Kristina Carroll ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
This week’s episode of Nashville provided us with the drama, the suspense, and the conflict that has been drawing us into the show since its pilot. The only difference now is that things have gotten even more intense. When we last left off, Juliette’s (Hayden Panettiere) drug addict mother has shown up out of the blue, Rayna (Connie Britton) is conflicted with her desire to leave her troubled relationship with husband Teddy (Eric Close) for an old flame Deacon (Charles Esten), and Deacon’s niece Scarlett (Clare Bowen) is risking her relationship with Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) to launch her own career with singing partner Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio).
In the first ten seconds of this episode, we are already exposed to a shocking scene-Rayna in bed with Deacon. It seems like she got over her guilt from last week’s episode that caused her to run out of the passenger seat of Deacon’s car and into the arms of her husband Teddy. Or did she…? Almost immediately, the scene changes to Rayna sitting up panicked in bed, waking up from what was apparently just a dream.
Juliette’s mother’s surprise arrival at her home is definitely taking a toll on her mental and emotional health. We see Juliette walk into a drugstore and slip a bottle of nail polish into her purse…and we are not the only ones. A group of teenagers also witness the crime, and manage to film the entire thing going on. Obviously, the video goes viral in minutes, and Juliette gets even more unwanted attention. Her manager Glenn is enraged, and tells her that not only has she become the laughing stock of Nashville, but has also reached the same level as Lindsay Lohan, being featured on the cover of every tabloid, and being featured as the opening skit on SNL. Glenn tells Juliette that the only way she can avoid the worst (which is being dropped by her record label), she needs to do an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Although she refuses at first, she eventually realizes that she has no other choice.
When the day of the interview arrives, it seems like everything is going as planned. Juliette has calmed down, and knows exactly what she needs to do in order to regain respect from the public–tell the truth. When she begins talking to the screen that Robin Robert’s is communicating with her through, she is asked one simple question, “Why did you steal the nail polish?” She knew she was going to be asked this, and so she was not caught off guard at all. So when we hear her response, to say that it is a shocker is an understatement. She basically tells Robin that she did not want the nail polish to slip through the holes of the shopping basket, so she put in in her bag, but then forgot about it and walked out of the store. Then she proceeded to tell her that people are out to get her, and are just looking for ways to get her in trouble. Everybody, including Robin, knows that her statement is false, and when Robin tries to bring the subject of Juliette’s mother into the discussion, Juliette stands up in the middle of the interview, tears off her mic, and storms off.
Things begin to spiral downward for Juliette after the interview. Not only have her sponsors begun to drop her (meaning that she needs to cancel her tour), but Glenn, the only person who is still supporting her, is threatening to quit. However, she convinces him to stay when she confesses to him that as a child, she used shoplifting as a remedy for her terrible relationship with her mother. Because her mother is now back in the picture, going back to her past “habits” has become inevitable. We see how this has affected Juliette when she flips out at her mother in her home, and rips her mother’s purse out of her hands, dumping out the contents in a desperate attempt to find her stash of drugs. When she finds nothing but a picture of her childhood self and her mother, she collapses to the ground in tears. We ca not help but feel bad for Juliette now, despite all of the terrible things that she has been doing to the other characters in the show.
Things do not go too smoothly with Scarlett in this episode, either. We find out that she and Gunnar have landed the publishing deal and while they are ecstatic, her boyfriend Avery is not really feeling the excitement. He keeps quiet for most of the episode, though, and only gives off a hint of contempt through the facial expressions that he makes. When Scarlett and Gunnar go to their new publishing house, they meet an assistant that works there named Hayley, and it is clear from the start that she likes Gunnar. However, it seems like Gunnar is a little hesitant about feeling the same way. Could it be that he has feelings for Scarlett? I guess we will have to wait and see…
Anyway, Hayley asks Gunnar, Scarlett, and Avery out to dinner, on what inevitably turns into a double date type of thing. In conversation, Scarlett subconsciously begins talking about Avery’s musical career. Embarrassed that he is not half as successful as Scarlett and Gunnar, he tells Scarlett to stop. At the end of the night, Scarlett and Avery get into a fight, and Avery tells her to drive home alone, while he walks. On the other hand, Hayley and Gunnar have really hit it off, and they end up sleeping with each other that night. The next morning, they both agree that they can remain friends, and that a relationship is not necessary. But something tells me that that’s subject to change within the next few episodes.
As for Rayna and Deacon, they both agree to help Teddy’s failing campaign by performing at a country club. While there, Rayna encounters Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), a person from her past. Rayna does not seem too happy about seeing Peggy there, and we get the sense that she once had some type of relationship with Teddy. After the performance, all hell breaks loose, as Deacon gets into a fight with both Rayna’s husband and her father. Then, Rayna and Deacon get into an argument themselves, mainly over the relationship that they once had. Teddy is aware of the fact that there is something going on with Rayna and Deacon, and when he confronts her about it, she agrees to fire him.
We soon find out that Peggy and Teddy did in fact have something together, or should i say, still do. However, we are not sure yet whether their relationship is one based on love, or one that has something to do with the secret political affairs that Teddy was involved in.
My biggest complaint about this episode is that there was very little music compared to previous episodes. Although the amount of drama and shocking events that occurred makes up for it in a way, it still would have been nice to have at least one memorable song in the episode. Other than that, though, this was definitely a great episode.