Catching Up with Nashville

The last few episodes of Nashville before the holiday break were quite eventful, shaking up all the character’s lives and setting the stage for a fantastic January return. Here’s how it all went down:


Juliette tries to revamp her tarnished image by agreeing to a fake date with beloved football star Sean Butler. But she finds herself actually intrigued by his squeaky clean image … or at least the idea of dirtying him up. She whisks him off for a night of dancing and debauchery, but the night takes a bad turn when he attacks a paparazzo to defend her honour. Juliette performs her own act of chivalry by forking over mega bucks to secure his damaging photos … even though Sean was the only person featured.

She and Sean start seeing more of each other … but not as much as Juliette would like. She quickly learns that Sean is not that kind of guy. He won’t take his pants off until he puts a ring on it. I love how is completely confused Juliette is about how to handle it. Should she be flattered because he respects her too much to sleep with her? Or insulted because she’s unable to entice him? We’ve seen how little motivation Juliette requires to remove her own clothing so this is completely new territory for her. In the past she’s derived all her power through sexual desire, but she can’t use that on Sean.

Romance starts to win out over frustration and Juliette accepts an invitation to attend church and dinner with Sean’s family. She pulls out all the stops to impress them, joining the choir in a gospel number and paying special attention to his little sister/her biggest fan. Sean’s parents appear warm and welcoming in the presence of their golden child, but the moment his mother gets Juliette alone she verbally trashes her and smugly predicts she won’t be able to hold Sean’s interest for long.

Juliette does not like being dismissed. She’s kind of the Locke of Nashville. Don’t tell her what she can’t do! You think she won’t enthrall your son past the flirtation stage? Then she’ll show you up by marrying him immediately. Wait WHAT? Yeah … that’s when it gets weird. Juliette invites Sean for a poolside romantic evening and pops the question by chlorine and candlelight.

This twist shocked me … but not in a good way. I knew Juliette wouldn’t let the insult stand. That’s not her style. But I thought she might try to push Sean into sex instead; loud his poor man-brain with lust and desire and then rub it in his mother’s face. The victory, not the desire – that’s just gross. But I was really disappointed that the plot went in the marriage direction. They’ve known each other for a few weeks and we’re supposed to believe it’s plausible that they would even consider marriage?! Although I do understand why Juliette was so hurt by Sean’s mother. She felt like she was being embraced by this wholesome, loving family – something she never had – and then they turned around and slapped her in the face. But she doesn’t really know Sean and proposing to him is a very childish reaction. I just don’t buy it. It’s too daytime soap opera. Like sands through the hourglass so are the days and nights of Nashville. SIGH.

Rayna’s relationship with her husband hits a major rough patch when Coleman leaks photos of Teddy embracing Peggy. It’s an innocent hug, but Coleman knows the press won’t see it that way. Rayna believes Teddy has been faithful, but he’s forced to explain his sordid embezzling past and Peggy’s role in the nasty business. Naturally Rayna doesn’t appreciate being kept in the dark … or the fact that her husband is a crook. Teddy cuts off any contact with poor pathetic Peggy to try to save his public image. She becomes so desperate that she tries to kill herself.

Does anybody actually care about Teddy’s plotline? Even when Rayna is directly involved it just doesn’t hold my interest. I’m not invested in Teddy’s political career and I’m having trouble caring about the future of his marriage to Rayna.

Scarlett FINALLY kicks Avery to the curb after he considers sleeping with a hot cougar music manager to get her to sign his band. He thinks he should get credit for not actually doing it. Scarlett and I both disagree! She packs her bags and moves in with Uncle Deacon.

I was surprised that Gunnar didn’t throw himself at the mercy of Scarlett’s pouty lips the second he heard she was single. But he settles for becoming creepily possessive of her. Oh right – and he still has that girlfriend that he pays exactly zero attention to. Maybe that’s why I keep forgetting she exists. It doesn’t matter anyway, because she’s smart enough to dump his ass when he asks her to stop blocking his view so he can stare longingly at Scarlett. Well not really, but he may as well have.

Being dumped was apparently just the kick in the pants Gunnar needed because he marches right up to Scarlett and wraps her up in a passionate kiss. She seems to enjoy herself, but when their lips part he doesn’t get the reaction he was looking for. She’s angry at him for complicating things and ruining their friendship. Poor girl is so accustomed to dating douche-bags that she can’t recognize her soul mate when he’s trying to stick his tongue in her mouth.


