Nashville 2.17 Review: “We’ve Got Things To Do”

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This week on Nashville: everyone runs straight into the brick wall of self-destruction.

Let’s start with Juliette first, a girl who was raised by a an alcoholic mother who leached onto her like a barnacle for money and moral support.  She lives in a world where strangers and even friends can’t be trusted.  She’s stomped all over the good will of the Nashville country music scene and reached out to Rayna in order to mend the wounds.  Shame on Juliette and shame on Rayna.  They’re going to have to learn the hard way that this partnership was a match made nowhere near Heaven.  For one, Rayna James has been angling to be a record label mogul in order to gain creative control but failed to understand how much business savvy and management skills it would take to get the job done.  And speaking of people who underestimated the arrangement, Juliette assumed that she would not have to change her behavior and could ride Rayna’s coattails to win back country music fans.  Juliette takes the first opportunity that she can to ruin Rayna’s master plan by announcing their partnership at an inopportune time.  Even Rayna’s minor attempt to smooth things over with a duet at the Opry ends in lukewarm results.  It’s going to take time and trust for Juliette and Rayna to understand each other and find a working relationship that suits both of their needs.  And since they’re both at such odds, I’m not sure why they don’t lean on resident musical zen master Avery for help.

Avery’s career features prominently in this episode, as he maneuvers what his next opportunity will be.  Scarlett, heart broken from Liam’s early departure (I feel ya Scarlett), turns to Avery because he’s a man with a gentle heart and a soul patch.  Avery, who is yet to be stunned that he’s gone from recording artist to producer in less than one relationship, really wants to consider it.  When Juliette expresses her displeasure about his new option Avery notes ““what one person thinks is an opportunity another person sees as a threat.” Zen gauntlet thrown down.

Scarlett, ever the wallflower, shies away from the opportunity to go back on tour while she writes more songs for her record.  When she goes to Rayna’s big Highway 65 party she’s overwhelmed by the attention and turns to (what else) a bottle of pills to make her feel more comfortable.  Scarlett has been floating aimlessly for awhile, without anyone really checking in on her to make sure she’s not going insane.  At this point the best person to know and understand what she’s feeling is Deacon but he hasn’t picked up on her addiction habits yet.  He’s not her parent or even really her guardian but since she’s living at his house and she’s related to him, I hope he will be inspired to take a vested interest in her well being.

Deacon is spending a significant amount of time with Maddie who is creating headaches for her father.  Teddy “Bear” Conrad is running around town trying to force Megan to be in a relationship with him even though he has not really dealt with Peggy’s death.  Deacon correctly points out to Maddie that “grief is a tricky thing.”  And so, unfortunately, are teenagers.  Maddie is eschewing her homework for guitar lessons and in general acting like a brat.  She’s so sure that she could be the next country music star just because of her biological parents.  When she lies to Teddy about finishing a school project, yells at her sister who wears adorable pink pajamas, and uploads a youtube video of herself as “Maddie Claybourne” we know we’re heading into trouble.  For all of her lineage, Maddie behaves a lot more like Juliette.

Will, torn by his true identity and the persona that he believes will make him famous, pulls the craziest move of all of our Nashville characters.  After Brent astutely points out that his former partners may be apt to spill the beans about their relationships, Will snaps.  He proposes to Layla in order to secure a beard for the rest of his career.  Layla, insecure and inexperienced, gladly accepts.  At some level, so hidden she can’t detect it, Layla knows that Will is not into women.  And since she’s choosing to believe the lie, it will come to bare that the truth will be revealed at the worst possible moment.  I wish both of them well and hope that for their sake, someone stops them before they get to the alter.

Bulleted observations:

- Luke Wheeler doesn’t like it when you use his elliptical.

- Rayna never suspected that she was going to have to clean up after Juliette’s messes?

- Zoey is totally faking not getting the back up singing job just to stay in a relationship with Gunnar, right?

- Rayna got over hating Tandy pretty quickly.

- I loved Rayna’s polka dot halter number.

- Best line of the week goes to Deacon: “The last motel didn’t have any heat, the good news is all the roaches stayed in the wall.  Living the dream.”

- Rayna and Juliette aptly sing “he ain’t gonna change” as Will proposes to Layla. Head the warning girl!

- When is Luke going to propose to Rayna? When he said he had a surprise for her I was sure that’s what it was.

 [Photo via Mark Levine/ABC]

Jenni Wright was born in the worst weather possible in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles for sunshine and wine. You can find Jenni's work at winewillfixit.com.
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