Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review: 'Nashville' Episode Nine

On tonight's episode of ABC's Nashville, Scarlett hooked up with Avery in a moment of... well, something, I don't know what exactly... and I thought to myself, "Why would she go back to something that is regularly disappointing?" This is funny because I'm sure if someone out there were writing reviews of me writing reviews on Nashville, he/she could say the same thing. Also, that would be trippy. Anyhoodle, let's get this rundown started.

As the episode opens, Rayna is in the studio recording "Wrong Song," waiting for Juliette to show up and record her part. Juliette is otherwise occupied doing the nasty in the back of a limo with the new Mr. Juliette Barnes. Yes. The crazy kids got hitched. When Juliette finally gets to the studio, Rayna tells her that they need to start their tour on Sunday, riding the massive wave of hype post Ryman performance. On the subject of tour details, Rayna later tells Teddy that she's going on tour and she's going to take the girls. And somehow Teddy manages to climb out of the pit of shame and remorse he should be swimming in after stealing $2 million, nearly causing a woman's suicide, and dragging his family through the tabloids. Yes. He gets up on his hind legs to get pissy about how Rayna is leaving the family and darn it, he will fight her if she tries to take the girls. Where does he get off? No. Really. Someone answer my question. Please. He should be so far in the dog house that he spends his evenings spooning Snoopy. (Sorry, Snoopy.) Anyway, at campaign HQ, Teddy tells Tandie what's going on and expresses concern at what this election is costing him. But God forbid he develops a conscience, the goon squad (Tandie and Lamar) show up at the house to confront Rayna about her choices. Lamar, looking like a squirrel in a taxi cab without his wood panels and liquor, once again threatens to let slip who Maddie's real dad is. Bastard. If we've learned anything about Rayna, though, it's that the woman shall not be pushed around. She goes to HQ to find Lamar and Teddy talking, and tells Teddy that Lamar tried to use Maddie as blackmail. FUNNY THING. Teddy already knows about Maddie. And while he might be a thief, he is something that Lamar is not: a loving father. "I will come after you!" Teddy yells, tearing his shirt open, foam bits flying out of his mouth (I might have made up the last part).

Later on, Rayna and Teddy talk again. This winds up being one of the better moments on the show. She loves him, but neither of them are happy. However, that takes a back seat to whether the girls are happy, and they are. And it needs to stay that way. So. The tour is basically a good excuse to take a break. The girls can join her periodically, and Rayna will come home when she can. Deal. It was a sad moment, but ultimately satisfying because even though the show is frequently nuts and characters are ruled by any variety of base emotions, it's nice to see Rayna and Teddy act like adults who want to protect their children.

Speaking of children, Gunnar and Scarlett are damn near unbearable. Apparently he's all pissed because she rebuffed him (it's called freewill, jerk) and they haven't really been able to write. Life is so hard. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Avery is feeling scummy about the prospect of splitting from the Avery Barkley Band... but Wyclef owns his soul now, so... yeah. When snivel-y, thin-lipped Avery finally tells the guys, bandmate JT almost kicks his greasy ass. After the near ass kicking, Avery goes to return his keys to Scarlett and somehow manages to seduce her because having a haircut like Severus Snape is hot.

Or at least until Scarlett finds out he ditched his band and she's like oh yeah, I just remembered you're a scumbag. But here's the part I enjoyed. Scarlett steals the band. They have a gig and no singer, so she offers to sing because she knows all the songs. IT FEELS LIKE JUSTICE. Especially when Avery sees it on video the next day. Whaddah burn.

Thankfully, JT voices the question we're all thinking: When did Scarlett get all confident and comfortable performing in front of, you know, crowds? And you know what? I did not freaking write the answer down. My bad. Must have been lame. Anyway, she slinks back to the publishing company house office thing that I suppose Gunnar hasn't left in weeks. This time though, there's less grumpy going around and they play a song together.

Back to Juliette, let me just summarize the situation like this:

It's a big surprise that Tebow and Juliette have the following problems: 1) They can't sync up schedules 2) His parents are pissed 3) They have to get married fast  4) Her mom is a sore point 5) They seems to know nothing about each other. Marriage is so hard! Druggie Mom, however, dispenses some wisdom about how a marriage isn't going to chase away any demons. And more importantly she asks her daughter, "Are you happy?" Ugh. Life questions. So deep. But I guess Druggie Mom  knew what she was talking about because the last shot of the night is Juliette peaceing out on her jet.

Ok. One more storyline. I'm already over this episode. Deacon goes out on tour with the Rebel Kings. Mostly he complains about noise. A lady journalist shows up to write a piece on the band and we find out she is neither a lady nor a journalist as she flirts and finally beds Deacon. She's clearly someone from his past (14 years ago, specifically) but beyond that? All I know is that sleeping with sources is a huge no-no and I don't have the steam to articulate my disgust at how she violates just about every ethical standard for the profession, but David Tennant does.

So, a lot happened to tonight, but man the episode was slow and all the little things made it feel disjointed, a lot like the pilot, actually. So, why do I keep coming back when most episodes make me feel like this?

I'll be damned if I know. Maybe it's because writing about it makes me feel like this:

I have those sunglasses.

Stray Observations:

+ Want to see a real Nashville audience? Check out the front row during the former Avery Barkley Band show. Are they even breathing?
+ Liam thinks the tour is a bad I idea. Methinks he is right.
+ Astute viewers at home will realize that Rayna and Juliette's managers are basically the same middle-aged, gotee'ed schelp... but only after seeing them in the same room.
+ If the central question in the episode is "Are you happy?" The answer is "no." No one on this show is happy. Deacon included. I know this because he peered out from behind a curtain pensively.

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