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Nashville - The Night Before (Life Goes On) - Review: "The Calm Before The Storm" + POLL

Holy potential cliffhanger. If you read my previews, you now know why I didn’t touch upon the Scunnar mugging because how would I have teased that without revealing everything? I mean we’ve all seen the previews for season 5B, and I’ve posited if Scarlett was going to miscarry, this would be the event that triggered it. I really had no choice but to just avoid the topic altogether lest I say too much. So let’s dive right into “The Night Before (Life Goes On).”

So before I tackle the mugging, I want to give a big round of applause to Gunnar for finally standing up for himself. He finally confronts Scarlett about the elephant in the room: does she really want to be with him? It’s been a long time coming, and before we can get an answer, some annoying kids show up looking for Gunnar to buy them alcohol. I think we all knew what was coming, but that didn’t make it any less horrible to watch. At first these kids are kind of a nuisance and don’t get the hint that a very important conversation that viewers have waited for episodes to happen is taking place. It’s like run along kids and find some other adult to buy you beer because Scunnar is finally talking about something we care about.  

Then the smug little [insert bad name here] pulls out a gun. Apparently it’s too late for Gunnar to buy these guys beer now. So the little [insert different bad name here] takes Gunnar’s wallet, but it doesn’t stop there. As Scarlett is reaching for her wallet, she spills milk on the guy’s shoes. So his natural response is to push her up against the car where she falls to the ground. Then Gunnar is basically held at gunpoint before being pistol-whipped. The three idiots then run off and we’re left with a scene of Scarlett and Gunnar in a tight embrace, obviously shaken from what’s happened. So what happens next? Based on the promo for next week’s episode, Scarlett is at the hospital having an ultrasound. Deacon delivers some news that leads to Gunnar going after the main [insert bad name here] and beating the crap out of him. As an educated guess, Scarlett probably either miscarries or the baby no longer has a heartbeat and Gunnar loses it. If this is how the story plays out, then I have conflicting feelings. I never wanted Scarlett to be pregnant with Damien’s child in the first play because it felt like unnecessary drama to complicate Scunnar. However, it feels like an easy way to undo the writer’s decision. The EPs made a choice and now it’s like they’re course correcting but in the worst possible way.

I feel like if Scarlett would have miscarried naturally, it would have been a different story, no pun intended. Lots of women miscarry, and this is a topic the show hasn’t tackle, unless you could Peggy’s fake miscarry, which I don’t. That would have been a way to undo the pregnancy as well. A recent example of when Dawson on Chicago Fire miscarried springs to mind and how that left the characters visibly shaken. However, a mugging while being held at gunpoint is much more dramatic. I am looking forward to see how the characters deal with this in the aftermath. Scarlett will probably continue to be a wreck, but I hope Gunnar gets some much deserved screen time. It looks like this could potentially send him down a dark path, which I am looking forward to. Sam Palladio did some great work in season one following the death of Gunnar’s brother. However, I could be wrong and the baby is fine, but it looks like this event will cause Gunnar to spiral regardless.

So let’s switch gears to the other OTP couple: Javery. Avery is finally ready to head out on tour, but he’s having reservations about missing all of Cadence’s firsts. In a show of support, it’s Juliette who encourages Avery to go, reminding him the first leg is only two weeks. It seems like she’s finally hopped on the bandwagon, and it’s about damn time. Avery has supported Juliette for years, and it’s nice to see her finally showing him some as well. Their banter is fun and flirty, reminding us of why we fell in love with this couple in the first place. It seems like there could finally be smooth sailing for the couple, but then a nosy bartender decides to insert herself into Javery. I didn’t really think anything was going to happen, but it did produce an honest conversation. Avery says that Juliette is like a hurricane with crashing winds and destruction everywhere, and he follows behind Juliette picking up the pieces. While there is peace, it doesn’t last long. I’m wondering if this is some sort of foreshadowing with more drama to come for the couple. Otherwise, it’s an extremely detailed metaphor. As a side note, we finally got an answer to the relationship status of Javery: “it’s complicated,” which is a legitimate answer as it’s even an option on Facebook. So Avery eventually ends up realizing that he doesn’t miss his old self. However, he did need to go out on tour to discover that for himself. Even if he doesn’t want to pursue performing, he still needed to figure that out on his own.

