To repeat the point I made last week: there are often no good reasons why I like some episodes of Nashville and dislike others. Was this week’s objectively any worse than last week’s? I don’t think so; but large parts of it annoyed the heck out of me, almost exclusively because of the presence of Deacon’s father.
There is, it should be said, a hint at one stage that Deacon’s recollections of his childhood might not be accurate. But the point isn’t pursued, which leaves us for now in the position where, having welcomed his abuser into his house, Deacon is expected to keep his mouth shut as said abuser ingratiates himself with his grandchildren, throwing out a few passive-aggressive remarks about their upbringing along the way. I’m amazed that Deacon doesn’t knock his father to the ground and then kick his stupid head a few times. (The fact that Deacon in one scene misinterprets a conversation and calls his father out on that basis is very much an irrelevance.) And their final conversation this week, during which it seems to be incumbent on Deacon – Deacon! – to reach out to his father, earning the response “I appreciate that, son”, is an insult to the intelligence. Not for the first time – e.g. the sanctification of Beverly – I’m left wondering what in the holy hell the Nashville writers are playing at.
And so, acknowledging firstly that Deacon’s chance encounter with Jessie was sweet, let’s move on to the rest of this week’s storylines. Juliette is, as we saw at the end of last week’s episode, very much back, but realises that Avery may have moved on. “God, what have I done?” she wonders. Well, Juli, where do we start? Apparently with her thinking that after treating Avery appallingly for years she might have lost him. Ya think? Actually, she probably hasn’t, because Avery is a glutton for punishment. Meantime, though, he moves out of their house.
Alannah – who continues, and I am in no doubt about this, to be a fundamentally decent person – is very clearly wondering whether she’d be better off without the whole dysfunctional lot of them. She also has more Brad woes: her career isn’t advancing in the way he promised; and, it continues to be implied, it won’t until she sleeps with him. Someone else who is probably decent is Ilse, part of Brad’s absurd reality talent circus: her advice to Daphne this week is, when performing, to lose the guitar and move a little more. Daphne, understandably, isn’t entirely clear what this might mean, but it does seem that Ilse genuinely cares about her; and, responding to that, by the end of the episode Daphne has indeed put the guitar down. (Pause here for my more or less weekly observation that Maisy Stella, as Daphne, is knocking it out of the park on a regular basis.)
Scarlett, meantime, has now been stranded in the Sean plot cul-de-sac for what seems like weeks, and to have effectively taken over as his counsellor, psychiatrist, and pseudo-wife. Sean correctly identifies that this is all displacement activity because what Scarlett actually wants to do is perform again herself. First, though, she takes him to a VA clinic, where he has to wait for hours. Scarlett professes herself baffled about the way in which America treats its veterans. Unfortunately that isn’t new, or uniquely American, as Rudyard Kipling could have told her (“For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! But it’s ‘Saviour of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot”) over 100 years ago. I am, however, really bored with this storyline now.