Nashville: I’ve Been Down That Road Before Season 1 Episode 12 Review

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Whoa! Did anyone else not see that one coming?  This week’s Nashville is full of big surprises.

We got to see both Juliette and Rayna perform this week, and it was very interesting to see the differences in their live shows.  Rayna’s set was very simple, just her with a band singing her songs to the audience.  It had a very intimate feel to it, even with such a large crowd.  Conversely, Juliette’s show was all about spectacle.  Hopping onstage in some sexy leather shorts and a sequined top, Juliette pranced around with several backup dancers and an impressive light show.  This isn’t too far away from what several big name pop acts do during their concerts today.  Sure it’s fun to watch, but are people even listening to the music?

Juliette doesn’t seem to think so.  She has a conversation with Deacon about how tired she is of doing the same routine over and over.  It felt like a very real conflict that a rising pop–or in this case, country/pop–star would have.  How do you remain loyal to what your fans want while still being able to mature as an artist?  Well, Juliette might not have the answer to this, but she does try to shake things up.  During her next performance, she comes onstage dressed down and performs a quietly lovely song with Deacon.  The audience loves it, but a critic who live tweets the show feels she’s acting too big for her britches.  It was sad to see Juliette so hurt after taking such a risk, but you can’t win ’em all.

Meanwhile, Teddy is back at home and very unhappy about Rayna’s new touring arrangements.  Clearly, he is not a fan of Deacon Claybourne’s killer guitar licks.  Of course who shows up out of the blue but Peggy, in a jaunty beret no less.  After batting her eyelashes and telling Deacon he deserves true happiness, the two end up in bed together.  It’s kind of gross, especially because Peggy seems so needy, and even Teddy says that it was wrong of them to hop in the sack so quickly.

While all this has been going on, Rayna continues her efforts to break through to Deacon.  With their busy schedules, the only alone time they really have together is when they ride the elevator back up to their respective suites.  And trust me, there’s nothing worse than an awkward elevator ride.  After their second show Rayna confronts Deacon with a little more attitude, wanting to know why he’s even on the tour.  Then, something incredible happens.  Deacon leans in a kisses her.

Okay, so if you saw the promo for this week’s episode, this wasn’t much of a surprise, but still it was one hell of a kiss. Rayna is taken aback, and texts Deacon to come up to her Penthouse so they can talk.  A few moments later there’s a knock on the door and…it’s Teddy.  TWIST!  He’s come to tell Rayna he doesn’t feel the love between them anymore and wants a divorce.  DOUBLE TWIST!  Seriously, though, these final moments were very unpredictable, and have me excited to see what’s going to happen to Rayna now that the rug has been pulled from under her.

Oh, there’s a subplot this week where Scarlett needs rent money and asks Gunnar to move in with her. Then Avery gets mad even though they’re broken up.  Then he tells his cougar manager he doesn’t want to sleep with her anymore.  Honestly, I really don’t care about these people anymore, but this story did provide a humorous scene in which Scarlett interrupts Avery’s really boring interview.  Other than that, yawn.

Besides this minor detour, this week’s Nashville was another hit.  The show is at it’s strongest when featuring Rayna and Juliette’s tour, and this episode featured a whole lot of it.  The twists in the episode were dramatic, but nothing happened that was out of character.  It makes sense that Teddy wants to call it quits, his marriage with Rayna hasn’t exactly been easy.  Besides, there’s such amazing chemistry between Deacon and Rayna.  This divorce is an emotional blow, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. Grade: B+

By Mike Papirmeister

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