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Nashville - You Can't Lose Me - Advance Preview: "Hot Water Rising"

Okay guys, I’m not going to lie; this episode wrecked me. “You Can’t Lose Me” was probably the strongest episode of season 5B to date. It had everything an episode could ask for: good pacing, incredible acting from characters we want to see, little to no appearances from characters we don’t, and heartfelt scenes to no end. A couple of things I have been wanting to desperately see finally come true. This is the Nashville I remember; the show I looked forward to watching every week instead of it becoming an obligation. I feel like I keep saying each new episode is better than the rest, but it appears to be true. The show seems to finally be finding its footing since the departure of Connie Britton. If the rest of season 5 is like this, then we will have something to look forward to each and every Thursday.

The storyline of Juliette stealing a song intended for Maddie is revisited this episode. Juliette goes to great lengths to keep Maddie from learning the truth. Whether Juliette succeeds or not is not really the focus of the storyline; it’s more about the fact that Juliette continues to manipulate those closest to her. She did it with Avery just a few episodes ago, and now she continues the pattern with Maddie. In wake of Rayna’s death, Juliette has really become a mentor and friend, at least from Maddie’s point of view. With her mom gone, Juliette has taken over in attempting to guide Maddie through the insanity that is the music business. We saw a great example of this in their debate over Maddie’s song “Saved.” While Maddie still views Juliette as a mentor of sorts, Juliette just threw that away when she stole Maddie’s song.

Juliette put the needs of herself, an artist who was struggling to rebound after the awful gospel album, ahead of a 17-year-old girl who just lost her mother. In fact, if Juliette had just asked Maddie for the song, Maddie may have surprised us and agreed to it. I’ve learned that Maddie is best in small doses, and Lennon Stella does a great job in this episode. Her character really shines when she’s a supporting player in other characters’ storylines. Juliette, of course, is still struggling to figure out where she belongs. She, as many of you may have guessed, is awarded the most irritating character of the episode. This, however, is not dig at Hayden Panettiere, who continues to bring emotion to an otherwise averagely written character. I’m really looking forward to how this storyline plays out as it could have season-long ramifications.

There’s not a lot to say in regards to Deacon considering a new artist for Highway 65. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s pretty obvious who the character is. However, this storyline takes a backseat as Deacon has a lot more on his plate this episode than simply deciding whether or not to sign Jessie. Speaking of which, I am officially a convert because I now love her character. Prior to this episode, I was still on the fence but leaning toward liking Jessie. You can quote me on this, but she is the best addition to the cast in season 5. I know it’s not that tough of a competition because everyone hates Zach and we’ve seen very little of Alyssa, but Jessie is great. We get a deeper insight into who she is as a person, and I could not be happier because I actually care about the character. Obviously, she can never replace Rayna and a relationship between her and Deacon would swiftly end my praises, but for now, I am officially on the Jessie bandwagon. So I award the most improved character to her.

And last but not least we have Scunnar. I would love to give you an in-depth analysis of my thoughts, but I fear I would not be able to do so without giving too much away. What we know is that Scarlett’s pregnancy faces complications and Gunnar searches for the mugger. Beyond that, I can say very little. What I will tease is that one of the storylines goes in a direction I did not suspect. The outcomes of these storylines give us some insight as for what is coming up for these characters for the rest of the season. What happens in this episode propels both Scarlett and Gunnar forward for the remainder of the season, potentially the series. Both Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio deliver some of their best performances to date. They play off each other and other characters so well. I feel like I get a better understanding of their relationship problems and their actions after everything is said and done.

So that’s it for this preview Nashies. Don’t forget to watch a new episode of Nashville when it airs Thursday, July 20 at 9 on CMT.

So as your weekly parting gift, I will share some of my favorite quotes from the episode:
"Flynn is not my boyfriend." / "Well, that's good because if he was I would need to have a long talk with that young man about his intentions."
"Hey, just so you know [she] invited me here. I'm not just dropping by."
"I really think this something I need to handle on my own."
"It was too much. You confided in me...and the next thing you know I'm bringing her tea. What kind of weirdo does that?" / "A kind weirdo."
"So I fall back and I instantly know. I'm gonna be the guy who died trying to crowd surf."
"We should sit down and talk soon. Really talk."

So share your thoughts in the comments below. What happens that I have been desperately wanting to see? Will Juliette ever stop manipulating those around her? Does Deacon sign Jessie to Highway 65? What does the future have in store for Scunnar?

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