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Nashville - Ghost in This House - Review: "I'm Still Learning How to Lose You" + POLL



So if we’ve learned anything, it’s that things are not what they appear to be. The synopsis for “Ghost in This House” said Deacon felt pressure to move on from Rayna. While this is true, Deacon has no desire to start a new romantic relationship, but the phrasing made it seem like he was going to hop into bed with the next pretty country singer that came his way. The promo from CMT implied that Javery was heading for splitsville when in reality, Avery is finally putting himself first and going on tour. I guess we have to take whatever CMT releases with a grain of salt as their job is to hype the episode. We probably spent more time worrying than we had to, so let’s just be grateful for the best episode of the season 5B and pray the rest of the season is like this and doesn’t fall apart.

There is good news all around as Deacon is NOT moving on. We know he’s not ready, he knows he’s not ready, it’s just the rest of the world that didn’t get the memo. Firstly, that woman Diane was way out of line in hitting on Deacon in front of his daughters and then dropping off food when he wasn’t home. That was completely inappropriate, although it did lead to some funny comments from Maddie and Daphne, who were surprisingly drama-free this episode. However, if Deacon was going to start a romantic relationship, it would not be with some one-note woman we’ve never seen before and will probably never see again. Fans have speculated Deacon may be paired up with either Jessie or Alyssa. After this episode, it seems like Deacon is more likely to start a relationship with Jessie rather than Alyssa, but if that were to happen, it’s a long way off.

So Zach wants to sign Jessie to Highway 65 because every character on this show is an artist at that label except Avery. Deacon, being slightly wary, then ends up having lunch with Jessie because Zach apparently dictates everyone’s social lives. The meal goes great as Deacon and Jessie talk about their painful pasts for hours. It looks like Deacon has found a friend to confide in, except Alyssa inadvertently messes that up by asserting Jessie has feelings for Deacon. When he tells Jessie he’s not ready to move on, Jessie gets irritated as she’s not looking for a relationship right now either. So Deacon shows up and then promptly leaves Jessie's performance, which gave me chills by the way. My hope is that the two of them can get past it as I would like to see Deacon have a PLATONIC relationship with Jessie. I think it’s really interesting that they can be vulnerable with each other without some sort of ulterior romantic motive. Of course, the part of me that watches way too much TV knows that they’ll just be friends for now, but something romantic will eventually happen down the line, even if it’s just one the characters trying to kiss the other.

I hope that I’m wrong because from what I’ve seen, I like Jessie. She seems to be real and organic in a way that other characters aren’t. She’s gone through her fair share of pain like Juliette and Scarlett, but she doesn’t blame the world. While that could change, I find myself drawn to her and care about her drama unlike some other characters *cough* Hallie *cough.* I also may be in the minority, but I like Alyssa. Her candor is refreshing as some may characters lie and manipulate on this show. Her finally realizing why woman are in love with Deacon was spot on. Charles Esten has been making viewers swoon since the pilot, but he really is the epitome of a tragic hero. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s Prince Charming, but he was Rayna’s OTP. Fairytales and television may have given me an unrealistic view of true love, but I think we all want to find our happy ending. Deacon is just that for the woman in Nashville, over 33, of course.

Now let’s shift gears to Scarlett. She takes on the issue of shame and bullying this episode, which is an important topic to cover, even if it felt a tad preachy. It was a nice reprieve to like Scarlett this episode. She has to deal with her fans’ hatred ever since they realized she’s a real person who makes mistakes. One fan in particular, Nadine, takes it extremely hard as Nadine had Scarlett’s whole life planned out. (Side note, I loved the idea of naming the baby after Rayna). Scarlett then decides to make it her mission to help Nadine because it’s not weird to cyberstalk a fan you just met, but never mind that. The forum Scarlett holds at the end with the group of misfit teens was moving. I have no trouble imagining that Scarlett had a hard time as a teenager given what we know about her home life and her mother. Her message about not being ashamed of their flaws and faults was strong, so strong it even got the vile reporter Mackenzie Rhodes to apologize.

Of course, Mackenzie gave some sob story about being bullied in high school, but I don’t feel bad for her at all. Even though Scarlett and Mackenzie were technically “on the record” during their interview, Mackenzie shouldn’t have printed and twisted the truth about Scarlett. If Scarlett had revealed something of Watergate magnitude like a government cover-up that had national implications, then Mackenzie would have been a fool not to run the story. However, what she ran was really no one’s business besides Scarlett, Gunnar, and Damien. Mackenzie’s story did more harm than good—something journalists are supposed to weigh or at least consider. And then Mackenzie runs a second piece when Scarlett confronts her. Mackenzie is a horrible person, and I hope we’ve seen the last of her.

