Time To Begin Your Complicated Relationship With Nashville Again
Did you watch Nashville last season? Your glorious Editrix-in-Chief Rebecca did not, because she scorns such lowbrow entertainment, but I watched the SHIT out of that thing last year because it is basically Melrose Place with country music. There’s far too much stuff that happened last year to bring you up to speed, so let’s just go with this:
Juliette’s (Hayden Panettiere, who is the young hot previously completely pre-packaged starlet country type that is now Breaking Out Of Her Mold because of course she is) mom is dead but she is going to go to the Country Music Awards because she is A Trooper but then she isn’t because Jesus Christ her mom is dead, people.
Rayna (Connie Britton, who is perfect now and forever because of Friday Night Lights and is playing the Fading But Still Amazing Star) actually made her oldest child with brooding country guitar player Deacon instead of her slick creepy husband Teddy, so all hell is breaking loose now.
Scarlett may end up with Avery or Gunnar because she is becoming Torn Between Two Lovers, clearly.
Deacon is drinking again and is a classic rage-drunk.
Complicated boring subplot about how Slick Husband is actually straight-up embezzler.
Rayna tries to drive Deacon home because of how drunk he is, but he is the maddest because he did not know for lo all these years that the baby was his, so he and Rayna have a giant fight while driving and he grabs at the steering wheel, because safety, and the car crashes. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT??
OK, now you’re up to speed so let’s do the damn thing. Hello car wreckage! Hello Deacon crawling from wreckage. Hello unresponsive Rayna! OH NO.
Cut to youngish Deacon and Rayna. You can tell she’s younger because she’s wearing a flouncier skirt with boots. You can tell Deacon is younger because he no longer has Perma-Stubble. Flashback Deacon and Rayna are very happy.
Shit. Modern day Rayna is not happy because she is in a coma. There’s a super odd moment where the older child explains to the younger child that mom is in a coma because there might be brain damage. Child-to-child explanations about sensitive complicated medical issues do not happen in real life, do they? I do not possess children so I do not know. Child exposition scene is also here to let us know that Mom has been in the coma for 2 weeks.
Oh hey look Deacon is in classic jail orange and is pleading guilty to driving under the influence. Aww, he is taking the blame for the accident. Huh whut? Rayna was driving, but he was the one getting all wheel-grabby, so it is not like she would have been charged with anything in the first place, so I’m assuming this bit is setting up some needlessly complicated Secret later. Chilling Exchange where judge informs Deacon he should probs get a lawyer because if Rayna dies, he is on the hook for involuntary manslaughter.
Cut to Juliette, who is apparently back in her Monster in Human Form role rather than her Trying to Be a Better Person role. Juliette is mad because Rayna’s record remains a chart-topper because of the horrible injuries and whatnot, and Juliette’s new album drops tomorrow and SHE IS MAD. [Side note: these people release full albums like 5 times a year. They are the sweatshop superstars of Nashville apparently]. Juliette wants the release date pushed back but it is hard because she is now part of a giant label so she is without agency and giant labels are evil. Juliette is interviewing for new assistants and is being A Bitch about it, but ooh look potential applicant is handsome so now she will maybe interview him alone, gnome sane?
Oh hi, tender and somewhat ambiguous moment between Scarlett and Avery. The “who will Scarlett love” plot is going to be SO BORING Y’ALL.
FIRST MUSIC PERFORMANCE OF SHOW YOU GUYS. Pleh. It’s Avery and he is Sensitive and At The Piano.
Yep, Scarlett is Torn. She is watching Avery with mopey love eyes, and oh hello, here’s Gunnar and The One Gay Dude On The Show and they are repainting the Gunnar/Scarlett love nest because clearly she has left and it is time to paint things in manly colors, not pastels. Yep. Scarlett turned down Gunnar’s wedding proposal and now he is Very Sad. Super butch gay dude is going to cheer him up or butch him up or get him laid because that is what friends do and country music says you should drink away or fuck away a breakup.
Juliette is already fucking Hot New Assistant, except he may or may not yet be the assistant because the fucking may be part of the interview?
