Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review : 'Nashville' : 'Don't Open That Door'

Sabotage! Betrayal! Post jam session hook ups! Yes, folks, that's life in Nashville, or at least, Nashville. Here's what happened on this the fourth episode of the season.

Juliette gives a press conference about the launch of her new tour. She deflects questions about Rayna's voice like a pal. Shorter thereafter, Layla asks her about doing some kind of an interview for some kind of mini doc thing on Layla, and Juliette brushes her off. Since we'll learn very soon that Layla is no innocent little flower, do not feel sorry for her. Juliette, sensing that Layla is basically the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, wants to limit her presence on tour. Juliette has a meeting with Jeff where she proposes adding another act to the tour, preferably male because too much estrogen, you know? Right? She even offers to add an Edgehill artist if Jeff gives her more money. Jeff agrees. Later, she goes to visit Deacon to see if there's any way he'll come back on tour. He can't. He wants to pull away from music because it hurts too much to not be able to play. She lets it slip that Rayna can't sing and he's like:

He's had quite the day so far. When he and Lady Lawyer Friend were coming out of the bedroom in the morning, Scarlett was there and he was all bashful. Deacon, you dog, you. There was also a random scene where he was at a guitar shop looking to buy part of the shop (?) and help find and sell guitars or something like that. Anyway, this information about Rayna will lead him to let himself into her house and ask her if it's true that she can't sing. She's all, Dunno, bro! My vocal therapist says healing is halted by anxiety. They basically realize that they are one sorry-ass pair, soon to be shipped off to the island of misfit toys, and make a promise that neither of them will walk away from music.

But as for that anxiety, it might have something to do with how Jeff wants the masters of her album, like yesterday so that they can put out Rayna Jaymes' "last album." This prompts her to say to manager Buckey, "I think it's time that Jeff Fordham met the Wyatt side of Rayna Jaymes." She asks that lovable scamp Lamar for $20 million to buy out her contract and the masters. He agrees. This is a bad move. Rayna's also been tasked with inviting Juliette to join the Opry at a benefit concert hosted by new Edgehill signee (but veteran country artist) Luke Wheeler. This is going to confuse the heck out of me because I've been calling Will "Luke from the O.C." and I'm sure someone did this to me on purpose.

Anyhoodle, the reason partnering up with Lamar is bad news is because Tandy turned over a whole flash drive of evidence against Lamar to the Feds and has just made an immunity deal as long as she doesn't warn Rayna or Lamar. Obviously, this is going to jeopardize her recently cozy relationship with Rayna when she inevitably finds out. More on that later.

I can basically split up the Bluebird brigade into winners and losers. In the losers category, Gunnar and Avery have made a music baby together. The song is an indie happy little ditty that totes would be better with a female voice in there, the way Juliette's tour needs a bro to get the ladies crazy. Avery is like, Hey, let's ask Zoe. Gunnar is like She probably knows everything about us since she's Scarlett's best friend. Avery doesn't care and it turns out Zoe won't care much either. The three meet at the house to work on the song together. It's one of those scenes where my radar malfunctions and I think there might be something brewing between Gunnar and Zoe, but all of a sudden, I can't read the situation. Avery seemed a little concerned too. Well, erm, Gunnar and Zoe... you know. On the floor. Scarlett is going to be so pissed, much as she is at THE INDUSTRY in this episode. She has to go into Edgehill for media training since she's going to be at the benefit concert, walking the press line. They want to use "real facts" to craft a "compelling story." Scarlett is uncomfortable. Downstairs, she runs into Will and Layla. Layla gets weird jealous that Will hugs Scarlett and calls her the prettiest girl in Nashville. Also unhappy with Will is Jeff because of the whole thing with Gunnar's song. Assistant Brent will smooth things over and get Will a performance slot at the fundraiser. It's also an unofficial audition for Juliette's tour.

The day of the benefit rolls around. Scarlett and Layla talk whilst getting hair and makeup done. Layla advises Scarlett to be herself. Makes your heart feel warm, don't it?

After Will's rehearsal, Juliette invites him to go on tour. I wonder if it's really that easy to land a spot on tour with the likes of Juliette Barnes. There are bigger worries, though. When Scarlett goes on the press line, she MAJORLY blows it. She says she didn't originally want to be a singer, she brings up that she's Deacon's niece, she stammers at questions about the car wreck and Jeff pulls her off the line and basically sends her home. Will looks at Scarlett, looks at Layla, looks at Scarlett, back at Layla and divines that this was sabotage. Scarlett goes home in a tiz, going on about how she wants to be herself and how this whole thing is horse hockey.

Pictured above: Scarlett O'Connor after the concert. 
Deacon's playing piano. He stops but she's like PLAY, B*TCH. They write a song together. His three-note plinking sounds suspiciously like "Tubular Bells." They write a song together. Maybe Deacon will be a great piano player! Who knows? What he does know, is that she can't walk away from the biz because it's basically like drugs... those sweet, sweet drugs. *Cough* Sorry 'bout that, Deacon mutters.

After Will performs, he confronts Layla about what she did. Juliette pops up to tell Layla she's got to cut her set to make room for Will. JUSTICE. But wait– Jeff tells Will later on that he needs to fake date Layla because they're TRENDING ON TWITTER! He has to agree because he's already kinda goofed with the song.

Anyway, Juliette performs at the show too, and after her song, Rayna comes out on stage and invites her to the Opry. Juliette initially looks car sick, but seems genuinely moved. Luke Wheeler then asks Rayna to sing a song and won't take no for an answer. She's shaky, she looks like she's in pain a couple times and has to stop. Luke looks like he's unknowingly participated in a cruel experiment engineered by Jeff and tries to sing with her... and then the whole crowd starts singing along with Rayna because she clearly is struggling. BUT THEN magic happens! Much like Santa, whose sleigh can only achieve flight through the power of the belief of small children and those who are pure at heart, Rayna sings! After the show, she tells Jeff she's splitting the label. Also after the show, Juliette hears Luke tell Rayna that he thinks Juliette is a flash in the pan. Feeling betrayed by Rayna, she goes to make amends with Avery. He can't come back on tour with her, but she does apologize and she gives him access to her studio while she's on the road.

Elsewhere in town, the Feds finally come for Lamar (and his assets. Sorry, Rayna.). When Tandy goes to see him in prison, he tells her that he thinks Teddy is behind this and that Teddy will pay.

Stray Observations:
+ Last season I complained that all the characters were too isolated. Now, everyone is up in everyone else's business, crossing plot lines and whatnot. It's great.
+ Did you catch the Luke Bryan joke? "Hey Luke, thanks for letting me crash your party." You didn't? Good for you.
+ Let's talk about ABC's hashtag #WelcomeBackRayna. They know she's not real, right?
+ At one point in the episode, Lamar smiled, and it was the creepiest thing I've ever seen. I don't think he has the muscles in his face to actually form a decent smile. It was more like he just bared his teeth and grunted.

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