Nashville returned last night from its final hiatus of the season (thank you, TV Gods) and the episode was arguably the best one ever. “Take These Chains from My Heart” was fantastic and filled with so much soapy goodness and drama that it was impossible to look away from the screen or take a few seconds to catch a breath.
So many of the big stories that the show has been telling all season came to a head and I have to give the writers credit because I did not see most of these twists coming. Instead of just giving the stories resolutions, the show found ways to launch new, more complicated arcs and still keep the intrigue and soapiness going. Let’s get into the 5 soapy storylines and why they were so impressive.
#5 Teddy’s game of political chess/musical backstabbing
It’s no secret that this is my least storyline on the show because none of the characters are worth rooting for. Teddy is the worst, Lamar is a mustache-twirling villain, Peggy doesn’t matter at all, Tandy’s sole purpose should be to give Rayna a sounding board and Coleman lost a lot of his appeal when he turned on Rayna. This episode didn’t really change my opinion of anyone, but it was nice to see Lamar have a father-daughter bonding moment with Rayna. Of course he had to make Tandy feel unworthy afterward because heaven forbid the man be nice to both daughters at once. Tandy’s solution was to team up with Coleman to hurt Teddy, but it’s still hard to care about any of these minor characters.
#4 Scarlett and Avery cautiously reconnect
While Scarlett’s main story is still with Gunnar, the episode revisited Scarlett and Avery. The latter is in the same boat as Teddy; it’s very hard to care about him when he’s been so awful. But the last few episodes have brought a change in Avery and maybe, just maybe, there is still hope for him. He seems humbled by his failure and as long as his head doesn’t swell again, he has the potential to be interesting. Scarlett commented on how he was reminding her of the boy she met in school once again. Avery did a nice thing for her and brought her on stage in the arena, which was a cute moment. I do not under any circumstances want to see them back together at this point, but it wouldn’t hurt for Avery to have a friend.
#3 Juliette learns the truth about Dante
I was pretty annoyed with Juliette during the last episode and this one started out the same way. She sided with Dante over her mother and over Deacon again. Deacon was fed up and quit and Juliette snidely told him that he was replaceable. Since Juliette’s lease was up, Dante planted the idea in her head that the two should get a place together. Desperate for love, Juliette agreed, even after her mother tried to tell her that she saw Dante kissing the real estate agent. Juliette found drugs on her mom and even though she insisted they were not hers, Juliette turned her back on her again. But something wasn’t adding up in the singer’s mind and she started to put the pieces together and realized her mother was allergic to the pills so they couldn’t have been hers. She went looking for Dante, but he was gone and it turned out that he’d taken a good chunk of her money with him. Part of me was happy that Juliette got what was coming to her, but for the most part, I still feel bad because she’s just a broken girl looking for someone to truly love her. Unfortunately, this only reignited her bitchy, ‘I don’t trust anyone’ side.
#2 Rayna and Deacon give in to their feelings
Admittedly, I didn’t care much about Rayna and Deacon in the beginning, but as the show went on, it was hard to ignore their chemistry. This episode featured them once again attempting to move on with other people. Rayna kissed Liam and a little bit more (how hilarious was it when she asked Tandy if going to second base made her slutty?) and she planned to head to the Caribbean with him. Deacon was pretty happy in his new relationship with Stacey and even got an approval from Scarlett before Stacey realized that he was jealous of Rayna and Liam and wasn’t okay with being second best. Rayna walked up right after their fight and Deacon admitted that he was still all about her and that’s when Rayna told him about her trip with Liam. Deacon headed home hurt and not long after, Rayna showed up on his doorstep. Deacon was NOT happy to see her and started to let her have it for screwing with his head, but then Rayna told him that she loved him (you guys!!!). Deacon brought her inside and took her to bed and that was when I realized just how invested I am in the two of them. Who knew? Of course there’s still that major secret that he’s the father of her daughter…that’s not going to end well. But for now, so happy they got together.
#1 Will kissed Gunnar
Did anyone see that coming? I definitely did not. Sure, there’s been chemistry between the two actors, but it felt more like a bromance than an actual, building up to a romance thing. Not that these two are headed for romance given the way Gunnar reacted to the kiss. But let’s backtrack for a moment. The episode featured more of Gunnar choosing to spend his time with Will instead of Scarlett. I get the feeling that even though he hasn’t acknowledged it, Gunnar blames Scarlett for what happened to his brother. She was the one who freaked out about the gun and that led to Gunnar kicking him out of the house and I think he resents her for that. Anyway, he was singing with Will, got a girl’s phone number, which he passed to Will and a producer wanted to work with him after hearing him sing. I might be wrong about this, but I think the song he sang was one Jason wrote since he found his journal earlier in the episode. Gunnar blew off Scarlett after she convinced Rayna to give him another chance and then he was sitting on the couch with Will, talking about the day and suddenly, Will leaned over and kissed him. Gunnar threw him out, but something tells me that this is just the beginning.
Next week, Rayna and Juliette are both up for the same award. Prepare for fireworks…