quiet house, only to find Jolene passed out in her underwear upstairs with a creeptastic looking sketchball, surrounded by bottles and other assorted instruments of the devil's work. And you know that when someone is drunk/high in their underwear, that's business is going to end up on the front lawn. Hello neighbors. After a quick conversation with Juliette's (bodyguard? assistant?), she calls Deacon. Deacon comes over and much to the chagrin of Jolene, sets to convincing her that getting clean is a must because whether or not Juliette knows it, she needs her mamma. Presumably because Deacon is magic of some variety, they all load up in the SUV and head to the rehab center where Deacon confiscates Jolene's pills and ushers her in, but not before she freaks out and slaps Juliette because WHY NOT. Crazy woman. For the first time, Juliette elicits sympathy. A short time later, Deacon and Juliette sit pensively on his front steps. The scene has a helluva father/daughter vibe to it. You know, a verbal "thank you" will suffice, he tells her. He also lays down some sage older person advice about how not everyone wants something from her, and if she feels that way, she should put it all in her rearview mirror.

Over on Music Row, Scarlett and Gunnar prepare to perform some songs for Lady Antebellum's producer in hopes of getting a song cut. A big deal! But those two crazy kids are so good, what could possibly go wrong? That's right, everybody's favorite dirty hipster Avery volunteers to play guitar with them when Scarlett says they're looking to add a guitar player for the performance. What kills me about situations like this one between Avery and Scarlett, is that he offers– clearly looking to weasel in on his girlfriend's success, and somehow fools her into believing it's some magnanimous gesture. She thanks him for being wiling to play, like she thanked him for hanging out with Watty in the recording session a few weeks back. It's disgusting. Fast forward to the showcase, and crazy Avery can't take Gunnar and Scarlett singing a love song to each other, so he takes off an improvised guitar solo– I kid you not– and basically steals the song. Gunnar's pissed. Confrontation ensues. You're making eyes at my girlfriend! We're trying to sell a love song! Finally the tensions are 100 percent in the open. Scarlett overhears the hubbub and later clarifies with Gunnar that she is, in fact, Gunnar's girl. Lucky duck. And he's all "I'm with Hailey," and we ask ourselves if Hailey knows that. And then they find out that the producer passed on the song because Avery friggin hijacked it, leaving Scarlett no choice but to get direct with Avery about why he's so paranoid and such a jerk who would rather go back to the days when she kept her poems to herself. Lordy.

Since we're in the mood to air some laundry, Teddy and Peggy finally exposit their way to an explanation of all the paper-burning-car-rendez-vousing. When the Cumberland real estate deal was tanking, Teddy ran out of money, so he asked Peggy for help. She slides him a cool $2 mil from embezzling shenanigans and he used it to keep things floating until they, well, sank. Peggy and Teddy paid all the money back, but the audit might turn up this shadiness. In a move that would make Rayna pee herself in anger, he goes to Lamar for help. As Teddy spills, you can just imagine Lamar spinning him around in a fine and sticky spiderweb like a fat caterpillar. As long as everyone keeps their traps shut, Lamar can make this, shall we say, go away.

And then there's Rayna, lost and looking for someone to write with now that Deacon's out and the tour's off. Since Juliette's incident at the Kroger, it seems her label is out to make amends. Greatest hits album? Nope. Rayna wants some new material. She also wants to use one of her songs for a commercial to keep the lights on at home, but Deacon's protesting a lyric tweak. He won't give consent as a co-writer. She shows up at his house. "Is this really how you want to do things?" she asks him. Apparently so. Well, Rayna keeps truckin' and cranks out a song she likes on her own. Teddy comes home and because 2:30 a.m. is always a good time to have a serious conversation, he asks what exactly happened with Rayna and Deacon. Did she sleep with him? No. Did she want to? Well... And somehow Teddy gets huffy because she did the responsible thing and avoided temptation? Well, it'll be Rayna's turn to be pissed soon when photos leak of Teddy and Peggy suspiciously together at night. It doesn't matter Peggy was telling Teddy that the audit basically vanished. She put her hand on his wrist. Ladies– never put your hand on a married dude's wrist. But still, there's unresolved icky feelings with Rayna and Deacon. Deacon, who is having Nam flashbacks about rehab and the bottle of pills in his pocket (which he gets rid of) takes his achey breaky heart to the Bluebird to perform one of the night's middling musical numbers. One heckler later, Deacon gets in a fight and winds up making a Collect call from prison to Rayna who declines that sucker and goes back to sleep. Cold. All of a sudden we don't hate Juliette so much since she's willing to bail his sorry ass out of prison because friends don't let friends rot in lock up. In any case, Deacon caves on the lyric thing.

And there you have it. A mostly successful episode of Nashville. The songs weren't as outstanding, but I guess they all can't be hits.

Stray observations:

+ Avery reminds me of Matthew McConaughey's addled, possibly inbred truck driver from Larger Than Life.  See below.

+ Did Gunnar and Hailey just do it at work? Gross.

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