ABC’s Nashville, Episode 14, called Dear Brother, aired a couple of nights ago. With this one, we’ve had 14 episodes aired – so the next episode will be the Season One finale. Personally, I’m glad the series is approaching a conclusion, but I wonder what your feelings are.
I’ve been dutifully recapping Nashville, and I mean fully recapping. There are no short cuts, scenes skipped, or stuff that is simply mentioned – but I’m tired of it. It is a lot of work, and quite likely boring to read. Only a die-hard Nashville fan would want to re-live the episodes by reading. I think that seeing how easy it is to watch the episodes again and again, as well as whenever you want, that the full recaps aren’t necessary.
So it is See-ya to the full recaps. We are heading toward something different. So where do we go from here? How about more opinions, more guess-work and speculation, and to season the stew, how about some criticisms when warranted? Let’s not forget analysis, and, in that way, maybe we can head toward something of a digest aka light recaps. The possibilities are myriad.
I think a better title for this Episode than Dear Brother might have been Dark Clouds Gather.
The news of Rayna and Teddy washing ashore in Splitsville seemed to hit the tabloids rather quickly didn’t they? Teddy filed in Sumner County, a neighboring county to Nashville. Was it an enterprising county clerk who called the tabloids, or did they call Lamar?
Juliette decides to throw a birthday bash for Deacon. All and sundry know that Deacon detests parties, and especially surprise parties for HIS birthday. But never mind. It seemed a good way to attract some well-known country music artists to the show, and to give said artists a bit of exposure between sets, in the broadest of terms.
At Chez Scarlett, the hidden handgun had to come to light. Once we saw it we knew it was a dark cloud looming. But before we saw it, we had to endure the brothers, Gunnar and Jason, sing us through the We Pack Your Sack Doo-Wah ditty. Yeah, we know, as brothers – once upon a time, they were thisclose.
We meet a new character, Jolene’s addiction counselor, Dante. I haven’t figured out if his purpose is to serve as a listener so Juliette can discuss her problematic childhood, or if there’s something else afoot. As for actually counseling between he and Jolene – we’ve seen nada.
By now, the tabloids are on the shelves at the supermarket. Rayna’s daughters see it, as do the finger-pointing, tongue-wagging, talk-behind-your-hand shoppers. Rayna is about to become tabloid front page fodder for the short-term (she hopes) as well as a downstream target, rich in photo opportunities, for the paparazzi.
Gunnar and Jason meet near the waterfront. Jason say’s he’s trying to forget his past, but his past won’t forget him. So when Gunnar tosses the hand gun into the river we just know this is a very dark cloud, in the sense that Jason’s future has just been short-listed.
Deacon meets Coleman Carlisle for coffee. They talk about Deacon’s birthday plans and then Coleman asks if Deacon has heard about Rayna and Teddy. Deacon says he found out the same way the rest of the world did. I didn’t quite get why they had this meeting. But a good guess might be to re-introduce Coleman, who we hadn’t seen in a while. Which means his significance is something other than this meeting.
Juliette is home working on a new song which is overheard by Dante. Juliette is none too happy to have him around and his response is that he’s there as needed. He asks Juliette why she asked her Mom to live with her if she can’t be a part of the recovery process. Juliette: I am a part of the recovery. A big part of it. The check-writing part. And there’s more of course – by caring for Jolene, Juliette loses some of her bad girl aura.
Teddy puts in a call to Peggy and gets the answering machine. His purpose is to announce that they have distance themselves from each other, orders from his people. But he doesn’t want that – so trust him – I’m gonna think of something – I promise. Yeah right. Like they won’t be under the sheets or under his desk ever again. I’m not buying it.
Avery is out spending. He buys a 25K guitar. I guess that 100 K he got via Hayley is burning a whole in his pocket. Psst … before this episode even ends, Avery will be returning the guitar. So why did they have this scene at all? To show how unstable Avery is becoming. You betcha, that sounds exactly right to me.
Scarlett was asked to get Deacon to the Surprise Party by Juliette. As if there were any doubts, the mission succeeds.
Just then Lamar arrives at Rayna’s house. Rayna is a bit defensive but Lamar is there to say he was sorry about how things have turned out. Lamar apologizing . Now that’s a first. How nice to have given us a different version of Goldilocks and the wolf in Grandma’s clothing? Lamar tries to prop up Rayna, and suggest that she did nothing wrong, and everyone else can go to hell. Of course, Lamar has spent his whole life this way, so this isn’t unexpected. Now this, being agreeable and pleasant to Rayna was so very un-Lamar-ish. Somehow I just feel it is a big sham and therefore gets to be considered a looming dark cloud.
