Sometimes things are too good to be true and that seems to be the case for a little while longer. Because obviously this is a TV series and we need lots and lots of drama.
Episode Summary: At the Note by Note Charity Event, Deacon receives a phone call stating there’s a liver available for his transplant and the family (with the exception of Daphne) head for the hospital. Complications arise and the transplant unfortunately doesn’t happen allowing the family to really understand the reality of what’s occurring. Juliette’s not too pleased with the fact that she isn’t the shining star at the auction and when Jade bets for Layla, situations get ever more complicated. Luke and Daphne perform together. Scarlett and Gunnar decide they’ll perform as a duo until Avery returns to them. And for the time being, Teddy’s safe.
Review | Analysis: As frustrating as the storyline’s have been recently, I love the fact that Nashville is tackling tangible issues and dealing with them in the most realistic way possible. The series is most successful when it allows its characters to shine through riveting stories and unsurprisingly I found myself most intrigued with the characters having a tough time.
As an obligatory disclaimer – I’m an English major so my knowledge of psychological conditions is limited to the one semester I was required to take a Psychology class, the internet, and some of my friends who give me insight without exactly knowing what’s going on with the series because they don’t watch it. That said, the chances of Juliette experiencing postpartum depression are relatively high at this point. It’s not fun to watch season one of Juliette resurface because she wasn’t at all my favorite at the time. Juliette’s wonderful, incredibly gifted, and genuinely kind but this whole jealousy with other female performers thing is getting old. I hated the way she spoke to Layla and I hated the way she pressured Avery.
While her behavior is understandable because, in the midst of everything she’s going through she feels she’s fading from the spotlight, it still doesn’t make it okay. At the end of the episode where we see her cry and the longing in her eyes to be as good with baby Cadence as Avery is said it all – Juliette Barnes just wants to do better. She wants to be stronger. She wants to have more faith in herself and the new life she’s embarked on. Women experiencing postpartum often feel as though they’re not good enough as mothers, and with Juliette, we saw that when she first began having trouble putting the baby to sleep. Maternal insecurities along with the uncertainties of where she stands in the world of Country music are undoubtedly contributing factors to her behavior, but for the coming weeks, I’d love to see her try to fix her problems instead of avoiding them. It’s worth mentioning that her own inability to understand what’s occurring is shining significant light on a form of depression TV rarely tackles.
That said, it was lovely of Sandra to choose to understand what Juliette’s going through as opposed to judging her. We don’t often see healthy relationships between in-laws and the fact that the show’s giving us a great one is incredible. Especially because apart from Rayna, Juliette really doesn’t have a motherly figure in her life, and at a time when she needs someone most, it’s nice that her mother-in-law is giving her the space she needs. Even though I’m not overly fond of the Juliette we’re seeing at the moment, there’s no doubt in me that this storyline will take her to a better place than she’s ever been. Once she and Avery work through their schedules and she begins putting the child first, she’ll learn that she is in fact capable of being a great mom. Her fears and insecurities naturally force the kind of behavior she’s displaying and it’s crucial that someone pulls her aside and reminds her of her greatness like Avery’s done. Only it’s evidently not something that’s going to go away overnight and though it’ll be distressing to watch for a bit, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Layla Grant deserves so much better and it continues to break my heart that she’s still trying with Jeff. My feelings regarding him have been clear and I don’t want to spend too much time discussing something I strongly dislike. Therefore, all I’m going to say on the matter is that I sincerely hope Layla gets the recognition she deserves and has the courage not to lean on Jeff because he doesn’t deserve her love. Frankly, it’s disturbing and she’s so incredibly precious it’s heartrending to watch her fall back on someone who isn’t at all a healthy match for her. Additionally, I hope what he says about Jade isn’t true because I loved the way she supported Layla. And I love that she’s taking Layla on tour because even though I don’t completely trust her, it’s nice that she’s giving someone deserving an opportunity to perform in stadiums.
Since we’re on the topic of Jade, I’m not too sure how I feel about her and Luke. It’s sweet in a sense, because who wouldn’t want to be with someone they admired once upon a time? Hello yes, Thor or Captain America? I’d totally marry any of you if you asked. No pressure though. But at the same time, it’s too soon, a bit off, and unpredictable because we don’t know much about her intentions. It poses two questions for me – are her feelings really genuine? Or is she merely using Luke to gain credibility in the world of country music? Although she clearly doesn’t need him because she owned the stage at the Blue Bird – only time will tell who she really is.
I love that Will’s finally fighting for his heart. It was nice to see how easily he and Kevin fell into their relationship and it was even nicer to see Will declare that he wants to work at everything as opposed to hiding again. He may not be ready to come out to the entire world, but it’s important that Kevin knows where his heart truly lies.
It’s inevitable for me to want Gunnar and Scarlett together because of the very reason that they’re much like today’s generation of Deacon and Rayna. And to have Deacon declare it as well is the icing on top of the cake. In last week’s review, I had said that all I really wanted was for Gunnar to give Scarlett the amount of space she needs along with apologizing for being assertive. Gunnar and Scarlett’s stage chemistry is remarkable – indescribable to say the least and ceaselessly full of heart; thereby it’s only natural that he’d want to hold onto that. The kind of music they’re effortlessly able to make together is magic and that’s not something that should ever be abandoned because of history. As Deacon states, the pain made excellent music and the world deserves to experience the raw music they’re able to make together.
