Nashville Recap: Time to Change Your Tune

CHARLES ESTEN, CONNIE BRITTONIn this week’s episode of NashvilleDeacon finally takes the action he’s wanted to for the past decade since the pilot. But then Teddy unknowingly does him one better (worse?), effectively yanking hard on the already fraying fabric of the Jaymes-Conrad union. (We should be upset, but that rag didn’t look great on either of them.)

Elsewhere, Juliette has a rare burst of maturity and Gunnar platonically — yeah, OK — moves in with Scarlett. Let’s take a look at what went on in “I’ve Been Down That Road Before.”

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GROWING PAINS | The Red Lips White Lies tour arrives for its sold-out Chicago dates, which double as Deacon’s first shows as Juliette’s bandleader. He’s stymied by the large number of musicians, dancers, stylists and general hangers-on trailing after the young blonde. “Takes a lot of people to make a good show,” she quips. “Really? Johnny Cash only needed three,” he replies, giving her Something to Think About. (The works-on-two-levels-observation is a tool used repeatedly throughout the hour, so settle in.) Though I find it hard to imagine that a seasoned performer like him would be surprised by a huge production set-up, Deacon does have a point: Rayna alone is enough to fill her set that evening, while Juliette’s – which opens with the boppy new tune “I’m a Girl” — is a choreography-stuffed spectacle. But isn’t there room for both sunny silliness and songs of substance in a performer’s career?  In the dressing room later, Juliette angrily scrubs at her arm. “Why do we keep putting all these sparkles on if we can’t get them off after every show?” she grouses. (Side note: If you substitute “I” for “we” and “drunken Saturday night” for “show,” Juliette’s rant is a spot-on impression of me in college, circa the late-’90s-Xtina-and-Britney-are-doing-it-so-why-can’t-I glitter craze.)

Ju’s starting to think that she’d like to perform songs that go a little deeper than “Boys and Buses,” but Glenn warns that her fans may not take kindly to such a shift. “Am I never supposed to change? Ever?” she wonders. The subject comes up again when Juliette and Deacon are writing in her room – she loves their new jam, a pretty, meditative ballad called “Consider Me,” but laments that her label will hate it for being off-brand. Deacon obliquely evokes Master Yoda (Disney/Star Wars synergy!) when he says, “There’s thinkin’ about doin’ something, and then there’s just doin’ it.” So she surprises everyone that night by kicking off her set by performing “Consider Me” in jeans and a button-down shirt with Deacon (and eventually the rest of the band) as back-up. Glenn is apoplectic; Rayna’s confused. Calm down, everyone; have none of them ever attended a concert before? Artists often try out new stuff on tour. The people who want to listen stay in their seats; those who don’t just use the time to buy overpriced tee shirts and refill their beers. Everybody wins!

Despite a critic’s hateful tweets during the song, a YouTube video of the moment is a hit, so Juliette wants to retool her album to include the grittier cuts. Glenn blames Deacon and calls him a hypocrite for the “do or do not” shtick: “All I’ve ever seen you do is think,” he goads. Though Glenn comes across as putting his paycheck ahead of Juliette’s best interests, I can’t be mad at him, because his needling of our ruminating guitarist leads to…

LONG TIME COMIN’ | … Deacon squeezing his way into Rayna’s elevator and kissing her silly. (Watch the moment here.) When she starts to verbally process what’s going on, he wants none of it. “Rayna,” he says, with Charles Esten managing to convey a lifetime of longing and frustration and love and enough already! into her name alone, “I’m done talkin’.” That seems to appease her, and she gives as good as she gets until the door opens on his floor and he exits without another word, Nick Miller-style. That was yee-hawt, y’all.

As we all fan ourselves off, a brief review of what got those two to this point: Deacon’s treatment of Rayna on tour ranges from merely polite chit-chat to passive-aggressive ignoring. Meanwhile, she’s dealing with Teddy, who’s pissed that his wife’s true love is back in her daily life, and Marshall at the record company, who has agreed to give her her own label if she’ll help him find a few up-and-comers. On the latter tip, she meets with Watty, who tells her to snap up Scarlett and Gunnar before someone else does. (Took ya long enough to get back to that plot point, which started in the pilot, Nashville.)

Back in Tennessee, Teddy and Peggy run into each other on the street. He learns she’s left her husband and is living on her own and – oh, would you look at that? They’re in bed. The Mayor Elect is so consumed with guilt that he flies to Chicago and arrives at Rayna’s penthouse door just as she’s expecting Deacon, whom she’s summoned via text. Deacon sees Teddy (but not vice-versa) and wisely backs away. Once inside her room, Teddy says he’s tired of waiting for his wife to fall in love with him. “I want a divorce,” he proclaims.

