Nashville: We Live in Two Different Worlds

“We Live in Two Different Worlds” was a beautifully themed episode, as all three lovely ladies of Nashville struggled with identity crises – where they came from, who they thought they were, and who they actually are.

Rayna is trying hard to be a good little politician’s wife for Teddy, but it’s leaving a bad taste in her mouth. She offers to perform at his country club fundraiser, but practically breaks out in hives when she enters the venue. She bristles every time somebody reminds her that “these are your people”. She was raised in a world of privilege, but hates to be associated with it. She doesn’t want to be the rich girl whose ‘people’ are Nashville silver spoon socialites.

I think a large part Rayna’s discomfort with her high-class life is that she still wants to be the rebel country singer who spent her 20s in a passionate romance with Deacon. She still hasn’t cut those strings. Hell – she’s still dreaming of making love to him! Rayna’s two worlds collide when her manager convinces Deacon to play lead guitar at the fundraiser and he shows up late and ornery. Lamar baits Deacon, Deacon turns on Teddy, Teddy gets angry and it nearly comes to blows until Rayna shouts them all down. When Rayna takes the stage, Deacon spends the entire song smirking a hole right through Teddy, who fumes from the banquet floor.

Rayna can’t safely keep her two identities compartmentalized anymore. She has a tearful, heartbreaking confrontation with Deacon after the performance – which Connie Britton knocked so far out of the park it ended up on an entirely new field!

Deacon: “I thought you needed me.”

Rayna: “I do need you.”

Deacon: “I don’t even know what to do with that anymore.”

Whether she’s ready to let go or not, Rayna can’t hold on to Deacon anymore and she tells Teddy that she’s firing him.

While Rayna gets sucked back into a privileged past, Juliette is struggling with the opposite problem. She’s put a lot of effort into hiding her dirt-poor upbringing and sweeping her unsavoury relations under the rug. But now her druggie mother has invaded her home and her unfortunate shoplifting scandal is a YouTube sensation. Juliette tries to shrug off the backlash, but her manager and publicist urge her to take it seriously.

I love how Juliette retreats into petulant child mode when she’s threatened. She rolls her eyes, pouts her lips and ignores all the people buzzing around her. But it’s so obvious that she’s masking her fear, especially when her manager is warning her that the life she has – her career, her fancy home, her fans – can be ripped away as quickly as they were granted. He pokes at her sore spot by reminding her that she’s not Rayna James yet. She hasn’t earned respect or longevity.

Juliette reluctantly agrees to a Good Morning America interview but instead of appearing contrite and asking for forgiveness she denies her guilt and insists that people are just jealous of her. When the interviewer surprises her with a question about her mother’s drug arrest, she rips off her microphone and storms off. And that’s the last of Juliette’s bravado. Her manager and publicist are horrified, sponsors are pulling out of the tour and they have no choice but to cancel it. Juliette stands around looking helpless and shell-shocked, watching her dream slip away. She begs her manager not to dump her and promises to do anything he tells her. All he wants to know is WHY? What drives a rich, famous, gorgeous girl her to petty theft? Juliette confesses that it was something she did when she was a kid because it made her feel like she had the power to take care of herself “when nobody else would”. Awwwww – Juliette, you can totally have all my nail polish!

Hayden also kicked some dramatic ass in this episode, especially during a scene where Juliette accuses her mother of stealing and aggressively empties her bag onto the floor. She finds a worn photograph of herself as a baby, sleeping on her mother’s stomach, and breaks down in hysterical sobs. I think it’s even harder on Juliette when she catches glimpses of her mother’s love. At this point she almost needs her mother to be a selfish basket case because she can dismiss her outright and numb the pain with anger. But with her mother bouncing back and forth between attacking her and awkwardly trying to comfort her, Juliette is going crazy.

My sweet doe-eyed Scarlett is also struggling with her sense of self, and her jackass boyfriend is not helping! She’s completely over the moon when Gunnar tells her they got a writing deal. They get settled into their new digs, working with a producer named Jeannie. But almost immediately, Avery’s bruised ego starts beating poor Scarlett down. She invites him out for drinks with her new co-workers and enthusiastically praises him as a talented songwriter and bandleader, and he repays her love and devotion by snapping at her in front of her friends and chastising her for trying to help him.

Scarlett is such a genuine person – who despite being diabetically sweet – is impossible to dislike. I don’t know how Avery can stare at her quivering face and continue to treat her like crap. But he sure does. He’s actually angry with her because she ‘dares’ to speak with reverence and enthusiasm about songwriting when he’s been toiling away for years. UGH! The poor girl takes all this emotional abuse from Avery and wonders if SHE’s a bad girlfriend for outshining him. She’s spent so long fading into the background that she’s consumed with guilt when she’s the star. Thank God for Uncle Deacon who forces Scarlett to appreciate her own gifts: “Avery’s either gonna keep up or he’s gonna get left behind. That’s it.”

What’s really sick is that when Scarlett works up the courage to tell Avery that he needs to support her – the way she has always selflessly supported him – he sighs and tells her he’s ‘trying’. You’re TRYING??? You ultimate ASS! Supporting someone you claim to love should be natural and effortless, especially when that person is as generous as Scarlett. Let’s hope this douchebag DOESN’T keep up and is left in Scarlett’s dust.

This was definitely my favourite episode of Nashville since the pilot and it really showcased how strong the ensemble cast is. All three leading ladies shone in strong, compelling storylines!

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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