Recap: Nashville, “First to Have a Second Chance” (3×10)

The Winter Finale is here y’all and that means one thing in a show as soapy as this one. We’re in for a heck of a ride. Tonight, everyone in Nashville has to spend the evening reconsidering “life as usual.” And before the credits rolled, almost everything has changed.

Half of our characters are trying to avoid Rayna and Luke’s wedding (including one who really ought to be there). Deacon and Scarlett have a mini vacation in Memphis to avoid the nonsense in Nashville. They keep themselves busy with some of the best karaoke ever. Deacon begs off of the fun and returns to the hotel room – furious that he’s still being followed by images of Ruke everywhere he turns. When Scarlett gets back, Deacon has collapsed on the floor. Turns out, all that drinking may have affected his liver a bit…

Teddy is also avoiding the Ruke wedding, and is still messing around with the escort. I had hoped that this storyline was going to lead to something – Jeff blackmailing Teddy for a contract with his daughters, something. But it’s taking so long, and is so forced, that I can’t bring myself to care. Teddy realizes that maybe it’s unhealthy that his only friend is an escort that he has to pay. Jeff calls in his favor when shit hits the fan at the end of the episode.

We see Rayna in her wedding dress and the return of Aunt Tandy, there to cuddle with the girls and quell Rayna’s nerves. But Rayna is freaked. This isn’t the life she wants to live, full of her girls asking to go to boarding school and 250 people at her rehearsal dinner that she doesn’t know. Rayna chooses the night before her wedding to finally do some actual soul searching. As a fan of lady empowerment and also her relationship with Deacon, I’m happy to see Rayna finally find a smile behind her pain as she drives away from her aborted wedding. But I couldn’t help roll my eyes a little at the timing. Luke didn’t seem to appreciate it either.

Avery and Juliette are having mature, reasonable conversations about the baby. It is almost too exciting for words. But when Avery calls his mom to talk about how hard dealing with everything is, he realizes he can’t live this way anymore. A half-hearted fake out on the part of the writers leads to a sweet proposal and at least one wedding this episode! I am almost always a fan of happiness and people getting together. This is no exception, made more sweet by how far these two have come. The maturation of Avery and Juliette’s characters has been some of the best development on the show. It has been dramatic and organic at the same time. Think about where they started at the beginning of Season 1 – the struggling rock star with the pushover girlfriend and the pop diva with glitter in her eyes. They would be barely recognizable as the same characters if it wasn’t for the fact that their arcs have been so great. Maybe someone in Nashville can be happy for a little bit… maybe?

When we come back from the holiday break, there will be quite a few pieces to pick up. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Odds & Ends 

– I am clearly going to the wrong karaoke bars. That looked like so much fun.

– I wasn’t a fan of the styling for the courthouse wedding. No matter how pregnant she is, Juliette would never get married with daisy barrettes in her hair. Kate Middleton can find awesome pregnancy clothes. Juliette had to have been able to find something better than that in Nashville.

– In case the subtlety of Sadie’s past life was lost on anyone, her ex shows up and flat out punches her in the face. Yikes.

– Jeff Fordham, after sleeping with and then dumping Layla, gives her pills to solve her emotions. Shockingly, that doesn’t work out. I know Jeff Fordham is an asshole – but pill pushing seems a little on the nose. Will finds her face down in the pool.