8.2

Nashville Review: "I Saw the Light" (Episode 1.16)

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<i>Nashville</i> Review: "I Saw the Light" (Episode 1.16)

While most episodes of Nashville explore either the professional or personal lives of a slew of musicians, this week’s offering was the perfect blend of the two. It wasn’t a balancing act, but instead brought both worlds together.

Rayna and Juliette’s tour is in New York City, and both have family members with them. Rayna brought daughters, who see all of the glitz and glam and want to be rock stars when they grow up. There’s a terrific moment when Rayna admits to her sister that she doesn’t want to see her daughters ripped apart by the business, alluding to the fact that it almost did the same to her. She does tell them she wants them to take time to develop their talents and not just jump into things so young. This culminates in the two playing “Ho Hey” during soundcheck at the Barclays Center. Gotta love when The Lumineers get some props.

Juliette finally accepts her mother into her life, and all seems to be going well. Only the starlet gets sidetracked by her drive to take control of her business profile and tries to secure a more adult sponsor because she’s done selling cheap perfume to tweens. Her mother may seem like a nuisance, and at first she was definitely a trainwreck, but in previous weeks we have seen the recovering drug addict turn into a subtle force on the show. Her insecurities are displayed perfectly in fleeting moments, and viewers should now be able to fully understand the emotions she is feeling.

While that is going on in the Big Apple, there’s a lot of turmoil back in Nashville. Gunnar and Scarlett’s relationships—their romantic one and their songwriting partnership—hit a rough patch. She has kept Rayna’s offer a secret as she’s been scrambling to convince the label to sign him as well. He’s upset and treats her poorly for the second time in three episodes. This time he chooses to hang with their new neighbor, a humble hunk, and ignore her all night. I definitely suspect a new love triangle brewing now that Avery is out of their lives. He’s on the outs with everyone in the local scene after his rise and subsequent burn out. It’s was a great step away from his manager storyline without dropping it completely, and there’s definitely room for the character to grow now that he’s not stuck with that egregious plot.

There’s even some good plot development with Deacon and his veterinarian girlfriend and Teddy’s battle with his ex-father-in-law. The budding relationship deals with the typical trust arc without dragging down the rest of the episode. It’s nice to see Deacon happy for once, but there’s no way this can last. On the flipside, the new Mayor of Nashville has an uphill battle to fight and this episode definitely set up a mountain of drama for the rest of the show to deal with as well.

It was a good episode that wrapped in an even better way. Juliette finally grows up and dedicates a song to her mother. All of the characters have grown along with the show, which continues to solidify itself as one of the strongest new dramas.