Tsk, tsk, y'all. I might have thought last week's Nashville featured some trying times for the various characters, but the latest episode had pretty much everyone making terrible decisions. If the darkest times come before the light, here's hoping a major turnaround is coming, but with the season finale not far off, we all know that things could get even nuttier before they're happy again. Here's what went down this week and what I thought!
Rayna had her claws retracted a little this week, but her going-through-the-motions approach to life is yielding some irritating results. For example, she's still cozying up to creepy Luke (how much longer before we learn more about what makes him tick? He's been on for a while now and does little besides talking to Rayna about her decisions and acting vaguely smarmy). Maddie's going through a double daddy crisis of epic proportions and Rayna's not doing much to help. Scarlett needs better and more observant guidance than having her would-be love interest/producer Liam shipped off and being lied to about it. Most annoying of all this week, Rayna miscalculated how to approach Juliette's new status as a Highway 65 artist, managing to undervalue, condescend to, and finally push Juliette into making a fool of herself in a public forum. Granted, it's not really hard to get Juliette to do that last thing, but still.
I don't think Tandy knows much about how to run an indie country music label, since most of her decisions are feather-headedly focused on superficial considerations rather than the heart and soul of who the artists are and what they need. If she's just there to manage money matters, she should probably keep her trap shut about Juliette's reputation and not go around dissing "Don't Put Dirt on My Grave." The honesty and dignified, righteous sass of that song were what put Juliette back on the map and started to reverse the opinions of those who considered her persona non grata. I think it would have been a great place for her to start. Tandy and Rayna are both bonkers if they think they are going to remake Juliette as an artist one iota less ballsy and free-thinking than she's meant to be. Honestly, didn't Juliette come to Highway 65 to get artistic freedom?
Rayna telling Juliette that announcing the signing too soon would hurt her own image was fairly harsh, but then, Rayna's nonchalant inability to sugarcoat anything is part and parcel these days. Then when everyone was fawning all over Scarlett at the party, well, I hardly think it was surprising when the superstar with major ego issues was offended. Part of having one's own label is knowing how to manage each artist's specific needs and make each of them feel cared about. If Highway 65 is going to survive, Rayna is going to need to try harder in that department.
While the song "He Ain't Gonna Change" was awesome, (and a perfect, painfully apt accompaniment to the Will scenes towards the end of the hour) the Opry crowd's reaction seems to have been a bit tepid. Can Rayna and Juliette put their various issues aside and work together more constructively? Here's hoping.
Scarlett, meanwhile, is dealing with Liam's departure by sulking, lying about sulking, immediately wanting to jump back into creative bed with an ex, and worst of all, going back to that inane "pill" subplot. As I'd suspected, it would have been better for her and Liam to have had a real shot at an artistic and personal connection rather than Rayna artificially separating them and giving them each back over to their lazy bad habits. Together, Scarlett and Liam were getting somewhere. Apart, it's a big old mess. However, her headband was adorable!
Deacon, Teddy, and "Megan": Hilariously, "Megan" seemed to think that her sleeping with Teddy last week was Teddy's fault entirely, and behaved in a coldly repulsed manner when the confused, grieving bastard confronted her about it. Even worse, she continued to lie to Deacon even as the already nonexistent chemistry between them became more and more apparent. Why is she stringing Deacon along like this? He's way too good a man to be jerked around by someone so recklessly selfish.
Also, Deacon going out on the Luke Wheeler tour...this should be interesting. Hopefully, the distance factor will mean the final end between Deacon and "Megan," and we should finally see more of what Luke gets up to and what he's all about. Deacon being in close quarters with men who are dating Rayna typically doesn't end well, so we'll see.
Oh, Maddie....#SMH. I know this is typical rebellious teen girl behavior and she has every right to be confused still about her daddy situation. But when she ever submitted that song online under the name "Maddie Claybourne," I wanted to hide under a table on her behalf. Honey, choosing which father is "real" based on your week-to-week agenda, that's just not how life works and it's not going to solve anything.
Juliette and Avery; Zoey and Gunnar: You know what, if I was Juliette, I wouldn't want Avery working with Scarlett either. Seriously, what sane woman wants her man hanging out every day in an intimate musical environment with a deeply needy and clingy ex? Sadly, since Avery's incapable of making good decisions right now, Juliette's just going to have to go along with it to maintain trust in their relationship.
Poor Gunnar really had all his eggs in the band basket (and frankly, he was one of the only characters with his head on straight this week). I think most viewers can see that Avery, Gunnar, and Zoey are excellent together and could do amazing things if they stuck it out. Yet, between Avery's commitment phobia (who knew he was still so burned from past band experiences?) and Zoey's interest in pursuing other opportunities, it's going to take a while for the trio to get on the same page.
Will and Layla: I feel terrible for Layla, who's clearly too naive to grasp the nature of Will's problems, and increasingly impatient with Will, who needs to think about someone other than himself for once. I know what he's been going through is an awful ordeal, but he brings a lot of it on himself. This week, he made good on that continued priority by proposing to Layla. Le sigh. This situation is a runaway train heading for doomsville.
What did you think of this week's episode? Any hopes for what will happen for the characters in the next installment? Share your thoughts in the comments!