Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nashville Recap: ‘Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad’

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 8:41 AM

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It happened: Nashville came back. But where were we when we last visited our attractive, twangy group of ne’er-do-wells? There was an engagement between a closeted gay man and a teenage girl, Gunnar receiving royalty checks and probably deciding he’s a Republican now, Scarlett’s mom comes to visit and is absolutely terrible, Scarlett is a boozer a user and a loser, and also Scarlett collapses onstage in front of thousands of people.

Scarlett has a lot of problems right now, is the gist.

Immediate Collapse Aftermath
“Miss O’Hara! Miss O’Hara!” shouts someone Gone With the Wind-ly, as Scarlett is dragged offstage by assorted handlers. Avery is comforting her during this ... thing, and she is promptly sedated and whisked away in a private jet to a private hospital. “What a way to travel,” Americans think jealously.

Meanwhile, Deacon and Rayna have joined forces of well-intentioned meddling to greet Scarlett when she arrives. But oh, this is not a happy pairing. Rayna thinks she shouldn’t have sent Scarlett (a nerve case incapable of saying no) on the road with The Juliette Barnes, noted bully and general sass-talker. Deacon believes it’s unfair for Rayna to blame Juliette for Scarlett’s problems: “I told you it would crush her!” Poor Scarlett, so swiftly and easily crushed.

Also meanwhile, Gunnar bought a house. Zoey is “yay,” definitely lowercase “Y.” She doesn’t really want to move in (but hey spoiler alert don’t worry it looks like she changes her mind by the end of the episode). Avery calls Zoey to inform her of Scarlett’s break-break-down. So now they know.

Touching down in Nashville, Scarlett is carried off the plane like a tiny baby, collected by Deacon, and shoved into a waiting van. In the car, she’s clinging on to Avery like she is a sloth and he is the tree. Avery hops in the van to tag along to the mental hospital, and Juliette is pretty irritated!

Oh, and Scarlett’s mother is there, being terrible.

Rayna
Make no mistake, Scarlett is Blanche DuBois tonight, the fading sun ‘round which all other planets turn. Even while Rayna and Bucky are trying to do bidness talk in the hospital hallways, Scarlett’s mother gets all ups in Rayna’s face (this was just after she told the intake nurse about her own history of psychotic breaks) and is like, “You can’t handle your family! Stay away from my daughter! I’ve known you for 20 years and you are super-selfish!”

Scarlett’s mom continues her Robespierre-ish reign of terror and hovers over her daughter as she awakes from sedation. “You had a breakdown,” Momma says to the gauzily lit Scarlett: Scarlett notes her tubes and hospital bed and assorted restraints and goes full-on The Craft with her fear and flailing. She busts out of her room and wanders the grounds (great hospital) before Rayna calms her down. She tells Rayna about the booze and pills and defends herself by saying they were “caffeine pills” given to her by Liam. She just had a bad reaction to the booze and pills, was all! No historical precedent for that.

Uhhhh and then Scarlett’s doctor gives Rayna an update on her condition which is a very serious HIPAA violation? I seriously doubt Scarlett authorized Rayna to get any of this information prior to her hospitalization. This is a terrible, terrible facility. I know that Nashville is all about the glamour of country music, but the town’s other big industry is the beige-walled, sensible-pantsuited Kingdom of Healthcare. We know about HIPAA down here, dig?

Rayna conducts a very hilarious radio interview and answers deflects questions about her weird-ass family situation and Scarlett’s meltdown. She segues these questions back around to her album release, but post-show, radio fellow tells her that “Scarlett’s crack-up is a win-win for you and Highway 65!” and “It’s the tabloid tragedy that keeps this industry running!”

Later, Deacon tells Rayna that the only thing Claybournes are good at is blaming other people for their problems. They are also good at tearing up rooms and being dependent on alcohol. Rayna reminisces about how happy Scarlett’s birth made him, so wait, how long have they known one another, exactly? Scarlett is like, 25 years old.

Rayna sings a song amongst beams of light, feeling the weight of Highway 65 on her shoulders, for she has released a now-mended Scarlett from her contract after Scarlett admitted that she doesn’t actually want to be a famous country singer. I think we are supposed to worry for Rayna here, for some reason, like it’s Scarlett’s fault she put all of her money eggs in the small independent label basket.

Juliette
Juliette is mad (I could start every Juliette segment that way) that she was brushed off by the rest of the crew once she got Scarlett back to Nashville. Glenn tries to talk business talk at her, but she jumps back on the subject of American Girl Interrupted ruining Juliette’s stage and clinging to Juliette’s boyfriend. Speaking of, here he is! Juliette calls the situation “insane,” apologizes for her poor choice of words, and just reminds everyone that she has pretty good experience dealing with crazy moms.

She goes to visit Scarlett and commiserate, but Scarlett is not having it. “Everybody wants me to say I’m crazy but I’m not,” she says, something that only a sane person would say, and accuses Juliette of causing all of her problems (not true). Scarlett ain’t care that Juliette had a messed-up mom that resulted in some second-generation messed-upness, she wants her OUTTA THERE.

