Nashville: You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave) Review

Tonight’s Nashville lends itself to some drunken decisions and political mudslinging.  Though it is a step up from last week’s entry, this show has yet to hit its full throttle.

After recording her new hit, Rayna seeks out a successful rock star named Liam McGuinnis to produce her next album.  Together they knock back more than a few whiskey shots, and in the morning Rayna discovers she recorded another song while she was blacked out (the image of a singing, whiskey toting Connie Britton is definitely a sight to see).  It’s called “Married Under,” and its angry.  Why shouldn’t it be?  Rayna is angry that her star is fading, that her father is meddling in her family’s life, and that she had to let her Deacon go.  The head of her label isn’t as enthusiastic about the song, but it looks as though he’ll have a hard time stopping her.

Coleman Carlisle, on the other hand, gets stopped in just about the worst possible way.  He’s made late to the signing of a clean campaign pledge because Lamar hires cops to pull him over.  What wasn’t expected was that Coleman still had the oxycodone that Deacon gave him. Some expected drama followed, and Coleman began to consider releasing those photos of Peggy and Teddy.  The more interesting scene, however, took place when Teddy asks Lamar if adding the drugs was his plan as well.  Powers Booth is as menacing as ever, and it looks as though he has more dirty tricks up his sleeve.  So much for a clean campaign.

Juliette once again deals with the roller coaster ride of fame in this episode.  First she improves her image by being seen out with a goodie-goodie pro football player (cough, Tim Tebow, cough).  Then she almost ruins said image, when a paparazzo threatens to release an embarrassing photo of the footballer that was taken when he and Juliette were leaving a Miami nightclub.  She pays the photographer off and the story pretty much resolves itself, but it’s clear that Juliette is getting desperate.  She’s slowly realizing that her 15 minutes could disappear at any second.  Also, It was great to see her publicist casually instruct that she go on a date with this guy in the first place.  One of Nashville‘s best qualities is that it doesn’t try to sugarcoat things when it comes to its depiction of the country music business.

Finally, Avery’s cheatin’ heart is too much for Scarlett to take, and she wises up to how much of a bad seed he is.  A manager offers to sign him and his band, and implies pretty obviously that he has to sleep with her to get gigs.  Deacon tries to ward off this manager/lady of the night, but Avery’s ambition gets the better of him.  Scarlett actually dumps him before he fully acts on his intentions, but once she leaves he goes straight back to get his representation.  It’s good to see Scarlett standing up for herself instead of standing by the sidelines, and Clare Bowen proved herself a master of the heated couples fight.  I just hope she has the good sense to continue moving on instead of moving in reverse.

The week’s episode was definitely more engaging than last week’s, but it doesn’t have the same electrifying quality that the pilot gave off.  Sure there’s major conflicts, but it’s nothing you can’t find on another network drama.  This show just gives it a country twang.  If I were a new viewer, I would have no idea that there was any rivalry between Rayna and Juliette to begin with.  Perhaps this is all just setup, though.  The two songtresses are being pushed into corners, and sooner or later they’re going to have to face each other.  Thankfully, the preview for the next episode indicates it will be sooner.  Grade: B


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