In Nashville’s season 3 premiere, Rayna finally makes up her mind. Does she choose Luke or Deacon? The answer probably won’t surprise you, but her reasons might.The evening after Rayna receives dueling marriage proposals from Luke and Deacon, she still can’t decide who to choose. A dolled-up Juliette runs around her house, screaming at her assistants for a pair of scissors (which she then uses to hack off clumps of hair). Yikes. Closeted cowboy country star Will brings his miserable wife Layla (who’s just learned he’s secretly gay) to Deacon’s Bluebird show. He surprises the crowd with a new love song, which he dedicates to her. Layla reacts poorly. Meanwhile, Luke approaches Deacon in the alley behind the Bluebird, punches him in the face and asks, “Why can’t you just let her be happy?” OMG, did Rayna actually choose the right guy? And then…DIDDLY-LOO! DIDDLY-LOO! (wiggly fingers a la Wayne’s World) The narrative shifts back to 12 hours prior. Pensive Rayna wakes up beside a blissed-out Luke but doesn’t mention Deacon’s proposal. When she tells him about it later, he throws a little tantrum but encourages her to think about it. A haggard, sleepless Juliette storms into Avery’s apartment and pleads with him to take her back. He says, “I can’t stand the sight of you,” and stumbles off. Just as Scarlett is getting ready to drive home to Mississippi, haggard, sleepless Avery rolls up and asks if he can come along. Teary Layla wonders if Will ever had feelings for her (good lord). He’s all, “Sure, I love you,”1 then says they need to keep pretending to be in love for the sake of their reality show. Sad Maddie wishes her mom would marry Deacon instead of Luke, so she takes her frustration out on her dad, Teddy (because Teddy’s always hated Deacon, so why not?). As Scarlett and Avery are revving up her shitty car to bust out of town, Gunnar jumps in the back seat and begs her to stay in town and continue songwriting. He refuses to leave and Scarlett starts driving, leading to much boring hijinx. Juliette’s assistants find her at Avery’s apartment, a heaping ball of tears. They remind her she needs to get ready for her Patsy Cline biopic audition ASAP. Later, when she’s all dolled up, she asks the casting crew what she should do. They tell her to sing “Crazy” and act sad, which she does very well. Yay, Jules is gonna be a movie star! But then she still ends up with a psych-ward hairstyle. And that’s not even the most awesome thing that happened on last night’s Nashville.
The best live performance of the evening Fun stunt – both Will (Chris Carmack) and Deacon’s (Charles Esten) Bluebird scenes were live television performances. Kudos to Carmack and Esten for some great singing/strumming and also to the producers for a fairly seamless editing job. But the real winner here was Aubrey Peeples’s psychotic Layla face. I’ve been missing her old Evil Zooey Deschanel visage, with that fake chipper self-assurance. But this new expression – which I can best describe as, “My eyes are about to projectile vomit” – is quite entertaining, too.
Dumbum Gunnar finally shuts up While Scarlett’s whimsical road trip was the lamest plot line, it did provide one gleaming moment. Gunnar hints that he knows why Avery dumped Juliette. Scarlett presses. Avery tells Gunnar it’s none of his business and that this is just between him and his ex. Gunnar’s all, “Uh, it’s not just between you guys,” (hint: Jeff Fordham’s penis was no mere spectator). And that’s the moment when Avery jumps over his seat to throttle his idiot friend. Yay, Avery! Weird how my feelings about these two dudes have pretty much flip-flopped over the past two years.
That trippy disco flashback As Rayna contemplates a future with Deacon, she digs up their old letters and reflects on the past. Cut to the flashback montage. At first I groaned at the cheesy production, in which they covered up everyone’s wrinkles with some weird strobe lighting. But seeing 1990s Rayna in a sleeveless turtleneck and a perm chatting with lovelorn hillbilly beardo Luke was a great touch. And then came The Moment. Rayna tries nudging bad Deacon from his drunken stupor and he elbows her in the face. OOF. Of all the times we’ve seen the D-man spiral, this was the most disturbing. That’s when we fully understand why Rayna may have a hard time wearing his ring.
The best spoiler of the night Once Juliette knows she nailed the audition, she hires someone to fix her hair and asks a doctor for some chill pills. Looks like our career gal is back on track! SCREECH. Halt. The doctor won’t prescribe her meds because… she’s preggo. I totes thought this was gonna be last season’s cliffhanger, so good job being not quite so predictable, show. Now come all the obligatory questions like, who’s the daddy? Will she actually carry the baby to term? Will she miscarry? And, (forefront of my mind) will Nashville even mention the possibility of an abortion? I’m SO EXCITED to find out.
Rayna’s got a face, too Of course I was bummed when Rayna chose Luke in the end. I know, I know – the elbow to the face makes it pretty impossible for her to totally trust Deacon. But I did appreciate that the last shot of the episode was Rayna showing off her ginormous engagement ring to some friends, then sadly staring off into space as if to say, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” I mean, Luke’s nice and all. I just have this feeling he once wrote an anti-immigration anthem for a Tea Party fundraiser (which Deacon would never do).
- like a frenemy ↵