'Nashville' recap: Connie Britton feels like a supporting player on her own show

Welcome back, you boring show, you! Last week, we all took a break from slow-cooking love rhombuses and debates about rock country versus country country music to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. But now, with Wednesday's new episode of Nashville , we're here with all our old friends and their 200 different plots. You know that Nashville’s got too many plot lines going when its lead actress, Connie Britton, feels like she’s on screen for about an eighth of the episode. Here she is meditating between her daughter’s two daddies, here she is attesting to her father’s character in court, here she is talking to her sister — nothing scenes, and in one of them she was forced to wear a hat. A HAT! On Connie Britton’s spun-from-golden-thread hair, which I’m sure smells as good as it looks if only someone could get close enough to it.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to make this recap uncomfortable! But I think we can all admit I was only able to go down that road because there was nothing else to talk about. Nashville seems to WANT me to write out my marriage proposal to Ms. Britton, and I’m perfectly happy to do it if the show is unwilling to support its Olympian goddess of a lead actress. Okay, I’m done for now.

What else happened on last night’s Nashville, aside from Rayna’s near-sidelining? The show seems determined to keep Powers Boothe around however increasingly tangential he becomes to the central music world. Or, at the very least, they keep checking in on him to heighten the impact of his season finale death. They’ve got few moves left for the guy at this point; it wouldn’t be the worst thing to send him out like Caleb Nichol in The OC, another rich old white man suffering a heart attack in a hot tub. Actually, they should just do that, and ready the Imogen Heap while they’re at it. if you’re gonna soap, go FULL soap.

Teddy, Deacon, and Rayna once more pirouetted around the DEACON QUESTION that no one has shut up about this entire season. He’s a good influence he’s a bad influence he should be in Maddie’s life he shouldn’t be in Maddie’s life — the white noise is almost overwhelming. I guess finally we got to the classic “YOU ARE NOT HER FATHER!” moment that Teddy’s been practicing in his mirror for a while, which at least raises the issue from passive-aggressive to verbally counted. But whether or not Teddy is ready to be a father to Maddie feels inconsequential when all I want to know is who this woman is who Deacon is shacking up with. To be fair, I have missed episodes. But I do not remember her from the last two.

Oh, and the Zoe/Gunnar Scarlett/Avery love rhombus made its presence briefly felt when the non-touring sides (Zoe and Avery) joined the others on the road for an uncomfortable day. Actually, it wasn’t that uncomfortable. They played cards for a bit. Scarlett felt lonely, but that was more to do with the unique social pressures of the tour than any secret-loving she may have felt from the guy who proposed to her and her best friend. Not that any of it mattered when she finally saw them kissing at the end of the episode. Better than walking in on them having sex? You’ve got to look at the bright side of these sorts of situations.

Do you remember late last season, in the midst of the love triangle between Juliette and her mother and the sponsor, when promos assured us that in the next episode someone would DIE? Well, they’re back! Next week promises to be “so explosive, someone will die.” Smart money is on Scarlett finally snapping and telekinetically murdering everyone in her sight, but then it’s never wise to go with the obvious choice. Might Lamar be due for his hot tub heart attack at midseason, and not May? In one week, we’ll find out just which inconsequential player is sent to that well-appointed but homey recording studio in the sky. Until then.

Image: ABC