Showtime. Oops – Party Time. Deacon arrives at the Bluebird on time. Scarlett and Gunnar are outside waiting for him. They send him in first so he can walk right into his surprise party. Along the way, between the meet and greet celebs, the finger food, the tulip champagne glasses, everyone is enjoying themselves.
But a dark cloud – actually the first of some new ones – appears. It is Avery who is stopping by The Bluebird for Open Mike Night which has been cancelled for this private event. Avery’s not on the list as he hadn’t been invited. Of course, through a window, he sees Gunnar and Scarlett singing their duet,
and just as naturally, we all know that he’s not happy about any of this. Cue the Jaws theme.
Rayna, who wasn’t planning to go to the party, has written a song. She calls Watty White who will bring her to the party. When they arrive, the hordes of frenzied media folk are out in full force. This isn’t a dark-cloud – it is already a full-fledged shit-storm.
Lamar and Teddy meet in Teddy’s office. Teddy is in his iron man mode, and Lamar is … well Lamar. Conflict time.
Wow. Now this is the real Lamar. Lamar can’t be pleased that Teddy has become defiant and is going to run the ship (city) as he deems fit, rather than how Lamar wants him to. Watch your back Teddy.
Dark Cloud Time – Detectives show up at the Bluebird, and in mid-party, to talk to Gunnar. They ask that he come with them. Rather – they tell him to come with them.
While Deacon is giving a small speech we see that champagne is being served. With a glass in her hand, Jolene has obviously decided to give it a taste. Another Dark Cloud has just moved into position. Soon enough Jolene is in the classic face-on-the-floor position. Deacon offers to take Jolene home, but Juliette says she’s got it.
Peggy arrives at Teddy’s office. To Party. Like we didn’t see that coming. Scroll up to see what I said earlier.
Rayna pays tribute to Deacon with a beautiful song.
Oh oh there I go again
Walking the line, killing time between my sins
Whoa whoa, why do I come here
The ending’s still the same – I’m bringing back old tears
I act like I don’t know
Where this road will go —
As she sings “Pour me something stronger than mean” montage style, we watch Rayna singing and then they cross-cut with Juliette putting her mother to bed. We see Scarlett noticing that Gunnar isn’t around. Scarlett sends a text message to Gunnar – Where r u? Jolene apologizes for ruining her birthday party. No Mama, Deacon loved it. Not Deacon’s party. Your party when you were 9. At the city morgue, Gunnar is asked to positively ID his brother Jason who lies dead on a slab. He’s overcome with grief.
So many of the dark clouds that loomed have opened into sad storms.
Dante’s role is explained. He listens and Juliette talks. When she was nine, Juliette almost succumbed to letting her Mom burn down the house. But she didn’t. Thank you Dante, you were marvelous as the listening post.
At Guitar City, I just made that up as actually the store isn’t named, we have Avery returning the 25K ‘impulse buy’ guitar. I’ve no idea – why he bought the guitar or why he’s returning it. Just as I have no idea why we had Gunnar’s brother appear out of nowhere, then disappear, then reappear only to be killed off.
Deacon comes home to find a gift from Juliette: a cute, Old Yeller kind of puppy. Deacon says he doesn’t want it and what is he to do with it? Juliette’s assistant who delivered the dog and the card, says that he should just love it. Yeah right. The cute pooch will be become Deacon’s anchor to stay in Nashville. Near Rayna.
At City Hall, Teddy has called in Coleman Carlisle. Why? To apologize, and to offer Coleman the Deputy Mayor position. Teddy wants to do everything the way he wants, and doesn’t want to be Lamar’s man in the chair.
Coleman accepts which means that Lamar’s man Hank Tully, won’t be getting the job. Repeating what I said earlier – watch your back Teddy.
The episode closes with the long-expected, and hoped for, and highly anticipated coming together of Scarlett and Gunnar. He’s desolate, blaming himself for Jason’s death. A sympathetic hug turns into post grief sex. Finally. Fade out.
So, what did you think of the episode? In a recent discussion I learned that the problems that the Nashville series have had, are quite similar to what is happening over at NBC’s Smash. In short, it is far easier to attract new viewers to a new series than it is to keep them interested. The format (of 15 weeks) is simply too long, and when you tie that into the multiple story lines – you are locked into having some dull, and time filling episodes. Maybe shorter seasons are the answer. Like 8 weeks seasons, or maybe just 10 weeks. Any thoughts on that?