Nashville Review: Believable Triangle

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"A Picture From Life's Other Side" sounds like it should be the title of an episode of Fringe. While not an hour of FOX's recently passed multiple universe based drama, Nashville Season 1's penultimate episode was similarly chock-full of extremely emotional and tense moments.

Let's begin with the character the arc that has surprisingly become the most interesting over the course of the past few weeks. At the end of "Why Don't You Love Me" last week, Avery was propositioned by Juliette. They could have easily allowed that to turn into another situation where the young pop star either abused her companion or was abused by her counterpart.

Getting Cozy

Instead, the situation was used to bring Avery's arc back to where it began and made it more believable. Early on, there was a semi-love triangle between Avery, Scarlett and Gunnar. The problem was that Avery was a complete d-bag and never for a second did we believe that Scarlett wasn't going to choose Gunnar.

Now, though, with Avery's mini redemption story, it becomes completely possible that she could give him another chance one day. If Scarlett knew that Avery turned down Juliette Barnes not solely because she was drunk, but also because he still has feelings for his ex, she might strongly consider trying it again.

As an aside, I'd like to note that I didn't enjoy Gunnar as his normal goody-goody self, but I also don't like watching him as this fake outlaw. I guess the entire character just doesn't work for me.

What always works, on the other hand, is Hayden Panettiere putting those acting chops on display. Between her practiced announcement to the world in which she matter-of-factly stated "I fell for the wrong man, and he broke my heart," and the sadness in her face after finding Dante shot to death and her mother overdosed, Hayden P was on fire. 

Juliette was put through the ringer once again, but the question now becomes, how will she come back from this? Will she spiral out of control? Or will this act as a force pushing her in the right direction? Maybe she can use these events to get a hold of her life. As much as I love a good train wreck, it would be interesting to see what a season of successful and happy Juliette Barnes looks like.

Meanwhile, Juliette's competition for Female Vocalist of the Year was facing some difficult issues of her own this week. Rayna has been handed the challenge of wanting to integrate her love of Deacon into her family life, but also not wanting to make her girls' father obsolete. Honestly, I thought she was doing a good job of not making things too difficult on the girls. That is, she was doing a good job until Teddy stuck his fat face in the mix.

I understand that he feels threatened, and that he is the one who has been there for the girls his entire life, but the fact of the matter is that Deacon IS Maddie's father. It's not like he knew that, and has been shirking on his responsibilities all of his life. He's had problems, but maybe if he knew that he had this daughter he would have cleaned his act up much earlier.

Whatever the case may be, like Juliette, I would have liked to have watched a care free Rayna for a while. Seeing Teddy take her to town about Deacon being around the kids was disheartening, but then again, they need SOMETHING for Teddy to do. Along with the political story line, Teddy Conrad himself is also becoming difficult to attach ourselves to.

Deacon, conversely, could read the phone book on screen and we would be as attentive as ever. The simple act of sitting down with Maddie* and Daphne to reprise the girls' performance of "Ho, Hey" was one of the highlights of the hour. Chip Esten's chemistry with the girls was great, which shouldn't have been a surprise. He elevates everyone's game on this show.

*Lennon Stella is becoming a better actress every week she continues this journey. Starting the series with seemingly zero experience, she was put to the test in "Life's Other Side" with the realization that Rayna was in love with Deacon, and finding out her dad might not be her father. She delivered.

Also delivering was Chris Carmack as he told the story about Will's father finding out about his sexuality. As much as I hated the moment that they threw the fact that he was gay in our faces a few weeks back, I loved this moment. It was raw, it was honest, and it was a stellar performance by Carmack. Will has become one of the characters I root for most over the past few weeks.

Overall, "A Picture From Life's Other Side" was a breath of fresh air after a couple of episodes that were lacking. Nashville is in a good position heading into next week's first season finale.

What did y'all think of the episode? What were your favorite moments? What didn't you like about the hour? Whose story are you most interested in? And if you're from Nashville, did you laugh when the radio host said Gunnar was playing at the bar on second?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (103 Votes)

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


Holy crow - Hayden - the scene where she found her mother even made ME cry. That was absolutely heartbreaking. Maybe Juliette will take the fact that her mother's dying act was for her redemption; hopefully she won't let her mother die in vain. It does suck, though, that Jolene will be portrayed as the crack-head killer in the media, because nobody knew what a douche Dante was. Gunnar - what a mess he's become. He used to be one of my favourites; frankly, sometimes just being a clear-cut good guy is okay. It's unfortunate that the writers changed that. But I do like seeing how Avery's becoming a better person. Fantastic job by Jonathan Jackson all around. So - Maddie - what made her think to even look?? The paternity story is a little forced and too fast, that storyline could have been played out for a whole other season.

Sarah silva

I knew hat Jolene was going to kill Dante and I was sure she was going to kill herself too.
I hope this changes Juliette for good and she becomes a better person, not a spoiled brat.
Teddy is a jerk. Maddie had to snoop around and now she knows the truth and I think Teddy will get custody of the girls and I really hope Deacon does not go back to drinking. Personally I think Deacon should have been told about Maddie when she was born.
I never thought I would like Avery but I do and I dislike Gunnar now! I hope Avery and Scarlett get back together as he seems to have changed.


I hate who gunner is turning in to. i hope he snaps out of it soon, he needs to find a calm middle. i liked that lamar and rayna seem to have a slightly better relationship. he actually looked PLEASED to see her and didnt lose his top when she told him she was with deacon. who based on the previews im already feeling for. he looks heartbroken. i dont care for maddie but i do feel for her. teddys an ass. and juliette, ifeel sobad for her. she may have been a uber b*tch towards her mama but she didnt deserve to have her go out like that. i liked jolene, i think she had the possibility to get clean. dante screwed them all up.


I absolutely LOVE Nashville and ALL the characters! I wasn't a big country fan until now, but I'm loving the songs and the performances. Where to start...Loved Teddy at first, but not so much now. He's hurt that his girlfriend leaked the story about his homelife, but extremely jealous of Deacon and Rayna's relationship, which I happen to love. The daughter needs to know who her father is!!! Very proud of Scarlett's handling of Gunnar (can't believe I initally wanted them together). She's no doormat and proved it by walking away from him. Poor Juliette - I love her although she's a tortured soul. What a load she has on her plate now. Mom finally put her daughter first. Heartbreaking way to end things for Juliette, but at least she got the scumbag! Can't wait for the finale. Hope Deacon surprises me and embraces the news about the daughter. Please bring this show back!!!!! It's my guilty pleasure.


I love this show! gonna be interesting to see what deacon does when he finds out about his daughter. personally, i think it's crazy that she never told him! pretty BIG omission! not gonna turn out well, i would imagine. i also thought avery was a dick, but he may be turning around! and with gunnar turning into an ass. and juliette is amazing! i didn't know anything about hayden. but she is a very talented lady. you really feel for her! her mom was a nightmare, but all the family she had so... looking forward to next week and next season!

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Nashville Season 1 Episode 20 Quotes

That is a very ballsy thing to say to your boss. You are lucky you're cute enough to get away with it.


What you haven't seen is somebody who can rope a steer.


Nashville Season 1 Episode 20 Music

  Song Artist
Nashville cast hypnotizing feat hayden panettiere Hypnotizing (feat. Hayden Panettiere) Nashville Cast iTunes
Nashville cast if momma coulda seen me feat sam palladio If Momma Coulda Seen Me (feat. Sam Palladio) Nashville Cast iTunes
Lonesome animals sunrise Sunrise Lonesome Animals iTunes