TWO’S COMPANY | Scarlett’s broke and late with the rent, and when her share of a bar gig only brings in $24, it looks like it’s eviction time. Gunnar, meanwhile, suddenly has obnoxious idiot roommates who keep him up late and engage in adolescent pranks like giving him a Sharpie tattoo of a turtle on his rib. (Side note: A turtle? Are his roommies My Little Pony and Hello Kitty?) All of this, of course, leads to Scarlett proposing he move in with her, acknowledging that there’ll be “rules” like, “Don’t walk around the kitchen nekkid and I wont play the banjo in the shower.” Hey, there’s your new song title, kids! Gunnar agrees to the living arrangement.

Meanwhile, Avery, who’s mad that Scarlett doesn’t think he’s a big deal, grudgingly refunds her the rent money she lent him months earlier and is surprised to find Gunny at the house. Avery says he still wants to be Scarlett’s friend; I’ll refer you to her raised eyebrow for the likelihood of that happening. “Just remember who had her first,” Avery sneers at Gunnar, then gets in one punch before Gunnar goes to town on the “alt-country” hopeful and his stupid soul patch. Later, Gunnar hints at his juvenile-delinquent past as Scarlett patches him up; she seems unfazed.  At the same time, Avery packs his bags and leaves Marilyn’s place.

Now it’s your turn. Who wants to bet that Juliette’s next (bubblegum-free) album is going to be on Rayna’s new label? Is Rayna and Teddy’s marriage actually done? And let’s hear your thoughts on the kiss! Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Mick says:

    That kiss was wowza. The show is at its best when all the characters are interacting. I figured out for me why the show was off during the middle batch of episodes. It was because the pacing was slightly off. But the plot progression in this episode was great. I know this show is about country but when I think of Juliet’s plight I think of Brandy doing a brilliant experimental R&B album in Afrodisiac and it flopping compared to her previous work. Juliet needs a mentor. You should have three people in your life: a mentor who I think is going to be Rayna, an advisor (Deacon), and a confidant.

    • Very astute comment all the way around, Mick!

      Yes, that kiss was wowza, and then some! I just hope they don’t rush Rayna and Deacon.

      As for Juliette’s experimental song, Kimberly Roots is right, artists do that sort of thing all the time. It’s kind of like an up-scaled version of an ad agency focus group. I have always loved getting a sneak peek at my favorite star/groups upcoming work, and I’m sure Juliette’s fans would too.

    • Kelzbot says:

      When watching shows, so many people will “ship” couples…. putting together who they think should be dating/close. I friend”ship” Juliette and Rayna. So many hints towards it, if they would both just put their guards down, I think that friendship/mentoring relationship would be pretty great to watch. Them against the world, kind of. They are in similar situations.

  2. Kate says:

    PLEASE make Avery go away!! I SO do not care about him, or the cougar he’s sleeping with. Write a different character to come between Scarlett and Gunnar if need be.. Just PLEASE stop showing Avery!!
    End rant. ha
    Other than wasted story time on Avery, the episode was great as usual!

  3. Gillian says:

    Show is definitely picking up steam. Glad about the Teddy and Rayna split. The idea of Rayna’s label sounds great. So many possibile storylines. What do you bet she signs Liam? Was that Liam I saw in the preview for the next episode? I want a love triangle between Liam, Rayna and Deacon!

  4. Man oh man ever since Nashville return from the winter break its been the show I wanted to see and I am getting hook to it each episode.

    I hope this means Teddy will be gone, he was a bore, now I just need Avery off the show as well.

  5. Juan says:

    Great episode, it’s best this season, I agree with people that ever since it got back the show has been awesome

  6. Coryrox says:

    I really think the show found its’ footing with this episode. Would love see Gunnar and Scarlett get signed. Thought Juliette’s new song was awesome. Keep it up Nashville!

  7. Ana says:

    This show just keeps getting better and better. Between Nashville and Scandal the 10:00pm hour is becoming the best on tv. I’m so glad that Teddy cheated first. And asking for a divorce was the icing on the cake. Finally Deacon has a shot! Woo hoo! Although I’m sure it won’t be drama free. I love that Juliette is committed to transcending the artificial image that has been created of her. Can’t wait to see her take charge of her career. And finally, FINALLY, Scarlett and Gunther are going to get their chance. I kept wondering how long it would take. I am so loving this show. Only character I couldn’t care less about is Avery.

  8. vtlynn says:

    That kiss!!!! Love this show!

  9. breezym91 says:

    I like Avery, I think that Juliette was a lot like him back in the day, doin anything to reach his dream

    • Rain says:

      Finally, a fellow Avery liker! I find his story interesting. I think it’ll be better when they move past his story intersecting with Scarlett’s.

