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.


MickeyG123---I'm with you on the Rayna too sanctimonious and self righteous, as an ex-country singer person who has seen all the dirty behind the seens BS of sex,drugs,and alchohol she can't be trusted. After 12 yrs she still has feelings for a complete asshole alcie who wants nothing from her but another piece. By the way her oldest daughter is his during one of their drunken sex thrills 12 yrs ago, wait till Teddy finds this out he doesn't know it but i'm sure he suspects.


Regarding Rayna and Teddy's marriage, he's trying, she's not. Rayna is really becoming my least favorite character on this show. In fact, I thought Juliette is starting to show more class than Rayna. I really like the scene between Juliette and her mother where the two somewhat reconciled. Love Scarlett and Gunnar. Hope they become a couple soon.


great episode i have one question plzzzz someone answer me : will we see Liam again or that was it?''


I do not like the character Rayna James. She is too sanctimonious and self righteous for my taste. She castigated Teddy for hugging his friend but she can flirt and rub all over Liam, on stage? She has had quiet intimate conversations with Deacon. she has had more to say to her ex- lover than her husband. She is constantly throwing in Teddy's face she is the bread winner, the money maker. But Teddy took on the role of stay at home Dad so she would have the freedom to keep on with her career. And then when Juliette's assistant mentioned Jolene's rehab stint and Rayna snickered, well if that doesn't show how self absorbed the Queen of Country is, I don't know what does. And Deacon? Seems most posters like the erstwhile bad boy that couldn't even keep a promise for a few hours to a fellow alcoholic. He has no committments, no true responsibilities Yet he's the one Rayna and most women or fawning over. Give me Steady Teddy any day of the week!!!!!!!


One of the things I really like about this show is the writing. Just when a character starts to do something predictable it's takes a clever turn. For instance, when another show might have Deacon's character just start drinking again, here he turns his inner angst into something proactive(with the help of an ever evolving Juliette). The female characters are very well written and layered. No doubt due to Callie Khouri whom I have been a fan of since "Thelma & Louise". And if that "Consulting Producer" by the name of Nancy Miller is the same woman who created "Saving Grace", then I can understand why. Two of the best writers for women in the business. Interesting juxtaposition of Rayna's getting a stronger hold on her professional life while losing the same in her personal life. And let's hope Juliette continues to see she can be stronger and deeper than she's let herself be in the past. Well done show. Enjoying the emotional backstories that are now coming into play. Looking forward to more.

Sarah silva

sorry I meant Barkley

Sarah silva

This was a really good episode!
It is good that Rayna and Teddy talked about their marriage, however I really do not think they are in love anymore and I do not see them working it out, there is only so long they can carry on the way it is.
Juliette was back to her old ways again, that is until she went and talked to her mom and her mom told her how proud she was of her. Juliette also had a sweet moment with Deacon when she went to his house, after she walked in mad at him for not showing up for the party but as soon as she saw him she knew he was in a bad place.
Avery has always been way to egotistical and when he said that the sign should just read Avery Barker I had to snicker. He has not been famous long enough to pull that crap! I hope that his deal tanks and that his old band become a hit with Gunnar and Scarlet! That will be sweet karma!
I liked Liam, it is too bad he turned out to be a jerk though.


I like this show. Last nights episode was probably one of the best ones..... Kinda disappointed they are dragging out this thing with Rayna and Teddy.....I think now that Deacon is with Rayna this will finally come to a head..... Scarlett is becoming less and less the shy little girl type and I'm glad.....but I'm afraid Gunnar is going to end up in trouble because of his least he doesn't know where he's at.......only that he's been through Nashville.

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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.