When You’re Tired of Breaking Other Hearts
Original Air Date: Mar 27, 2013
Kelly — TwoCents Reviewer
Welcome back, Nashville fans! I’m not sure what I missed most during that long hiatus: the acoustic guitar, the relationship intrigue, or Deacon’s new puppy. The dog is a boy named Sue. Deacon wants you to catch that Johnny Cash reference, but he might still date you if you don’t. At least, that’s how it goes with his new vet, who’s a West Coast transplant with a hankering for sushi and absolutely no love for country music.
Did she know she was moving to Nashville when she got on that plane? In any case, he’s as charmed by her ignorance as she is by his face, so they sleep together.
Coleman Evans—new Deputy Mayor/ still Deacon’s AA sponsor—calls Deacon’s bed-hopping like it is: it’s an addiction. He’s still hooked on Rayna James, and he can’t get serious with anyone else because he’s saving himself for her. You pretty much just have to watch him watch her on TV to know that Coleman’s right. Deacon meets every word about Rayna’s divorce with a mix of hope and brokenness, even when all of those words are carefully measured and Katie Couric approved. Especially then. He knows the distance between a polished media sound bite and the mess of a real relationship.
And he ought to. Deacon finds himself back in Rayna’s real life courtesy of Juliette, who’s still roaming free without a manager. Juliette means well, really; she wants people to have fun. She wants them to have puppies and big concerts. She just doesn’t understand that puppies need proper care and concerts need proper security. Bored at the thought of an “intimate” venue, Juliette tweets an open invite to her concert. Bad idea. Things get out of hand, a shelving unit tumbles on the fans, and six people are injured—including Maddie, who’s supposed to be grounded. Deacon rushes to her aid and later tells Rayna that she’s like family. Truer words were never spoken.
Rayna’s in a tough spot now. She wants to scold Maddie, to remind her that rules are rules even when life is hard. But she also wants to comfort her daughter and show her that the divorce doesn’t change anything about her parents’ love for her. It’s pretty hard to do either of those things from outside the house. Teddy takes forever to let Rayna in; even in the wake of the accident, he still insists that he’s a capable parent, this is his week with the girls, and that’s how it’s going to stay. He comes around eventually, but really, should this even be an issue? Your daughter was just hit in the head, Teddy. I think that trumps your need for validation.
Because her life isn’t already busy enough, Rayna also has to hear a performance from Scarlett and Gunnar, to determine if they’re a good fit for her label. Unfortunately, Gunnar’s been moody, passive-aggressive, and completely unappealing since his brother died. He shuns Scarlett from the moment they wake up in bed together, telling her that their night of passion meant nothing to him, and he proceeds to ignore all of her calls, get incredibly drunk, and miss the performance. I’m not saying that I want this show to ignore the emotional burden he’s carrying, but does our good boy have act like such a jerk? Scarlett’s forced to carry the performance alone, wowing Rayna with a solo banjo number.
She isn’t pleased with her partner, but she also doesn’t want him to get himself killed, and he seems poised to do just that. Convinced that the police aren’t doing enough, Gunnar heads straight for the bar where his brother was killed—but don’t worry guys, it’s fine, he’s wearing his hoodie so he blends right in. KIDDING. This place is bad news. Fortunately, Scarlett sees the warning signs and calls on her uncle for backup, because Deacon helps people. It’s just what he does. He gives Gunnar a rousing speech about letting guilt destroy you; apparently, Deacon forced a friend to drive drunk, and it got him killed. And that’s what led to Deacon’s alcoholism, as well as to the loss of the only woman he ever loved (hint: I don’t think he’s talking about his vet).
In any case, Scarlett’s the one worth holding onto, not the guilt. Gunnar takes the advice, and he and Scarlett eventually make up. Then they make out, affirming that they never meant those nasty things they said. It’s strangely affecting, given all of those nasty things they said. Speaking of which, Rayna calls Juliette to ream her out for turning her concert into a mad house, and it is DELIGHTFUL. A whole season of pressure, sidelong glances, and rising tension is released in that one ranting phone call. Juliette hurts the people around her, whether she means to or not, and Rayna’s not going to take it anymore.
Juliette tries to deny responsibility, but she’s shaken by the events, to the extent that she eventually decides to pay the hospital bills for everyone affected. She might not always think things through, but she’s trying—which is how she finds herself inviting her mom, along with her mom’s addiction counselor, to join her on the tour. I think we can expect a lot more tearful family moments, y’all. Maybe they can even lend a hand to poor overworked assistant Emily.
Set against this backdrop of addictions and death and dangerous injuries, Avery’s problems seem even more mundane. He’s still mad that his producer has changed his sound, but the guy insists that he bought the right to make of this music what he will. Avery made his bed, and now he’s going around dramatically setting fire to his music, returning the keys to his car, and performing at open mic night at the Bluebird. They even mispronounce his name, which is perfect.
But wait, last minute twist! Scarlett’s concert for Rayna has landed her an offer for a solo deal! How will this affect her reconciliation with Gunnar? And who here would watch an entire TV series about Deacon awkwardly asking people on dates?