Nashville – Episode 5 – Move it on Over hit the airwaves Wednesday night, November 7th, with a resounding thud. Even the news that Nashville is now available on all new Windows 8 PCs and tablets with a new app called ABC Player didn’t soften the thud. If the episodes are getting weaker, does that change merely by making the episodes available on more platforms than just TV? I don’t think so.
What I felt was the major problem this week was the choppiness. In the 42 minutes of air time (which left 18 minutes of promos and commercials, we had 32 scenes. That’s just under 1 minute 19 seconds per scene on average. Because of the songs being longer, the dramatic scenes were really even shorter on average. You can’t get your arms around any scene. They seem to simply whiz by. More scenes equals shorter scenes and that equals bad television.
01 – Episode 5 – Move it on Over opens at a recording session. Juliette Barnes sings with Deacon, now installed as band leader and more, on lead guitar. Barnes’s manager and PR rep are discussing what they say is Juliette’s major problem these days – her Mom. Barnes is not happy after 20 ‘takes’. The producer wants to call it a day citing the law of diminishing returns. He calls the 20 takes ‘perfect’. Barnes says, ‘I’ll tell you when we have a perfect take‘. In an aside to Deacon, she tells him that she’s counting the days till her Mom leaves. Deacon thinks he can help. Juliette just wants it , the Mom problem, to simply go away. Deacon tries to says let me talk to her. Barnes doesn’t want to hear it and leaves for parts unknown.
02 – Rayna is trying on a new dress. The label extends a peace-offering in the form of an ok to do a Best of Album. But Rayna wants to do an album with new songs. Teddy calls. He has a debate with Coleman.
Rayna offers to come to it, but Teddy says – you don’t need to. All of this flew by so quickly you might have a tough time even remembering the new dress’ color.
03 – Teddy meets the old girl friend who is scared of going to prison. Turns out that Peggy wants to go to the feds and fess up., You see, both Teddy and Peggy participated in an embezzlement of a land development project tied to a credit union. What got me about this is that last week, we were given every indication that this was about a love affair, rather than a business deal that went south on them.
04 – Rayna sings – American Beauty for the commercial. I can feel the freedom running through me. Not. There’s a problem about a change in the song’s structure that they needed to make to make the song fit the commercial – with Deacon who objects not only to the changes, but using the song for a commercial. Geez, I thought he knew that Teddy and Rayna were ‘cash poor’ so Rayna needed to earn some $$$ for doing the commercial.
05 – Gunnar’s gal friend at the music publishing house doesn’t want to come between Gunnar and Scarlett. Hayley believes, as do we, every time we watch Gunnar look at Scarlett, that he has deep feelings for her. He does – but he has to keep them submerged as Scarlett is with Avery, and committed to Avery. Gunnar and Scarlett are about to do a musical audition for a big music producer who works with Lady Antebellum.
06 – Barnes home. Where’s Momma – Drunk in bed with a strange man. Booze bottles and pills are in plain sight. That can’t be a good thing.
07 – When Juliette Barnes comes home and sees the new ‘domestic scene’, she loses it, and tosses the man out of the house. She then has a fight with Mom.
08 – Teddy has a debate with Coleman Carlisle who hits hard about Teddy’s finances. Nashville deserves better than this, he says. No one ever said that politics is for choir boys, so Coleman was within in his rights. But somehow, I can’t envision Lamar taking this lying down. We will have to wait for his reaction.
09 – Juliette is struggling with her Mom’s presence in her home. She calls Deacon. You still want to help?
10 – Scarlett’s home. Avery arrives. He wants to step in and be the new guitar player for the musical audition. And why not? I heard you’re getting a new guitar player. I’m a guitar player, he says. Scarlett is thrilled because it is a way to repair their recent difficulties.
11 – Deacon’s house. Rayna is waiting for him. The change in the music is being discussed. It is about selling a song for a commercial. He won’t sign the release. Rayna reminds Deacon that isn’t strange, you don’t want to use your song in commercials, but you have no problem working with Juliette. Boom! Nice to see you Deacon. Nice to see you Rayna.
This was the kind of flat dialogue that was just short hand for they’re both still mad.
12 – Rayna and her manager discuss getting a new writer. People are busy. Rayna suggests that she write a song herself.
13 – Teddy and Lamar meet to discuss the damn busted real estate project that won’t go away. Lamar wants all the facts. Teddy says he ran out of capital while he was waiting for the approvals/permits. Peggy was his financial partner. Peggy was able to hide the shortfall with funds that she found ‘somewhere’ (Teddy doesn’t know where) but now she’s scared of a federal audit. Lamar says, I’ll make sure Peggy feels safe.
14 – Barnes house. Deacon arrives. Deacon offers to help. Deacon tells Jolene that he knows exactly where she is right now. He’s a former drug user himself, and he needed to go to a rehab to get over it. Jolene thinks she is fine. This is classic denial. Of course this brings up the question of why did Deacon turn to drugs. Anything to do with Rayna? And did Rayna have an involvement with Deacon’s drugs too. And the hits (surprises) just keep on coming.
15 – The BIG Music session/audition with Scarlett and Gunnar – Lovin’ You Is The Only Way To Fly is the chosen song. Avery is the guitarist, and he goes a bit over the top in the last verse.
