Recap: ‘Nashville’: Family matters – or does it?
This week on ‘Nashville’ politics took center stage. No, not boring Teddy politics, but real family politics.
Rayna is caught between her father – who gives the strapped-for-cash family a $500,000 loan, but adds as many stipulations and riders as a bill in Congress so that she can’t possibly accept it – and her own pride.
Not wanting to lose anymore face in the industry – especially with Juliette circling Deacon like she’s a lion and he’s the last gazelle on the prairie – but also not wanting to be a pawn in her father’s game, Rayna refuses the money.
Lamar wants her to table her career in favor of standing by her man (that reference will probably never get old) during his mayoral campaign. “The girls are at an age where they need their mother,” he tells her, as if that explains the strict conditions of the loan and as if this isn’t the 21st century and women don’t have successful careers outside of the home. Rayna, none to pleased with his half-assed explanation tells him, “Go home. Go to hell!”
Later that night, confused as to why her father disapproves of the career she’s made for herself, even though he helped fund it (unbeknownst to Rayna) in the beginning, Rayna turns to her sister, Tandy, in a tender heart-to-heart moment after the girls’ talent show (see below).
Tandy tells her that it isn’t Rayna’s career that he doesn’t approve of, so much as the fact that their mother had a decade-plus long affair with, yep, you guessed it, a musician. So apparently Lamar subscribes to the idea that music is the work of the devil. I bet he doesn’t listen to the radio or own an iPod either. Painful memories and all that.
But Rayna needs the money. If they don’t cut their monthly spending in half, they’re going to be facing bankruptcy in a matter of months – something I’m sure Juliette would just get a kick out of. To make matters worse, the intimate acoustic tour with Deacon is dead before it even began because Rayna’s afraid to do the love songs the pair wrote two decades ago out of fear that she might spontaneously jump him in the middle of the show. She suggests that they play the hits, but Deacon reminds her that without a backup band, the hits probably won’t be all that great. She tells him she needs to take a minute to think and Deacon tells her that he’s got some things to do anyway.
By “things to do” Deacon really meant “people to do,” because after he records “Undermine” with Juliette, the pair end up in bed together – again. I understand Juliette’s attraction to Deacon; the man is inviting in that charming southern way and he’s an insanely talented songwriter. But he’s also, what, twice her age? I know that his life as a former addict probably makes him a bit more starved for attention than a normal self-respecting man, but I just don’t see the appeal Juliette has for him. If the news should get out that he’s been spending nights in her bed (in her bed), I don’t imagine it would do too much to help his own reputation and career.
And even though the two enjoy some pillow talk and he actually stays the night (he’s a gentleman, y’all!), as soon as Rayna calls the next morning, he runs out of there like his ass is on fire.
Juliette doesn’t seem to be too offended though, because she’s been dealing with her own family issues in the form of a drug-addict mother who’s shown up out of the blue, asking for a place to stay and some cash. While Deacon is still sleeping, Jolene (yes, that’s really what her name is), arrives at Juliette’s ridiculously nice mansion and tells her that she’s clean. Juliette tells her she cannot stay with her because she can tell that she’s not sober and she doesn’t want to enable her mother in any way.
I love the moments in which Juliette interacts with her mother, possibly more than I love the moments between Rayna and Deacon. On the outside, Juliette’s all brass balls in sparkly dresses, but as soon as no one’s looking, her walls come down and she turns into that scared little girl who’s desperate for her mother to love her and to be proud of her for all of her success. Which is why, after her mom gets arrested, Juliette agrees that she’s better off staying with her, where she – or one of her many employed bodyguards – can keep an eye on her. On her own, who knows what would become of Jolene?
Back across town, Deacon and Rayna finally meet up, and she tearfully tells him that she knows she’s a horrible, horrible person and that she basically needs to break up with him but that she’s too selfish to do it. OK, she doesn’t really say it quite like that, but that’s the underlying message that we’re supposed to take away from the entire exchange. She loves him and doesn’t want to let him go. But homegirl, you can’t have both men, you have to choose one. And I’m pretty certain there isn’t a soul in the world who would tell Rayna to pick Teddy. The pair have absolutely no chemistry. I don’t know if that was the intention or if Connie and Eric Close just don’t have it, but either way, every time I see the two of them together on screen I want to hurl.
But you know who doesn’t make me sick to my stomach? Gunnar and Scarlett. This week they’re recording their demo with Watty White, but Scarlett gets so nervous that she chokes. Watty tells her not to worry about it and that they can get someone else to sing on the demo – all he really wanted her for was her songs, anyway. Scarlett’s about to let it happen, but Gunnar goes behind her back and talks to Avery, telling him that he thinks Scarlett wasn’t so much nervous about singing as she was about losing Avery in the process.
Avery, cunning little douche bag that he is, comforts Scarlett and tells her that she needs to record her own songs. He even offers to be there when she does it in case she needs the support. But all he really wants is to be in the same room with Watty so he can introduce himself and hopefully land his own recording deal. Yeah right, dude. We’ve heard your music. It’s not that great. And by not that great I mean it’s downright terrible shit. But having Avery there indeed helps Scarlett overcome her fears and she and Gunnar record another fabulous song called “Fade Into You.”
Some stray observations:
- Even after Rayna’s bare confession, Deacon still can’t bear to commit to going on tour with Juliette. He has too much history with Rayna. We’re talking twenty something years. If the dude hasn’t found it in him to walk away yet, I really don’t think it’s going to happen. He’s in love with her, and he knows she feels the same way, so he’s going to stick it out and play the loyal friend and band leader until she finally finds her own balls and admits that she doesn’t want Teddy, but him. I know this storyline is going to be dragged for awhile, which will be unbearable for me considering it’s the third episode of the series and I’m already this invested in their relationship, but I have no doubt that they two of them will eventually find their way back to each other.
- Rayna and Teddy’s daughters, Maddie and Daphne, are played by Lennon and Maisy Stella, two extremely talented young girls. We’re talking make me want to vomit at my own inadequacies talented. And in tonight’s episode they appear in their school talent show singing an acoustic version of Juliette’s song “Telescope” (which you can buy from iTunes and watch here). If you haven’t seen their YouTube videos yet, they will absolutely blow you away.
- Juliette, in an act of stupid adolescent passive-aggressive anger decides that instead of facing her problems, she’s going to steal some nail polish. And the entire act is caught on the iPhone of one of her fans. Girl, if you’re going to steal something, for the love of God, make sure it’s something better than nail polish. Like a car. Or beer.
- I’m a little skeptical about Lamar’s supposed reasoning as to why he dislikes Rayna’s career. Do you really think her mom had an affair? Or do you think there’s more to the story?
What did you think? Are you happy that Deacon stuck by his woman? How awesome are Lennon and Maisy? And did you see all those rhinestones on Rayna’s clothes? At least now I know why my parents never let me bedazzle any of my clothes.
Note: Photo courtesy of ABC.