Nashville: I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You)

“This is not how songs get written.” – Deacon

“Nah, this is what songs get written about.” – Juliette

It would be easy to write off Juliette and Deacon’s budding romance as nothing more than a young girl with daddy issues and an aging man who enjoys hot young blondes, but theres an underlying truth to the matter that keeps it from wandering into such cynical territory. Juliette has made it clear that she wants more than infamy with the tween set; she wants to be validated as a true talent. Deacon, who she grew up admiring and respecting, is her way to do that. If he can see her talent than this fame she has found herself in will feel a little less shallow. He, on the other hand, is career musician who has admiration within the community, but relative obscurity to anyone else. He has dedicated his life to furthering the career of the woman he loves at the expense of his own success. Juliette reminds him of the young Reyna, of their “song writing” sessions, and she represents a do over, a chance to live through the same experience, but perhaps with a better ending. Juliette is offering him success, but she is also offering him a chance of getting his own happy ending. Its understandably tempting.

But at the end of last night’s episode everyone became accuately aware of how little those mutual needs mean in the face of history. The history of Rayna and Deacon that was merely hinted at last week was delved into further thanks to the spin doctors of Campaign Teddy. She and Deacon did date, and tour, for eleven years. Somewhere in that time she also began seeing her now husband, but after Deacon was admittted to rehab (on Rayna’s dime) she severed ties and married Teddy. Side Note: Given what a fan Juliette is of Deacon, I wonder if she knows about his substance abuse problems. If not, her reaction could be intertesting given her history with her mother. End Side Note.

Rayna may have chosen Teddy, but she certainly was never able to let go of her first love. For the majority of the episode she had herself convinced that she and Deacon would be fine on tour together, singing the songs they wrote together in happier times. But an impromtu performance at The Blue Bird Cafe of “No One Will Ever Love You” shattered that delusion. As harsh as that sentiment sounds, the chorus clarifies that, “no one will ever love you/like I do”.

This is clearly one of the songs Rayna and Deacon wrote about themselves and it is also a clear example of why Rayna was worried about the tour. Perhaps by avoiding those songs Rayna was avoiding her lingering feelings for Deacon, but if just one performance brings it all rushing back, a tour really isn’t such a good idea. (Side Note: Deacon said he has never stopped performing the songs whitch inevitably means he has never denied himself his true feelings for Rayna, despite what his dalliance with Juliette may suggest. End Side Note.) A fact both Rayna and Deacon realized. “Nowwhat are we gonna do?” she asked, but he didn’t have an answer.

But the song was an epihany for more than just the lovelorn singers. Juliette, also in attendance at The Bluebird, had the realization that sometimes it takes more than just booty shorts and skinny dipping to win a man’s heart. Its a lesson that all young ladies eventually learn, but its still a sad day when you do. Of course this revelation isn’t likely to slow her down any, if anything I expect a ramping up of her already aggresive tactics.

On the opposite side of the spectrum from our disinigrating duo is the blossoming career of Scarlett and Gunnar. Watching them perfrom last week reminded Watty White of his orginal discovery of Ranya and Deacon(inspiring the impending tour and his interest in producing their demo. Love really is the strongest force on earth), so clearly we the audience are meant to believe that their realtionship mirrors the early days of Rancon (I mostly just created this couple name because I’m really tired of writing Rayna and Deacon. Perhaps thats how all couple names are created). Scarlett and Gunnar may not be a couple yet, but if Nashville has taught us anything in this short time, its that making sweet, sweet music is but one small slip away from making sweet, sweet love.

Of course there is one person who may disagree about love being all powerful; Big Daddy Lamar. Lamar is still hell bent on putting his son-in-law in the mayor’s seat, even if it means screwing over a longtime friend Coleman. Lamar made it clear his definition of loyalty includes always agreeing with him, and it seems he has found his perfect puppet in Teddy. Of course Teddy is hiding something, because this is teleivion and everyone is hiding something in television, but Lamar seems even more thrilled about that. The quest for love may make you do some crazy things, but the quest for power can make you outright crazy.

– Devin Mainville

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