The Following: Chapter 2 – I’m Not Pleased and You Shouldn’t Be Either

 I know it is Wednesday, and I only caught the second episode of The Following just today – a couple of days after broadcast.

One of my readers commented that this episode was better than the pilot; but he also was of the opinion that the show is likely doomed and will not be renewed for a second season.

Spoilers ahead.

I agree with the conclusion but not the first part. While I am thrilled that I will be seeing a good deal more of Annie Parissi as FBI Special Agent Debra Parker, rather than John Lafayette as the US Marshall – there’s still too much going on with this show that is off-putting, or dull, or even not nearly as mysterious as they try to make it, or want it to be.

One is the flashbacks. We are shown, via flashback, how Emma Hill was attracted to Joe Carroll and his faux gentility, how easily she was seduced by his ideas, and ultimately recruited to what looks like the key spot, if not the top spot in the organization. If you are going to show us that – couldn’t there have been some doubt – I’m sure most folks aren’t into serial and ritual murders, and I’m even more certain that they don’t sign on to visit violence on innocents without some hesitation.  And why not show of something of the physical relationship of Carroll and Emma. Which being a necessary flashback, and time filler – betcha they do.

Valorie Curry as Emma Hill

Valorie Curry as Emma Hill

As long as we are on the topic of Emma – do we really enjoy the internecine struggles and jockeying for position between Emma, Nico, and Adan? After the police did discover the true Emma which Claire’s background check failed to, and they get her old address – did we really need the spooky music to tell us that this house would be the HQ of this cult or the following, or though not instantly evident – the house would be filled with the standard signals that all is not well – you know the stuff pinned, posted, or glued to the walls, as well as the never wrong as indicator – walls with handwriting on them.

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Parker

Parker, the new Jason Statham action movie, runs 118 minutes. His co-star, Jennifer Lopez, doesn’t make her first appearance until the 40 minute mark. And that’s good news for J-Lo. While this seems a bit unusual, holding her out of the first third of the film, actually it makes us appreciate her more as well as leaving less of the film’s ordinariness on her.

The film is directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray, The Devil’s Advocate, Dolores Claiborne, & An Officer and a Gentleman) who is at the helm for the first time in three years. But the film’s main appeal is that it is actually another page in the Jason Statham book of action heroes. Never mind that these pages are all so similar. You know, everyone needs a thrill ride now and again. And Jason Statham, can always be counted on to help us along with that.

The indestructible Statham is the titular Parker in this January release. After a successful heist, he’s been left for dead by his co-conspirators. You know, there will be one more share for us; he won’t need his cut if he’s dead, so they attempt to make that happen. Only they bungle it. You see, Parker is like the old Timex watch commercials – he takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Parker, once back on his feet, will need to even the score. And then some. If you think that sounds like a bit of the standard ‘crook gets his revenge‘ kind of story, you’d be right. And then some. This film is so by-the-numbers that even before you go to the cinema to see it – you know how it will play out.

But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got a few things going for it. Statham is always fun. He trots out his standard one note performance. And for sure he does it well. J-Lo is always appealing. This time she plays a down-on-her-luck, divorced, and ditzy real estate agent in Palm Beach, Florida. She’s going to hook up with Statham, now posing as a Texas oilman, complete with an outrageous 20 gallon cowboy hat, and an even more outrageous faux Texas twang.

What’s the plan? Let the bad guys headed up by the scary Michael Chiklis, run their heist – then steal the swag from them. Seems do-able, on paper. Of course it is doable. You don’t think they’ve hired Statham and Lopez to fail do you?

But there’s got to be some complications. Obviously the bad guys are not going to allow Parker to waltz in and walk off with the take. We won’t be seeing anything like ‘Sorry mate. It’s all water under the bridge. Take the money. Please. Cheerio.‘ That’s not the way these things go.

We will need lots of bullets, blood, and an ever-increasing body count to get us to the finish line. Parker has his ethics and his credo. From Column A he says that he never robs from those that can’t afford it, and he never hurts anyone who doesn’t deserve it. From Column B he says, I always do what I say I will do, I follow through. Always. And if you don’t do what you say you will do – then there will be problems – I’ll make sure you regret it. Which means big problems. Nice. A crook with principles. But haven’t we heard these kind of things many times before starting back in the days of Robin Hood?