Juliette, thankfully, is back to her more tolerable self. She has a hard day at work, trying to get back to where she was before the plane crash. She needs to accept that things may never be the same; she may never be able to dance like she used to. So naturally she turns to Avery for advice, and gets paranoid when the bartender says that Juliette is infringing upon Avery’s drinking time. So when Juliette calls again, she assumes the worst. She thinks that Avery is hooking up with the bartender, when it’s actually a man named Yuri in the room, trying to fix Avery’s television. Juliette really does need to have more faith in Avery. He’s not the same guy that cheated on Scarlett in season one. He’s grown a lot since then and, as I’ve said, been there for her every step of the way during her recovery. I know that it’s frustrating to accept that her life may never be the same, but she can’t always rely on Avery to make her feel better. So of that strength has to come from within, and Juliette, despite her many faults, is such a strong character. She can and will find a way to move on with her life and get past this. It’s a good thing she and Avery are on such solid ground right now because it seems like her choice to steal Maddie’s song will come back to bite her next episode.

Oh Deacon, poor sweet Deacon. Even the simple act of auctioning off one of Rayna’s jackets causes him pain. In a surprising act of continuity, Deacon performs at a charity for the foster care organization Rayna supported. However, what should be a standard performance turns into heartache when the charity wants to Deacon to donate something Rayna wore. Just Deacon having to go through Rayna’s closet is enough to pull at my heartstrings. So he decides on a dorky sunflower jacket that both Maddie and Daphne hated that Rayna wore. Their reaction to Deacon wanting to donate one of their mother’s clothes and then acceptance once they realized it was something they hated and thought was ugly was such a daughter thing to do.Little scenes like this just show how much Maddie and Daphne cared for their mother, not wanting to let go of any piece of her. There a definitely a few items in my mom's closet that I wouldn't mind burning, as I've told her on several occasions. If that jacket was one of them, you can bet it would be gone by the time the next rummage sale came along. Skipping ahead, things just get worse from there as Deacon has to watch as Rayna's fans bid on the jacket. I know it's for charity and a good cause, but it's still hard as people are basically quantifying how much Rayna's life was worth. A jacket of hers goes for $50,000, but for Deacon, no amount of money can ever replace her. It's like the audience is trying to put a price tag on her life, and it's just another reminder that the woman he loved is gone forever.

So Deacon finds solace outside, but he's interrupted when Jessie comes out who has had a tough night herself. We're introduced to Jessie's ex-husband Brad who is as slimy as she described. The snake basically gets off on making Jessie feel bad while still trying to control her. It's obvious she's uncomfortable and upset, but the guy just doesn't seem to care. He even as the audacity to text her if Deacon will be their son's new stepdad. It's now wonder she kicks a trashcan; I probably would have done the same. I mean the guy has custody of their son, who Jessie barely gets to see because the court deemed her an unfit mother. The divorce and Brad shacking up with her former best friend are bad enough, but this guy is slowly killing her son. We get a clearer idea of who Jessie is as a person. She's made some mistakes in her past, but she is trying the best she can to get her life back on track. Her conversation with Deacon is somewhat awkward at first, but they end up commiserating over their shared pain. I really hope the show continues to move in this direction of them being there for each other as FRIENDS, being able to be the other's emotional support system. I think there's something uniquely beautiful about their conversation, and I would hate to see it tarnished by a potential romantic pairing. These two characters are in no position to be in a relationship right now, but they can be vulnerable with the other in a way we haven't seen before. I think it's a really interesting dynamic that I'm tentatively looking forward to seeing more of.

Now that we’ve covered some of the heavier topics of the episode, let’s move on to Daphne’s first party. She was under the impression it would just be a few friends hanging out, but things got out of control pretty fast. As soon as the parents leave, the eighth graders starting drinking and engaging in a make out orgy. Luckily, Daphne and Flynn have the common sense to feel uncomfortable and go outside. Kudos to them for not being pressured into something they didn’t want to do. So we get a cute conversation and sparks are flying, but the real moment that makes this subplot is the conversation between Maddie and Daphne. It’s great to see them getting along and having sisterly conversations. This is one of the quieter moments where we see how Rayna’s death affects even the smallest things. Daphne has to go to Maddie for advice about how to know when you’re ready for your first kiss, a conversation that is usually had between a mother and daughter. Maddie tells Daphne that you just sort of know, something Rayna told and happened to her. However, Rayna isn’t there to tell Daphne the same thing. It’s moments like these where no matter how much time has passed, Rayna’s absence is still felt.

So that’s it for this week Nashies. Hit the comments below to let me know what you thought of this week’s episode? Do you think Scarlett will lose the baby? Is Gunnar headed down a dark path? Is there trouble in paradise for Javery? Will the show pursue a romance between Deacon and Jessie?