REVIEW: Nashville – Looking Back and Moving Forward

CHARLES ESTEN, HAYDEN PANETTIERE

That seems to be theme of the week in Music City. Everyone is looking back; remembering, questioning, regretting, and reminiscing their pasts and doing everything in their power to push forward to a better future. How, you may ask?

The return of Juliette’s mother has resulted in Juliette thinking about her childhood, which was filled with painful memories. Clearly Juliette’s mother is not the healthiest of parental units, as she is struggling with addiction and the mood swings that accompany the dependency. However, seeing Juliette witness her mother’s continual downward spirals shows us a deeper, darker side of country music’s sassy starlet. Think Meredith Grey, pre-McDreamy marriage, back when she was dark, twisty, Tequila Mer. That is what we have with Juliette, sans the Patron. Juliette finally decides, after some urging from Deacon, to allow him to step in and talk to her mother — addict to addict. Once Juliette’s mother recognizes that she is not alone and that someone understands her struggles, she agrees to be admitted into rehab … but not before she bids Juliette farewell — with a slap right across the face. And that, therein, was the final straw for Juliette, as she decides to let go of her home and move someplace new … someplace free of her mother and all remnants of her. In Juliette’s words, “anything she touched, I hate.” I’m pretty sure that Juliette is not telling her mother to “keep coming back” like the people in rehab are likely preaching at the end of their group sessions.

Meanwhile, Rayna is hard at work on a commercial because she is desperate for money, and she is attempting to use a song that she and Deacon wrote by changing the lyrics to fit the commercial. However, Deacon will not release the rights to the song because the song’s lyrics mean something to him. Aside from the commercial, in her quest to bring in the bucks, Rayna’s management has an idea to produce a Greatest Hits album. Rayna is not on board with this idea, as she would rather go to the studio and record something new. Obviously Rayna lost her writing partner when she fired Deacon, so she has to begin writing on her own. It actually works out well for her, as her management boasts that they think she actually created something that could be a first single off a new album. Looks like Rayna won’t need that Greatest Hits album after all to bring in the money!

Speaking of money, we find out what Peggy and Teddy’s relationship actually is/was. Oh, by the way, while we are on the topic of Peggy, she was our trivia person from last week, and the actress playing her is Kimberly Williams Paisley — Brad Paisley’s wife! ADHD aside (hey look, something shiny!), Peggy and Teddy were involved in some scheme years ago where they somehow embezzled two million dollars. Peggy is getting nervous because there are auditors starting to sniff around, and she mentions turning themselves into the feds. Teddy asks her to hold off and goes to talk to Rayna’s father, Lamar, the political aficionado with a lot of connections in Nashville. Lamar tells Teddy not to worry about it and focus on the campaign. Fast forward to Lamar meeting up with Peggy and telling her to stay quiet and keep calm — in a most threatening manner.

Let’s quickly backtrack to Deacon, as this guy has barely had his own storyline/drama without the help of Juliette and/or Rayna yet. Until now. Deacon is certainly distraught about his professional break-up with Rayna and, as he performs their songs solo in a bar, a heckler yells out to him that he prefers Rayna’s vocals. When Deacon sees the heckler outside, he ignores the an attempt at an apology, and Deacon lashes out — most likely from pent up aggression with everything surrounding him — and goes Mike Tyson on the heckler in the parking lot, punching him in the face, yet sparing his ear of any bite marks. End scene. It should come as no surprise that when Rayna’s phone rings in the middle of the night, it’s a collect call from the jail asking her to accept charges from Deacon. Considering that Teddy interrogated her earlier in the night about whether she wanted to sleep with Deacon, Rayna hit “2″ to decline the call. Next phone call? You guessed it. Deacon calls Juliette and, in true “what goes around comes around” fashion, Juliette literally bails Deacon out like he figuratively bailed her out.

In other news, there is still that whole Avery, Scarlett, Gunnar thing going on that has absolutely zero correlation to the rest of the happenings in Nashville. Here is the gist in a nutshell: Scarlett and Gunnar get a song to Lady Antebellum; Avery helps out and plays guitar for them as they showcase the song to the record execs; Avery “hijacks” the performance when he gets jealous of the way Scarlett and Gunnar are making eyes at each other; Scarlett gets mad; Avery gets mad; Scarlett professes her undying devotion to Avery and Avery is bull-headed, as usual.

Next week, maybe we will see Juliette start moving forward again with her career and reputation after her mother showed up and set her back; maybe Rayna will move forward with recording a new album; maybe Deacon will move forward in his quest to heal after Rayna broke his heart; maybe Teddy will move forward with his campaign without fear of his shady past coming back to haunt him; maybe Scarlett will move forward with her personal and professional relationships; maybe Avery will move forward and gain some confidence in his relationship. Regardless of who starts moving in a positive direction, one thing holds true — everyone needs to get out of the past soon, because the past is the past for a reason and the future is wide open … especially for a bunch of talented musicians in Music City!

Make sure to check out these tunes from Nashville, Episode 105!

“American Beauty” – Performed by Rayna

“Loving You is the Only Way to Fly” – Performed by Scarlett/Gunnar/Avery

“Fairlane” – Dirty Guv’nahs

“Down in Tennessee” – The Cadillac Black

“Sideshow” – Performed by Deacon

“Yellin’ from the Rooftop” – Performed by Juliette

“Buried Under” – Performed by Rayna

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