Nashville: My Heart Would Know Season 1 Episode 17 Review

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Rayna discovers a secret from her family history this week, while Juliette walks deeper into Dante’s inferno.

Upon hearing about her father’s heart attack, Rayna rushes back to Nashville to be by his side.  He’s alive, but he’s far from relieved.  Tandy is already by his side, and is forced to deal with Lamar’s constant complaints and aggravations from being confined to a hospital bed.  What really ticks him off, though, is seeing Watty White come to try and offer some support.  Does it seem odd that Rayna’s musical mentor would show up to offer an encouraging word?  A little.  It seems even odder, however, once he reveals that he is the one who Rayna and Tandy’s late mother had an affair with all those years ago.  Seriously, why would someone’s deceased spouse’s former lover think it was okay to pop in for a visit?  Don’t hospitals have a policy on immediate family only?

Strange reasoning aside, this little tidbit of information allowed Rayna to realize a lot about her father and the man he has become today.  Of course he’s always resented her music career.  Not only did his wife sleep with a musician, but that musician helped his daughter get her big break. Not exactly a moment of pride for most men, and especially not men like Lamar.  As Rayna begins to understand her father a little better, she shares a touchingly vulnerable moment with him as he lies unconscious after suffering another heart attack.  Of course, he wakes up just in time to see her tearfully admit she wants to become closer to him.  It’s a little cheesy, sure, but Connie Britton sells it as per usual.

Back in New York, Juliette decides to go on with her show even without her co-headliner being there.  Deacon isn’t for it, but Dante is.  The sober counselor has gotten a little too comfy in the role of Juliette’s manager/secret lover.  He convinces Juliette to perform 10 all new songs, then fires Avery from his new roadie gig when he walks in on the two of them having sex.  Not that I feel too badly for Avery, but overreacting much?

Once again, Jolene is left out of the spotlight.  She pleads with Dante to come back home with her and work on her therapy, but it’s clear he’s quickly becoming addicted to the new power he’s been given.  This is probably why he turned to cocaine.  Things take a turn for the worst when Jolene ends up coming on to him.  I guess the Barnes women have similar taste.  Hayden Panettiere is doing some excellent work on this show, and the fallout from this situation allows her to showcase it.  She then decides it’s time for her mother to get her own place, and for Dante to become her permanent manager.  Because, you know, hiring a power-hungry former addict is always a good idea.

The B-plot tonight centered around Scarlett and Gunnar celebrating Scarlett’s new record deal. They go out drinking with their new neighbor Will, and Scarlett confides in him that she’s worried about Gunnar not wanting to write new music since his brother’s death.  Will’s solution is a weird one, as he takes Gunnar out to speed over train tracks just as the train is about to cross the road.  It’s definitely an out-of-the-box way to deal with depression, but I guess it’s not much worse than binge drinking.  Or is it?  In the end it gets Gunnar to start writing again, which is…good?  I’m not really sure what to make of this plotline.

Overall, while I found this week’s Nashville to be very intriguing, it was the smaller moments that really held my attention.  In particular, Deacon, who runs back to Nashville to comfort Rayna, visits Stacy to tell her he misses her.  The look on his face suggests that, in actuality, he might be missing someone else.  Conversely, the show’s bigger moments, such as Tandy’s end reveal to Teddy that Peggy leaked his divorce to tabloids, felt kind of desperate.  I’m all for some exciting drama, but only when it feels genuine.  Grade: B

By Mike Papirmeister

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