One week before the winter finale (you’re killin’ me ABC) and Nashville gives us another filler episode. Oh, it was still entertaining and the songs were as excellent as ever, but at the end of the day we are right back to where we started in the pilot; Rayna and Juliette are being forced to work together. True, this time they actually do work together (and it’s magical), but it has only served to set up the same conflict that has been set up from day one.
When first our lovely lovesick tale begins, Juliette’s image is still in toilet and Rayna’s label still doesn’t stand behind her “new sound”. But the 25th anniversary concert coming up for their mutual record label could the saving grace for them both. Once again the label suggests that each singer’s solution lies in the other; Rayna’s all-American image will help clean up Juliette’s tainted one and Juliette’s rabid fan base will give Rayna higher sales. (Oh, and also, combining they’re two biggest stars will bring in major money for the label, but that’s totally not why they’re pushing it so hard at all.)
But the ladies are each at such desperate places that they agree to the duet. Of course given they’re history the collaborating process doesn’t go very smoothly (it doesn’t help that Deacon is literally sitting between them). But, after a particularly harsh blow, Rayna shows up at Juliette’s house with and unsaid apology and a (somewhat) willing idea to write a song together. The process is still a little wrought, but they work failrly well together when left alone and the resulting song (“Wrong Song”) has insta-hit written all over it. You can just see the dollar signs in the record exec’s eyes. This song is gonna be big, the tour is gonna be big, and the drama is gonna be big. Too bad we have to wait until after the holidays to see any of that.
Elsewhere in the music city, the mayoral race is heating up and Colman proved that Big Daddy Lamar isn’t the only who can play dirty. He did, however, allow his former friend one concession and gave Teddy the chance to back out of the race before he released the pictures. It spooked Teddy, but Lamar saw no problem in the public embarrassment the scandal would cause his daughter in the midst of her comeback and basically told Coleman to bring it. If he wants to play the affair card than Campaign Teddy will play the felony drug procession card. It seems an unfair hand until you remember that neither allegation is true. But finally, the question that has plagued politicians for decades will be answered; which matters more to voters, being an addict or an adulterer?
In other not-new-news, Avery is still a sleaze, Scarlett still doesn’t realize it and Gunnar is still in love with Scarlett. In fact, so in love with her that after his actual girlfriend put a lot of effort into mending Scarlett’s broken heart and actually succeeds in showing the girl a good time, Gunner finds it necessary to rough up the guy helping her get over Avery. Right in front of his (again, actual) girlfriend. Real smooth. This of course sends Scarlett running back to the arms of Avery. Unfortunately those arms are already occupied by a territorial cougar. I’ve lost count but I think this is somewhere around the 467th sign Scarlett has gotten that Avery is bad news. Hey, at least she has plenty to write about.
– Devin Mainville