Episode 13: There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
By: Carlos Uribe
Nashville is a series about the country music scene and the political scene of Nashville. I will no longer be covering this show on a weekly basis.
A divorce is a monumental part of a person's life. It signifies the end of a part of your life. Rayna has just found out that Teddy wants a divorce. Their marriage has basically been dead for a while now and the night he spent with Peggy had made him realize he wasn't happy. Rayna is on board because she has shared in his unhappiness. That doesn't mean that it makes it easy for her to accept it's happening. She's not only worried about how her daughters are taking it but she's also mourning the loss of this relationship. Their marriage might have been in trouble but she still loved him. One of the best scenes in the pilot is where Rayna is in the bathroom. She's putting on makeup to prepare to sleep with Liam but then she looks at herself in her mirror. Liam might have been trying to get her to take a vacation from her life but she couldn't. She starts to break down. The two don't sleep together but they do spend the night having deep conversations on the bathroom floor. Their friendship might be making Deacon jealous but Liam was exactly the person that Rayna needed at the time. The two are able to tell their daughters at the end. It was a lot of great personal drama that allowed Connie Britton to showcase her amazing talent. It's a plot that's being handled rather well and it's made compelling due to the actress and strong writing. What is interesting is that Rayna's arc this whole season has never really been about her career. Her job might be important but it's always been in the background. Her whole arc has been about her deteriorating marriage. Teddy's mayoral race is now more justifiable as a plot because it helped to make them notice the rift that had formed between them.
Change can be scary. Juliette is trying to change her brand from being all shallow into something with substance. Her main obstacle is her manager, who doesn't believe this is a good career move. Glenn is worried that her fans will start to leave her if she changes her music. This is a very real fear and Juliette is taking a huge risk but she's not going to let that stop her. The two are not on the same page and this leads to confusing messages to the staff. Juliette wants them to make the proper changes to add in a new song to the tour while Glenn wants to try and stifle the change as much as possible. His efforts aren't met with a standing ovation but a furious Juliette. When she chews him out in public, he quits. It's easy to understand to side with Juliette because she's trying to be true to who she is but Glenn does have a point that she's risking her whole career. At the same time, he has a financial investment into her. If she's successful then he makes a lot of money. If she flops then he loses out. He might claim to be a father figure to her but their relationship was founded on the idea that she'll make him wealthy. This move threatens his financial well-being. This isn't to say that he doesn't care about her because a person can often have more than one motivation driving them. It's a complicated situation that the show handles right.
The Rayna and Juliette plots might be working well but there is a part of the show that completely drags. I'm sure you can guess which one: the Gunnar and Scarlett one. Gunnar's brother comes back to the show when he enters the Bluebird Cafe. He's looking for a place to stay and claims that he's trying to get a fresh start. Scarlett doesn't want him to stay on their couch at first but she's eventually convinced to let him sleep over for one night. A night that turns into a couple as she gets to know this brother. This would be great drama if I cared at all. The show has never really given me a reason to care about Gunnar's brother and this plot is a relative bore. It's not the worst part of the episode: watching Avery make yet another stupid deal behind his manager's back is. It's like he learned nothing when he signed that label deal behind her back. He complains that he hasn't seen a single cent since he signed that deal and I'm shocked his manager didn't go “I told you so” because he definably deserved it. He remains the worst.
The episode was good but only the acting really stood out. Connnie Britton and Hayden Panettiere deliver some knockout performances this week. At the same time, it's difficult for me to get excited about the next episode. There is some narrative momentum but it wasn't enough to hook me. That might be because the episode decided to end on a cliff-hanger that Gunnar's brother still owns that gun. It doesn't help that Avery is making me want to punch his face every time he appears on the screen. The episode contained excellent music as well but that's expected from this show.
My final thoughts on Nashville: it's a good show with great acting but it's just not one I'm currently looking for. I'll keep watching this series because of the acting but I'm not going to be reviewing it anymore.