TV Recaps

‘Nashville’ Review: Tabloids, Politics and Tragedy Overshadow Deacon’s Birthday Party

Despite a slow period of initial episodes after its stellar pilot, Nashville has been on the fast track to soapy goodness lately and it continues to get better with each episode. This week, it was Deacon’s birthday and Juliette wanted to throw him a surprise party so it was a nice excuse to get all the main players together in one place. But “Dear Brother” was not all fun and games.

Teddy and Rayna’s Divorce Hits the Tabloids

After warning Teddy that their oldest daughter knew about his relationship with Peggy, Rayna was horrified when her kids were reading the tabloids’ version of her possible indiscretions with Deacon and Liam. The paparazzi harassed them and Rayna’s sister ushered the family out of the store. Rayna tried to insist that it was all lies, but the oldest daughter was having a hard time believing it since the part about her father was true.

Speaking of Teddy, he really is the dumbest character ever right? The newly elected mayor is more concerned with making sure he gets to see Peggy whenever he wants than he is with the politics of the city. Teddy decided that the solution to his problem was to hire Peggy as part of his cabinet (Seriously, where is Harvey Specter to punch him in the face?). Teddy and Peggy spent some private time in his office and we can only assume it involved limited amounts of clothing (gross).

Lamar was completely unimpressed with his soon to be ex-son-in-law’s behavior. He showed up at his office to remind him that he was the one who put him there and then he gave him a suggested list of cabinet members. Not only did Teddy ignore it, but he called Coleman and asked him to be deputy mayor. Coleman agreed and I’m sure this will cause trouble, but it’s really, really hard to care about any of these people when Rayna is not involved. There was a nice scene where Lamar told Rayna that she didn’t have to explain herself to anyone and that gave her the courage to basically tell the tabloid reporters to get out of her way.

Juliette’s Party Plans Go Awry

After her manager quit, Juliette decided that she was going to take on the job herself. Of course that has disaster written all over it, but that’s probably for a future episode since this one was all about party planning. Jolene, fresh from rehab wanted to help and Juliette told her that wasn’t a good idea, but then she went ahead and let her. She also recruited Scarlett to make sure Deacon got to the party since his ideal birthday is watching Old Yeller by himself. Juliette was all smiles at the party and was planning on singing a song, but that got derailed when her mother got drunk on champagne.

Juliette brought her home and Jolene apologized for ruining the party, but she wasn’t talking about Deacon’s party; she was talking about Juliette’s ninth birthday. Dante, Jolene’s rehab counselor (and probably Juliette’s next boy toy), asked Juliette what happened on her ninth birthday. She explained that her mom rented out an ice cream parlor and Juliette was supposed to have her first birthday party ever, but then Jolene returned home high and canceled the party because she’d spent all the money on drugs. Juliette was so angry that she left and when she came home, her mother had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette. Juliette admitted she’d thought about leaving again because she’d wanted her mother to die (Can we take a minute to pause and bow down to Hayden’s flawlessness?).

Brotherly Love and Pain

Jason was making himself at home with Gunnar and Scarlett and the two brothers were having fun, reliving the better parts of their childhood. Scarlett was having some writer’s block issues so she turned to cleaning and offered to do some of Jason’s laundry. Gunnar went to grab it from his bag and the gun fell out. Gunnar insisted that he would take care of it, but Scarlett was adamant that she was not okay with being in a house with a loaded gun. Gunnar took the bullets out and asked Jason to meet him on a bridge to talk.

Gunnar was furious that he’d lied to him (again) and told him that he had to go. Jason refused and reminded Gunnar that he owed him a life since he went to prison for him (ugh, you are the worst). Gunnar threw Jason’s gun in the river as his brother pleaded that his old life was not going to leave him behind and then he walked away (Poor Gunnar).

After Gunnar and Scarlett’s performance wowed the crowd at Deacon’s party, police detectives showed up and asked Gunnar to come with them. Since Juliette had left with her mom, Rayna ended up taking the stage and her song served as a voiceover for several of the final scenes as Deacon watched her sing, obviously still completely in love with her. Poor Gunnar had to identify Jason’s body after he was beaten to death in an alley. Scarlett was worried when he didn’t come home and then when he did and told her what happened, her response was to crawl in his lap and start kissing him…

I feel bad for Gunnar, but I’m not sorry to see Jason go. He was bad news. I’m guessing the grief/comfort sex that Gunnar and Scarlett were about to have is probably going to put a damper on their relationship and make things awkward. I do like that Scarlett has been getting stronger and stronger ever since her relationship with Avery ended. Speaking of, he was barely in the episode (thank goodness) and when he was, he got turned away from the Bluebird since he wasn’t invited to the party and had to watch Gunnar and Scarlett singing through the window.

Did you enjoy the episode? Which song was your favorite? Hit the comments below and let us know.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.