As Juliette said last week, upon finding her mother’s lifeless body, NOOOOOOOOOO.
That about sums up my feelings of last night’s Nashville finale. So many things made me scream with horror, begging these characters that I love so much to make different choices. Deacon, put down the drink! Rayna, pull the car over! Gunnar, you’ve barely dated the girl, ask her to dinner, not to get married! It was one train wreck (or car wreck) after another.
This whole ‘who’s your daddy’ storyline is a bit complicated. Biology is certainly not what makes a father, and there is no question that Teddy has been Maddie’s since the day she was born. But, that’s really because that’s the way he designed it. The more the details unfold, the more I think Teddy is just a terrible human being. And, to be honest, I’m not feeling so good about Rayna right now, either. I get it. Deacon was a drunken mess when Rayna got pregnant. (And we now have first hand knowledge of what that looks like, and it ain’t pretty). I get that they wanted to do what was best for Maddie. But the secrecy is just not okay. Deacon should have been told. He has been sober for a long, long time. At some point (preferably about 12 years ago), Rayna needed to sit down with him and explain the situation. They should have decided together, as three mature adults, how to proceed. Maybe it was about Maddie when they first made the decision. But, ultimately, it was about Teddy and Rayna not wanting to complicate their own lives. It was about the fact that these two people didn’t really care about anyone but themselves. Last week I was feeling slightly bad for Teddy, thinking about how scary it must be to feel like he might lose his daughter. Upon further reflection, I am disgusted at the ease with which he slid into the role of someone else’s life. If Deacon had disappeared from their lives, it would be one thing. But he didn’t. He was there to see Maddie grow up, and their selfishness deprived his life of the kind of meaning that only a child can give. Watching Teddy and Deacon fight it out really clarified things for me. Teddy thinks he’s better than Deacon, even though he’s a lying weasel of a man. At no point over the last decade has he felt guilty or remorseful about taking what was not his. I’ve been rooting for Deacon and Rayna since day one, but it’s hard to see how Deacon could ever forgive her for this betrayal, and as sad as I am to say this, I’m not sure I think he ever should.
That is, of course, if they survive this car crash. If I could find one positive thing to say about this terrible turn of events, it is that Deacon wasn’t driving that car drunk. This was a true accident – albeit one brought on by wreckless fighting with an open container in the car – but at least no one is looking at jail time on top of everything else. Watching Deacon get wasted is among the hardest things I’ve ever watched on television. After working so hard to put his life together, being a rock for Coleman and Jolene, it was heartbreaking to see him relapse. I never thought I’d say this, but watching Deacon unravel like that, I desperately missed Stacey. I longed for a life where Deacon could just be simple and happy. No drama, no anger, no years upon years of desperation and unrequited love. Sometimes the people we love the most are the most damaging to us. Deacon, who has seemed tough as nails this whole year, might just be too fragile to have Rayna in his life.
And speaking of fragile, Juliette is really falling apart. I was so upset in the beginning of the episode that Juliette didn’t understand that Jolene’s death was a beautiful sacrifice to protect her daughter’s reputation. The idea that her intentions would go unknown, and that Juliette would live the rest of her life missing the point was crushing. I was so relieved when the mashed up memory card showed up, and having a letter to spell it out made me feel much better.
Seeing Juliette at the funeral, surrounded by a manager she fired and a rival she can barely stand, made the reality of Jolene’s death that much more profound. Juliette wasn’t kidding when she said she has no one. It was really sweet that Avery came, and this budding friendship will hopefully be something that Juliette can come to depend on. She is not the most consistent person, and she certainly has her less-than-lovely moments, but she deserves to have someone in her corner. The song they played together at the Bluebird was beautiful and I am hoping that season 2 gives us more opportunity to see Hayden Panetierre and Jonathan Jackson perform together.
Meanwhile, I can’t exactly tell what Avery’s deal is. Does he want Scarlett back? Or does he just know he was a jackass and he’s trying to make up for it by being decent? I like Avery’s story because his behavior has made sense to me at every step along the way. His descent into unsavoriness was gradual, I understood his struggle and his choices, even when they were bad ones. Other characters on this show seem to oscillate between extremes (Juliette, Gunnar) and it’s a bit harder to follow exactly what’s behind the behavior. Avery’s motivations have always been clear to me, and it’ll be interesting to see which one of these ladies he pursues romantically.
Although, if Scarlett is engaged, that question might answer itself. Do you think Gunnar watches The Bachelor? Is that why he thinks that the moment he and Scarlett get back together (were they even back together?) is the right time for a marriage proposal? They have barely spoken to each other the last few weeks (months?). He’s been on all kinds of benders and drinking sprees and acting like a crazy person. He finally had a wake up call and realizes he is not behaving like the man he wants to be. He is just working on convincing Scarlett he can be that man again…and then somehow decides now is the right time to suggest getting married? Deacon’s drinking is having even more negative impact than originally anticipated, because sober Deacon clearly would have told Gunnar this was a lousy idea. I can’t see how Scarlett could possibly say yes to this. Even if things had been going perfectly since they got together, it’s been how long since they got together? 5 months? Come on, Gunnar. Baby steps, kiddo.
Final thoughts before summer break:
-Peggy’s pregnant. I guess this means she’ll be around next season.
-Juliette won Best Female Vocalist at the CMA’s! Bittersweet since she missed the show because of her mother’s death, but it was a nice moment when Glenn brought her the statue and gave her a hug. She was never particularly nice to that man, but I guess he’s the closest thing to a father she has.
-What did you all think of Maddie’s reaction to the news? It’s hard for me to project how a 12-year-old would feel about this kind of news, but wanting to live with Teddy seemed like a strange response.
-Poor Will and his beards and his secret men that could accidentally out him at any moment. I just want to wrap him up in my arms and tell him he can be a totally sexy country singer and like the boys. Looking forward to seeing this storyline unfold in season 2.
Thoughts? Comments? Hit me up! See you back here next year 🙂