Nashville – “I Fall To Pieces”

Last season, Nashville ended on a very dramatic note. The show wasn’t without issues during its first season, but overall I quite enjoyed it. Nashville made for more enjoyable, soapy Saturday morning TV than my old stand-by Grey’s Anatomy usually did.

Season one fininashville_xlgshed with Rayna and Deacon getting into a big car crash. Rayna was sober and behind the wheel, but Deacon was drunk and they were fighting. We picked up after that, and everyone was in bad shape.

Rayna and Deacon were badly hurt, and with Rayna in a coma Deacon was claiming responsibility for the crash. Obviously, we all knew that Rayna would come out of her coma – but at the end of the episode, I feared that the show would go a little too soapy and give her amnesia or something. Luckily, they didn’t. The relief on Deacon’s face when he found out that Rayna had survived was quite sad.

LENNON STELLA, HAYDEN PANETTIEREConnie Britton had very little to do, but the episode managed to get by without her. Hayden Panettiere did a fantastic job going from selfish brat to sympathetic soul, without ever seeming inconsistent. Juliette is both at once. She was jealous of the outpouring of love shown for Rayna after the car crash, and worried that sales of Rayna’s old hits would outshine her new album. She orchestrated a cunning tribute to Rayna at her concert that was more self-promotional than heartfelt. It was disgusting. But then, she sat with Rayna’s daughter in the hospital and listened to her. She understood poor Maddie, and even gave Maddie her phone number so they could talk. It was genuine and sweet.

For the first time, I felt like we got a good understanding of just what Juliette’s true feelings are for Rayna. Rayna is her idol, and so much of Juliette’s snide words are just covering up her own insecurities. But Juliette also associates Rayna’s music with a very painful childhood. Music that was the only thing that bonded them. Rayna’s coma was all tied in with Juliette’s complicated feelings about her mother’s death, and that came through in every moment of the episode.

Deacon was a mess in this episode, angry and self-loathing. His hand got messed up, which you know will result in him not being able to play guitar anymore or something. He wanted to be punished for the accident because it was his fault, even though he wasn’t driving. The episode featured a lot of flashbacks to Deacon and Rayna’s relationship and really helped expand that universe. It became clearer why Rayna married Teddy, but the actors have such great chemistry that you could also see why they had once been happy.

Meanwhile, we found out that Scarlett turned down Gunnar’s marriage proposal because she wants to be single for a while. Fine, whatever. I actually like the idea of Scarlett moving in with Deacon, determined to see her uncle through his troubles. I think that will be good for the character. However, I couldn’t care less about whether Gunnar can party through his pain, his closeted roommate, or Avery. Those storylines need to go away.

Final thoughts:

  • Peggy miscarried, but lied and told Teddy she heard the baby’s heartbeat. I like this storyline better than an illegitimate child storyline.
  • Rayna’s dad was involved in plotting to kill his own wife? Whoa. That’s almost as soap-crazy as amnesia.
  • The music wasn’t great this week.

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