Nashville's second episode, appropriately titled, "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)" picked up right where the premiere left off with romantic and business entanglements, good music, and questionable politics. Most importantly, we got a deeper understanding of the characters and the relationships in play.
After the premiere, I didn't understand Rayna's marriage at all. Neither Rayna nor Teddy seemed happy to be together, instead they came across as cold as an unwanted arranged marriage. After so many years together, Teddy should have understood the relationship between Rayna and her father and never even considered running for mayor.
Teddy had no regard for Rayna's feelings at all. During the Rayna's inquestion, the truth came out. Rayna was in love with Deacon, when he fell upon had times, she met and married Teddy. Her husband was her rebound guy. Not the way to start a marriage, that's for sure.
Rayna says she loves Teddy, but her actions indicate the opposite. How long have they lived this charade? And, how much longer can it continue? Teddy is so unlikable, I just want him out of the picture. He isn't good for Rayna and he's hiding something big. Is he corrupt? The secret is bound to come out even though he burned the evidence.
Rayna's True Love
Oh, Deacon. It's painful to watch him be so in love with Rayna. She may be married to Teddy, but she still feels love for Deacon and is quite possessive of him. She wants them both, but she looks to be pushing Deacon away.
When Rayna and Deacon sang "No One Will Ever Love You," my heart broke for them. It was a beautiful song, but the heartache they both put into it just blew the song away. They would put on an amazing tour, but there is no way they can go through with it.
Unless Rayna decides to dump her loser husband, Deacon needs to move on for his own sanity. The worst part is that she will be hurt when he leaves, but absolutely crushed if he moves on with the pop tart, Juliette.
Juliette Wants to be Rayna
In the premiere, Juliette came across as a spoiled brat who rose to the top of the music charts lacking the talent to support her fame. Her pursuit of Deacon appeared to be motivated by her desire to spite Rayna.
I was quite surprised to see Juliette's true desires. She doesn't want to be a pop star or the laughing joke of the country music scene. She wants to create beautiful, deep songs and be respected as an artist. She believes with Deacon by her side she can achieve that goal.
She gained respect when she dissed her own music video. She wants Rayna's career; she wants to be the "Queen of Country." That's a much more admirable goal than making lots of money singing bubble gum pop songs for teenagers.
She doesn't go about getting what she wants in the best way, but her intentions aren't nearly as nefarious as it seemed. After the premiere, I wasn't sure that Juliette would be a character that I'd want to root for, but I could see that happening.
The New Rayna and Deacon
There is a serious love triangle in the making between Scarlett, Avery and Gunnar. She may have moved to Nashville to be with Avery, but that's not a reason to stay with someone. Her initial decision to turn down Watty White's offer was noble, but in the end she made the right choice.
Scarlett and Gunnar have an amazing stage presence and make beautiful music together. That's not something that should be disregarded easily. At the same time, what makes them work so well together is certainly going to strain the relationship between Scarlett and Avery.
Avery is going to be jealous of her musical success due to his own struggles, but watching her do it with another man will be torture. And, Gunnar's feelings for Scarlett will only make the situation worse.
Just like with Teddy and Rayna, we haven't seen any substantial reason to root for Scarlett and Avery's relationship. I hope going forward, we see more in both of those relationships to invest in.
After two episodes, are you loving the show? What relationship are you invested in? Do you think Deacon will leave Rayna for Juliette? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
(Photo courtesy of ABC.)