Nashville – In seven weeks they’ve had 6 different episode directors, and 7 different episode writers. Next week – Episode 8, will also have a new director/writer combination. They are billing next week’s show as Nashville’s Winter Finale – maybe that means a small scheduling break. What do you think – is Nashville’ revolving door for directors and writers one very unique concept or are they still trying to find the right formula?
This week’s episode was entitled The Wrong Song – and in my view this was a decent episode; I’ll even wager that it got an uptick in the ratings. Maybe the ratings were aided by having the show take the night off last Wednesday (Thanksgiving week). Or just maybe it was a good episode. So what did we see?
01 – Rayna and Liam are hard at work in the studio. They like their new song very much. Rayna’s manager comes in with the news that Marshall Evans wants to release a Greatest Hits album. Rayna is against it as she wants to turn the page and head in a new direction – you know, Liam-style. She also decides that she’d be perfect to close the labels anniversary show at the Ryman Auditorium. While they work …
02 – Juliette Barnes and her QB main squeeze, Sean Butler, are being discussed. The good news? They hit if off nicely and this is good press for Juliette. The bad news – The QB’s connections (is that the No Fun League otherwise known as the NFL) don’t think it is a good idea for their All-American Quarterback to be seen in the company of The Bad Girl – Juliette Barnes. Actually they don’t mention the NFL – but isn’t it easy to connect the dots. Either way – it is more bad press for Barnes.
03 – At the Tequila Cowboy Club – Avery and his band are about to have a big night. With Avery’s new ‘handler’ Marilyn Rhodes on hand, as well as a big-time music guy – Domino Wells, Avery’s night is going to get even better. Still he wishes Scarlett were there.
04 – At the recording label offices, the label’s head honcho, Marshall Evans, is telling Juliette that she’s going to close the concert celebrating the label’s anniversary by doing just one song. Barnes of course objects. Not only that, the concert at the Ryman Auditorium will close with Juliette’s one number and it will be with Rayna Jaymes. More protests from Barnes.
05 – While this is going on Rayna is at home with her kids and Teddy. A night in for the family, until …
06 – The phone rings – It is Coleman Carlisle who requests a meeting, like right now, with Teddy. We wonder what this will be about. So does Teddy, but he makes his apologies and leaves.
07 – The Bluebird Cafe. Deacon is singing a sad song called Stranger on the Street – naturally it is about a failed relationship. Naturally, Scarlett is there and the Deacon’s song reaches her core. Has she made a mistake in breaking it off with Avery?
As expected, here comes Gunnar to console Scarlett. Naturally – Hailey notices and isn’t thrilled.
08 – Teddy and Coleman meet. Coleman suggests a withdrawal from the bitter mayoralty race – by Teddy – otherwise Coleman is going to leak the pictures of Teddy and Peggy to the press. Last thing Teddy needs now is a sex scandal especially since that’s not what it was with Peggy. Coleman gives him the weekend to think about it – otherwise the pics go public.
09 – Juliette and her manager are discussing the concert. Maybe singing with Rayna will be good PR for you? And if you don’t do it, you’ll lose your tour, and miss a huge opportunity.
10 – Lamar, Teddy, and Tandy (Teddy’s sister-in-law) meet to discuss the threat by Coleman. Teddy insisted that there was no ‘affair’. So they say get out ahead of it and fess up. Tell only what you need to tell. This is the old standby political gambit of going public before the opposition runs with it. They also tell Teddy – that Peggy must be gotten rid of.
11. At Deacon’s house, he and Scarlett are talking. He’s tired of Scarlett moping around since breaking up with Avery. You’ve got to get out girl. Scarlett asks him about working behind Rayna since he quit her band. Deacon corrects by saying, I didn’t quit – I was fired.
12. Liam and Rayna are at the Ryman to rehearse. In struts Marshall Evans. Hey Rayna – you are going to close the concert [Yay!] in a duet with Juliette Barnes [Oh no I’m not]. Evans – I’m not asking, I’m telling. But Rayna won’t back down as she says, I don’t take orders. Evans counters with – Then I will release the Greatest Hits album – which as we already know is the last thing Rayna wants.
13. At the studio – Liam and Rayna discuss – who else – Juliette. Liam – [about Barnes] a nice rack, and a nice voice for 14 year olds – but she knows how to play the game. Rather than settle for Marshall’s manipulations – Rayna calls her manager Bucky and tells him that they’ll go with negotiations instead. Tell Marshall we’ll do the Barnes duet – but he owes me, he’ll agree that he won’t release the greatest hits, and my next album will be the new music with Liam. Manipulation vs Negotiation – what a novel concept. Boom!
14. Juliette and Deacon stand on the stage at the Ryman. Deacon wishes her well and says this a great opportunity for you to prove you can do it. Juliette – I know I can do it.
15. Hailey figures the best way to get Gunnar’s mind back on her – is to get Scarlett out and involved with someone else – ANYONE ELSE! So they head to a club. Scarlett looks available. Scarlett drinks. Scarlett dances with a stranger. She’s having a great old-time. So is the stranger.
