Nashville recap: 'Too Far Gone'
Lamar’s finally out of prison — and now he’s dead. Maybe. Probably. He’s had a pretty big day. First, his daughter Rayna and granddaughters Maddie and Daphne threw him a welcome back party during which they attempted mightily to sing the sadness right out of him (pictured, above). Tandy ditches the fete and Rayna eventually learns why from Teddy, who informs his ex-wife that as the government’s star witness, Tandy was responsible for their father’s prosecution. “Everybody in this family is a damn liar,” Rayna steams. She should definitely maintain a distance from her sister, especially since she must never be allowed to CUT HER HAIR OFF like Tandy did. The horror! (Looks good on Tandy, though.)
Lamar appears to suffer a heart attack in Teddy’s office right after Teddy informs him of Tandy’s betrayal. Teddy, the bastard, stays put and watches it all happen — just like Lamar did with his own wife’s car wreck, according to what he told Rayna. Hey, he has to avenge his wife’s death somehow! As Teddy told Megan earlier, “Peggy deserves better.”
Really, Teddy, really?
I can’t decide which was the better payoff for all these weeks of barely shrouded mystery over Teddy’s killer: Lamar’s intensely guilty face after Rayna screamed “Did you try to murder the father of my children?” — or the GUITAR TWANG that immediately followed!
Gotta go guitar twang.
WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
Totally unacceptable hair for Rayna’s “This Time” video. Zero loose waves. She did look hot otherwise, though. Very Faith Hill-y.
Let’s talk Deacon Claybourne: Live at The Bluebird, which is his proper full name now because the concept of a live recording on vinyl is just the perfect project for him and I wish it could take place every night. And I guess I wish The Bluebird was my living room, but it sort of is. Television. Before the show, Deacon discovers Megan and Teddy enjoying a moment of closeness and he flips out that this was the super-secret case she’s been buried in for weeks. (The case lives inside her iPad.) It’s not the first time Deacon has acted out in jerk-like fashion within moments of being exacerbated by Megan just livin’ her life. Perhaps his own insecurity and self-loathing are at play. “Are you some kind of TRAGEDY JUNKIE?” he accuses her. “Is that why you’re with me, a hot-headed alchie you seduced because of your savior complex?” Whoa.
And yet: Good call. Maybe that is what she does, Megan admits to him later at the Bluebird — he’d left her a sweet voicemail and poof, she was there. “But that’s not why I love you.” Awww?
Deacon dedicates his opening song to Megan, but obviously we can tell it’s really about Rayna with all that “I keep coming back” jargon. It’s a gorgeous, understated, and well-accompanied tune and exactly what I imagined his album sounding like.
NEXT PAGE: Avery gets promoted from Foursquare Mayor to Sound Engineer, Bluebird-wise And oh my gosh! In a brilliant turn of events, this whole DC:L@TBb production is sound-engineered by Avery, who really takes on a Yoda-like quality in this episode via multiple bouts of legendary wisdom. Not only does he snap Deacon out of his destructive rumination pre-show, but he throws truth-darts at the “toast” (microwaved bread) chef hiding out in his just-fine-the-way-it-was apartment: Juliette Barnes. “Just because you close your eyes… doesn’t mean you’re invisible,” he reminds her, followed by the less-cryptic “You are the only one who can change the conversation. And there’s no doing that while cooped up in here.” The guy knows everything! And he even comes up with the perfect characterization of Deacon’s sound: “pure, bottled Bluebird.”
As soon as Juliette shows up to Deacon’s show, powerless to stop Yoda from kissing her in public, the cat’s out of the bag on their relationship. “So is this a……” Deacon trails off, pointing at Avery and Juliette together. “I like it.” Me too, man! Juliette’s inspired to get back in the studio with the Juli Master.
You can’t get much better than Juliette’s ain’t-you-just-the-greatest smile after this frank and poignant reminder from her twin in light denim, Deacon: “Don’t let them get to you. You’ve been given a voice, girl. You keep saying what you believe and you’ll be fine.”
She looks like a glowworm!
Second-best Deacon-Juliette moment of the ep involved Juliette sliding out of Avery’s bed to avoid Deacon spotting her. So amazing. How’s Juliette, Deacon happens to ask? Well, “she’s laying low… keeping her head to the ground,” Avery does not lie.
Then there’s Will, who keeps inching towards gay salvation, fumbling towards ecstasy, then ultimately holding himself back. Gunnar is pretty much Will’s sexuality coach and the only one driving his character’s plot — and he even wrote a song for him, “about the Brent thing.” Gunnar’s all-around encouragement of Will being his best self drives Will to complain about Brent to Jeff, who fires Brent and signs on to advise Will himself. Eww, Jeff.
NEXT PAGE: Will bravely segues into Sarah McLachlan mode Even though Will insists he isn’t broken, he does take Gunnar up on that song about always having been broken underneath his smile. I believe it’s called “Is That Who I Am?” and it’s awesome. This is the rawest we’ve seen Will in an artistic setting, just sounding out his troubles alone in his bedroom — as Gunnar, mouthpiece of Will’s troubles, grooves silently outside. It’s a beautiful moment, but when Will spots the friend he once tried to kiss, he switches back into angry turtle mode. “You’re the only one who’s ever gonna hear me sing it!” Booooo.
I get ultimate chills on the line, “I’ve got a lotta soul underneath my skin.” Don’t stop, man — it’s better than Gunnar even imagined. It’s perfect for you! And hey, maybe a more well-rounded album from Will can better rival Rayna James’ on May 1. Ha, as if.
Scarlett’s burgeoning amphetamine habit has her killing it while filming Rayna’s video (high-energy zombies are all the rage at this shoot, which seems like a Shania Twain sendup) and being nice to Zoey again (because she wants a drink at the bar). But Zoey, along with Deacon, is suspicious of our ethereal doily’s strange behavior. Here’s Scarlett claiming life is great, sending cheerful regards to Avery, and being passionately energetic about her career? That is NOT the best friend Zoey used to know.
Zoey herself has decided to do something other than lie around Gunnar’s apartment in socks and fetch sweet potato fries for energetic zombies: She’s going to be a backup singer! Good idea. The casting agent turns her away at first because the dummy didn’t bring a headshot and a demo, but Zoey returns with a DVD of her church solo — “I can really sing,” she insists while executing a steely gaze that says “I don’t feel like paying for a headshot, so just remember how pretty I am.” And I’m sure that lady will.
Is anyone else really excited to hear Zoey sing?
Line of the night: Those pillow… are unisex!” –Juliette to new domestic partner Avery
Loose, Gorgeous Connie Britton Wave of the Week:
It contrasts so deliciously with her rage!
Your thoughts on “Too Far Gone”? Lamar’s dead, right? And is Teddy after Megan romantically? Does it matter?
Discuss! See y’all Feb. 26!