Nashville Review: Tired of Holding the Cape

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"You Win Again" was a particularly great episode of Nashville for a few reasons: the political story rightfully took a back seat, the levels of emotion on display were through the roof, Chris Young and Brantley Gilbert showed up for a minute, and of course, part of the hour was filmed at and took place at my alma mater.

I attended graduate school at Belmont University, graduating just last spring, so I couldn't have been more excited to see Avery Barkley playing in front of the iconic Belmont Mansion as Scarlett watched from the crowd on the quad. In reality, that wasn't the best place on campus for a concert, but Nashville made it look like it would have been a great event!

Celebrating Their Duet

All signs point to the fact that Nashville the city has really embraced Nashville the show, and that was certainly the case when it was announced that they would be filming this concert at Belmont. As an alumnus, I received an email about the event that praised the series, encouraging all current students to come out to the concert to be in the crowd. It's seemingly a perfect marriage between city and series.

Speaking of marriages, let's take a look at Rayna's not-so-perfect union with Teddy as I introduce you to the band...

Teddy Conrad
I'm glad that the mayoral race is over because it has been well documented how poorly that story line was working, but I was beginning to think that Teddy just wasn't all that interesting of a character when I was also not enjoying his conversations with Rayna about their failed marriage. However, he won me back when he uttered the words to Rayna, "All I wanna do is win you back."  

Watching his heart drop down to his stomach as Deacon boarded that plane was equally depressing and exciting, which always makes for great television.

Rayna James
She's back on top! Rayna has been stealing the show at all of these concerts, Juliette's referring to her as a super hero and she's being wooed by other record companies. Unfortunately none of that can save her marriage, and none of that will make up for leaving Deacon in rehab while embarking on said marriage.  

How about that heated conversation with Deacon?!?! The two of them were really giving it to each other and I couldn't get enough of it. He asked her if Teddy was still cheating, she told him that they quit because he couldn't stop drinking, and eventually Deacon said to Rayna, "You lost faith in me." It was a seriously powerful conversation, which made him getting onto that plane all that much more interesting.

Deacon Claybourne
My main man Deacon had a heck of a lot going on during "You Win Again." There was the aforementioned tiff with Rayna, he was dealing with the hack-job of an article that said he fell off the wagon while on tour with the Revel Kings... and then there was the Jolene's trial that he was on board to help with. He was being pulled in a number of different directions, and wasn't dealing with it well, even though he did manage to knock some sense into Juliette.  

Leaving his place as the disaster area that it was when Juliette found him, Deacon finally took the girl up on the offer to play in her band, and it was awesome to hear him reveal that to Rayna while seated in his shades like the baddest dude on the planet. Could things get even more interesting?

Juliette Barnes
Although her hatred for Rayna grew to new highs, and the eventual courting of Deacon to play guitar may lead to a reversal of dynamics on stage with Liam now out of the picture, the most interesting aspect of the hour for Juliette was her relationship to mama. Nashville has handled this story well, letting Jolene slowly work her way into being a character that you could see Juliette still not forgiving but accepting to a degree.  

That emotional conversation, in which Hayden Panettiere let the tear ducts have some exercise, was fantastic. The only thing that will be better is when Jolene steals from her, or does something else equally as awful later on in the season. That has to be coming, right?

The Kids Club
With politics out of the picture, Avery, Scarlett and Gunnar won the award for the plot I cared least about. Of course I enjoyed the scenes at Belmont, but not until the final moments was I all that interested in the slow move toward getting Scarlett and Gunnar together with Avery's old band. That final moment was great, though. Watching as Avery drove by to see the two of them with his group, his friends, was just great. And Scarlett's miniature evil laugh, even though it was likely no supposed to be read as such, was even better.

The intensity, the emotion, the music, and the smashed in guitars were put on display. What were your favorite moments from "You Win Again?" Was it one of your favorite episodes of the season? Or did it not live up to Nashville's standards?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (126 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


There is a very big mistake coming down the road, wait and see who really gets screwed in upcoming episodes !!!!!


I have to wonder, do some people even watch the show, really?
Deacon has been in love with Rayna, forever, since their earliest days and has remained loyal to her, even after she married Teddy, and has been with him for 12 years. He's been Rayna's great friend and musical partner, long after she married Teddy; he's also been sober for 12 years; so, to suggest the he just wants Rayna for a "piece" and that he'll head for rehab #6, is ludicrous. NO, of course, he isn't perfect, and yes he could relapse, it's an illness, but the character, for his flaws, has a good moral center and a great heart, that make him far more attractive than his physical looks. Deacon has also been a great friend to the other people he cares about and adores his niece, Scarlett.
Teddy and Rayna have a marriage that is dry and passionless, and show no sign of actually being "in love" with each other, or that they ever were, really! They need to let go of their sham of a marriage.
Rayna and Deacon still love each other, but, is that enough to overcome the pain of their past? I hope the show is around a long time and I hope they reunite them, SOON, so we can at least angst with them, as they try.