  10. Diane says:

    Oh, that kiss. Now that’s a man! And was that Ju & Liam making out in the previews?

  11. GeoDiva says:

    The look on Deacon’s face when Juliette’s male dancers were performing right in front of him was priceless. Had me laughing out loud!

  12. Lauren says:

    Juliette is totally (eventually) going to end up on Rayna’s label. I just hope it doesn’t take as long as it did for them to figure out to co-headline a tour. I just hope she doesn’t fire her manager over it; I do like him.

  13. Mary says:

    This show has really picked up since the first season. I am so glad I kept watching. I am rooting for Rayna and Deacon, but I can’t wait till he finds out he has a daughter, that might throw a wrench into it all. The preview hinted that Rayna will have a nervouse breakdown, and I am sure Deacon will be by her side. The only thing is I wish it was on a little earlier, I have to get up for work and it is killing me to stay awake. DVR is not an option because I can’t wait to see it.

  14. mandy says:

    I know everyone hates Avery. Not a huge fan of him either but come on every show needs the guy that is bad for a while. He will be a complete jerk for a while then lose everything and find a good woman to change his evil ways…

  15. PFitzDC says:

    Best episode since the pilot. And not just cuz of the kiss. The whole thing had better energy and really crackling dialogue. Plus more music, which always equals a better show. The show still suffers from some amateurish transitions. (“Marshall’s going to let me have my own label”–huh? what? where did that come from? Why didn’t we get to see those discussions and negotiations? Clearly this is the way that they integrate Scarlett’s story into Juliette’s and Rayna’s, but it was so clumsily done….and so many opportunities missed. Is it because the actor playing Marshall isn’t all that good, or because they didn’t want to pay him for the requisite scenes?) But let’s go back to focus on the good! Hoping to see the show keep the momentum now!

    • Rain says:

      Her own label was part of the negotiation she had last episode where she decided not to sign with a new company.

      • PFitzDC says:

        Yes–that’s obviously where it came from, BUT I’m pretty sure the parlay back and forth wasn’t actually shown as a negotiation. We saw her want to stay with Edgehill and then be furious when she found out Liam was a silent partner with the competitor, but didn’t actually see her use the offer and come up with this particular idea as leverage with Marhsall.

  16. Jen says:

    That kiss was smoking hot!! Been waiting for that to happen since the first episode and it didn’t disappoint. I love Deacon! So glad that Teddy cheated first and that they’re getting divorced finally. I also love Scarlett and Gunnar living together. Avery is really the only character I can do without. Ever since the show finally brought Rayna and Juliette’s stories together with the tour it has been on fire! Now it looks like with Rayna signing Scarlett and Gunnar all of the stories will finally be intertwined. It took them awhile to get there but I’m so glad it’s happened. This has become the show I most look forward to watching every week!!

  17. Rain says:

    I actually really like Avery’s character. I think he’s been struggling to make it for a long time and right now he’s not feeling good about the choices he’s had to make. I’m hoping him moving out of his manager’s place is the start to something good.

    As for the kiss, please don’t compare it to the Nick/Jess kiss. While it was good because we’ve been waiting since the pilot, it was no where near as amazing as Nick Miller’s moves! I don’t think a tv kiss will ever rate as sexy as that one!

    Personally I love watching Juliette perform and I’m completely bored to tears when they show Rayna. I was surpised when everyone on the show acted like an artist sitting down to perform something new during her show was strange. I think you can do a show with both the slow beautiful songs along with the glitter choreography. I saw Pink sit with 2 guitars in the middle of the stage singing something really touching preceeded by acrobatics up in the sky and it all worked great together.

    I’d love the season to end with a divorce and Teddy riding off into the sunset with Peggy never to be seen again!

  18. Josh says:

    Show’s been on fire lately! I really feel like they’re bringing this season to close, while also bringing the series to a close..just in case ratings wise…It’s like everything is going into place. There is no lack of momentum here and if we just get only one season, while I’ll be upset, I’d feel like we’d at least have a whole story.

  19. Amy says:

    Great episode. Of course loved the Rayna/Deacon kiss — finally. I was so afraid the stalemate was going to drag on through the end of the season. This is a game changer. And ditto other’s comments — I’m sick of Avery. Rayna’s father is enough bad guy material for one show. And glad to see Watty again!

  20. Rebecca says:

    Finally a divorce!!!!

  21. Coryrox says:

    Totally nerdy of me, but did anyone else notice Will from last seasons SYTYCD in the episode? He was one of Juliette’s dancers…yay for him!

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