Nashville Premiere Recap: Brace for Impact
A good chunk of this week’s Nashville – the Season 2 premiere – takes place in the past. It’s a softly-lit time filled with bad hair, questionable fashion and tears, and it provides a sad counterpoint for even sadder events in the present: namely, Rayna’s coma and Deacon’s guilt.
Elsewhere, Juliette once more proves herself an opportunist extraordinaire, and Will’s not gay. No, seriously! So straight! Nothing to see here!
THE CRASH, REVISITED | We pick up at the tail end of Rayna and Deacon’s cargument, which results in the massive crash that leaves both of ‘em bloodied and upside down in a ditch. Deacon is awake, with his hand wedged at a bad angle, and he drags it out (ouch) and somehow maneuvers an unconscious Rayna out of the car and onto the grass, where they collapse. We immediately flashback to him showing her around the dreamhouse he’s purchased for them; it’s right after Deacon’s been released from rehab and right before Rayna’s first CMA Award nomination; she’s a bit more aw-shucks than the polished performer we’ve come to know. They’re in love, and it’s cute. (Her hair, less so… but the late ’90s were a confusing time for many of us.)
Back in the present, Rayna’s hooked up to a ventilator in the ICU while Tandy and the girls look on. She’s been in a medically induced coma for two weeks, and the doctors aren’t sure what they’ll find when they wake her up. Teddy and Lamar take turns by Ray-Ray’s bedside; the topic of Rayna’s mother’s death in a vehicle accident comes up a few times (and will be important later).
As the flashbacks continue, we see Deacon propose to Rayna circa the time of Maddie’s conception. She happily accepts, and they (and their Reality Bites hair) make love on the floor. But the next morning, she finds him drunk and passed out on the couch – and she demands to know whether he was plastered when he asked her. “When I asked you what?” he asks muzzily, which earns him a ring thrown angrily in his direction. Months later, when a preggers Rayna and Tandy swing by the house, they peer through one of the million windows to see Deke imbibing all of the alcohol in the place simultaneously. Tandy stops her sister from going inside. “You cannot help,” she starts, leading me to finish, “someone who would choose to wear that vest over that tank top?” But she means, “someone who doesn’t want to be helped.” Oh yeah. That, too. Speaking of the soused devil, what’s he up to?
DEACON IS THE NEW BLACK | Deacon, in orange prison scrubs and with his arm in a sling, stands before a judge and wants to take responsibility for the accident. He tries to plead guilty, but His Honor notes that if Rayna dies, the charges Deke is facing will change to involuntary manslaughter – he’s going to want some sort of legal representation.
At home, Scarlett hustles unsuccessfully to get her uncle’s $1 million bail together. Juliette is less than supportive; after her ordeal with Jolene, she knows that addicts are very likely to hurt the ones who love them, and she wants no part of that enable-a-thon. And when Deacon finally allows Scarlett to visit, he’s nasty to her. “What’s new, girl?” he says, mocking; I know it’s not meant to be funny, but Chip Esten’s beauty-parlor delivery made me laugh out loud. Undeterred, Scarlett tells him “You’ve been like a father to me,” which throws the self-declared drunk into a rage. “I’m nobody’s damn father!” he shouts at her before banning her from future visits.