Nashville s4 ep 3

“Very few brain stem reflexes…”; yes, Mayor Teddy’s back. Oh hang on, that’s a description of Beverly. But we’ll get to her, because Teddy is indeed back; he’s older, wiser, and hairier, having cultivated the sort of beard grown by out-of-office politicians – which, I suppose, is what he is – and off-season TV personalities. Younger Girl is in trouble at school: she’s been bitch-slapping a mean girl for having the temerity to claim that her daddy might be guilty of something. So Rayna and The Girls hit Teddy up in prison, where he’s awaiting trial. YG is pretty clear that Teddy’s the victim of an over-zealous prosecutor who just doesn’t realise that her father’s innocent. Uh… not so much, concedes Teddy, without going into too much detail about the kickbacks, ho, etc.

Well, The Girls really don’t like that, so after they rip up some old family photo albums Rayna takes them back to prison and, in front of them, tells Teddy what a great husband and father he was and is. Which, given that she was not-so-secretly in love with another man during their marriage, one might think to be the least she owes him. Hugging, learning.

In other dysfunctional family news, Juliette is still on tour and as unreachable as she wants to be, so Avery finally gets fed up and sees an attorney about getting a divorce. But Emily – still on the payroll, now de facto part-time nanny for Cadence, and frankly a more attractive proposition than Juliette at the moment, were Avery to notice – sort-of persuades Avery that Juliette still wants husband and baby, so he shoves the divorce papers in a drawer, unsigned. This isn’t my first rodeo, writers; is Juliette going to stumble across them, do we think?

Meantime Juliette is hanging out with Luke, in his usual Nashville role as male companion to troubled women. At one point I wondered whether they might… but no; they end up in a bar, where in five minutes flat Juliette pulls together a band, a crowd, and an entertainingly raucous ‘Bad Reputation’. Avery, dude: sign the papers. Move on. She has. And Will continues to be underserved by the show: this week his role is to be criticised by one of Kevin’s friends – and then by Kevin himself – for not being sufficiently visible as a gay country artist.

But the bulk of the episode is about Beverly, and since I’m quite happy to see her dead ASAP the storyline doesn’t really move me as much as it should. It turns out that she suffered another and more serious aneurysm at the end of last week’s episode, and Scarlett has to decide whether to turn off life support. This provides tremendous opportunities for two of the men in Scarlett’s life: Deacon can be a great big wounded bear, all macho, blustering, and angry – miracles do happen, after all; and Gunnar can visibly start to calculate the point at which it would be ethically acceptable to leverage Scarlett’s grief into another chance to run his fingers through her extensions.

But it’s Scarlett’s call. Last season she would quite happily have flicked the switch, one suspects, but she’s now deluding herself into thinking that, perhaps, she just didn’t love her mother enough, and sits down in the hospital chapel to write and perform a song. Presumably no-one else needed the chapel for quiet reflection. Actually, like most of the songs given to Scarlett, it’s rather lovely: ‘Speak To Me’, written by Lucy Schwartz, Tofer Brown, and Sarah Siskind. (All three have written for the show before; ‘Black Roses’ in particular, is one of Schwartz’s. Kudos, folks.)

And then Scarlett kills her mother, not before time. There’s a certain amount of chat about harvesting Beverly’s organs, so I hope that Deacon gets dibs and freezes what’s left of her liver in case the bit he’s already got starts to pack up, because by the end of the episode he has the look of a man who might go back to the bottle. Enjoyable enough, but I suspect I’ll like this show more now that Beverly’s out of it.

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5 thoughts on “Nashville s4 ep 3

  1. Bill September 15, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    I do feel like I need to point out the hair this season. Avery has longer hair, and doesn’t look better for it. I keep thinking that he must be in some cheap remake of The Three Musketeers. As an aside, I had high hopes for the Three Men and a Baby storyline that seemed about to unfold, but they just haven’t tickled that funny bone. Yet.

    Gunnar seems to have embraced the Peaky Blinders hairstyle, but is too tall, slim and nice to pull it off. This may come across as a flimsy attempt to say that he’s just not hot enough to carry it off. And Scarlett is soon going to resemble Cousin It in the Addams Family if they keep pinning extensions into that hair. Rayna is, of course, delightful in her golden splendour.

    When is Rayna going to step forward and tell Older Girl she’s too old for tantrums and ripping up photographs, and dole out a bit of discipline? And quit saying that Mayor Teddy isn’t your dad. That was so many seasons ago, draw a line under it, and move on.

    Deacon, however, is fast becoming my least favourite character. I am sure I quite liked him at one stage, and was rooting for him and Rayna. Now, I can’t remember what on earth made me think that.

    Too many people wrestling too many demons at the minute in Nashville.

  2. Jed Bartlet September 15, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    I dunno, Bill, if we remove all the people wrestling their demons from Nashville, we’re left with… hang about. Dr Yoko?

    I am DREADING the Three Men and a Baby storyline. My money’s still on one of them leaving poor Cadence on a bus, or something. Gunnar: “I thought you had her?!” Will: “Well, I thought *you* had her!” Avery (entering room): “What are we talking about?”

  3. Bill September 16, 2016 / 8:12 am

    We don’t need to remove all of them, but can there at least be something light happening to cut through all the depressing storylines. I’m looking forward to the scene where all three of them peer into her cot and sing her a lullaby.

  4. CJ Cregg September 16, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    I second Bill’s comments about everyone’s hair this year. Maybe the hairstylist on set is so busy with making sure Rayna’s looks gorgeous at all times, that everyone else has been left to fend for themselves.

    I’ve been fed up with Deacon for about two seasons now. He’s a selfish jerk who always puts his own (loud, angry) emotions before anyone else. I can’t bear Scarlett but leaving her alone like that for Beverly’s death was a terrible thing to do. Not that she *had* to be alone – I don’t understand why Dr Yoko (HEE) just stood there like an idiot at the ward desk watching the Beverly Death Express go by, instead of putting down his clipboard and going to stand with Scarlett in her hour of need.

    Come to think of it, I like very few people on this show. Luke was one of them this week – as we’ve said before, breaking up with Rayna has turned him into a spare part but a really nice one. He was lovely to Juliette. If only she would be lovely to herself and go back to her husband and child – she obviously loves them but is too scared that they’ll clip her wings and she’ll lose the career and independence she carved out for herself if she allows herself to be with them. This whole storyline makes me sad. The only reason it’s not also insanely annoying as well is Hayden P continues to make Juliette, in spite of everything, a vulnerable, sympathetic character I only want good things for, which is quite the feat given Juliette’s behaviour over the years.

    • Jed Bartlet September 16, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Oh yeah, the Beverly Death Express. What was THAT all about? If they’re turning off someone’s life support can they not leave the patient discreetly in the same room, allowing everyone a modicum of privacy at an incredibly stressful time?

      It was so deranged it occurred to me that perhaps some sort of parade was a hospital ritual.

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