Nashville – Recap and Review – You Win Again

photo: abc

photo: abc

You Win Again

Original Air Date: Jan 23, 2013

Kelly — TwoCents Reviewer

One of Nashville’s greatest strengths is that it grasps the full spectrum of the music scene, from garage bands to newfound stars to living legends. What’s more, the show never begrudges any stage of that journey: the Bluebird Café can be just as fulfilling as a sellout arena, but pop stardom doesn’t necessarily mean selling out, either. Everyone has his or her own goal. The one great equalizer in this town? Ambition.

In some cases, ambition makes you a traitor. That’s certainly what it’s done to Avery Barkley, who symbolically dropped “The” and “Band” from his title this week. He’s flying solo and loving the perks—Convertibles! Getting shut down by Juliette Barnes! Hearing his voice on the radio!—but might it get lonely on top? The people formerly known as “The” and “Band” certainly hope so. When Scarlett shows up at Avery’s concert (looking deliciously stone-faced and unimpressed in a sea of bopping fans), JT finds her with an idea: she and Gunnar should replace Avery. They can sing what they’ve written instead of selling it, and the good guys win.

Gunnar takes a little convincing. Songwriting just hasn’t been the same since his brother stole his guitar and ran afoul of the law. He’s got a lot of “serious” stuff going on. Scarlett wants to be there for him, but Gunnar doesn’t think she’d understand, because apparently Scarlett’s life is all roses and sunshine. It’s not like she got pinned to the wall by a creep last week or anything. Do these two tell each other anything? I want to root for them as a couple, but they need to talk. At least Scarlett is getting sassier. That’s a start.

After the return of his traveling guitar, Gunnar wises up and joins the band. Somewhere Avery is fuming, and that somewhere is twenty feet away, creeping in his convertible. They sound good together—and with all those fun party lights on the porch in the southern night air, I’d join that band! Then again, the real magic of Scarlett and Gunnar is in their duets. They live for those quiet acoustic moments. Do we want them to have a band? I’m torn. This is the same decision Rayna and Deacon had to make, back in the day: do they stick with the intimate venues or try to make it big? Musical integrity is tough!

Deacon should know. He’s been silent about his split with the Revel Kings, to protect Scarlett, so the Revel Kings tell a journalist that he fell off the wagon. He didn’t, thank goodness, but he’s never been closer. Without a band, Deacon is suddenly directionless, giving him time to reflect on just how often Rayna James pushes him away. He got sober for her, and she returned the favor by moving on.

But why is that just upsetting him now? Besides, when four rehabs in a row don’t stick, that could push any relationship to the breaking point. Rayna needed someone stable, and she found that in Teddy—and Teddy won’t let her forget it. She comes home for a party in honor of “Wrong Song,” the number one single in the country, and suddenly, putting on brave faces for the kids just won’t cut it anymore. He wants to win her back. That’s rich, coming from the man who was just nose to nose with Peggy. I want at least one of them to fight for this marriage—because I think it’s more interesting than watching them go through the motions for the kids alone—but I don’t think Teddy wants to win Rayna back because he loves her. I think he wants to win her away from other men, just to prove that he can.

That’s why he’s scared of Liam. “Wrong Song” has catapulted Rayna back to stardom, and Liam’s friend Calista from Countless Records is wooing her HARD. It’s actually ridiculous how much she goes out of her way to say everything Rayna wants to hear. Trouble is, Liam and Calista have a secret: if Rayna jumps labels, Liam gets a bonus. Another man has betrayed Rayna James, and since this one’s not married to her, he gets the boot. I was just starting to like Liam, and now he’s a villain? Does this mean we don’t get to see him flail around onstage like a sea star anymore? Not cool, writers. Stop turning interesting characters into caricatures and then writing them off.

Elsewhere in the Missing Men department: Sean Butler. Are he and Juliette really done? Because I think the Juliette Barnes we saw in this episode is exactly the kind of woman who could rock that marriage. Then again, Juliette was on fire tonight all by herself. She stood up for her songwriting abilities to reporters—who, for whatever reason, have forgotten that they used to love her. They’re back to loving Rayna now. Fickle business, this one. At least Jolene thinks her daughter is equal to Rayna. Her praise actually moves Juliette to tears.

It’s that rocky mother-daughter relationship that makes Juliette so strong with Deacon. She understands what he needs as a recovering alcoholic, and when Rayna can’t give that to him, Juliette will. The man just smashed his guitar because it was out of tune. He’s living on the edge. What he needs is not a messy romantic entanglement with Rayna. What he needs is to go on tour. With Juliette. Who is also coincidentally touring with Rayna. It’s love triangle time at last! Get ready for tension, backstabbing, insecurity, and general mayhem.

So what do y’all think about this new development? Juliette’s a different person with Deacon than she is with Rayna—she’s more real with him—so I’m interested to see those worlds collide. What sort of madness can we expect from the Red Lips White Lies tour? And what are your hopes for Scarlett and Gunnar?

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