This week, Nashville did what it does best and let all the complex emotions take the forefront. It also gave Daphne more screen time, which is always appreciated. Let’s explore the episode, y’all.
You know that annoying move where shows put people’s text conversations up on the screen for the viewer to see? Yeah, we open this episode witnessing Deacon and Jessie’s flirty text exchange firsthand. D’s soon interrupted (thankfully) by Zach stopping by his office to let him know he’s headed back to California. Don’t worry — he’s not pulling out his investment from Highway 65; he’s just decided to pursue a Senate bid back in his home state. Pfft, anyone can run for office these days.
Can’t say I’ll miss Zach terribly, but someone who’ll definitely feel the loss? Will. The poor guy’s not in the best place. When he finds out his ex is leaving town, he goes to see him right at the exact moment Zach’s new beau walks in to help him pack up some boxes. Anyone’s who been through a crappy breakup and then watched the other person move on first (and too soon!!), knows how much this has to suck for Will. Honestly, the reasoning for their breakup is pretty weak (Zach couldn’t forgive Will for not having his back through all the Highway 65 drama) and I’m sure had more to do with the fact that Zach’s character was being written out than anything else.
Anyway, not getting the closure he thought he would from saying goodbye to Zach, Will heads to the gym, as he’s wont to do these days. He pounds it out on the weights and then meets a man and heads home to, um, pound it out with him. Only, poor Will has some performance problems. (I’d like to take this moment to pause and applaud CMT for including a gay sex scene on the show! I’m sure those who disagree will let me know in the comments.) The next day he heads to see his doctor to ask for some Viagra, but she’s a little hesitant to just prescribe him drugs and does a blood test instead to see what’s causing the problem. Turns out there’s a s— ton of growth hormones and steroids in his system.
Will tries to explain it away, citing working out and just doing what all the dudes at the gym are doing, but the doc is adamant this isn’t okay and he has to get clean. He says he gets it, but this would be an awfully short-lived story line if he did, so later at home, instead of throwing his vials of whatever in the trash, he shoots it into his butt instead. A bewildered Gunnar witnesses this and doesn’t seem to buy Will’s “it’s just growth hormones” explanation. Oh, dear. I think we’re all in for some crazy mood swings from Will in the near future.
From one awkward encounter to another: Deacon and Jessie go for coffee and decide they don’t have to tell the kids quite yet that they’re dating. Then Daphne walks into the coffee shop, and that idea goes out the window. Deacon is worried about, well, everything. He talks it through with Scarlett, and we get one of those great moments of raw emotion from Charles Esten as Deacon admits that as much as he likes Jessie, she just isn’t Rayna. Again, I’d like to applaud the show’s writers this time for not rushing Deacon to move on and forgot the inimitable Ray too soon.
Jessie is also concerned about the whole situation, and Deacon does nothing to ease her worries when she calls him later and he blows her off and speedily gets off the phone. These two really suck at phone conversations. After Deacon talks to Maddie and Daphne and they pretend (well, Daph does anyway) that they’re okay with him dating, he calls Jessie back to ask her to dinner. Now it’s her time to get off the phone in a hurry. She tells him she doesn’t want to come in between him and the girls and hangs up before she breaks down in tears.
Rather than call her back again, Deacon heads over to Jessie’s place (an unwelcome move for any girl in the early stages of dating) to apologize in person. He tells her he doesn’t want to wreck their relationship, but he’s walking around with a part of him missing and it’s all very confusing. It’s another great moment in an episode full of tear-jerking honesty as Deacon’s inner conflict bubbles to the surface. Regardless of all the turmoil getting together might cause, Deacon never wants to feel the way he did when she hung up on him (“like the floor fell out from under him” — can you tell he writes songs for a living?) and doesn’t want this to end. They kiss and things are resolved again…for now. (Recap continues on page 2)