I’m really liking Nashville with these last few episodes! I used to worry that the show would deal too much with #countrymusicproblems and wouldn’t be relatable for viewers. But these are just artists and business(wo)men who are trying to make the music they love and then have to deal with the repercussions of that music.
The main issue of 1×07 “Lovesick Blues” is Edgehill Republic blackmailing both Juliette and Rayna into performing with each other at the big company party at the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve read other recaps that say that this whole set-up was a bit contrived, but I bought it. The head of the label tells Juliette that with her recent bad press she can’t carry a show as a sole headliner; and he threatens that he’ll release Rayna’s greatest hits album if she doesn’t take Juliette under her wing. The one thing they do agree on, however, is that they have to do something original.
But first, what’s everyone else up to?
“Ring of Fire”
Performed by: Clare Bowen (Scarlett)
Scarlett is reeling from her breakup to Avery, but as Hailey reminds her, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” To that end, they go out to a local bar where Scarlett sings just the cutest rendition of “Ring of Fire.” She’s drunk and wobbly but still sweet and alluring—both to Gunnar and to the random guy who wants to pick her up.
Too bad that when that guy tries to kiss Scarlett, Gunnar jumps to her defense so fast that the guy assumes he’s Scarlett’s boyfriend. You gotta feel for Hailey, who can totally see why Gunnar reacted the way he did, and yet she won’t say anything about it.
”Papa Writes to Johnny”
Performed by: Charles Esten (Deacon)
Deacon makes for a great role model this episode, advising Scarlett to go out and party and/or make new music, anything instead of nursing her broken heart. He also has to take his own advice when he’s on the house band for the big party and has to work with both Rayna and Juliette. Of course, we’re just waiting for the other cowboy boot to drop with the inevitable Deacon/Juliette hookup, but for tonight we can see him struggling to remain professional.
”The Morning of the Rain”
Performed by: Jonathan Jackson (Avery)
Oh, Avery. Scarlett goes over to his place to apologize for breaking up with him the moment she found out he’d considered sleeping with that nasty old record executive. Except that when she comes in, she finds out that they’ve already been bumping uglies a few times. His argument that it happened after they broke up is pretty damn weak.
Later, Creepy Record Exec Lady introduces Avery to a record label head played by Wyclef Jean, and even though she sells Avery’s voice and his band, it has to be obvious that she’s shtupping him, right?
”You’ve Got The Wrong Song”
Performed by: Connie Britton (Rayna) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliette)
Again, all this pales in comparison to the headliners and their original song. That’s right, in a pretty great earlier scene, Rayna arrives at Juliette’s house in the middle of the night, having decided that they have no choice but to write a new song together. (This right after Juliette got rejected by her maybe-fake-boyfriend Sean Butler, played by Tilky Jones. We later learn that Sean is saving it for marriage. Gulp.)
When I heard that the title of the song was “You’ve Got The Wrong Song,” initially I believed that Juliette and Rayna got all meta and were going to compete in the song and sing each other’s musical styles, or something. But the final product actually works better: The kind of uniting you-go-girl ballad deriding some invisible guy for thinking that they’re gonna stick by their men even after they cheat and lie. Gotta love these lyrics: “This ain’t a feel-good, everything’s-fine singalong.”
As we’re seeing, things are not fine in Nashville, and the romantic drama is just gonna keep amping up as the weeks go on.