Nashville: There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight Season 1 Episode 13 Review

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Nashville dealt some big blows last week, so tonight they allowed their characters to try and pick up the pieces.  Not everything clicked, but the elements that worked were strong enough the carry the show.

The best thing about tonight’s episode was Connie Britton.  The actress once again proved how immensely talented she is, giving an effortlessly emotional performance that reminded me of her stellar work on Friday Night Lights.  The aftermath of Teddy’s request for a divorce wasn’t pretty.  Rayna earnestly tried to put on a brave face, but she just wasn’t up for it.  To be honest I was kind of expecting her to faint when she stood onstage like a deer stuck in headlights, not realizing that she missed her cue…twice.  But, Nashville has always favored realism over melodramatic clichés so she was luckily able to snap out of it just in time.

The real meat of her story, though, came with the resurfacing of Liam and their night out to run away from their troubles.  After some heavy drinkin’ and dancin’ at a dive bar, the two head back to the hotel where things start to get heated.  Just before you think Rayna’s about to make a rash decision, she breaks down in the bathroom and admits how fearful she is of telling her children of the divorce.  The conversation between her and Liam that follows feels wholly authentic.  As much chemistry as Rayna and Deacon have together, this growing dynamic between her and Liam is very enticing.  I’m almost certain he’s going to pop back up in her life very soon.  Of course, don’t think Deacon is out of the picture.  Rayna still wants to talk with him about their kiss, and his views on Liam aren’t too positive after he sees him hug Rayna goodbye.

Over in Juliette Land, the blonde country bombshell attempts to completely revamp her show after the positive fan reaction to her stripped-down song.  Her manager Glenn thinks its too much too soon, but Juliette doesn’t listen.  She’s too high on the rush she got from feeling like a mature singer for once.  After she throws a diva fit at her band for not listening to her, Glenn decides its quitting time and hits the road.  This felt like a very rushed decision, especially since he’s been with her for so long, but I’m interested to see what Juliette will do with out a manager.  She certainly seems to be headed in a good direction.  After getting back to her home in Nashville, she decides to open up her home to her mother once she’s completed rehab.

The worst part of the night centered around Avery’s plotline.  This guy is such a prick, I really don’t care what happens to him.  Once again he fights with his manager, he fights with his producer Dominic who can’t even be bothered to show up in person, and he eventually sells his publishing rights to the same label where Gunnar and Juliette work.  Because, you know, the three of them together worked out so well the first time.  Seriously, why is he still on the show?  In other news, Scarlett lets Gunnar’s brother stay with them for a while and takes a liking to him, but of course he still has a gun on him so he’s bad news.  This plotline was pretty meh, but we got another quietly lovely song from Gunnar and Scarlett, which is always enjoyable.

By the episodes end, Rayna and Teddy were breaking the news to their adorable daughters.  It was hard to see the heartbreak on their faces, but it was even harder for Rayna to hear her daughter Maddie tell her that Teddy and Peggy are still in contact.  She had overhead a phone conversation between the two of them.  Did anyone else catch Peggy’s quick line about how she and Teddy used to be an item?  I knew it!  Anyway, as if Rayna doesn’t have enough to deal with already, now there’s this.  As always, I’m excited to see what comes next for the people of Nashville.  Not all the characters are engaging, but the strength of the two leads does more than make up for it.  Grade: B

By Mike Papirmeister

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