We gave it a B+
Sometimes when I’m watching an episode of Nashville, my mind drifts a little because the pacing of the show is just a little too slow. Yes, it’s better than cramming too many crazy plots into one episode, and I am, of course, very invested in Maddie’s burgeoning career/love life/teenage angst, but there comes a point where I could skip yet another look of love between Ray and Deac or a spat between Daphne and Maddie for something that actually forces me to pay attention. Well, kids, I’m here to tell you to be careful what you wish for. Let’s get right into this week’s slow burn-turned-“WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK” episode of Nashville.
As if I could love Daphne anymore, the episode opens with her making pancakes AND bacon for Rayna and Deacon. The delightful breakfast is short lived, however, when Maddie comes in and demands granola/announces that the security guards are back, prompting her parents to spill that Stalker Man has posted bail and is on the loose. Rayna wants the girls to travel with security, but naturally Maddie is all, “No way! I can take care of myself.” I say, let her.
It doesn’t take long for Mr. Stalker to make an appearance. Later that night, he just casually strolls on up to the Jaymes household and stands there staring at the front gate with an “I’ma cut off your curls and sleep with them under my pillow” look in his eyes. But how can he do such a thing? I hear you cry. There’s a restraining order! Well, Stalker Boy got himself some math skills: He’s standing 317 feet from their door and the order states that he can’t come within 300 feet of Ray and the fam. You have to admire his savvy. He’s gone by the time they wake up the next morning, but it’s sure as hell causing some sleepless nights and inconvenience – the CMT Awards are next week! Nice plug.
Elsewhere, Juliette is at a prayer group, furiously taking notes, looking for peace, and trying to find out what to trust. Sounds simple. On the way out she tells Hallie that she wants to do a gospel album with her and the choir. She wants to explore something new, and that music really speaks to her. She asks Hallie to hook her up with the choir – well, at least set up a meeting where she can implore them to be part of it.
And so Juliette and Hallie head to church to win over the choir. At first the gathered group seems to listen to what Juliette’s pitching, but then they start with the hard-hitting questions. It’s kind of like a job interview: Why gospel? What does it mean to you? What would you bring to the role? Okay, not the last one, but you get the idea.
One dude doesn’t think she’s been into gospel music or going to church long enough to know what it means or why it’s special. Juliette steps up and owns that she doesn’t know everything about it, but she does love the music and the way it makes her feel. One girl points out that there’s no context for J’s love of gospel, and when Jules says she feels transported when she hears it, the girl just retorts, “That’s good for you.” The choir members also ask if she’s realized that it’s black music, and they point out that her “thing” is normally a little sexier than church. Eventually, Juliette snaps a little, causing an outbreak of disgruntled chatter among the pews.
But the next day, Juliette is back in front of the congregation apologizing to the choir and admitting she doesn’t know anything about gospel or church. She’s sinned, lied, and hurt everyone who’s ever cared about her, and she can’t change that, but God works in mysterious ways, and He gave her the gift of this place, all of them, and their music. Now she wants to honor that and God, and if they want to help her share their gift with the world, she thinks they could open some cold hearts. With a speech like that, who could resist? Saved by an Angel: A Gospel Album, by Juliette Barns, coming to iTunes soon.
NEXT: See ya, Scunnar