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Nashville: Sn 01 Episode 11 – You Win Again – Recap

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Episode 11? Maybe we should call this episode Anger Management because no matter who we see, they’re either already angry or will soon become angry. The episode opens with Juliette and Rayna performing The Wrong Song live in concert. From the way the performers move on the stage, and from the way they’ve edited the scene , it only takes about 30 seconds to determine that Liam and Rayna are flirting big-time while they perform, and they seem to be paying zero attention to what Juliette is doing as she performs on the very same stage. And we all thought it was supposed to be a duet of the song that has reached Number 1 on the charts. No surprise that when the song ends, Juliette is pissed.

On the road together but when will they get to happy together?

On the road together but when will they get to happy together?

She’s all over her manager Glenn to speak out and let Rayna know that Juliette doesn’t appreciated being isolated on the stage. Glenn says he’ll speak to them. But Juliette gets even more angry when Glenn tells her that Rayna will be on the plane with them on the flight back to Nashville.

Just then, Bucky arrives with Calista Reeves, the head of a major record label. Calista is played by the beautiful Ming-Na Wen, who I first saw as June in The Joy Luck Club twenty years ago. Calista wants to sign Rayna away from Edgehill records. We will circle back to this later, as everyone has a plane to catch.

Ming-Na as June 1993 topMing-Na Wen circa 2012

Ming-Na as June 1993 top
Ming-Na Wen circa 2012

Scarlett and Gunnar are working on a tune,

This plane can’t fly on just one engine

This heart can’t beat without affection

I’m not a choice, I’m a natural selection

but Gunnar is having trouble with his back-up guitar. Remember his brother hocked the Gibson and bought a pistol with the money. Scarlett mentions Winterfest, a Nashville venue for music that she and Gunnar might look into. Gunnar says, You don’t want to go to it. It’s not your thing. Why isn’t it my thing? Because Avery’s playing in it. Oh.

Avery is handed an advance check for $1,000 by Marilyn. She also mentions the party by Edgehill which they will attend. Marilyn says, You’ll meet everyone you need to know in Music City. Avery says, You giving Dominic a run for his money? Marilyn: He gave you a car… I’m giving you a career.

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The Following: The New Fox TV Series Premiered last Night

The new Fox TV series The Following had its premiere last night. Kevin Bacon has the lead role as Ryan Hardy – a former FBI agent and the one who managed to capture the serial killer, Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy. Carroll was a professor of English Lit at the fictional Winslow College whose specialty was the American writer Edgar Allen Poe and one who was hellbent to raising the serial killing of beautiful women to an art form.

Spoilers ahead.

The series opens with what we will learn is serial killer Joe Carroll escaping from prison just 17 days before his scheduled execution. How he managed to kill four prison guards in the prison security control room without any of them being tied up defies logic – but we only see the bodies when they are discovered, so we will move on.

The second thing we see is Bacon’s Hardy – alone in his Brooklyn loft. He’s kind of a wreck – as he’s no longer working for the FBI due to a) being stabbed by Carroll and can longer function as a field agent, and b) he’s got more than a bit of quirky orneriness to him, c) because of that he isn’t able to work nicely with his fellow agents. One more thing, he’s now currently an alcoholic.

Haven’t we seen alcoholic detectives and cops far too often. Let’s see – this is how we met Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes, and Richard Gere as Eddie the cop who awoke every day and would have a shot of whiskey before even getting out of bed in Brooklyn’s Finest (2009). Okay, so Ryan Hardy is no longer working for the FBI but almost as soon as Carroll has escaped – the head of the FBI is on the phone to Hardy asking him to get down to Virginia asap and consult on the case.

Moments later, Hardy is climbing out of a helicopter that has ferried him to the Virginia prison that Carroll has just escaped from. There, almost instantly, he will meet resentment and resistance from the two FBI agents and Federal Marshal Turner played by John Lafayette, currently handling the case. When Billy Brown (Agent Reilly) introduces Hardy to Marshall Turner, Turner says, I know Hardy. We worked together on capturing Carroll nine years ago. He’s your problem now.

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Rust and Bone

Rust and Bone – is it an English pub? Or maybe an interior design firm? Last guess; a few things that have been discovered in a long abandoned house which might be haunted? Actually ‘none of the above‘ is the best guess. Rust and Bone is a French/Belgian film that opened last May in Europe and just this past November here in the USA. Its French title is De rouille et d’os . Heard of it?

This is not just any film. It was nominated for 2 Golden Globes which have come and gone. Still pending are two BAFTA awards which are the British Oscars. The categories: Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress. More locally, Marion Cotillard has already won the 2012 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Actress of the Year.

