Nashville Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Unguarded Moments

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I cannot believe I'm actually saying this... NOT ANOTHER DEACON AND RAYNA LOVE TRIANGLE!

You'd think the country music show would wait more than a few episodes after ushering Teddy out to spring another love triangle on everyone's favorite couple, but Nashville Season 4 Episode 8 proves otherwise. I can hear the shipper groans already!

Maddie's career took a definitive turn in "Unguarded Moments," when Sony offered to sign her to their label.

It's not surprising really. When a teenager gets up on stage with Juliette Barnes and rocks a stadium crowd the way Maddie did earlier this season, you bet record companies are going to take notice. Unfortunately, Rayna is not exactly on board. 

Naturally, Maddie argues in the rudest way possible that she should be allowed to pursue her music just like Rayna did. 

You are ruining my life, mom! You're trying to keep me from doing the things I love, but you can't. Okay? You just can't!

Maddie

I actually appreciate how annoying and off-the-wall bratty Maddie has been the last year or so. Television likes to depict teenagers as calm, collected, mature people (almost like mini-adults, you might say), when in reality, they're anything but. Teenagers are awful. Period. Nashville's willingness to show that side of Maddie's character is very true to life, no matter how much we might wish she'd just shut up sometimes.

Deacon's parental issues seemed more like a convenient way to rope Markus into Rayna's parenting situation, but that doesn't mean the whole thing wasn't effective. Markus gave Rayna the time and advice she was looking for, putting him in the position of confidant for Rayna, and pissing Deacon off in the process.

Honestly, I don't see this "love triangle" going anywhere. Sure, the promo for Nashville Season 4 Episode 9 was all about a cocky Markus going up against a jealous Deacon, but I feel like that will be short lived. Rayna and Deacon have gone through too much for too long to be waylaid by a newbie contender for Rayna's heart. She chose Deacon over her husband and the father of her children. An upstart rockstar won't be too much of a challenge after that.

Elsewhere, Scarlett and Gunnar each ran into a few relationship woes while on the road.

I'm not afraid to say that I want Caleb gone. He's lovely and kind 90% of the time, but the other 10% he's a selfish prick who seems like a space-holder until Scarlett and Gunnar get back together. 

Their inability to connect – and his subsequent resentment of the success that is making Scarlett so happy – was getting old two episodes ago. Time to either cut Caleb loose, or give him something more interesting to work with.

Erin and Gunnar, on the other hand, are moderately appealing.

How about we do it the old way?

Gunnar

She still feels like a space-holder in the same way that Caleb does, but she has more of a personality to latch onto. I actually found myself wondering who exactly I was supposed to blame for that power outage. Erin, for not understanding how to work a less sophisticated board by herself, or Scarlett, for pushing her too hard? Whoever was to blame, their impromptu acoustic session seemed to please the crowd, so no harm no foul.

The fact that Erin owned up to her mistake and asked Gunnar for help puts her miles ahead of Caleb in this waiting game. Neither of them are going to come out on top once Gunnar and Scarlett realize they want to be together, but Erin will at least have provided some entertainment in the meantime. 

Finally, we get to talk about Will and Avery's new bromance.

These two have never spent much time together in the past, which is possibly why I love their new friendship so much. It's always bizarrely exciting when two characters who have spent years circling each other finally pair up for a subplot. 

Will's potential songwriting career is an awesome opportunity – and it provided for a few Juliette flashbacks to remind us Hayden Panetierre is still part of the show – but I'm left wondering if this isn't a one step forward, two steps back situation. Will's problem is that he wants to perform, not write. I'm just not sure how this fixes that problem.

Be sure to watch Nashville online as we approach the fall finale!

Unguarded Moments Review

Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (30 Votes)
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Nashville Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

You are ruining my life, mom! You're trying to keep me from doing the things I love, but you can't. Okay? You just can't!

Maddie

How about we do it the old way?

Gunnar