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Nashville - Speed Trap Town - Advance Preview: "The Club of Sad Songwriters"

Welcome back Nashville fans. We’re in the homestretch of season 5, and with just three episodes left, it feels like Nashville has plateaued. “Speed Trap Town” is a mixed bag and loses some of the steam that had been steadily building for the past few episodes. The good news is that Gunnar is the focal point of the episode, and he’s mostly featured without Scarlett. The bad news is that Scarlett continues to be heavily featured with a somewhat filler storyline while some of the other ensemble characters remain in the background. The worst part is a few nitpicky details I couldn’t get past that just seemed to drag the episode down. With only two episodes left, I really hope the season ends on a high after such an uneven second half. So without further ado, let the preview commence.

For those who have been wanting to see a Gunnar-centric storyline without Scarlett, then your efforts have been rewarded. Gunnar visits his hometown this episode and faces the ghosts of his past. Viewers get a deeper insight into what life was like for Gunnar growing up. Besides meeting Jason, I feel like we’ve never delved into Gunnar’s past. Sure there was the whole thing with him and Kiley, but all we’ve ever got is glimpses. We know things were rough for Gunnar as a kid, but this episode, we find out just how hard his childhood was. We also meet some new characters in his hometown, one of whom happens to be an acquaintance he went to school with. And yes, she is the pretty brunette from the promo. They have some scenes together and sparks do fly while they’re catching up. I’m sure people with have mixed feelings about Gunnar potentially moving on so quickly, but I think Gunnar just needs time to figure out who is he without Scarlett. So much of season 5B has been devoted to Gunnar standing by her side that he never really got the chance to be his own person. Of course, to further complicate matters, Scunnar has several phone calls this episode that just continue to confuse me. Let’s just say I thought we had a definite answer, but not I’m starting to think we’ll probably never know where this two stand.

Next up we have Deacon and Jessie. Deacon takes it upon himself to help Jessie with her record. Deacon continues to be drawn to Jessie, whether it’s wanting to sign her to Highway 65 or attending her performances, it just seems like Deacon always wants to be there for her. Jessie, of course, continues to rebuff his efforts. It’s an interesting dynamic to watch play out. And we get a better understanding of the reasoning behind their actions this episode. It’s pretty obvious that we’re headed for an eventual Deacon/Jessie romance, but I hope it continues to be more of a slow burn. My worst fear is that something romantic will happen during the season finale. Besides Deacon not ready for a real relationship, the viewers are not ready to see him with anyone else. I don’t think I’ve ever really touched upon this, but how old is Jessie supposed to be? I’m assuming she’s maybe a few years older than Scarlett, but how would Maddie and Daphne feel about their dad dating someone younger. I feel like Deacon and Jessie’s relationship works now because they can sort of rely on each to deal with their shared pain, but Deacon has also been acting somewhat in a mentoring role. How would that change if they were suddenly equals? Just some of the many questions that keep me up at night, but not really.

Elsewhere Scarlett takes a self-defense class. While I think this is an important skill for every woman to learn, I don’t think a whole story arc needed to be devoted to it. This storyline does make sense after everything Scarlett went through: the mugging at gunpoint and the miscarriage, but I think the writers could have found a better use for the screen time. It seems like I keep beating a dead horse, but why aren’t Avery and Will featured more? So while I really felt for Scarlett last episode, some of that good will has rubbed off due to her phone conversations with Gunnar. Also Maddie and Juliette get nominated for the same American Music Award. There really isn’t much movement on the rivalry front, just mostly some tension brewing beneath the surface. What does happen transpires in a way that is typical of today’s celebrities. I really hope things heat up in the final two episodes because otherwise what was the point of this drama.

So that’s it for this week Nashies. Don’t forget to catch a new episode of Nashville when it airs Thursday, July 27 at 9 on CMT.

As your weekly parting gift, I leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the episode:

“I’m surprised you know how to do this.” / “Yeah, well you learn a lot when you have two teenage daughters.”
“Maddie already had a hit song about a tidal wave. For all we know, she’d have passed on a song about waters rising. I mean how much water can a person sing about?”
“Well that’s ‘cuz everyone was too busy watching a bunch of meatheads pulverize each other on the football field.” / “If I remember correctly weren’t you dating one of those meatheads?” / “Oh yeah. Yep. The meatiest of them all.”
“I never thought of it that way.” / “Well, neither did I. It just sounded good so I went with it.”
“I stole her song. You know it; I know it. Let’s just call a spade a spade.”

So hit the comments below to share your thoughts. What exactly happens between Gunnar and the pretty brunette acquaintance? What are your thoughts on the Deacon/Jessie dynamic? Why does Scarlett continue to hog the screen?