In case you have forgotten, Cotillard has appeared in Contagion, Inception, Midnight in Paris, The Dark Knight Rises, and Public Enemies. That’s in addition to having walked off with the Oscar for Best Actress in 2008 for La vie en Rose. In this film, directed by Jacques Audiard, Cotillard playing off her co-star Matthias Schoenaerts, is spectacular.

Audiard is no stranger to my pages. I’ve done reviews on two of his other films including The Beat My Heart Skipped (2005), and Read My Lips (2001). What can you draw from all of the facts above? Right. Audiard is at the forefront of French cinema.

This film, Rust and Bone, won’t need a lot of words from me. I can provide you with all you’ll need to know – just from the trailer.

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Cotillard plays Stephanie who lives with a guy she doesn’t love, and she trains and performs with Orcas (Killer Whales) for a living in Antibes, in the south of France.

Matthias Schoenaerts plays Ali. Ali is a down-on-his-luck roughneck. He lacks sensitivity, culture, empathy – you name it he lacks it. That would also include money. He does have a five year old son called Sam. Ali and Sam are so broke they have to scavenge for food unfinished and abandoned by other travelers on the long train ride down to the south of France, where he will live (temporarily) with his married sister while he looks for work.

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Broken City

broken_city_xlgO Brother, Where Art Thou?

Yes, that was the title of the 2000 film that starred George Clooney about escaped-from-a-chain-gang fugitives on the run in search of treasure in the Deep South circa 1930. The key element connecting that film to this one is that the film was made by Coen Brothers. In film circles, we also have the former Wachowski brothers now more accurately described as siblings, and the Hughes Twins – Allen and Albert all of whom DIRECT films.

Broken City was directed by Allen Hughes working from Brian Tucker’s script. There’s no sign of Albert Hughes in this effort. In this film there are a number of people in search of the truth, and while the word treasure is strictly not being sought, there is a huge payday for a few of the characters at stake.

By way of a short synopsis, the IMDB entry for Broken City reads:

In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.

Now the casting is pro forma and doesn’t require any head scratching at all. The ex-cop Billy Taggart is played by Mark Wahlberg, who also appeared in a similar role exactly a year ago in Contraband. Is Wahlberg aiming to become the King of January releases? Any way, Taggart’s from the neighborhood, he’s all blue-collar, and he believes in justice – though he’s not necessarily locked into the thought that justice can only be found in a courtroom.

Russell Crowe, fresh from a lengthy stint as Javert in Les Miserables, may have needed a paycheck to tide him over while he waited for the productions of Man of Steel and Noah to begin. Here he plays the Mayor of New York, one Nick Hostetler, and one need not require a large leap of faith to figure that if Mark Walhberg is the good guy, then Russell Crowe must be the bad guy. Yes, Crowe is once more  saddled with a horrible hair cut. Now a haircut doesn’t make you either heroic nor villainous. but this Mayor is also a guy who looked like he bathed in a tub filled with quick tanning bronzer – you know a suntan without the sun.

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Then we have Jeffrey Wright as the out-in-the-field Police Commissioner Carl Fairbanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Mayor’s wife with an agenda of her own, Barry Pepper as the other Mayor election candidate, Natalie Martinez as Mrs. Taggart, Alona Tal as Taggart’s gal friday, and Kyle Chandler as the would be MacGuffin. Even Griffin Dunne shows up as a rich s.o.b. with no social conscience at all in a distinctly small role.

The film has been assembled as a modern-day noir – with corruption peeking out of every nook and crevice. Yet nothing is as you think it is. Every time you think you know what’s going on they toss a new twist or surprise at you. Only it isn’t all that difficult to see the ‘surprises’ coming. At least from the audience’s perspective. Unfortunately, Billy Taggart is always the last one to figure something out.

Allen Hughes is working from a weak script. He has a few eye-popping shots of the Verrazano Bridge, and other famed Manhattan bridges. He also has a nice shot of the exterior of Grand Central Station, and a few seconds of an interior shot of this station. Unfortunately, Hughes overlooked the fact that trains departing for points east, like Montauk out on Long Island never leave from Grand Central Station. To get to Montauk you’d board at Penn Station. But maybe you think that is being picky.

