Rayna and Juliette's Big Blow-Up Was The Kind of Drama 'Nashville' Needed
Wednesday's Nashville brought us back to the good ol' fashioned Juliette vs. Rayna rivalry from the very beginning of the series — and the face-off really worked. The season has been all over the place in the drama department with Lamar's death, Teddy's wife with the fake baby, and more love triangles than there are songs in an episode. Calling it a scattered season would be putting it lightly, so it was a nice relief to have an episode whose core story focused on the two women we all tuned in to see from the very start. Their battle royale was so good it even over-shadowed WIll proposing to Layla and Scarlett's pill addiction. (Sorry Gunnar and Zoey, you two were snoozeville this week.)
Juliette's attempt to reclaim the throne proved to be bad for business and bad for her personal life. Not only did she manage to piss off the Queen of the Opry (and the woman who will be responsible for re-launching her career), she also got into a huge fight with Avery — the only person other than her manager and Rayna who seems to really have her best interests at heart.
Taking the mic and announcing her new label at the Highway 65 launch party was a cringe-worthy move that was made out of resentment and impatience. Juliette's publicity stunts in the past were at least grounded in some sort of artistic statement... this was just her stomping her feet because Rayna wasn't giving her enough attention. And when in the heck is Juliette ever going to actually respect the fact that Rayna's been in the business much longer and should really take her advice? For a character who goes on and on about how much labels, managers, or the public respects her, she sure doesn't know how to show it in return.
But I'm kinda taking her side on the whole Avery thing. Why wouldn't she be upset that Scarlett wants to have Avery produce her new record? They've been off and on since the series started and you just KNOW there would be at least five to six montages of them recording love songs in halo lighting. Will Avery discover her pill popping and try to save her?! Will she and Juliette somehow record a duo to get back at Avery in a weird twist of fate!? This could go so right or so very, very wrong.
As much as she had a right to call Avery out on not wanting to ride on the coattails of her success, but had no problem hopping on the Scarlett train, her behavior with Rayna was ridonkulous. And when it comes to really handing it to someone, there's no one better for the task than the one and only Connie Britton. Rayna's backstage fury at Juliette was not only totally righteous, but also totally deserved. Even then, Juliette seemed more annoyed than sorry. I wasn't until later on when Rayna explained how much she needed her label to succeed for Juliette to understand the gravity of her actions. Without Highway 65, she'll lose her house and her ability to provide for her girls. When Rayna and Juliette sat in silence after a failed duet at the Opry — one meant to salvage Juliette's reputation and was met with an abysmal response — she finally saw what a mess she made.
With Juliette revved up for a comeback, Rayna on major Highway 65 control, and all of the fellas out on tour (toodle-oo Deacon, Will, and Luke), it looks like Nashville will finally slow down on the excess of characters and get back to the core dynamic of the series.