BWW Recap: They Left Their Heart(s) in NASHVILLE

In true soap-opera drama fashion, NASHVILLE gives us a peek of a very intense near future before rewinding us back about 12 hours. In this sneak peek, we're greeted with an indecisive Rayna, Juliette having a meltdown Britney Spears style (haircut and all), a very confused, trying-to-hide-the-truth-that-her-husband-just-came-out-to-her Layla, and a very angry Luke Wheeler who, after unexpectedly punching Deacon in the face, exclaiming "Why can't you just let her be happy?" To which Deacon responds, "Why can't you?"

And thus begins Season 3 of NASHVILLE

Half a day earlier, we begin to taxing, but nonetheless exciting task, of putting the pieces together. Scarlett is headed out of NASHVILLE, Juliette is begging for Avery's forgiveness, and Will and Layla are trying, albeit poorly, to continue their charade.

The love triangle of Scarlett, Avery (who can be included beyond a shadow of a doubt now that his relationship with Juliette is allegedly over), and Gunnar takes a turn (literally) for the interesting when the three end up together, in Scarlett's car, headed out of Nashville. About ten minutes, a small fight, and a broken car, NASHVILLE's writers waste little time in forcing these three together and making us- with bated breath- wait and see how the situation plays out, with Juliette/Avery memories soon to be nothing but a memory. Hey, it's an ABC drama (of sorts), if we, the audience, didn't bounce back from would-have-been onscreen romances, what kind of soap opera watchers would we be? Plus, Scarlett being recognized as a country-music singer by the car technician is pretty adorable.

Rayna- in true admirable, leading lady fashion, tells Luke of Deacon's proposal. No holds barred, complete honesty. Connie Britton brilliantly takes a clichéd, worn-out romantic dilemma and makes us feel for Rayna. Let's be honest- we love Rayna. Her flaws are few and far between, and in the most realistic way. Only Britton, with her Southern charm, musical talent, and can't-put-your-finger-on-it quality that makes us all want to be her best friend, flawlessly puts all of those virtues into Rayna.

You can go all Team Luke or Team Deacon on me, call the problem tired or perhaps even roll your eyes every time Rayna looks at a piece of "Deacon memorabilia". One thing you can't do say you turned of the television. Britton takes a scene replayed over and over again and makes it fresh and interesting. And the best part? She didn't make the obvious choice. She chose Luke (for now at least. I'm skeptical- we have an entire season to get through).

We finally see an extremely sweet moment, and some undeniable potential, in Teddy and Maddie's relationship. The confrontation we'd longed for amongst the slammed doors, silent treatments, and thick tension finally resulted in the father-daughter moment at the Bluebird Café, with Teddy admitting (in a very "awww-inducing fashion), that he doesn't hate Deacon. In fact, he admits, if it weren't for Deacon, Maddie wouldn't exist. The two of them have a very underrated relationship (obviously overshadowed by the Deacon of it all) that I hope to see more of throughout the season.

Of course, the one time Juliette's limelight can't mend her broken heart, her authentic tears win over the casing directors and she's chosen to screen test for the coveted role of Patsy Cline in an upcoming biopic. The irony is nowhere near lost here. And neither is Juliette's sanity. The cherry on top? She's pregnant. This one's definitely to-be-continued.

In all honestly, there's too many separate storylines going on at once to make the episode flow smoothly. Jumping from Rayna, to Juliette, to Scarlett, Avery, and Gunnar, to Will and Layla, to Deacon, and back again is nothing short of whiplash. It's interesting- don't get me wrong- but I'm ready for the storylines to weave back together, and hopefully that's just one thing we can expect this season. I think after this episode, we are left with a few more questions than answers. Will and Layla's relationship is up in the air, pending show executives and a contract, and Juliette's next meltdown is-I'm sure- a few episodes away, followed closely by a game called "Who's the Baby Daddy?" Rayna's decision, I'll go out on a limb and assume, is anything but binding. Rayna and Luke, especially the look they exchanged during Deacon's final number, are pretty dang adorable- but yes, Rayna, we saw that last second look of hesitation! And Scarlett is destined to get back to Nashville, whether on her own accord or by some persuasion.

But in the meantime, our favorite television characters are back, the music's good, and we have an entire Season 3 to sit back and enjoy. And the biggest question we need answered right now is, "How soon can next Wednesday get here?" Oh, and "When will see Laura Benanti?! (see previous question)"

Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments below, and if you are as excited to be back in NASHVILLE as I am.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine

Check out a promo for next week's episode below:

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From This Author Wendi Reichstein

What started as reenacting 'RENT' in home movies (including some questionable footage of my then 10-year-old sister and 13-year-old self) turned into a passion for (read more...)