Gunnar really didn’t do anything this episode besides be Scarlett’s sidekick. Scarlett told Nadine that she and Gunnar are still in love, but are they? We know Gunnar loves her, but how does Scarlett feel? It’s been two episodes since Scarlett told Deacon she didn’t feel attracted toward Gunnar, and Deacon told her to stay with Gunnar because her feelings may change. Have Scarlett’s feelings changed? I have a million questions swirling around in my head because I feel like the couple hasn’t had a legitimate conversation since Scarlett told Gunnar that Damien was no longer a viable romantic option. I have no idea where Scunnar stands or what they feel for each other. I know relationships have a lot of gray, but I could use a little more clarity. Are we just supposed to except that they’re happy? While I did enjoy the break from the annoyance that has become constant with Scarlett, I would like answers to my questions before I drive myself up a wall.

Speaking of questions: where did we end on the Will and Zach front? Did they patch things up or are they still up in the air? Things seem to be going great for Will with the Budweiser commercial. The audience is reintroduced to Jakob, who seems to have been brought back for the sole purpose of stirring up drama between Will and Zach. Jakob insinuates that Zach is a playboy because he’s a rich millionaire. This leads to Will questioning if Zach is seeing anyone else, and the problem seems to resolve itself until Will finds Zach’s second phone. Dun dun dun. Zach claims it’s only one other person and his ex is the one calling him. What I find funny is that Zach says he has a hard time hurting people, yet he had no trouble ousting Bucky. Apparently Zach can only hurt the people he’s not sleeping with.

Zach then ends up breaking things off with his ex over the phone with Will listening. This move is good in theory, but the actual scene is hard to watch. Zach obviously doesn’t mean to be cruel, and it looks like his ex has some sort of mental issues, but it’s still painful as Zach cuts the cord. I truly believe that Zach loves Will and didn’t want to hurt his ex. My theory is that his ex is mentally unstable and threatened to harm himself if Zach broke things off. It would make sense why Zach kept in touch because he was scared his ex would hurt himself. This revelation did give Zach some dimension, but the problem is he’s only somewhat sympathetic when Will is involved. The rest of the time he’s just a huge jackass. I don’t know what to make of this development, but Zach reminds me of Jeff. Zach isn’t a clearly defined character—neither good nor bad—just like Jeff. I just can’t seem to connect with Zach, so I don’t really care much about him.

Poor Will. At least his commercial was a success. It was pretty fun to see a snapshot of how commercials are made. While I’m glad Will finally got a storyline, I just wish it didn’t revolve around relationship melodrama. Will and Kevin broke up because Will wanted to explore his sexuality as he spent so long repressing it. Then he’s thrown into another serious relationship with a character no one likes. Kevin was great because he helped Will come to terms with himself and supported Will. Zach does deeply care for Will, but we haven’t seen it extend beyond that. Zach lied to Will and tried to have Will get his friends on board with the idea of product integration. Weighed against each other, it’s not even a contest. Kevin is the clear winner.

And last but not least Javery. So Avery stopped working with Hallie because of Juliette. Surprise, surprise. Avery was on fire this episode with him finally standing up for himself. He was right that it’s either Juliette’s way or the highway. Good for him for finally putting himself first and taking the tour. He made the decision without Juliette, and she basically called him out as being selfish rather than congratulating him. Juliette didn’t want Avery to leave her and Cadence, but Avery has been there for Juliette every step of the way since the plane crash. I get that Juliette is scared to be on her own with Cadence, especially after what happened last time, but that’s no reason to keep Avery hostage. She needs to get on board because Avery is going on tour whether she likes it or not. Juliette, sweetie, Avery is leaving to go on tour, not leave you. I really hope we are headed toward Juliette seeking some sort of therapy. Last time she sought treatment, it was off-screen. Juliette has some serious issues to work through, and if she wants her relationship with Avery to survive, she needs to do some work on herself. He can’t put her first forever.

So there you have it Nashies. What did you think of “Ghost in This House?” Are we eventually headed toward a Deacon/Jessie ship? Did Scarlett win you back this episode? Where do Will and Zach as well as Javery stand? Until next time my fellow compatriots.


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