The fucking seems to be going poorly, in large part because Juliette is watching teevee coverage of the Rayna Situation while the sexing is happening. Oooh! Juliette has a menacing and ambiguous plan and demands her manager bring her … a thousand candles?? What?
Juliette is planning her big album launch gig, and Avery is now the guitarist?? She lets him know they are going to play a song they’ve never played before but it’s cool. [Side note: everyone in this show can play any song ever, any time. They’re sweatshop musicians AND savant musicians.]
HOT CHICK PARTY WHOO! Gunnar and Gay Dude are partying with ladies, and Gay Dude is back to being Not Gay so he is making out with ladies … except that then he spots a man across the crowded room and gives him a meaningful long look … and then decides he should take a lady outside for “fresh air.” Gay Dude you really need to come out because you are being a dick.
Blah blah blah Teddy the Slick Husband is talking to the lady who is not Rayna that he knocked up but he doesn’t want the child and all he’s going to do is offer up some coin. Teddy is an asshole and he is boring. The latter is more unforgivable. He is also much less pretty than the rest of the cast. Poor Teddy.
Hospital! Dad’s here. Rayna and Dad have a Complicated Relationship. We have a clunky little on-teevee-in-hospital bit to remind us that Rayna’s mom also died in fiery car crash and oh, Dad is sad and regretful.
More Deacon and Rayna flashbackness. YOU GUYS. They actually shoot this part in soft focus to make sure we know it is a youthful flashback. They could have just used the Wayne’s World dissolve.
Flashback sexytime with Rayna and Deacon. Hawt.
Deacon is talking to his … court-appointed attorney? Dude is a longtime semi-famous session musician in Nashville who works steadily and goes on multi-million dollar fancy tours with starlets. How does he qualify for a court-appointed attorney? Damn, son, Tennessee is BAWSE when it comes to criminal rights. OK, probably not. More harum scarum to Deacon about how he will go to jail forever if Rayna dies. Deacon will not talk to his attorney, but she is young and fierce and is going to free him anyway … because apparently also in Tennessee you just get to ignore your client even if they want to plead out??
Rayna is being brought out of the coma for a few minutes and they are doing this complicated medical procedure in the hospital room and oh, hey, look, the whole family, including children, have wandered in to watch. Totally how real hospitals do it, especially where young children are concerned.
Sonogram of Teddy’s baby inside Teddy’s baby momma. SO BORED NOW. Oh no. Baby Momma has miscarried. Thank god for this subplot dying on the vine.
Juliette concert time! She is doing a tribute to Rayna because she is so Shrewd and Calculating. Her band, of course, sounds amazing on Rayna’s song even though they have not practiced or played it and are not Rayna’s band.
WIND AND FOG MACHINES GALORE.
The music thus far is much weaker than last season. T-Bone Burnett is no longer associated with the show, and it is painfully obvious. COME BACK T-BONE. Your wife is the fucking showrunner. You owe her.
Gay dude is having meaningful whisper conversation with dude he clearly used to fuck and they have a tense moment where they almost kiss, and then Gay Dude beats him up and yells about him having made a pass at him so he can get him tossed from the party. I think we are supposed to be sympathetic to Gay Dude’s plight but he is just rage-y sad violent angerbear guy now.
Juliette is going to lead the entire show over to Rayna’s hospital to pray for Rayna because of being So Calculating.
Vaseline-lens flashback time again. Deacon is drunk. He has wrecked everything. He was blackout drunk when he asked her to marry him. Jerk.
Present day. Scarlett is trying to visit Uncle Deacon but he is No Good To Her Or Anyone Else. She says she has been like a father to her and then he goes full on window-punch and explains he is not her father HE IS NOBODY’S FATHER.
Drunk girl is going to have sex with drunk Gunnar right in the middle of the party, but Gunnar can’t do it as the couch they are about to have sexytime on is the place where he and Scarlett first had sexytime. How will they solve this?? By exorcising the demons and burning the couch in the backyard!!! With lighter fluid. WHAT COULD GO WRONG???