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Nashville: Sn 01 Episode 10 – I’m Sorry For You, My Friend – Recap

So where are we? What do we need to recall before Nashville’s Episode 10 called I’m Sorry for You, My Friend, begins. Juliette Barnes ran off, leaving her husband, QB Sean Butler at the altar, to presumably to join the music tour with Rayna James. Barnes and Butler are still legally married, by virtue of their courthouse wedding/elopement, but will Butler claim abandonment and seek damages in the sure to follow divorce hearings or will it be an annulment? Scarlett and Gunnar and Avery are still swirling around separately, or in combination, with everything, as usual, going one way this minute, and the other way the next. Teddy and Rayna are in agreement that their marriage isn’t working – but for the sake of the girls – they’ll use the tour rather than announce an official separation, while they see how things go. And of course there’s the unhappy Deacon, who is out on tour with the Revel Kings and has a new girlfriend, someone from the past called Carla Gonzales. He’s not happy about anything at the moment.

Nashville

I’ve got an alternative title for this episode. I’m calling it – We’ll See as there more We’ll See moments than you could ever imagine.

The episode opens with a press conference for the tour to be called “Red Lips, White Lies”; which is Khouri shorthand for Rayna and Juliette. The ‘media frenzy’ looked like a couple a dozen seated entertainment reporters, journalists, and columnists all eager to ask the big question and get a response that might go viral. The questions go from medium to hot, as do the responses which include some banter which also runs the gamut from cool to barbed.

Time for the Revel Kings bus to pull out. Carmen kisses Deacon goodbye. Cy notices, and you’d think he wouldn’t care seeing how his groupie count is off the charts. But he is a one mean and jealous sumbitch, so he makes a run at Carmen, and is shot-down. It may have been meaningless for Carmen, but the Cy/Deacon series of brush fires are not only visibly still burning, but it looks like an explosion is in the works.

Cut to San Diego and we watch the arena getting set up for the concert. Rayna tells her manager Bucky that she’s kind of not thrilled by her new lead guitarist. The guy has the creds but he and Rayna aren’t on the same page musically. Bucky says he’ll talk to the dude. But before we find out what happens, Rayna gets a call from her daughters. Hi girls!  Teddy is in the room and asks to speak with her, but no, Rayna says she isn’t coming back for election night. Teddy says it would help him and look good. Plus she’d get to see the girls, but Rayna remains unsure. Teddy remains in the ‘unhappy camper’ group.

In Nashville and at the Bluebird, we find out that Gunnar is planning to go to Austin. Scarlett just happens to have free tickets and backstage passes to the Revel King concert in Austin provided by her uncle Deacon. She asks if she can ride out there with Gunnar, but he seems reticent about the whole thing claiming he’s going out there for family stuff. When Scarlet says they can make it a work trip and write some songs at the same time, Gunnar is boxed in with no way out.

Juliette is in the process of doing un unpleasant chore – she is signing CDs backstage and offers up that no one buys CD’s any more. Not true – I bought the Nashville TV Series soundtrack CD myself. Juliette is also bitching that Sean Butler won’t sign the divorce papers. Her manager Glenn suggests she reach out to Sean and have a face to face. But Juliette hasn’t the confidence to do that.

Bucky brings in the guitarist and Rayna tries to discuss what she wants from him. But this guy isn’t buying into it. He says Rayna is impossible to please and he’s out of there. He immediately exits stage right. The concert is tomorrow night, and now Rayna has no guitar player. Bucky doesn’t quite take the side of the departed musician but when Rayna says, Can you get me a good guitar player, Bucky says he doubts he can find anyone that Rayna will feel is good enough. And he exits stage right too.

Back in Nashville at Teddy’s HQ, the TV is tuned into Coleman Carlisle giving a speech and saying all the right things – like he’s going to represent all the people in Nashville, not just the ones who will give donations in return for political favors. Tandy says that Coleman has the right reputation, and possibly Teddy doesn’t. Lamar pipes in that he can get the votes – meaning he will grease some palms. But this displeases Teddy and he says – no you won’t – and I won’t have it. [We’ll see about that].

Avery and Marilyn talk shop after sex. Marilyn and her lawyer have looked over the contract that Avery got from Dominic. They don’t like it. Standard royalty numbers less expenses to be charged to Avery that he hadn’t even thought about. Marilyn claims that Dominic’s deal isn’t so good for Avery, and that Dominic is trying to take advantage of Avery’s youth and inexperience. Avery says, Of course that’s how you like them too.

Gunnar and Scarlet meet Deacon at a 5 star hotel in Austin. Gunnar breaks off almost immediately claiming he has to meet with his brother (Family obligations) who he says lives outside of Austin. This is week 10 and this is the very first time we’ve heard about this brother.

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Talking About Zero Dark Thirty – What’s Your Opinion?