There were plenty of exquisite scenes in this week’s episode and while they’re impossible to choose from, it was interesting that the words of wisdom came from Gunnar. He hasn’t made the wisest decisions lately, but he’s stepping up and reminding me of how wonderful he was when we first met him. I can easily appreciate anything that has to do with Charlie Brown and it was lovely that Deacon was compared to him this week. This isn’t the first time he’s fallen, but hopefully, it’s the last. However, the most pivotal aspect of the comparison is that Gunnar chose to remind Deacon of the fact that he must never give up hope. Because that’s all that the world needs – hope and love. And without hope, the emptiness within could destroy a person.
The sincerity and heart Esten and Palladio delivered were amazing. It’s always been clear that the two men have an abundant amount of respect for one another, and the kindness Gunnar showcased by reminding Deacon of man’s most pivotal asset during a time like this is everything. Charlie Brown is someone we all associate with our childhoods, a time when things weren’t as complicated and the world was viewed with goodness. It’s without question the most perfect connection that could’ve been made at the moment. So often man forgets what he’s got until his time is limited and it’s at that time that the world’s true colors surface as well.
Before we get into the ending that shattered my heart into six million pieces, let’s talk about Daphne and how much I adore that little girl. While rehearsing for their family performance, audiences could quickly tell something was off in the darling girl’s state of mind. I had wondered if we’d tackle this storyline but assumed that it’d probably be sidelined with everything that’s going on thereby I’m thrilled we’re actually diving into it. It’s clearly a sensitive time at the Jaymes/Claybourne household and it’s inevitable that at some point Daphne would feel as though she doesn’t belong. And despite everything he’s done, Teddy’s her father – it’s only natural that at a time when things are so unpredictable, she’d feel most inclined to lean on him.
Additionally, with Maddie leaning on Colt more often than ever now, it makes sense for the house not to feel like a home to her. Daphne’s always been an old soul, sometimes it’s difficult to forget she’s the youngest, and for the first time, it seems she’s having a hard time speaking up because she feels as though such matters are trivial with everything else that’s occurring. And the thing is, her feelings are incredibly vital, but it’s something I personally want everyone else to realize. While I appreciated Teddy’s behavior more than ever this week, I’m still fairly certain he won’t be around for a while due to all his crimes catching up with him. And with him gone, if Daphne’s feelings aren’t taken into consideration, it’ll break her even more which will be so terrible to watch. It’s evident though that if the surgery wasn’t occurring at this time, Rayna would’ve at least noticed that something was off and I’m hoping we get into that next week.
Heartbreaking matters aside, I need to take a moment to commend Maisy Stella’s astounding performance this week – she owned the stage with such charisma and heart it was incredible for the series to give her the opportunity to shine like this. The Stella sisters are always impeccable together, but every once in a while it’s nice to see them individually showcase their gifts.
It was great of Luke to step up and perform with her and truly I keep commending this show because I had sworn I would never like Luke. I’m not sure how writers have done it, but here we are with me wholeheartedly appreciating scenes with him. And who would’ve thought that such unlikely singing partners would do such an astonishing job of delivering a fantastically entertaining performance.
Daily reminder that when Connie Britton cries, I cry – that said, never in a million years did I imagine that a minute-long scene would be so intensely heart-shattering. With faith and hope serving as the episode’s theme, the gorgeous ending was truly evocative. One person can only be strong for so long before they break. And it’s vital to remember that the ones who take care of everyone need to be cherished often because the pain they quietly endure is much more scarring than anything they openly admit. And what’s always most telling about the ones who are strongest in our lives is that their prayers are always the most selfless.
Rayna Jaymes is the epitome of that kind of woman and no matter what demons she’s fought, we’ve always seen her put others first. Britton was remarkable as Rayna prayed for strength because the audience could see the vulnerability behind the desperation to remain strong. “There’s a man and a little girl who are really looking to me to be strong for them. So I’m asking you to please, please show me the way.” While it’s evident the pain’s making its way to her heart, when she prays in the beginning, you could still see her fight against the fears until she finally gives in to the fact that she needs help. As Britton delivers the last line with tears streaming down her face, you could see Rayna’s armor diminish for the first time as the reality of the situation becomes painfully evident. She’s irrevocably strong and though she breaks behind closed doors in the presence of God, we know that she’ll continue to be the rock that guides everyone during this difficult time. Throughout this situation, Rayna Jaymes has reminded viewers that women are the real superheroes in the world. And that isn’t in any way my way of insulting men but as someone who’s seen praiseworthy strength like Rayna’s in real life, it’s safe to say that the amount of heartache our mothers endure leaves me in a state of true speechlessness.
Additionally, Nashville is one of the few shows that does montages beautifully. And it was so heartbreaking to see Rayna’s story mirror Juliette’s as she spoke of strength while Juliette cried herself to sleep. Both women need the endless strength that’ll get them through protecting their children and significant others. Also worth mentioning is the beautiful mother/daughter moment between Rayna and Maddie as they prayed in the chapel with Daphne’s “have a little faith in me” in the background. It felt like a way for the show to involve her in this significantly painful moment even from miles away.
No matter how old you get or where you are in life, there’s no fear quite as daunting as the thought of a parent dying. And there’s no way anyone can truly identify with Maddie unless you’ve gone through something similar. This is a good thing, folks, for that kind of pain is something I wouldn’t wish on the worst people in the world. Without getting into my personal life, as someone who knows what losing a father is like and having seen a few other people experience similar pain, no two people handle it the same way. And good lord, all I can think of right now is how on earth did the two actors prepare for that final moment in the hospital.
Deacon’s obviously not going to die, but the uncertainties make this storyline that much more realistic. By the finale, my bet is that Beverly will eventually feel bad and offer to save her brother’s life by donating her liver.
Remember, if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, let us know and we shall do so. What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Also, a serious question, does anyone else ugly cry as much as I do after this show because I am in need of some serious happy endings?