The suds keep on a-comin' on "Nashville," as befits a primetime soap chock full of ego-driven (or, in Deacon's case, horribly emotionally scarred) musicians with skeletons in the closet. This week's episode had some good music (always a plus), some repetitive story lines and possibly the exit of Coleman Carlisle (the always excellent Robert Wisdom), which makes for a lot of highs and lows. Kind of like a country song, isn't it?
Rayna and Liam reconnect At first, it seems as if Rayna's plan of action (as pushed by the latest Edgehill mucky muck Jeff) shouldn't be that hard to execute. She wants to finish her album with hot music producer Liam, and gosh, he must want to do that, too, right? Well, it turns out dumping a guy when he's invited you for a sexscape to St. Lucia doesn't make for the best of relationships. Finally, she manages to win Liam over to work on her album… and all is going well until he asks her to re-record one track. Yeah, well, that isn't going to work. It turns out that having a tube down her throat has messed up Rayna's vocal chords. To complicate matters, Jeff wants Rayna to perform at a showcase he's hosting for the shareholders, a gig that Juliette refused to do in order to play at a a birthday party for some rich guy's wife. Oh no, whatever shall she do? We'll get to that in a moment, because the important part is Rayna and Liam have SEX! And I'm guessing from the post-coital snuggle it was just as satisfying as we expected it to be. I guess for at least a minute we're finally going to get that Rayna-Liam relationship that we were promised (then denied) at the end of last season.
Jeff is an angry little frog First, Juliette disses him. Then Rayna agrees to perform at the showcase -- and instead drags Scarlett up on stage to do a number. Psyche! This is both an F-you to Jeff and a way to dodge a bullet. Alas, Jeff (who purses his lips and pouts a great deal in this episode) suspects there's more to Rayna's reluctance, so I expect next week he'll have dug up the truth and, well, anything could happen.
Deacon takes a baby step Deacon is doing his twelve steps, but bad news: his sponsor Coleman is leaving town and worse, he wants Deacon to face his past. Specifically, he can't be a decent father until he deals with the crappy father he had. Deacon responds to this reasonable request by throwing a chair. He thinks he can bypass this little issue by making nice with Teddy and apologizing for being an absent… well, everything, and Teddy isn't all that receptive. "Maddie is never gonna stop watching you, Deacon," he says. "And she's gonna take note of every choice you make." Well, that does it. Deacon goes to his AA meeting and talks about how his dad was a wife beater and a child abuser and a drunk. He admits he's just like dear old dad, but adds, "I ain't never hurt a child and I'll be damned if I ever will!" That's the good news. The news that makes me nervous is that he goes to the doctor and admits he can't handle the pain on his own -- he's willing to take something. Uh-oh.
Gunnar has everything envy First, he lets Will perform one of his songs at the showcase. Even though Will goes out of his way to name check Gunnar and even point him out in the audience, it's clearly killing Gunnar that he's not the one up on stage about to have his big moment. It all gets worse when he sees Scarlett prepare to get into the limo he's sharing with her, Will and Zoey to the big event. "I can't believe you can look this good!" he yelps. Scarlett is not enthusiastic about this backhanded compliment for some reason. Still, after the show they're able to be nice to one another. I'm not quite understanding, though, why Scarlett seems so irritated with Gunnar (I'm still not entirely clear on why they broke up anyway, other than Gunnar being too immature for marriage) most of the time. I guess we just have to have reasons to keep these two apart for as long as possible, even if they're not good reasons. I'm wondering if Zoey, who seems to have served little purpose on the show other than to give Scarlett someone to talk to, will get pulled into the drama after Gunnar asks her to leave the showcase with him. Given that she's seemed somewhere between sainthood and plot device with little actual personality, this could mean some better writing if nothing else.
Juliette fires Avery Off at the super McMansion of the one percenter where Juliette is scheduled to perform, she and Avery bond and roll their eyes at the ridiculousness around them (Mr. Richy Rich doesn't have a lick of real talent, but he has Hank Williams' old guitar for fun). It's all going really well until Juliette tells Richy Rich that Avery isn't her boyfriend and is, in fact, just another doofus on the payroll. When Avery calls Juliette out on her refusal to bond with or befriend anyone, she does the logical thing, which is fire him and sleep with Richy Rich. Oh, Juliette. Just when we think you're going to get your act together, you do something else that's entirely stupid. Although I never would have thought being pals with Avery was smart, but he really does seem to have mellowed since watching his career go up in flames in season one.
Peggy is still crazy as a bedbug Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. She's still pushing this "I'm glowing with happy pregnancy hormones" nonsense, although initially Teddy seems unenthused. She tells him she's SURE she's having a boy, and she wants to name him Theodore! His response? "I'll see you in a month." But getting a visit from Deacon, and remembering that he was the guy who stepped up for Rayna when Deacon was the "lesser man" and shirked his responsibility makes him reconsider just writing checks to make Crazy Peggy go away. So, he stops by and holds hands and tries to remember what he liked about Crazy Peggy, which leads to kissing. Peggy is thrilled! Her loony fake pregnancy plan seems to have worked! Damn, I wish Teddy had just looked at the medical records she offered to show him the first time, because I'd bet good money they were written in crayon.
Next week, Juliette must save her career and Rayna must save her family (Maddie!). I would worry, except this week's promo looked pretty dramatic, too, and, except for Rayna and Liam finally doing it, I'm feeling less-than-wowed. But hey, the music was great!
What do you think Crazy Peggy is going to do? Do you think Rayna's voice will get better? Do you think Juliette will hire Avery back?