'Nashville': Someone soapen up this soap, things could be much soapier

Is this show getting better? I don't know, maybe, in its own way! Last week offered its obligatory "fallout" from the previous season finale, which meant 42 minutes with Rayna in a coma and Deacon in prison. You'd have thought they'd be stuck in their respective limbos for a while longer, left to process (consciously or not) the ramifications of poor decisions. But in Nashville as in life sometimes there is just NO TIME and you've got to make the meeting with the new Edgehill boss, or sell your old guitars in a fire sale because your hand may never reach the playing strength it once had. Shit moves fast in Music Town, USA! Not Scandal-fast, but fast enough.

Reader's Note: as "Will" is apparently Chris Carmack's character name and not "Cowboy Luke," as I'd taken to calling him, we will from now on call the character "Will" in these posts. Thank you for your patience!

Nashville undoubtedly feeds off the energy of people hoping -- and believing -- that this hour-long drama will one day become the Hot Soap everyone wants it to be. You can feel it in the pacing, the character introductions. This is a show hungry for OC 2003-watercooler status but unsure of how to hit the mark. So it throws in another song (none of them bad!), a good quip from Juliette. The elements (the NOTES, if you will) are all in place. It's just that no one seems quite sure how to render them in full harmony.

Take Will's one-episode ascent to the very top of Edgehill Records A&R department. I'd forgotten the guy had even gotten his foot in the door at the beginning of the episode (he signed a verbal agreement with Rayna the end of last season?), so for him to have 1) found whatever local popularity he found 2) parlayed that into some next level contacts and 3) become Edgehill's latest golden boy all by the end of the same episode just feels a little much. I know he's a hustler and a go-getter! But we all get tired, Cowboy Luke.

(Shit, Will. WILL.)

But don't worry -- things moved (too) quickly and chaotically for the rest of our friends and lovers, too!

  • With Rayna awake/alive/fabulous, Deacon's out of county...and into an awkward conversation with his doctor, who tells him the damage to his hand may forever alter his guitar-playing ability. Having thought through all the angles, Deacon decides to sell his guitars and yell at Scarlett. One of those we can't condone, because what did the guitars ever do?
  • Gunnar transforms his heartbreak over Scarlett into a surely career-making song that he performs at the Bluebird.
  • Rayna's basically 100% better.
  • Juliette's probably falling for her roadie-turned-backing guitar player, Avery.
  • The same new Edgehill manager who poached Will has some very pointed words for Juliette and her most recent artistic direction.
  • Teddy, back home to look after Rayna, had a moment with his wife that suggested renewed tenderness. They put the kibosh on that immediately.

If it looks like a soap and sounds like a soap and smells like a soap, it's probably a soap. Just, you know, sometimes that soap could be soapier.