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Nashville - Episode 2.19 - Crazy - Review

It was a powerful episode of Nashville this week as Rayna came to grips with the latest paternity drama over Maddie, Scarlett faced her demons personified when her mother visited, and various other developments snapped, crackled, and popped for our characters.  Let's review and discuss!

Rayna, Deacon, Teddy, Luke, et al - After the "Maddie Claybourne" video went viral, Rayna flew into full damage control mode to shield her family from the aftermath.  Sure enough, the stalkerazzi were all over poor Maddie for answers, and they even pushed the usually smooth Luke into a temper flare that, to my mind, finally showed a glimpse of who he really is.  Actually, we got some good Luke context in general this week, and he began to progress from a fake-perfect-seeming beau to Rayna, to an unrequited love interest from her past that has his own set of bitter memories.  I enjoyed the story of how Luke watched as Rayna and Deacon went through their old pattern at the county fair years ago, and frankly, what's more atmospheric than a tale of watching George Strait play "I Cross My Heart" from the top of the ferris wheel?  (Answer: nothing.)  At any rate, I've long been irritated by the contrast between the one-dimensional portrayal of Luke combined with the weirdly creepy demeanor he also gives off sometimes, but now it's coming together a little bit more as layers peel back on the character.  Is he going to be a faithful and supporting partner for Rayna through her struggles with Teddy and Deacon, not to mention the inevitable push and pull that will always exist between Rayna and Deacon?  Or will Luke go the spurned ex/stalker route by season's end?  Hmmm.

As for Rayna and Deacon, it was truly great to see them have an all-out confrontation that touched upon issues left unsolved by last season's trifecta of debacles (Deacon finding out he was Maddie's father; Deacon going on a bender; the car accident that almost killed Rayna).  While Deacon sensitively and regretfully laid into Rayna for waiting too long to tell him about Maddie, Rayna swiftly cut that off at the pass with her honest and pained explanation of her own feelings at the time.

"You think I wanted it like this? I wanted to be your wife. I wanted us to raise her up together in a wonderful, loving home that you could not provide. I cried myself to sleep about that for a year, I wanted it so bad." - Rayna

As impossible as it seems that Rayna and Deacon can ever sort through the mess of their past and come back together, the bond between them is so intense, even in saddening arguments like this one, that their love is clear and an eventual rekindling seems inevitable.  They're just meant to be, no matter how many barricades they build to avoid facing that.

And as for Teddy, dude needs to get a reality check.  As much as I sympathize with his ordeal after losing Peggy, he was still wrong, wrong, wrong to hook up with "Megan" (who was blissfully absent this week, btw) and he needs to accept that, stop making excuses, take responsibility, and frankly, get better taste in women.  

Scarlett and her mother - Overall, and despite my hatred for Scarlett's pill plotline, I'm quite impressed with how well-wrought, believable, and heart-wrenching her story was this week. Through exceptional performances from the two actresses and some hard-hitting, realistic depictions of the effects of abuse on a child, this mother/daughter relationship provided some truly harrowing moments.  Most horrifying of all was the backstage confrontation after Scarlett beautifully, hauntingly, and unrelentingly played her song "Black Roses" for her mother, who had inspired it.  When the old cycle of physical intimidation and psychological torture resurfaced in Beverly's conduct, the pain on Scarlett's face was truly shattering.

While I know that Juliette had no idea how terrible and desperate Scarlett's situation was, and that actually, she was trying to help her by encouraging her to get past a similar debacle to that of her own mama issues, I wish she hadn't urged Scarlett to go on stage.  Unfortunately, the pressure sent Scarlett running for her pill bottle and straight for an overdose that caused an on-stage break-down complete with frightening delusions that were right out of a David Lynch movie.  Even though I know she's in an awful place right now, I'm proud of Scarlett for playing that song for her mother, and I'm hopeful that with some help from her support system (Avery, Rayna, even Juliette), she can come back from this.

Juliette and Avery - I just love these two together so much!  Their chemistry as a couple is pitch-perfect, and even though they are going to keep coming across problems, like this week's Charlie Wentworth return, I think they can work through it all.  It was interesting when Juliette expressed surprise that Avery had let her go and seek radio promotion help from Charlie when Avery knew he might make a pass at her.  Hayden Panettiere's performance in that bath scene was so awesomely nuanced.  Was Juliette suspicious as to why it didn't bother Avery that Charlie would try to kiss her?  Was she impressed by how much Avery trusted her?  Both, probably, mixed with some confusion as well.  

What was really cool was that even when everything seemed to be going to hell in that last scene - with Avery warning Charlie off of Scarlett and Juliette being irritated by that in light of what she perceived as his less concerned attitude about herself - there was more going on that showed the true love between Juliette and Avery.  First of all, Juliette didn't realize that Avery had talked to Charlie about his treatment of her and warned him to move on.  Secondly, when Avery heard that Charlie had actually kissed Juliette, rather than just trying to, he was very miffed. 

What's even more intriguing is that in the midst of this tug-of-war in Juliette and Avery learning how to have a relationship with each other, they have this issue with Scarlett which they need to step up to the plate and deal with.  Here is a person (Scarlett) in a type of real trouble with which Avery and Juliette are perfectly qualified to help her. The detail and the heartfelt nature of the way these two plotlines intersected was superb, and I hope to see more of it in the next episode.  I thought a level of understanding between Scarlett and Juliette had been foreshadowed by their interactions last week and the fact that they both had problematic mothers, and now that's coming to fruition nicely.

The cute, wittle Gunnar and Zoey subplot - Aww, don't you just wanna hug it?  I mean, I will take Gunnar and Zoey's problems any day of the week, from the massive royalty check Gunnar received to their attempts to come up with an appropriate way for him to support Zoey's career without being a "sugar daddy."  One neat aspect of this part of the episode was the way the Gunnar/Avery/Zoey band was brought back up.  Those three let go of their act way too soon, and despite the drama of Avery's band commitment phobia and Gunnar's OTT gung-ho-ness, they had a magical vibe that could yield wonderful results for them if they get back together.  The awesomeness of that band was something that was clear to anyone in their audience, and it's too bad that both Avery and Zoey are too single-mindedly focused on their trajectory as solo artists (or, in Avery's case, producing) to embrace it.  However, I seriously doubt this is the last we'll hear about the trio.

What did you think of this week's episode, and what do you think (or hope) will happen in the wake of Scarlett's breakdown and the other twists this hour held?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie, Nashville, Beauty and the Beast, Elementary, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Devious Maids for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at http://virginiamaeblog.blogspot.com/ and her Twitter handle is @SugarRushedBlog

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