Nashville: I Saw the Light Season 1 Episode 16 Review

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Lovers, friends and family are put to the test this week, as relationships are mended, strained, and possibly severed off completely.

Picking up a month after last week’s events, tonight’s Nashville takes place primarily in The Big Apple.  We see Rayna arrive first, her sister and two adorable daughters in tow.  When her eldest daughter announces she wants to pursue a professional singing career, Rayna isn’t for it.

Connie Britton does an excellent job of playing the protective parent, as anyone who watched her on Friday Night Lights would know, and it shows in a tender scene when she admits to Tandy that she’s scared because she knows her daughters are so talented.  She doesn’t want them to get swept up in the complex world of the music industry.  Of course, Rayna doesn’t want to crush her daughter’s dreams completely, so she ends up letting Maddie and Daphne perform a lovely cover of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” during one of her sound checks, and all is well with the James clan…for now.

When Juliette, along with her mother and her mother’s sober counselor Dante, arrives in New York she notices a giant billboard of Rayna from a sponsorship deal she did.  The young singer is seething, and decides she wants a sponsorship deal too.  She’s able to rope Dante into using his former business expertise to help her obtain it.  He helps out, and she gets the deal, but it comes at the expense of Jolene.

Mama Barnes is feeling neglected, and worries Juliette doesn’t even care that she came on the tour with her.  To remedy this, Juliette dedicates a song to her mom onstage.  It’s all very touching.  Of course, then she sleeps with Dante, which doesn’t really seem like its going to end well.  Although, I guess she has to thank him for his business help somehow.

Juliette and Rayna don’t really interact much this week, but they do have one very interesting meeting at an after-party for one of their shows.  It’s probably one of the most civil conversations they’ve ever had and yet, there was something boiling under the surface. I’m not sure what exactly, but I can’t wait to see more.

Equally as interesting was a small moment between Deacon and Maddie as they watch Rayna onstage.  Remember a while back when it was heavily implied that Deacon was her biological father?  This plot point seems to have been pushed aside as of late, but I have a feeling it’s going to pop back up real soon.

Speaking of Deacon, he decides to bring his new girlfriend Stacie along with him.  At first she’s uncomfortable with the fact that he’s had a thing with both Rayna and Juliette, but he assures her that it’s all ancient history.  The main focus of this story, though, is Rayna’s supposed acceptance of his new relationship.  Sure, she tells Deacon how happy she is for him, but we all know that can’t last for long.  A love like Rayna and Deacon had just doesn’t go away that easily.

Back in Nashville, some exciting things happen and some boring things happen.  The boring things involve Avery deciding to become a roadie because no one will hire him as a singer–something I’m so terribly heartbroken about–and Scarlett not wanting to sign her new contract because Gunnar isn’t involved.  It’s plain to see how dumb a career move it is, and eventually Gunnar is able to convince her otherwise.  Also, the two get to meet their new neighbor.  I’m not really sure what his point is yet, but I have a feeling it will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The exciting things that happen revolve around Teddy, Peggy, and Lamar.  Lamar is still trying to convince Teddy to approve his new baseball stadium.  This time, he blackmails Peggy with proof that she leaked the detailes about Teddy and Rayna’s divorce to the tabloids.  Now it’s her job to convince Teddy of the project.  Oh Peggy, not only are you needy, but you’re spineless too.

In the end, as Rayna and Tandy sip champagne and reminisce in New York, Lamar is on the phone with his partner explaining that the new stadium is basically a done deal.  Just when you think he’s about to hang up the phone, he suffers what appears to be a heart attack.  Whoa! Is Lamar out of the game for good?  I certainly hope not.  I find his character to be very interesting, and Powers Boothe makes for a terrific villain.

Anyway, even with the minor usual annoyance that come from Scarlett, Gunnar, and Avery, tonight’s Nashville proved to be a great episode about the push and pull of relationships.  With so many strong bonds already established, I can’t wait to see where they’ll end up as the season heads toward it’s final stretch.  Grade: B+

By Mike Papirmeister


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