Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review : 'Nashville' : 'Never No More'

If you take nothing else from this week's recap of Nashville, know that there was so much soft focus in this episode, I thought my astigmatism had gotten dramatically worse. Anyhoodle. This episode was notable in that I loved Scarlett and hated Deacon, is which is a super weird turn of events. Let's get to it.

Juliette stopped by Conan at the start of the night to talk about her new album. He was more interested in asking her about Rayna, which made her endlessly happy. Not. But that's ok, because it's really the least of her problems. As mentioned last week, Edgehill got bought out by some guy named Jeff (makes me think of Bezos and WaPo, but that's the J-school brainwashing talking). Bossman Jeff is an evil MBA who is primarily concerned with courting the Tweens. Sounds sketchy, no? So when Juliette meets with him, he puts it on her to figure out how to be an artiste and make him money. Her brilliant scheme is to do a CMT special where she goes back to her trailer park in Ala. (that totally sounds like a dis) and bare her soul in exchange for a bump on the charts. She wears braids and very little makeup, which is a good thing because EMOTIONS. While shooting at the trailer park, she runs into an old neighbor who used to babysit her and has now made her a quilt. Then she starts talking about her dad. She  handles it all like a robot experiencing feelings for the first time.

Good thing she dragged Avery along. He offers to talk but she tells him she's just trying to sell records. Her mouth says this:

But her face says this:

Whelp. All that and her single indeed hits #1 on the iTunes chart. She informs Avery later on back in Nashville, presumably, as they watch TV on the couch together. He warns her about how things, like spilling your guts, can backfire and she's all, Why do you care, bro? He's like We're friends. And that's probably the nicest thing anyone's ever said to her. She seems perplexed. But there you go, Nashville answering the age old question best posed by When Harry Met Sally: Can guys and gals be friends? At least through the beginning of season two. Though, I'm increasingly convinced they're cosmically made for each other because anyone else would have been creeped out by her reptilian use of emotion to make money, but he's not because he's equally serpentine. Later on they go to a(n afternoon?) party at Bossman Jeff's where he introduces her to the his newest signee. Many things go wrong 1. This girl is named Layla because NO ONE can have a normal name on this show. 2. Layla bumped Juliette out of the #1 spot in iTunes. 3. Layla performs a "classic" Juliette Barnes song at the party. Juliette is like:

I guess now she knows how Rayna feels. Speaking of Rayna, she came home. Maddie is giving her the silent treatment and Teddy is gunning for Husband of the Year by taking care of her, except for the fact they're no longer married. Whilst having a sisterly talk with Tandy, she says she might never talk to Deacon again. Later, Teddy holds her hand and if not for the fact that I've already seen a clip of Rayna in bed with Liam, I'd think this is going somewhere. Anyway, Rayna rounds up her label roster and goes to meet with Bossman Jeff who is weirdly supportive. "You're the future of Edgehill!" "I've got your back!" That is, until he tries to poach Luke from The O.C. More on that later. Back at home, Rayna tells Teddy they need to stop playing house. Daphne hears and is bummed the 'rents can't get it together. At Jeff's party, Rayna gets it in her head that she might want to leave Edgehill.

So, the Bluebird Brigade is a little splintered these days. Gunnar's story basically revolves around having writer's block and having that sorted out by Scarlett's BFF from last week who is going to serve some purpose in the future, I'm sure. Gunnar writes a song about his biggest heartache– his brother– and performs it at the Bluebird. Luke from the O.C. basically has to figure out if he's going to stay with Edgehill or Rayna after Jeff approaches him in a bar. He does ditch Rayna, but it's based on the mildly philosophical distinction he draws between himself and someone like Gunnar. Gunnar is an artist. Luke is a guy who is good at singing other people's songs. Oh, and the weirdness in the laundry room last week? It's an old flame from Texas who now works for Jeff, who has sworn he won't out Luke.

Scarlett, meanwhile, is living with Deacon, and boy has she been wearing her sassy pants lately. While Deacon continues to act like a dying cat hiding under his owner's deck, she's trying to whoop some common sense into his sorry ass, even kidnapping him to go to the doctor. We learn some of his prickliness is because he hurt his fretting hand and really doesn't want to be told he'll never play again. The truth is it's going to take some painful  physical therapy. Long story short, he tries to sell all his guitars and generally be a self-punishing fool (again) and Scarlett tells him to man up because this is basically Deacon:

I mean, for the dainty little waif she normally is, she really lets Deacon have it, and it seems to work as he saws himself out of his cast and tries to play his guitar. He also has a brief meeting with Rayna where she tells him that they need to try and save themselves because they can't save each other.

So, that's basically it. As usual, I have no idea where any of this is going, but I'm enjoying the mess. Stay tuned.

Stray Observations:
+ I want to have every pow wow, reflective moment, and occasional nap of mine to be in the balcony of The Ryman.
+ Half this episode could be a PSA for not getting into the music industry.
+ Watching Juliette freak out over Layla made me excited for the day someone replaces T. Swift.
+ Where is Watty in all this?

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