16. Liam, Deacon – and the lady singers – Rayna and Juliette meet at the Ryman to discuss what song they’ll do. It is a major squabble. All sorts of nasty stuff is said. It couldn’t have gotten any more mean. Actually this is the highlight of the episode – so far.
17. Gunnar notices that Scarlett is really having a good time. That’s what a dance with a stranger and a shot of tequila can do for a girl down in the dumps, and Hailey notices that Gunnar notices.
18. What a fight between Rayna and Juliette – who by now has heard enough and storms off.
19. Teddy gives Peggy the bad news – we won’t be seeing each other any more – over the phone.
20. Scarlett goes on stage to sing a grand old Johnny Cash tune, Ring of Fire. Now Gunnar is in worse shape – because he’d like to sing and write with Scarlett. When the strange guy that Scarlett danced with kisses her, Gunnar loses it. And Hailey notices. Yeah, and we notice that she notices. That’s twice. We get it.
21. Deacon whips out a CD, and tells Rayna that he wrote the first verse, but Juliette wrote everything else. Listen to it [and then see if you can tell she has no talent]. He leaves.
22. Back at Chez Juliette – Ms Barnes (after being blasted by Rayna) needs comforting. She and Sean the QB settle in for a bunch of heavy breathing and all that. Off comes his shirt, off comes her shirt. They’re very passionate – only – the QB disengages when Juliette reaches to open his pants. Sorry girl, you are great and I really care , but I believe in waiting until marriage. Casual sex is not my thing. Boom. Juliette is angry, frustrated, and angry. You’re kidding. Are you gay? Juliette tosses him out of the house.
23. Scarlett has returned to her senses. She shows up at Avery’s place intending to make up. No chance of that happening when Marilyn Rhodes comes out of Avery’s bedroom and is in the act of getting dressed. Despite Avery’s protestations that he only started sleeping with Marilyn AFTER the break-up – Scarlett runs out of the house. Furious.
24. Just after that, Rayna arrives at Juliette’s place (‘Nice house you have here‘) and says they’ve got to get down to business and maybe the best way is that we write a song together. I guess the demo CD that Deacon gave Rayna worked.
25. Lamar, Teddy, and Tandy. Another strategy meeting. Lamar suggest that they throw Peggy under the bus. But Teddy won’t go for that. Lamar trots out Plan B. The business about Coleman and the drugs. We see that Lamar has a copy of the Police Booking slip. Teddy says – Everyone knows that the drugs weren’t Coleman’s. Lamar – Yeah he can seek redress in the courts – but before that happens the election will be OVER!
26. Juliette and Rayna work on the song.
27. Deacon and Liam see Rayna and Juliette arrive. Shut up boys – we got to get to work. We’ve got a new song and we need to see if it works.
28. It is the big night. Rhodes is there, as is Domino Wells who invites Avery to Atlanta. Scarlett sees this happening.
29. Scarlett and Gunnar talk. Apologies about what happened at the bar. Scarlett suggest that they schedule a meeting to write a song. Scarlett tells Gunnar – that if she had to lose someone in her life – I’m glad it wasn’t you.
30. Sean the QB arrives at Juliette’s dressing room with a few dozen roses and a lot of smooth talk. He tells Barnes that he respects marriage, and wants to take the time to get to know her. Barnes – If you do get to know me – you won’t like me. Sean disagrees with that, then plays his trump card – Up close he tells her – Trust me, I’m NOT gay.
31. The Ryman stage. It is the big night. Marshall Evans is about to introduce the closing act – Rayna and Juliette.
32. Rayna’s dressing room. Her kids and Teddy are there. Rayna seems to think there’s something funny about Teddy and asks if everything is okay. Teddy doesn’t lay his cards out (about Peggy) instead he says Good luck with the show – we’ll talk after the show.
33. Back on stage – Marshall introduces Rayna – and Rayna introduces Juliette.
34. They sing the song they wrote together – it’s called The Wrong Song. The song was actually written by Sonya Isaacs, Marv Green and Jimmy Leary. Guess what? The girls absolutely hit it out of the park Marshall Evans says – it’s gonna be a huge hit. Great song – wonderfully performed – but they make sure we can tell that Juliette is still NOT LIKING working with Rayna. Fade out.
Summary: They fooled me with QB Sean Butler early on. Seemed a perfect way for them to drop the character – His people don’t want him seen WITH HER. Only he’s back and more ‘ardent’ than ever. Prediction – they won’t marry Juliette off to the QB. Juliette must be the bad girl. Lamar’s gambit with pushing that Colemen is on drugs won’t fly. Rayna will get in the middle of that. The Hailey-Gunnar-Scarlett triangle will have to ignite. There can’t be too much pining and moping about.
Which brings us back to Deacon and Rayna. Things will have to improve between them.
My overall opinion is that this episode went a long way towards redeeming the fact that previous episode didn’t help the series.. See you next time.