Throng of fans is now at the hospital, and Juliette is talking to Oldest Rayna Child. Now Juliette is good Juliette again? She gives Oldest Child her phone number so they can talk any time she needs it. Oldest Child decides it is a great idea to explain to her mother’s greatest star rival that Deacon is probably her father and this is what is so sad-making and therefore the whole car accident is probably her fault. Juliette reassures Oldest Child and it is not at all clear if we are dealing with Good Juliette or Terrible Juliette.
Scarlett is back at the Bluebird for her last shift and a party. Scarlett has a record deal, but Scarlett is mostly sad about Deacon.
Hospital! Juliette is just heading on into the ICU to look at Rayna. This IS Good Juliette. She’s remembering that her momma played her Rayna songs when things were good, which was never.
FLASHBACK. Deacon is still drinking, stomping around the house, and throwing bottles everywhere. Rayna is pregnant and it may be his! More stomping around bottle throwing. End of flashback.
Intrepid court appointed reporter has figured out that Deacon is not the driver. She tells Deacon he committed no crime. Court-appointed attorney is gonna change Deacon’s mind I just know it!
Gunnar-Gay Dude convo where Gunnar mentions that maybe kinda burning shit down is bad and being in the closet is bad and Gay Dude goes only slightly rage-y and explains he is not in the closet. Gunnar decides to go down to the Bluebird to see Scarlett, but Avery is there too. Tender Gunnar-Scarlett moment, interrupted by Avery. Scarlett makes a super Good Decision to have Gunnar come on stage and sing with her as Avery tosses back beers. Scarlett needs to sort her shit out. [Gunnar and Scarlett are probably the most legit singers on the show, and they sound the best in this sad new T-Boneless world.]
Gay Dude is about to have sexytime with lady crawling over him, but he is not in the mood and she should go home. Yay Gay Dude?
Oh god boring Teddy baby subplot is still going because Baby Momma is just going to lie and pretend she didn’t lose the baby. Everyone on this show is congenitally unable to tell the truth about anything. Like, they probably lie about their sock color just to make things complicated later on.
Good Juliette is having a cryfest with lots of candles, pictures of dead mom, and a Rayna CD. Good Juliette calls Scarlett, presumably to help Scarlett with the coin she needs to spring Deacon, because Juliette understands addicts.
Gunnar and Scarlett are done singing. He did not want to sing, he tells her, but he did because you do not give up on people you love. [No, he really says that.] Cue glaring Avery.
Dad-Teddy fight in Rayna’s room. Rayna’s blood pressure is spiking! Alarms are going off! Accident flashbacks in jump cuts! But now everything is cool and they’re going to bring her out of the coma. Can the family be there for it? SURE COOL IDEA. Doctor has to now give ponderous talk about how they can all hang out for the de-coma-ing, but be prepared that she might not know who any of them are.
Scarlett goes to Deacon’s trashed house. Juliette is there too. Scarlett does not know what made Deacon fall off the wagon so very hard, but maybe Juliette does, HMMMM?
De-coma-in, with family audience! Does she know who the people in the hallway are? Slowwwww pan across family. Yes, she does! Thank god because an amnesiac plot would have just been too stupid even for this show.
Court-appointed attorney tells Deacon he is sprung from jail because Rayna confirmed he was not driving. Cue Brooding Deacon.
Inexplicably still continuing embezzlement/financial wrongdoings subplot is back, with US Attorney’s office stalking Rayna’s sister, who works with Rayna’s daddy on their semi-shady land deals or something. She will not help them! Oh wait! US Attorney guy isn’t here to talk about embezzlement. He’s here to tell the Sister that Daddy probably had something to do with her and Rayna’s mother’s death like 30 years ago because that is totally the kind of thing US Attorneys working on financial fraud cases would be investigating.
Rayna is up to being wheeled outside and she and Daddy have a Very Portentous conversation about Leaving The Past Behind.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT WEEK? In my wildest dreams, T-Bone Burnett comes back and Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello write a bunch of new songs for Avery because sensitive Avery music is The Worst. Pray4Lisa.