Although I guess it could be said (or at least the promos could infer, which they most certainly did) that tonight’s “Nashville” was a night of high drama and big surprises, it was more like a very long episode of “told-ya-so.” A few characters revealed themselves to be exactly what we thought they were, while others did exactly what we were pretty sure they’d been wanting to do for a while anyway. In some cases, this was satisfying albeit predictable; in others, it was just predictable.
In the (somewhat) satisfyingly predictable column was Rayna and Deacon. After hemming and hawing and finding countless silly reasons (nice girl vet Stacey being one of the least convincing) to stay apart, these two finally gave in to their feelings and ripped off their clothes. As much as I’d been looking forward to these two finally connecting, it was still disappointing. While Stacey and Deacon never made for much of a couple, Rayna and Liam generated plenty of heat, especially on stage — and when Rayna tosses over a weekend in St. Lucia with Liam for a romantic retread with Deacon, it’s almost disappointing. At least with Liam there wouldn’t be old wounds and ancient fights to pick over the next morning.
Another scene we’d all been predicting turned out to be surprisingly dull. When Teddy confronts Peggy about her tattling to the tabloids, he seems less angry than sad — and far too eager to switch focus to punishing Lamar than calling things irretrievably off with his borderline-stalker girlfriend. When Teddy sighs that love “isn’t enough” to salvage their relationship, I wanted to reach through the television and shake him. It was the perfect opportunity for him point out that someone who loves you isn’t going to give a tabloid information about you, but he’s too nice (or spineless) to be that honest, I guess.
There were two other big “surprises” (and I use that word loosely) in the episode. One, Dante finally robbed Juliette blind, as we knew he would. While I was surprised that he ran such an organized scam on her (and clearly suspected she’d never call the cops, or at least not until he’d flown far away with his equally scheming girlfriend and a sizable chunk of ill-gotten money), even Juliette’s mom came to smell a rat. While I realize that we, as an audience, needed some hints so as not to be entirely blindsided by Dante’s betrayal, I could have done with fewer. It was so painfully obvious to everyone but Juliette that Dante was up to no good, the affair only served to make us think Juliette, while young, is more gullible than we thought.
Finally, we had Gunnar’s not-at-all-romantic moment, when the girl magnet Will laid a big wet one on his shocked new friend. I remember when Will first showed up, a reader commenting on my recap of that episode wisely said it seemed pretty obvious that Will was gay, but this may have been the best reveal on an otherwise thunkingly obvious episode. While Dante might as well have worn a neon sign over his head advertising he was going to do Juliette wrong, Will was more subtle in his intentions.
Despite all of his actions making it clear he only had eyes for Gunnar, he gave admirable lip service to loving the ladies; it was a ruse that only fell apart when women circled too close. That most of the fans at his performance are women just speaks to how easy it is for him to ooze confidence and sex appeal when he really doesn’t care about how well it’s received. Gunnar, of course, was a little naive not to read the signs, but that’s not entirely out of character. I’ll be curious to see how these two get along (if they get along) next week. As for everyone else, I’m pretty sure we all can guess.
What did you think about Rayna and Deacon’s love scene? Were you surprised by Will? Or Dante?