Wednesday, September 30, 2015

REVIEW: 'Nashville' - Beverly Wakes From Her Coma While Juliette and Avery Finally Talk in 'Til the Pain Outwears the Shame'

ABC's Nashville - Episode 4.02 "Til the Pain Outwears the Shame"

Juliette breaks down during an appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael, prompting Avery's concern. But when she continues her pattern of irrational and volatile behavior, she leaves Avery with a struggle of his own. Rayna is determined to show the world that Highway 65 is not just a vanity project and devises a plan to sign Markus Keen, one of the biggest rock artists around.

Rayna, Deacon and Scarlett are still dealing with the aftermath of Deacon's liver transplant in "Til the Pain Outwears the Shame." Beverly has woken up from her coma. That is a good sign that things aren't going to end as tragically as they could have. While she was in limbo, Deacon and Scarlett worried about all the things they've done or said to her. Deacon put Beverly in this predicament. She chose to donate part of her liver but he still feels guilty for needing it in the first place - and not having any better alternatives. It's not terribly surprising that this episode promptly kills her off in the end. Though technically she's just flatlining, it felt very much like the show was foreshadowing her death throughout the hour. Deacon and Scarlett were able to have the conversations they've always wanted to have with her. Beverly apologized for being a bad mom. Scarlett opened up and showed her love. Deacon was incredibly grateful for what she did for him. None of the characters can have regrets about not getting to say how they felt before she passed. That's comforting but doesn't mean the sadness or mourning will be any easier.

Deacon is going to need to count on Rayna in order to deal with Beverly no longer being a part of his life. He wanted to have the sibling relationship they've always dreamed of having. He was happy for the first time this season. He's healthy, his sister has woken up and Rayna is by his side. This tragedy will rock his world. However, it comes at a time where Rayna is trying to focus all of her energy back on Highway 65. Her personal life has kept the business from breaking out the way she always envisioned. She has to deal with many things and as a result has lost many artists. She's super proud of what Layla and The Exes are going to do under the label. But she desperately needs a big artist in order to maintain a sense of relevancy. It's going to be hard to manage that as well as her turbulent personal life. Things will only be getting more complicated for her.

Markus Keen is the big shark Rayna makes a play for in this episode. He and his rock band have just broken up and Rayna has heard what his songs can be once they are stripped of all the messy production. He is a real talent and she desperately wants him at Highway 65. The media is really scrutinizing her for not being a good place successful artists can call home. In order to finance and support her indie artists and build them up into stars, she needs the financial support that comes from landing a big artist such as Markus. It's a huge swing for the label. Rayna is placing all of her bets on this arrangement. She is going all in. Everything the label has is being used to get Markus signed. But that will have a certain cost to it considering he will maintain all creative control over his music. This will only work for Rayna if he makes it big as a solo act. It's a risk that she wants to take but it could also destroy the label for good.

Meanwhile, it's still so heartbreaking watching as Juliette continues to spiral out of control. This episode offers hope that she desperately wants to make things right with Avery. She returns home and pleads with him to be a happy couple again. She's scared of whether or not she'll be a good wife and mother. Those are very understandable fears. And yet, she's not getting any better. All the time she spends with Avery and Cadence is just to get the media to stop speculating about the state of their relationship. She really does care for them. Otherwise why did she tear up during her interview on Live with Kelly and Michael? But she places more of her love on her career. She basically rolls into town, gives Avery a glimmer of hope only to then betray it as soon as things get too real.

Little baby Cadence pops up in a lot of places where a baby should not be. It's okay when Avery takes her to the house because he doesn't think for one moment Juliette would be throwing a wild party. She does the right thing and gets everyone to leave as soon as she spots him. That is in keeping with the person Juliette has become. She's afraid to be alone right now more than anything else but she doesn't know how to emotionally connect with Avery and Cadence. But then, Avery also takes Cadence to Juliette's big launch party for her new album. That's just completely ridiculous and bordering on child endangerment. Sure, it's cute when she has her little earmuffs on. But it's devastating listening to her cry as Juliette is adamant about performing her new single.

Juliette is turning her back on the people who care about her the most. She is hitting the road as quickly as possible. She is able to maintain a level of sanity when the cameras are on her. But in private, she is slowly losing her mind and increasingly needs more and more help with each passing episode. She leaves Nashville soon after landing and has replaced her phone. People are worried about her but they haven't been able to get her to listen to their concerns. This story is building up to some tragic fallout. It could really go any number of ways. That's the thing most exciting about the show right now. This episode does spend a lot of time on other plots as well. But the Juliette-Avery drama continues to be so much better than the rest.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Til the Pain Outwears the Shame" was written by David Gould and directed by Jean de Segonzac.
  • Before she goes, Beverly also says that she likes Caleb more than Gunnar. No reason why but that will certainly add a new dynamic to that love triangle. However, the audience and Gunnar are aware that Caleb may not be as supportive of Scarlett's career as he initially seemed to be.
  • Gunnar, you are the only one who cares about the promotional artwork! Just get over it like everyone else.
  • I can understand Juliette's Patsy Cline movie having Oscar buzz. But it also being a Number 1 movie at the box office is way too impossible to believe. Not in today's marketplace.
  • Luke is very torn over what to do regarding keeping Will on the label. He supports Will and his music so much. But his new business manager suggests that keeping Will on board will not be good for his brand. Luke eventually drops Will. It's devastating. But it's also hard to care about Luke's feelings because he wants to just take Will's songs and record them himself.
  • So how long will it take before Will moves over to Highway 65? I'm sure Rayna could get some decent press from such a move.
  • Of course, Rayna is focused on Markus and not any of her other artists at the moment. Layla has a big performance at the Bluebird and no one from her team is able to make it. They are all busy with their very chaotic lives. Glenn is there and he may be a better choice as her manager because he has nothing else going on at the moment.
  • Maddie and Daphne continue to be good when they are singing and not much elsewhere. Who cares about Daphne overhearing a bunch of mean girls in the bathroom saying she should be ashamed of her name after Teddy's arrest?
  • Who is in more desperate need of a haircut: Scarlett or Avery? Scarlett's has always been a mess so not's unlikely to change anytime soon. But Avery needs to get his trimmed - including that weird facial hair.