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Nashville - Pick Yourself Up - Advance Preview: "Time to Face the Music"

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“Pick Yourself Up” deals with a lot of the aftermath of the midseason finale’s events, specifically Will’s health issues and the repercussions of Deacon’s actions. The good news for viewers is that both of these storylines will actually see these characters facing the consequences of their actions. Will isn’t suddenly miraculously healed after collapsing while performing and Deacon and Brad just don’t let bygones be bygones and grab a drink together. No, these problems don’t just magically disappear, thankfully. As for the impending love triangle among The Last Highways, the group will also have to face some of the repercussions following this episode’s plotline. What does or doesn’t happen will definitely put a strain on band relations, at the very least. It also has the potential to do a whole lot more damage. So without further ado, let’s begin.

While the episode synopsis states, “Brad gets a restraining order against Deacon,” that’s not exactly what happens. What Brad does do, in wake of Deacon “assaulting” him in the midseason finale, is something else, but it does fuel conflict between Deacon and Jessie. Let me start by saying this: Deacon shouldn’t have put his hands on Brad, but the guy was sort of asking for it. While violence is never the answer, Brad was almost baiting Deacon into doing something. It’s like Brad wanted to see how far he could push Deacon until our leading man made an impulsive decision in the heat of the moment that ultimately has dire consequences. Brad isn’t the sort of guy who will just chalk this up to flaring tempers and let it go. He will make Jessie and Deacon’s lives hell for this transgression. As much as I hate Brad, and believe me, I do, his presence on the show is at least justifiable. He’s Jessie’s ex-husband and a major player in the music industry. He’s the one behind the country version of the American Idol-esque singing competition, which Daphne is participating in. He has ties to some of the major characters and his existence wasn’t just created, or maybe it was, to create conflict. Unlike some other “villains” *cough* Zach *cough*, he at least has a reason to be in Nashville. It makes a whole lot more sense than some tech genius from Silicon Valley deciding to invest in a record label, and then subsequently being shoved down viewers throats for an entire season. The wedge that Brad creates between Deacon and Jessie feels more organic and natural than a lot of the other conflict the writers have thrown at viewers over the past season and a half. Do I wish Brad would just disappear? Sure, but if there has to be some sort of villain for the remaining eight episodes, I’d rather it be Brad than anyone else.

As for The Last Highways, the group has their hands full with Will’s collapse along with needless high school drama. After collapsing while performing at the late night show, Will recovers in the hospital and frets about his future. So after episodes of abusing steroids, and only being super moody, irrational and unpredictable, Will finally has to face the consequences of his actions. I’m really glad the show doesn’t just gloss over what happened and sweep it under the rug like everything is fine. There needs to be consequences for the choices the characters make, and thankfully, it seems like Will will be getting a crash course in learning that. What I’d really like to see happen is for him to reflect on why he decided to abuse steroids – viewers still haven’t really gotten a straight answer – and grow as a character. He’s come so far from the character we met in season one, but his character growth has stalled over the past few seasons with him constantly needing praise. Whether it be from devoted fans or in his relationships, he’s relied on others for validation. Before the series ends, I’d like to see Will find some happiness within himself. As for the remaining band members, Gunnar and Avery find themselves making old mistakes. If viewers get the feeling of déjà vu after watching this episode, it’s because they have already seen this exact storyline play out before. Sure, there are subtle differences, but the overarching theme is the same. Based on the midseason finale, it was somewhat clear where things were headed with Gunnar, Avery and Alannah, and this episode definitely provides some movement on that front. While it may not be slightly different than what viewers will be expecting, it definitely lays the ground work for the remaining episodes. I have long given up on trying to predict who will be endgame, and this episode does nothing in reassuring me about some of our favorite ships. Let’s just say it seems this will be more of a music chairs thing, as in whoever is together when the series ends will be who ends up together.

Some stray thoughts:
• Viewers will once again have to sit through a pointless Maddie plot. Per the episode synopsis, Maddie gets caught up in the fast lane lifestyle of Jonah Ford. Do I really care about all of her teen angst? Not really, but I do find her justification for some of things she’s doing hilarious. It does remind me to a certain degree what I thought about life at her age.
• As if there wasn’t enough going on for Avery this episode, he also finds himself getting harassed by the media after they get wind of Juliette’s extended stay in South America. While we know from promos Juliette will eventually realize she’s in a cult, but is her realization a little too late. I mean, if the press can figure out something is amiss, then why can’t she?
• This is the first episode of the season that I didn’t actually find Scarlett annoying. I know that’s a pretty low bar to set, but her presence didn’t really annoy me. I think part of that had to do with her being a supporting character, instead of following some ridiculous plot about her equestrian romance.

Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. What does Brad do for retribution? Will Will finally learn actions have consequences? What is so high school about what Gunnar, Avery and Alannah are going through?

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