I think I got my first look at Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty film when the official teaser trailer came out in early August of last year. I knew then, that I would see the film at my earliest opportunity, which turned out to be a few days ago on January 11th when the film opened in theaters everywhere.

So you could say I was quite eager for the film. Very eager might even be a better description.

My usual film conversation partner, Didion, author of the Feminéma blog, and I decided to do a discussion on this film, and that decision was made back on November 28th, so this one has been percolating for quite some time. Since we agreed, the film has received a cacophony of commentaries both positive and negative. One could definitely say that film has polarized a lot of folks.

Didion sent me an email while arranging the time and place of our discussion. She wrote:

Really looking forward to this. I’m afraid my expectations for the film are high.

Was she expressing a fear that the film might disappoint her, because she had set the bar so high? Was she reacting to the fact the film did receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay but not for Best Direction? Or was she reacting to the plethora of comments already made that she may have read?

Let’s find out.

 JMM: Hi Didion. I’ve been really looking forward to this just as you have. So let’s get this thing going. You mentioned that you were afraid that your expectations for ZD30 were high. Now that we’ve both seen the film, I’ll lay my cards on the table first to say that I was not disappointed at all. Just the opposite – I felt the film was great. What about you?

Didion: I so agree with you. I left the theater in tears, due to a rush of conflicting emotions that I can’t quite believe Bigelow was able to convey so effectively. I think it’s a really major film — better than anything I’ve seen this year.

Yes: fear of high expectations due to the threat of disappointment. But I’d also read relatively little about the film beforehand, so I didn’t realize quite where it would take me.

Can I just start by saying that the opening 1-2 minutes of the film were possibly the most amazing way to get a film started?

JMM: You mean the WTC audio?

Didion: Yes!

JMM: The WTC voices over a blank screen led to a CIA black site was a seriously affecting jump. Especially since we have no idea of what we will see. Were you amazed because of the unexpected transition or just the impact of the voices taking us back to 9/11?

Didion: Yes: what was so amazing for me was the fact that it took me back to 9/11, that it felt like I was reliving it. The voices we hear are not ones we heard that day. But you find yourself lost in thought, remembering where you were. And, hence (in my case at least), realizing the extent to which that one day caused a cultural trauma for so many of us. It put me in mind of sitting in a room at school where someone had found a TV from the A/V room and set it up so we could gather and watch the events unfolding. Surrounded by my colleagues and students, all helplessly watching something unthinkable. And then I went home and didn’t stop crying for, what, 24 hours? 48 hours? a week? two weeks?

Now, I don’t quite know how Bigelow knew to do this, or knew how it might affect people in theaters. Or how she chose the voices she did. But it was an amazing way to frame this film, because I think ultimately its tense action scenes are subsumed under its attempt to tell us something about the big wound we’ve all had for the last 11+ years.

JMM: Some have questioned the legitimacy of using those voices – after all, someone could recognize them. I’ll leave that for others to decide. For me the framing was totally unexpected. I even wondered if this was a malfunction in the theater. You know – a gray screen – but I moved past it. As for me, I was crossing the Hudson River from Manhattan to New Jersey, and we were able to see the smoke and flames while on board the ferry. Later we watched on TV and from our own office windows. Yes, we were helpless as well.

Didion: Yikes!

JMM: I find the comment you make about the wound we’ve lived with these many years interesting . It will never leave us – either as individuals or as a nation….

Didion: Can I ask you something about the film as a whole that’s been debated publicly? About torture. I was prepared to arrive here today and dismiss the charge that the film advocates for torture as a means of getting information. I could certainly develop an argument that falls in line with what Bigelow and Mark Boal (the screenwriter) have said: that it represents the perspectives of CIA figures without endorsing those views.

But honestly, I believe the film gets as close as possible to arguing that torture leads to information — even as it also says that torture helps to procure a bunch of misleading, incorrect, and distracting information as well. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

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Nashville: Sn 01 Episode 09 – Be Careful of Stones That You Throw – Recap

nvl01052012-11-08-12h09m01s183After sitting idle in a hangar, or maybe a train yard, or a garage – the Nashville Express got rolling last night. Of course I am talking about the ABC TV Series Nashville, and not an actual plane, train, or bus. The series resumed last night after taking a month off. Now that things are on the move again, we will have to watch carefully to determine in which direction the show is heading. Because after last night’s episode entitled  Be Careful of Stones That You Throw, the answer to that question is not immediately clear.