16 – Jolene talks with Deacon. The topic is drug addiction. Deacon says he knows a really good place. Jolene says those places never work for me. Deacon tells Jolene that Juliette needs her to get clean. Deacon thinks he has convinced Jolene on the idea of going into a rehab. Not really, as Jolene is about to enter rehab most unwillingly, so she brought along some drugs. What a novel idea – take drugs to the rehab center. When Juliette calls her out on this. Jolene strikes Juliette at the entrance to the rehab. She is being committed. And she’s not happy about it. After Jolene is set up at the rehab, Juliette and Deacon talk, and in the midst of that, we break to –
17 – Gunnar and Avery have a discussion. Gunnar says that Avery tried to steal the session. And it was true. Avery says he didn’t like the way Gunnar was making eyes at Scarlett. It’s called acting you idiot – we’re trying to sell a love song. It is about to get rough. Hayley intervenes and take Gunnar away, but Scarlett had been in the hallway and she heard everything.
18 – Barnes house. Jolene has been sent to the rehab. Barnes says she’s never had a friend. Everybody just wants something from me. Actually it is Deacon’s house. Deacon apparently has had a change of heart because Juliette thinks everything can be solved by her using sex. Deacon says you can just try saying thanks. Juliette gets the message and she isn’t thrilled, ‘See you when I see you’, she says as she leaves.
19 – At the Bluebird, Scarlett tells Gunnar that she is with Avery and Gunnar is with Hayley. This is to settle things, and once and for all, make them crystal clear
20 – Rayna is struggling to write a song. She’s not at a piano, instead she has a pad and pencil and is sitting on the living room couch. Teddy arrives home. It is 230 AM. Rayna asks Teddy if he wants to talk about it. He doesn’t. Teddy asks about the cxled tour. Did you sleep with him? No. Do you think I would do that? Did you want to? Rayna – we have to put the past behind us. I wouldn’t bet on that folks.
21 – A local Diner – Coleman and Deacon . Turns out Deacon once had a drug addiction. Rayna saved his life. Deacon still has the pills Jolene dropped at the rehab. He stayed up all night counting them but not using them. Apparently, he was sorely tempted but managed to NOT use the pills.
22 – Lamar and Peggy meet. Lamar promises to keep the fed audit away from her. Lamar says, All you have to do is go about your business. Stay calm and don’t say a word to anyone about this, just keep quiet, and I promise you, the audit will go away.
How you gonna make that happen asks Peggy. Lamar: If you have to ask that, then you haven’t been listening.
23 – Barnes wants to move out of her house and get a new house. She feels that Jolene has tainted everything in the house. Her assistant says, We just signed a two-year lease. Juliette can’t be bothered by that. Yeah so? Find me a new house.
24 – Deacon is at the Bluebird Cafe singing Sideshow. There’s a heckler who asks Where’s Rayna? I like it better when she sings. Deacon: Most folks do.
25 – Scarlett tells Avery that they didn’t get the deal. Then producer said the back up guitarist hijacked the song. Scarlett says she’s with him, and why does he make her have to prove it all the time.
26 – After the gig – the heckler tries to apologize to Deacon. But Deacon punches him instead. Deacon lands in a lockup. He calls Rayna collect from jail. Rayna won’t take the call and hangs up.
27 – Gunnar and Hayley discuss their relationship. Hayley wants to keep it simple and clean. Just sex – no entanglements. Gunnar disagrees. He wants it to have a chance to get complicated. How complicated? Something more than just sex – you know ‘with feelings and stuff’. I’d say that Gunnar still desires Scarlett, but knows that it isn’t happening, so he will be happy with Hayley. Translation: Hayley and Gunnar will fail.
28 – Deacon is released from detention after his arrest for the bar fight. Juliette was the one who bailed him out. He says he’s pretty good at getting into trouble.
29 – Lamar and Teddy decide to go bad as in political dirty tricks – otherwise Lamar says they won’t win the election. But Teddy knows that Coleman knows his secrets, and if Teddy takes the low road, so will Coleman. Two things about this: Lamar believes that a Mayor with secrets can be ‘controlled’. Teddy doesn’t know that this is how Lamar feels. And two – this means bad news will befall Coleman Carlisle, and at this moment we don’t know what is planned. I’m guessing we’ll find out next week.
30 – Rayna’s new song (for the commercial) is well received. Rayna suggests that they tell Marshall Evans, the head of the label that this could be the lead song for the new album. Only right about now – Deacon now decides to let Rayna use the old song for the commercial.
31 – Juliette looks at her new house. A house with no Mamma is a happy house. Don’t bet on it Juliette.
32 – Peggy and Teddy talk. The auditors have packed up and left. They don’t know it but they are under surveillance. Pictures are taken. Pictures that will undoubted go public and very soon. While Peggy and Teddy were talking about their business – we can be sure that in the press another angle will be played. Things are going to get dirty.
And you know what? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this bit of photo-surveillance was arranged by – all together now – Lamar! [Who do you think is behind the pictures?]
Between me and you, I was most disappointed in this episode. Yes, there’s still some music being played – but it looks like the main focus is shifting away from the musical side of the story and heading more towards the soap-opera-ish events. I’d also suggest to you that a few longer scenes would help as the choppiness and lack of depth is quite telling. Less is more and by that I mean fewer scenes and longer scenes would help immensely.
See you next time.