Nashville 3×20 “Time Changes Things” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Tonight’s episode gave and took a lot but mostly it left me wishing it was next week.

Episode Summary: In secrecy, Rayna tries to convince Beverly to donate her liver to Deacon. And when Deacon catches Maddie ditching school in his apartment with Colt, things get pretty awkward. Juliette throws a spontaneous comeback concert on a rooftop and this time, it seems she’s forgotten there’s a little girl waiting for her to come home. Kiley returns with the gruesome truth about her past, and it’s undoubtedly changed Gunnar for good. The Exes perform together but later get into a fight and Teddy may just get away with everything he’s done.

Review | Analysis: Sometimes the drama on Nashville can get so unbelievably ridiculous, it’s hard to remember this an actual show that makes me cry more often than not because it’s so incredibly moving. That said, a lot of elements in this episode I felt I personally could’ve done without, but the important thing to remember is the series is tackling some vital issues and doing a fantastic job of them. Also, some of what’s being revealed during this arc aren’t something we often see on television and the fact that it’s so daring is highly commendable.

My least favorite thing that could ever happen in a series is when I dislike a character so much, I don’t even want to talk about it. Because most often even the characters I dislike, I still really like being the antagonist. However, Jeff Fordham has a long way to go until I can fully respect him and for a moment when I thought maybe he really did care about Jade, seeing as how he cannot seem to let his own demons aside for her proves that he doesn’t. Jeff doesn’t seem to want to change. He wants the world to dance to his rhythm and when it comes to Layla, as I’ve said in previous reviews, she deserves much better than the kind of treatment she gets from him. And honestly, I wish she’d stop trying with him. I hope she’s wise enough to realize that Jeff’s the one who tweeted the picture after Jade told them not to – even though it seems as though Christina Aguilera’s character’s not going to be around any longer, I still want to see Layla rise to the top.

Jade and Luke had a strange and short run, but for the most part, the fact that it was drama-less was actually a breath of fresh air on the series. However, I hope this doesn’t mean Jade’s giving up on Country music for good because it appeared as though she really loved it.

Apparently, Natasha feels guilty so she calls Teddy to warn him and after he says goodbye to the girls and is ready to run, Dashiell from the district attorney’s office comes in and says he can help. Here’s the thing, I’m finally starting to like Teddy a bit. I love his kindness towards Deacon and the fact that it seems he really knows how to treat his girls now. You don’t buy them off of course, but I thought the matching heart necklaces were honestly lovely. That said, Teddy’s never going to change his ways until he’s punished. He needs to go to prison for all the fraudulent activity he’s committed and it’s probably the only thing that’ll really help his character grow. And if he gets away with this, it’ll be severely unrealistic; therefore, I really hope the series doesn’t brush off all that he’s done.

While on the subject of Teddy, I also hope we don’t just forget about Daphne’s feelings from last week and really give her the full attention she deserves.

Apart from that, the series handled the mortifying and awkward father/daughter moment with so much grace. It really gave Deacon the opportunity to express anger in a healthy way by dealing with it as any father would – trying to avoid the manner completely because what on earth are you supposed to say honestly?! I wouldn’t know. That said, what always gets to me about the relationship between Deacon and Maddie is the fact that it’s evident missing out on so much will always destroy him. Hence, in some strange way, it’s nice that he got to be there during a time she could’ve probably come to regret. Teenagers are prone to believe that sex needs to be had by a certain age, but the truth is it should come when you’re absolutely 100% ready. I love that conversation essentially turned into Deacon mentioning that he honestly doesn’t know how to handle the situation, but he’s happy to be in her life even with all the uncertainties. And I feel that took a lot of bravery from him, but mostly it took bravery from Maddie to be truly apologetic by acknowledging that his earnestness was perfect. Also, I’m sort of glad she won’t be getting away with it without an actual talk, but frankly, Rayna will probably be better at it than Deacon ever would.

While I loved that final moment between father and daughter, I loved the scene with Maddie and Juliette just a little bit more. Juliette has one of the most compassionate hearts in the series and in this very scene, we finally saw it resurface for longer than an instant. Juliette knows how to be a great mom, this very scene showcased beautiful maternal instincts, but as she mentions they’re both young and have big dreams – the two truly can be a dangerous combination. And it was nice of her not to give advice like a hypocrite but rather the way I presume she’d want to hear it. Hayden Panettiere and Lennon Stella did a really great job of working with one another in the scene thereby making it feel natural and truly heartfelt.

Speaking of Panettiere’s performance, she completely broke me when she found out about Deacon. I’d been waiting for this moment ever since their failed attempt to write a comeback song, and it was just as moving as I imagined it’d be. And Juliette took it with the same amount of childlike vulnerability I had imagined she would. Panettiere is so good at delivering moments like this with the utmost sincerity that showcases not only how enormous her heart is, but how easily she crumbles at the mere thought of people she loves being in harm’s way. Bottom line is, she and Deacon have been through their fair share of ups and downs, but despite all that’s occurred they’ve both contributed highly to character growth and it was heartbreaking to see Juliette’s fears of losing people dear to her come to life after everything she’s been through. And what I loved most about the scene is that even though moments ago she was having a mature sex talk with Maddie because Deacon couldn’t do so, she instantly turned into a child in need of a hand to hold with the news. As though they weren’t friends, but instead Deacon’s like a fatherly figure to her who she desperately cannot lose.