One thing that is certain is that there are a lot of unhappy characters on the show right now. Maybe they should call next week’s episode Gloomyville rather than the already written title of I’m Sorry for You, My Friend. But enough chatter – what happened last night?

As the credits roll, Rayna is in a recording studio. The song they’re working on is The Wrong Song, which was the highlight song from the Rayna James/Juliette Barnes duet performance at the Ryman Auditorium.  The live performance went so well that they have to get it done in a studio and out in the stores asap. While Rayna is in fine form – at the moment, Juliette is either a no-show or late. Where is she?

Juliette is on top of Sean Butler in the back seat of a limousine. Sean says something like, I can’t believe we just did that. Was it sex? Yes it was. But there was something else. Juliette and Sean have just gotten married. A shocker for sure, because the previous episode ended with Juliette popping the ‘Will you marry me‘ question to Sean. Anyway, Juliette’s phone starts buzzing and she sees the text message about the recording session already started and she’s not there.

Scarlett and Gunnar are at work on a song. But Gunnar is scowling. He’s not a happy camper. He’s not happy with the lyrics that Scarlett is writing. There’s pressure as they need to write three songs. Gunnar decides to leave. Gunnar says it is hard to write a song without any good lyrics. Scarlett asks why are you punishing me. Gunnar has no answer, so Scarlett decides that she will leave as they’re not getting anything done, and she has to meet Avery in the morning. Gunnar: So you’re back together again? Scarlett: No, he’s giving me the keys and moving out so I can have the place.

Boom. Now Gunnar looks silly, he tries to recover, but Scarlett is already on the bricks and out the door.

At a party, Dominic is asking Avery about firing the rest of his band. Avery says I can’t quite fire them over the phone. He’s heading back tomorrow and he will let them know. Avery also says he owes his guys one last gig, he grew up with those guys. I owe them. Dominic: Startin’ now – the only one you owe anything to – is me.

While folks are still waiting on Juliette Barnes to show up times are a-wasting. One unhappy person at the studio calls Juliette Ms Pop-Tart. Rayna asks about the tour and is told they will do the secondary markets (smaller cities) first which will allow them to work out the kinks while still selling out. Rayna is told that the tour bus will hit the highway on Sunday which gives them just three more days of rehearsals both technical and artistic.

Elsewhere, Deacon is about to go on stage for a concert with the Revel Kings. His lead singer is giving him a pep talk. You know – Deacon, I need you to PERFORM. Bring it! This ain’t country – this is rock ‘n roll. Before the band can actually climb up to get on stage, Deacon is called by the PR guy and introduced to Carmen Gonzalez, a reporter who will be writing a story on the band. She doesn’t shake hands with Deacon. She plants a big kiss right on his lips. His band mates notice (Why don’t reporters kiss me like that?) as do we. This Carmen Gonzales, who ever she is, and Deacon have some history. Stay tuned.

At long last, Juliette finally arrives at the studio. Where ya been? she’s asked. Holding out her hand to show off her wedding ring Juliette says simply – Getting married! Jaws drop including Rayna’s. Time for some girl talk, so Rayna asks the guys in the room to head out.

Rayna: Guess congratulations are in order. Nice ring.
Juliette: Thank you but you’re not here to talk about my ring.
Rayna: No, I want to start the tour on Sunday
JulietteL Are you kidding? Why do you even want to go out on tour with me? You hate me.
Rayna: I only hate sunburns and hangovers. This is just business.

Rayna: Seems to me that you need me right now, just as much as I might need you.
Translation: it turns out that these two each need the other. Once again viewers – stay tuned.

Juliette returns home to her new hubby Sean and finds that his parents are there as well. I told them says Sean. Yeah, they’ve been told and they are distinctly not thrilled having heard the news. Mrs. Butler, Juliette’s new Mother-In-Law says, No son of mine is getting married in some courthouse and calling it done. She insists on a church wedding. How about this Sunday. Sorry, no can do – I am going on tour with Rayna James on Sunday [It was just set up]. No problem – then we’ll make it on Saturday. Does that work with your busy schedule.

Folks, this was definitely not one of those GEICO Happy Moments.

Rayna and Teddy are home talking about the tour which begins in three days and ends 5 months later. Rayna says she’s going to take the girls with her because she their home has become a toxic environment and she doesn’t trust Teddy. She says, You stole money, you lied to me about it, and a girl is the hospital because she tried to commit suicide over it. Teddy mans up and says, You’re not taking the girls with you without a [big] fight.

Cue commercials. We are at 9:30 into the episode.

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