Avery, naturally, plays this like Scarlett is a scared and vulnerable creature with a delicate artistic mind, like she’s a bubble reflecting the Mona Lisa or something. Juliette tries to change the subject towards her boobs, but Avery is “eh,” then calls Juliette (!) a crazy person over his relationship with Scarlett, then they fight about the billionaire again. Juliette needs to start reading Dan Savage. DTMFA.

But later Juliette is ready to apologize. Alas, Avery is not there. Where might he be? Why, he was overnighting in Scarlett’s hospital room, there when she woke. He told her he stayed because she “never let go of his hand” and also because he knows how much her mom sucks. She tells him that he was her first love, and that she will never love anyone as much as she loved him (dumb and not true, all these nerds need Dan Savage) and he tells her that she’s got a permanent piece of his heart, because it seems like he really internalized conservative sex-ed tropes. Juliette, naturally, has arrived at the hospital and overheard all.

She’s dressing up all sexy to go out alone. Where? To a winter-themed industry party (in an episode that aired at the end of April), getting vodka shots poured down an ice sculpture and into her drink and then into her mouth. Villainous Jeff Fordham pulls up a chair. “Sometimes I really hate this town,” he says. “Sometimes I really hate everything,” she says. Sometimes I really love both of them when they say stuff like this. They look at one another, which means they will immediately make out. I think they could actually be the best couple on this show! Gunnar sees the two return to the party after tidying their make-out clothes and hair, and muses silently. Tune in next week to watch Gunnar be a dick about it.

(WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME JEFF FORDHAM IS GOLDIE HAWN'S SON?)

Deacon
Unkie Deacon goes to visit Lil’ Scarlett. “Sorry your mom’s insane,” he says. He wants to talk about the booze and the pills, but she just wants her mother kept away. Well too bad, ‘cause Momma’s staying at Deacon’s! The pair immediately fight about their awful childhoods and personality flaws and how Deacon supposedly left her behind while he went out to be successful. His view of that situation was that she decided to stay behind and marry a loser.

Oh, and Scarlett went to Ole Miss, apparently, paid for by Deacon's guitar money. I am dying to know what she majored in. The vapors?

Two brief scenes later and Deacon goes to apologize. (Half of this episode is people apologizing for saying truthful things.) The two decide to pair up and give Scarlett the the love they never got! Mid-twenties is as good a time as any to start that! Scarlett’s been given the all-clear and wants Deacon to drive her home, but her mother sidles up and insists that she is very mentally ill and should stay in the hospital for a while. Is ... she wrong? We shall see! Scarlett orders her mother gone, and tells Deacon that she “don’t wanna be a star.” Haha, we know.

Gunnar and Zoey
Zoey is sad she wasn’t around for her friend’s mental breakdown. Gunnar is a tad more nonchalant about the episode, saying he doesn’t want to go and visit because he has a meeting with Jeff Fordham. “The last time we had to support one another as friends, we had the whole Kelly Clarkson mess,” which is a very normal thing to say. I said that just last week. So many Kelly Clarkson messes in our lives.

Gunnar is shooting some balls (golf terms?) with Fordham, who would like for Gunnar to work with Edgehill in a new publishing division. Gunnar is wearing a terrible hat — a hat so astounding in its terribleness, in fact, that I must interrupt the plot proceedings to consider its place in the pantheon of bad musician hats. It’s like a little yellow straw trilby and it makes me want to gag. Gunnar, whose hat is giving him magical douche powers, tries to play hardball and is like “I hear Edgehill is on the ropes!” Fordham, instead of beating Gunnar about the head and face with a golf club like he deserves, retorts with how he blew the Kelly Clarkson thing, and that Scarlett is “loony.” Gunnar goes to bat for Scarlett, who is the most talented person in all of Nashville and heck maybe even the world, and tells him to “take your deal, and you can go shove it.” Very original.

Scarlett is finally watching footage of her breakdown when Zoey enters. Scarlett starts talking by sucking breath in rather than breathing breath out and I can’t understand a word she says, and then she cries. Zoey gives her a gentle walk down the hallway to try and talk out her issues. But Mother appears; Scarlett tenses, and is handed off. With all the nontoxic maternal tenderness of Carrie's mom saying "They're all going to laugh at you!" her mother informs her that these kinds of mental problems run in the family, that it is not her fault. But it is, definitely, A CURSE.

Gunnar is also watching video of Scarlett’s freak-out. He picks up a pen and paper. Will it be a kind letter wishing her a speedy recovery and a bright future? Or will it be a song? Guess. Guess which one he writes. He writes his song in his new house that he moved into and fully decorated in one day.

Will
Will exists! What’s he up to? He’s being pressured into filming a reality TV project by his teen fiance. He objects at first because he has an album launch (originally typo’d as “lunch” and oh how that made me laugh) but the reality TV producer is quite good at her job! “Sounds terrible, huh?” she says, and relates that it won’t be terrible the way SHE does it, SHE’S a good producer. And, golly, they’d hate to have to film someone else ...

But he doesn’t want to do it! Layla insists that it will be great, even though it is never rarely great (I have nothing but fond memories of the halcyon yet manic days of VH1 Celebreality). Even Jeff Fordham, who has never been shown in the most positive of lights, advises Will that doing a reality show is a “terrible idea” for him. But basically to spite Jeff, Will agrees to do the show. Jeff is literally shaking his damn head.

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