Notes on Nashville: Not Ready for Her Close-Up

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Connie Britton in Nashville: Politics makes for strange bedfellows.
On the fourth episode of Nashville, the past is quickly threatening to engulf the present for our stars, seasoned but conflicted Rayna and young but vulnerable Juliette. The show has officially finished introducing us to the characters, and moved on to introducing new people in the hopes of further mucking up their lives. Mission accomplished so far.

After (shop)lifting that bottle of nail polish at the end of last week's episode, Juliette wakes to a knock at the door from the police, who have seen the video (4 million hits and climbing), and present her with a summons. Shoplifting is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee, and she tells them to "get a real job."

Over the next hour, the young star manages to erode any kind of sympathy and goodwill she may have accumulated thus far, with viewers and her fans alike. In her defense, her junkie mom is still crashing with her, and her belated efforts of trying to be maternal include making Juliette pink macaroni, formerly her favorite meal. She's not hungry.

Those 4 million hits don't happen in a vacuum, naturally, and everyone from Katie Couric on down is talking about Juliette's light-fingered video. Her no-nonsense publicist has even flown to Nashville from Somewhere Important to give her a talking-to. She arrives while Juliette is doing yoga, trying to "center" herself, only to be blown off: "I have a tour to prepare for... isn't there any other news?"

"Namaste," she says by way of "fuck off." Haha.

Meanwhile, Rayna dreams she's in bed with Deacon, but wakes up to her husband asking if she's going to spend the day in bed. Her task this episode is to sing at a fundraiser for his mayoral campaign, which involves associating with the country-club wives who are hosting it.

Wouldn't you know it, they are old rivals from way back. Not only did they used to make fun of Rayna in high school but one of them, Peggy, appears to have had some sort of past romantic association with Teddy... or maybe they still are.

This leads to the best scene of the episode. At the fundraiser, Teddy, Deacon, Rayna's tycoon dad Lamar (aka Powers Boothe, Texan badass) and Rayna are all in the same room together, with predictably explosive results. At a mere $1,400 a plate, Lamar tells Deacon, "there's no reason for you to look presentable."

Deacon also squared off against Teddy, who said, "What you know about politics couldn't fill a shot glass." Not sure that's exactly the right place to go after him, but it's probably on the same football field.

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