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Nashville: A Look at the Parent/Child Relationship

The relationship between parent and child, although loving and nurturing can also be complicated and confusing.

Nashville touched on this theme in the episode that aired on October 7 entitled “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?”

Scarlett was faced with a painful decision after her mother, Beverly, flat-lined in the previous episode due to a blood clot in the brain from her recent liver transplant surgery.  Beverly was essentially declared brain-dead and as her daughter and authorized power of attorney, Scarlett was left with the choice of whether to let her die with dignity or prolong her life with the aid of machines.  What made this scenario more heartbreaking was the chance that they would never get to repair their fractured relationship should she follow the doctor’s recommendation.  Despite her uncle Deacon’s pleading to allow Beverly to fight towards recovery, Scarlett opted to let go of the mother she already knew in her heart was gone.

In contrast,  Maddie and Daphne had a loving relationship with their dad, Teddy until he was recently arrested.  The Conrad sisters were certain of his innocence but confused and hurt as to why he was pushing them away by not allowing them to visit him in prison.  In one scene, (powerfully acted by the real life sisters who play Maddie and Daphne, Lennon and Maisy Stella) the girls ripped up many happy family photos in order to erase the images they believed had been lies.  Their mother Rayna (the dynamic Connie Britton) helped to convince them of their father’s love and to remind them that they were a family and always would be.

The newest parent/child relationship, that of Juliette and baby Cadence, unfortunately hasn’t been given the opportunity to develop due to Juliette’s postpartum depression.  It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Barkley women unless Juliette seeks help.

Anyone who believes that Nashville is ‘that show with the country music’ is missing out on emotionally acted drama at its best.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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