In many ways this episode is something of a triumph: I wouldn’t have thought it possible for Nashville to be this annoying without the input of The Girls, who are, this week, no more than malevolent offscreen presences. Just about everyone else, though, seems to be determined to behave in a way which makes me want to throw something at the screen.
Rayna, for example, is back from her road trip, positively bouncing with excitement about her big plan to record, with Deacon, a concept album about their life together. Bucky – eye on the Highway 65 bottom line – is sceptical, but ultimately knows who’s paying the piper, so falls into line. Deacon clearly doesn’t like the idea, patiently explaining to Rayna that there’s quite a lot about his recent history that he really doesn’t want to dwell on, but agrees to think about it. Rayna, however, won’t let it go for more than five minutes, to the point where Deacon is clearly wondering whether death might have been preferable to a liver transplant, if it means having to endure Rayna.
But that’s nothing to compared with Gunnar and Scarlett DEAR GOD WILL YOU STOP WITH THIS SHIT? Scarlett is jealous because Autumn is texting Gunnar – even though he isn’t replying – and because one of Gunnar’s songs, written while they were apart, might not be about her. The lyric makes reference to “golden eyes”, which she doesn’t have, although as Gunnar despairingly points out no-one does, and it’s a generic love song. She sulks anyway.
Meantime Will meets a designer, Jakob Fair, who totally comes onto him. Will rebuffs him with more than a little regret, but this all happens so swiftly that I’d say Kevin isn’t long for this world. Juliette – who at least is behaving in character – demands that her bitches (Avery and/or Emily) track down her “angel”. And Rayna is being stalked, presumably either by worryingly intense tech zillionaire Zach, who wants to – ahem – “hack (her) cloud”, or worryingly intense H65 media guy Geek, whose real name I didn’t catch.
But then, as I’m wondering whether I ever want to watch this show again, it all kind of sorts out, in a way which is hardly satisfactory from a dramatic point of view, but which at least meant that I didn’t destroy my TV. Gunnar changes the words of his song so that it’s explicitly about Scarlett. Deacon relents. Juliette meets the pastor of church her “angel” attends; he’s charming and soft-spoken, explains that the woman – Hallie – doesn’t want any attention, but agrees to pass Juliette’s number on to her. These scenes have an appealing dreaminess to them. And, as I said last week, the dialogue is much improved from last season; there is, I think, a script doctor in the house.