Don't forget too-close embraces and insinuated obvious innuendo and inappropriate history between Rayna and Deacon is "trying"? Her actions have everything to do with her and career nothing to do with family, she is throwing them all under the bus for her too sanctimonious and self righteous ways. As an EX backup singer in country music I for one can tell everyone that on tours you better not be married booze and drugs will mess you up for good and destroy your personal life. This is the road Rayna is heading with her dead beat old partner.


The comment insinuating that Teddy is trying and Rayna isn't - is astronomically absurd. So, you believe that him allowing himself to be placed in the mayoral candidacy under the tutelage of a well-known jackass IE: Rayna's father - knowing it would push her buttons - is "trying"? You think him sitting around the table discussing his wife's shortcomings with her blood relatives is "trying"? You think because he "gave up his life" to raise the girls so Rayna could continue her career is "trying"? That is normal every day life across the globe. You think the hushed whispers in hotel rooms, too-close embraces and insinuated obvious innuendo and inappropriate history between Teddy and Peggy is "trying"? ...thank God I'm not in a relationship with you. Teddy isn't trying any more than Rayna is.


Does RAYNA have any backbone to tell Deacon to backoff on the upcoming episode in the elevator, if not she better not go home and cry in her beer when he lets her down for the 6th time and lose everything you had for 12 yrs.


I'm happy to see some fellow Teddy fans. I'm a big Eric Close fan so that made him appealing from the start. The fact that he knows Maddie is not his daughter but loves her just the same is a big thumbs up for me. seeing him tear into Rayna's dad for trying to use that really made me like him more. Teddy's got his faults but so does Rayna he's a god father he loves Rayna even knowing she may still have feelings for Deacon. Deacon may be the sexy bad boy but I'm not sure what kind of father he would have made. I think it's cool that Scarlett & Gunnar are working with Avery's old band. Just a little taste of "fame" and Avery is already getting too big for his britches LOL!


Teddy looked pissed when Deacon ran to the plane.
No more Liam thats a shame he gave Rayna her new sound.


Finally I've caught up - and can I just say how much I love this show? The characters are all so freakin messed up, all broken mortals trying the best they know how. Rayna's fascinating because she has so little insight into her own flaws. I understand her though - she's had to be the strong one in every relationship she's been in, she only trusts herself. She can't allow herself to be flawed. My favourite scenes all involved Deacon. I loved how he stuck it to Rayna, I loved his rock-bottom talk with Juliette (I think they make a GREAT pair as friends), and I loved how he walked onto the bus and basically presented his rear end for all to kiss. He's a fantastic character. I still can't get over it - Chip Esten, giant ham on Whose Line - is freakin' Deacon. Juliette is evolving so much as a character, and I love what they're doing with their mom. The Gunnar/Scarlett side story wasn't as interesting this time, but I always enjoy seeing them together. And I am interested in Gunnar's brother's story...


I'm pretty sure Teddy already knows that Deacon is Maddie's bio dad. They got married because Rayna was pregnant with her. Apparently, he's always known, but considers Maddie his daughter. That's what he told Rayna's father when he found out he had tried to blackmail Rayna over it.


I've been watching the show for a while now, and I saw the very first episode, and I still don't understand why Juliette hates Rayna, by all appearance from the moment she laid eyes on her. What is that supposed to be about? Is she just a jealous, overly competitive beyotch? Is it mommy issues? I don't get it. Also, I like Teddy. He's not as exciting as Deacon, but so what. I don't get women who are hot for the damaged men. It's weird. Someone from a non-dysfunctional family would not be pining over a guy like Deacon, no matter how good looking he was. Her husband is better looking, IMHO. It doesn't make any sense that Rayna wants to work on her marriage but won't share a bed with her husband. I'm married, and on the rare occasion that I'm pissed at my husband we still share a bed. I'd think you'd have to be extremely angry to move into another room. I'm not sure what the point of this setup is. Maybe they want Teddy to have an excuse to cheat with that woman who helped him steal money?

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Nashville Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Lose the "the" and "band." From now on it's just Avery Barkley.


Think of Edgehill like your marriage. The only way to get through it is to fantasize about someone else.