This is the way to come back from a hiatus.
When last we left the Nashville universe, Rayna and Juliette’s duet was an instant hit and a tour was being heavily hinted, Juliette was staging an elaborate proposal, Deacon was agreeing to a lifetime of rock star fame, Scarlett and Gunnar were denying their love, and Teddy was in the dog house. And now, seemingly the next day in Nashville time, the tour is being planned, Juliette is a married woman, Deacon is playing to sold out stadiums, Scarlett and Gunnar can’t write and Teddy is… well, still in the dog house.
I really thought the Juliette/Sean wedding would be drawn out over the course of this second half of the season, but thirty seconds in they announced they’d already done it. Oh and they also got married. Juliette was certainly putting on a happy face, but one measly (hardly) diamond wasn’t enough to ingratiate herself with Mrs. Butler. When Juliette was later forced to meet with her mother, her mother saw through the fake happiness (its amazing the clarity that comes with sobriety) and immediately recognized a kindred, wounded sprit desperately looking for an easy fix. Of course Juliette shut down at the mere suggestion she had anything in common with her mother, but perhaps mama’s words sunk it just a little because when the time came to walk down the aisle (for show), Juliette didn’t. Instead she boarded a plane to get on with her tour.
But Juliette isn’t the only one using the tour as an escape. Faced with Teddy’s lies and her father’s controlling hand Rayna decided it was the perfect excuse to get out of Nashville and away from her problems too. She informed Teddy that she was taking the girls with her because she didn’t trust her father. Understandable given that when Big Daddy Lamar got wind of his daughter’s plans he paid a friendly visit to casually threaten his daughter into compliance. The dirt on the table? The parentage of eldest Conrad daughter, Maddie. Thus, we were given the most moving moment of the night, if not the season so far: Teddy has always known who Maddie’s biological father is, but that doesn’t stop her from being his daughter. His fierce loyalty to his family and finally standing up to Lamar brought tears to my eyes. And I wasn’t the only one because Ranya soon recanted her previous ultimatum and allowed the girls to stay with Teddy while she tours. Unfortunately, the tour has changed from an escape to a cover for a separation. Maybe its because Deacon is off having affairs and heading for a relapse, but I’m suddenly pulling for Teddy and Rayna to work it out.
Far away from the tour stage is Scarlett, who was having some difficulty writing with Gunnar because writing a soul baring song is hard when you’re so busy denying your feelings. Scarlett has a slight relapse to her naïve ways when Avery came over to pick up his things and she sleeps with him, but even the post coital haze can’t disguise what a sleaze he is (casually mentioning how he screwed over his best friends), and she regains her independent woman footing by performing with Avery’s former band, giving a way better performance of his song, and then writing yet another amazing song of her own about what a sleaze he is. Really, she should stay with Avery at least until her album comes out. A stable, healthy relationship with Gunnar would not be good inspiration.
– Devin Mainville