Scarlett and Gunnar find out that one of their songs has been optioned … but things are a little awkward after their lip-to-lip encounter. She hurts his feelings by pointing out their writing deals were technically separate from each other. They can write together if they want, but they’re not obligated to … and she’d prefer they stay apart right now. She won’t even join him on stage at the Bluebird when he performs a heartfelt ballad they wrote together. I can’t imagine they’ll stay apart for long. With their first taste of success as a writing team, they’ll find their way back to each other.

Deacon gets offered a sweet gig playing guitar with the Revel Kings, a big-deal band full of recovering addicts. Not only is it a great musical opportunity, it’s the perfect environment for a sober guy struggling through dangerous depression in the wake of a huge life change. The fact that he actually has to think about it makes me want to throttle him. What is he waiting for? He’s already spent years pining away for Rayna; putting her happiness before his own. And now she’s cut him loose and he’s still hesitant to leave Nashville?! Thankfully he eventually accepts the job, breaking his pattern of self-sabotage.

Avery is … wait huh? He’s still in this show? I was hoping that once he finally stopped torturing Scarlett he would disappear. But now it appears that I’m supposed to care about his band. Unlikely. Avery waited a respectable two seconds after Scarlett stormed out of their house to jump in bed with the cougar manager. Now he’s being courted by an Atlanta record producer who wants to make him a big star. But the catch is that he has to ditch his high school band buddies and go solo. Given how quickly he compromised his relationship with Scarlett for fame, I’d be surprised if he puts up much of a fight. But then again, it is bros before hos so …

Rayna is pouring all of her passion back into her music. She’s written some killer tracks and needs someone who can bring them to life. But she rejects the traditional country producers. She wants to create a signature sound unlike anything else on the market. She seeks out an edgy rock producer, Liam McGuiness, who initially scoffs at her ‘mini-van’ music and slams the door in her face (he has total indie cred so naturally it was a worn out back alley door). But Rayna brings Liam around with sheer will and passion for her craft. He’s impressed with the raw emotion she releases when she surrenders to the music. And he helps her get back in touch with her roots. I like him. And I like that he wants to rough Rayna up (figuratively, not literally). It will be interesting to see if that puts her at odds with her family lifestyle.

Juliette still finds herself on the outs with her record label and is furious when she learns that she’s not invited to perform a solo set at their big anniversary show. They do offer her a duet spot to close the show, but she has to agree to perform with Rayna. Marshall Evans feels that the legit country audience will embrace Juliette if they see Rayna welcoming her into the fold. And Rayna would definitely connect with a younger audience through Juliette. Marshall sees it as a win-win, but Juliette doesn’t agree. She’s the label’s top earner and she doesn’t understand why she’s still being asked to pay her dues. But she doesn’t want to be shut out of the event entirely so she’s forced to accept the label’s terms.

Rayna is also less than thrilled but Liam convinces her that sometimes it makes sense to play the game; give in on the small demands to secure the things she really wants. Rayna agrees to perform with Juliette if Marshall will stop pestering her about a greatest hits collection.

So with both ladies on board, there’s just the teeny tiny little matter of which song to sing. Neither of them will agree to perform the other’s material and they can’t decide on a classic hit that fit the occasion. They bicker back and forth until the jabs get personal and Juliette storms out of the session. And I have to say that I’m Team Juliette in this instance. Yes, Juliette is bitchy and snide, but Rayna dismisses Juliette as useless fluff. In some ways she’s earned it with her bubblegum country music, but even when she’s trying to contribute Rayna cuts her down. Clearly that is where Juliette is vulnerable. She’s compromised her musicality to become a superstar but she’s angry at herself for doing it and she’s angry at people like Rayna for judging her for it. I was so happy to see Deacon stand up for Juliette and tear into Rayna for her behaviour. He gave her a copy of “Undermine” and dared her to listen to it and tell him that Juliette truly has nothing to offer.

Rayna extends an olive branch and suggests she and Juliette write a new song to perform since the can’t agree on anything else. They pull an all-nighter and pen a track that brings down the house at the anniversary party. The online download is so successful that Marshall wants to record a studio version. He also re-introduces the idea of a co-headlining tour. But this time the deal would be that Rayna and Juliette switch off opening/closing spots.

It’s a FANTASTIC idea. Not only would it bring our heroines closer together (which is clearly where they need to be) but it would allow for some killer tour footage. I was frustrated that plot devices were keeping Rayna and Juliette off the road and stuck in Nashville, but hopefully this will widen the universe of the show.

Photo Courtesy of ABC 

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