Before we cover Juliette’s impromptu rooftop concert, we’re going to dive into an interesting triangle that’s rarely seen on television. In flashbacks, we’re given the opportunity to see the moments when Deacon and Rayna first laid eyes on each other, and pretty sure if love, at first sight, was possible, these two would embody it. While they both still have fabulous hair and are completely enamored with one another, the only difference is that Deacon’s singing partner is his sister Beverly. Establishing strong relationships with siblings is something television series don’t do often and while this relationship is anything but strong and healthy, it’s most certainly an interesting one.

When Rayna Jaymes asks Deacon Claybourne to come on tour with her, he happily accepts but his sister’s not too pleased with the fact that it seems he’s losing sight of the music for the girl. And we all know that’s not what happened because no one makes music the way Rayna Jaymes and Deacon Claybourne do. That said Beverly’s heartbreak and feelings of abandonment are entirely understandable. And it’s unfortunate that until this day she probably still feels like her brother was taken from her when she too could’ve joined them. Though she’s still performing on small stages for an intimate crowd and rocking it, it’s clear that part of the reason is to keep those good years alive.

The years when brother and sister embarked on an adventure away from the toxic home they were growing up in. But good grief Rayna has so much more patience than I ever would because this isn’t enough reason not to save your brother’s life – especially since he’s pretty much been more of a guardian to your daughter than anyone else has ever been. Deacon’s incredibly flawed and has undoubtedly made terrible mistakes in the past, but if it weren’t for him, I don’t want to imagine where Scarlett would’ve been. She values him above all because he’s the only one who’s treated her the way she deserves to be treated by a parental figure.

I’ve already established this by now but it appears I’m just going to have to mention it every time it happens – when Connie Britton cries, you cry. It’s a rule. And it’s been one of mine since way before she was Rayna Jaymes but Tami Taylor. Britton did a fantastic job of showcasing that same unwavering strength she has with the ever-present traces of fear and heartbreak she’s trying desperately to conceal. And while you could hear all this through her phone calls with Deacon, you can see her actual heartbreak in the desperation she spoke to Beverly with. No matter how much I try to sympathize with Beverly’s past, I still find it so disturbing that she won’t help her own brother. And that’s heartbreaking to say but the truth of the matter is she essentially owes it to him for all he’s done for her and Scarlett. And I will be so angry if she agrees to it because of the money Rayna’s trying to buy her with. Desperate times call for desperate measures and good lord I’m sincerely hoping this doesn’t turn into an actual legal issue because Illegal Donor Harvesting is a massive no-no.

I cannot wait until the actual issue of postpartum is discussed in the series because it’s really not a common storyline TV shows dive into. As much as I adored the amazingly sweet and hot show the new parents put on when they got home, my heart broke at Juliette’s realization that she’s got a child at home. Every new mother handles things differently, whether you’re a stay-at-home or constantly working, more power to you – you do you. However, if you’re completely an absentee parent then there are issues here bigger that need to be resolved.

As mentioned above, Juliette’s heart is enormous and she’s got incredible motherly instincts, but she needs help. She cannot handle this on her own because pretty certain she doesn’t even know what’s going on. And it shouldn’t be done through any form of unkindness but rather the opposite, when someone notices that she’s unresponsiveness to anything regarding Cadence, they need to pull her aside and have a nice talk with her. It’s beautifully evident how much she wants to be a mom and a good one, but the problem appears to be with her own insecurities piling up on top of her and thereby forcing her to believe she cannot actually be a good mother. It’s not going to be an easy storyline to watch, but it’s brave of Nashville to take in on and I’m excited to see the gorgeous character growth that’s undeniably going to come from it.

I wanted to discuss this topic at the end in case it’s too heavy for any readers, but without going into too many details, lastly, we’re going to cover the heartbreaking news Kiley comes bearing. She tells Gunnar that she sincerely did not know Micah wasn’t his because she’s never willingly cheated on him with Jason. As it turns out, when they were all at a party once, while they were all drunk Jason raped her. And like most victims of sexual assault, she kept it to herself until this very moment. There aren’t enough words in the English dictionary that could ever do such a topic justice. And there aren’t many consoling words that I could use to tell all rape victims that it isn’t their fault and they’re wonderful tropical fishes that didn’t deserve it.

The general reaction to Kiley’s return by presumably most fans wasn’t pleasant in the beginning; however, learning the truth about what’s happened to her only makes her departure that much more tragic. Alexa Vega’s heart-shattering performance was horrifyingly stunning – not only did Vega make you feel Kiley’s outright heartbreak, but the full range of emotions she delivered the confession with brought forth a vulnerability as we’ve yet to see in the series. And Sam Palladio’s performance was just as valuable to the scene – he worked off of Vega’s vulnerability so well by showcasing the very moment Gunnar realizes all that he’s known is false. I’m thrilled to see where this new understanding between the two of them takes them. Palladio played Gunnar’s remorse to the tee, the guilt he felt from not being able to protect her is clearly something that he’ll carry and aspire to make good on the promise to really be there from here on out. And I hope the two can be civil, great parents to Micah in the future.

Gunnar and Scarlett fought once more which isn’t at all surprising but I’m still holding out to the day when the two of them remember the kind of friendship they’d established when they first met. It’s the kindness they’ve continuously shown one another that’s made them so unique and I cannot wait for them to rightfully go back to those days.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? If there’s anything you’d like us to discuss further, let us know and we shall do so.

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