Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: 'Nashville' : 'My Heart Would Know'

If I had to peg a theme for this week's episode of Nashville, it would be Sympathy for the Devil (with apologies to the Rolling Stones). Here's what happened. 

The show basically opens with the audience walking in on Addiction Counselor (whose name I finally learned– Dante!) and Juliette in bed. He brings up her mom and she's like WAY TO KILL THE MOOD DANTE. But really, it is a concern. Juliette ultimately convinces him that they should keep their relationship quiet and like the solid professional he is, he agrees. But lo, a knock on the door sends the pair scrambling. It's Rayna and she wants to use the jet because Lamar is in the hospital and she's got to get the girls home. PS, Rayna's not going to do her half of the show. That leaves Juliette wondering the next day why folks are telling her to cancel the whole show just because Rayna won't be there. Juliette makes phone calls while the little people scurry around her. Druggie Mom walks in looking peaked, asking why neither Dante nor Juliette answered their phones last night. You don't want to know, Druggie Mom, you don't want to know. She tells them she took a bottle of Vodka. Didn't drink it, but she took it just to cuddle and stroke it for a while. Druggie Mom thinks it's time she and Dante go home. Oh, snap! Juliette and Dante plot to talk Druggie Mom out wrecking their creepy-ass little union. Later at rehearsal, Juliette flips out at the band because they've only got ten new songs to learn in a day for the extended show that night and they're not totally nailing it. (Does Juliette play an instrument? Methinks not.) Deacon, protector of the weak and downtrodden, gives her static. She references Dante and he's like WTF is Dante?? Somebody get that man a drink. Seriously. 

But yes, who is Dante? He's the only person who has Juliette's back, just so you know. Anyway, she pulls a Garbo and heads back to her bus. Later, Dante goes to talk to Druggie Mom who tells him again that he's slacking on his job as a sober companion and that she would like to go home. Also, she kisses him just as Juliette walks in, and you just know this is going to be a whole thing, in the hallway, in front of everyone. Weirdest love triangle ever. Druggie Mom thinks Dante has feelings for her too. Then she realizes he and Juliette are sleeping together. Gross, she says. Trust me, Druggie Mom, it's worse for us than it is for you. The next morning Dante tells Juliette "I never meant to drive a wedge between you and your mom." Good one. But apparently this has happened before. Juliette sends Druggie Mom home and instructs assistant Emily to get her a new sober companion... a female this time. And PS, Dante is Juliette's new manger. 

So, Rayna hopped a plane back to Nashville as Lamar is in the hospital draining all hope from those in the building. He gives Rayna some crap about coming off the road and she tells him "I can see you're all full of piss and vinegar so you must be feeling better." But despite the fact that his heart almost exploded, he's still going on about this whole land deal thing. He also makes the first of two escape attempts...

before Tandy tells him she WILL have him sedated. I like Tandy more and more these days. Back in the waiting room, Watty shows up to see Rayna. He's a welcome face to all except Lamar, apparently. During escape attempt number two where he actually makes it down the hall, he freaks about when he sees Watty there. The lights flicker, the floor shakes, Watty decides an exit might be in his best interest. But that's weird, right? That whole freak out about Watty? There must be something going on. At this point my mom leans over and says, "I bet Watty's her dad." 

Rayna goes to Watty to apologize and Watty confesses that he had an affair with Rayna' mom and when Rayna's mom died in that car wreck, her bags were packed. (!!!!) I'm kind of hoping Watty is Rayna's dad. It would be trippy because that would mean that Watty was basically Deacon, Lamar was Teddy, Rayna was Maddie, and the universe works in an infinite loop where we're all destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over and OH MAN I gotta lay down a second. Ok. Later, Lamar has another heart attack or something of the like and it gets real ER in there real fast. WHERE'S THE CRASH CART?? (Incidentally, Crash Cart would be a great name for a band.) He goes into surgery, there are complications. Tandy and Rayna talk briefly about the whole Watty thing, and Tandy tells Rayna that's why Lamar is so screwed up and how changed he was by the betrayal, to which I take issue because I don't think there was ever a time when Lamar wasn't evil. All that creepy jaw grinding doesn't just happen. And some of the crap he's pulled? Dude knows better. He's like the last character the show should be building sympathy for because he's so beyond it. Anyway, Rayna later gets teary with Lamar as he lays half conscious, wishing she'd been able to understand things better, sooner. 

Back in New York, Deacon and Stacey the vet part ways. He gives her a key to his house. What, you want me to water your plants? She asks. You know I can't keep anything alive, he tells her making the audience fear for the dog. After she leaves, Deacon finds out about Lamar and calls Rayna (who will call him back and leave a message herself) and it's just one of those moments where I can't understand how they're not going to be together in the end because they're too tangled in each other's lives. Give up and get it together, kids. Not long after, he runs into Avery and is somewhat perplexed at why he's a roadie. Maybe we should feel bad that Avery's on the bottom rung again, but we don't. Deacon runs into Avery again a little later after Dante fired Avery for catching Juliette and him playing Scrabble on the bus. (They weren't playing Scrabble.) Deacon is like I will take care of this. He goes and confronts Dante– with what authority are you firing people? And by the way, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU AGAIN?? Well, Avery has a job for now, but Dante's thrown in Deacon's face that he accepted a $50k guitar from Juliette and slept with her when she was vulnerable. So much for confidentiality. That night at the show post-rehearsal flare up, Juliette taunts Deacon with her singing about blowing chances etc. and he stonewalls her. This pisses her off and they have another fight later. Deacon tells her you cancel shows when there's a family emergency and Juliette says, well, she's not my family and she's not yours either, to which Deacon responds, yes she is and we bawl uncontrollably for the next several minutes. Deacon flies to Nashville and turns up at the hospital because again, let me be clear, there is no universe in which they do not happen. They talk and he says there was something in her message that "sounded like you needed me." His voice cracks. We bawl again because life in unfair, baby. 

Meanwhile in East Nashville, Gunnar is all underwear and mimosas in honor of Scarlett's record deal. That night they go to a bar with Luke from the O.C. (why has no one said to him "Welcome to Nashville, bitch" yet, hmm?? Kind of a squandered opportunity.) and a couple things happen. Scarlett jokes about him being a bad influence on Gunnar because he says he can pick up a girl in three minutes flat. He gets on stage and sings a song with Scarlett. She later tells him she's worried about Gunnar because he hasn't written anything since Jason died. After they get Scarlett home (because she is crunk and has a meeting in the morning), Gunnar tells Luke he's dead inside, essentially. Luke gets him to go back out and they wind up playing chicken with a train, which is the dumbest thing ever. At first Gunnar is freaking out and then he's like, let's do it again! Here's the thing. I don't know what they're trying to set up here. Is this the beginning of some weird adrenaline addiction for Gunnar which will complete the Deacon-Gunnar arc? Is Luke really going to be a destructive influence? Or is this just something that a writer stuck in the show as a way to get Gunnar writing again? We shall see. For all we know, Luke could end up on the grill of a speeding train by the next episode. Long story short, Gunnar writes a very John Mayer-esque tune. 

One more thing, Tandy takes over Lamar's affairs and finds out about the whole Peggy/tabloid/Lamar/blackmail mess and personally delivers the phone records to Teddy. Like I said, liking Tandy more and more. 

Stray Observations:

+ We had two songs this episode as usual (Gunnar and Juliette) but I feel like the music is becoming less and less important to the show.
+ I feel no pity for Lamar or Avery. This is me not caring: 
+ Peggy is gross.

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