Nashvile 3.11 – ‘I’m Not That Good at Goodbye’: It’s About Time

Nashville FINALLY (!!!) returned from its (endless) winter break with an episode that takes place during the twelve hours after Rayna Jaymes said ‘I don’t” to Luke Wheeler. So much has happened during the episode and when we look closely we see that it all revolves around one main theme – time. 

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“You take as much time as you need” – Deacon

Time is a strange tricky thing. On the one hand, our journey is long. Meaning there are not real shortcuts in life even if we think there are and trying to make them or take detours often leads to opposite results. On the other hand our journey is short and we truly start living only when we understand just how limited our time on this earth is and that every second matter.

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When Nashville returned from its winter break last week, TIME had a crucial part. Taking time and giving time; the right time and the wrong time; the linear time and the circular time; a time that finally arrived, the time that’s about to begin and the time that slipped away.  Even the structure of the episode gives attention to time and at the end of it all we can say is “what a difference a day makes”.

Let’s review.

Juliette and Avery – Juliette and Avery embarked on their new life as a married couple as fast as humanly possible and when we meet them at the beginning of the episode the only thing standing between them and complete marital bliss is a chair and closet space.

Related: Nashville Favorite moments – I Need to Nothing You

Thankfully a tragedy was averted when the (not THAT ugly) chair found its proper place in the nursery. As for the closet space I suspect Juliette will eventually do the Mr. Big thing and just build Avery one.

Compared to some of the other storylines in the episode, their problems were the comic relief and it was really fun watchingwpid-normal_nsh311_2639.jpg them so happy and in love.  Nevertheless, by the end of the episode, when the matter is resolved and Avery is sat on the comfortable chair in the nursery its also a reminder that this little quarrel was still part of the honeymoon and that the real challenge has not yet begun.

It’s a reminder that Juliette and Avery’s honeymoon is actually a waiting time and that their recent fight is actually the swan wing for their old lives.Time doesn’t stop for no one even if you are in love and sit on comfortable chairs.

Related: Nashville 3.10 – ‘First to Get A second Chance’ : Are You Happy?

Gunnar – Yes, I know that since Micah is no really his kid and since his grandparents were the primary caretakers for years and they did a good job there isn’t really a dilemma. I also know that it’s probably best that Gunnar doesn’t become parent at his point in his life but sometimes things that happen in what appears to be the absolute wrong time teaches us the most about ourselves. With Gunnar, the whole experience of ‘suddenly parent’ exposed once and for all that for Gunnar family always comes first. So watching the guy that puts family above all and who was willing to give up so much for it, having to say goodbye to the only family he has got left and in such a way, was a sad moment.

Nevertheless, watching Gunnar fight for Micah and his desire to stay in Micah’s life gives me hope that having some kind of family will start to fill the void in his heart that comes out of lack of roots. That will give him piece and also make it easier for him to spread his wings.

Speaking of Gunnar, ‘Roots and Wings’ and time – recently we published here an article about Gunnar where Amy (@amygeurden) suggested that Gunnar’s greatest challenge is how to have roots and wings. A day after this song was released. Yes, universe, we love these moments when we’re in sync.

Related: The ‘Nashville’ Characters Defense: Gunnar Scott- Can’t Get It Right

nsh311_Will-and-Layla-hospitalWill and Layla – If anyone needs proof that there are no real shortcuts in life and that avoiding real issues only makes things worse, they just need to take a look at Layla and Will. Still, there’s one good thing that came out of it (beside Jeff acting like a semi-human) and that’s that Will stopped running. Layla’s suicide attempt took Will back in time to his low point last year when everything seemed bleak, only from the other end. That was a real test for his humanity, because Will compromised so much of his authenticity, integrity and morality to keep his secret that it was hard to know what his limits are.

Thankfully, he reached his limit and that made him stop lying to Jeff, Layla and himself. Now all that’s left to see is whether he will settle for stop lying or will he also start telling the truth. Time will tell.

As for Layla, run as fast as you can girl. Juliette seems like such a harmless and fun option now, ha?

Related: The Nashville Characters Defense: Will Lexington- Behind a Broken Smile

Sadie Only one thing I want to say about that: Abuse is not subjected to time. It’s there, it’s present even when it’s nsh311_Sadiesupposedly deep in the past or buried in the subconscious because once it happened it can’t be undone. Thing that can go away with time (and excellent therapy) is that embedded feeling of victim’s guilt and shame. So Sadie, a restraining order is a good first right step and so is a song therapy but I would lose the gun and start sharing it with people you trust. It’s amazing what outside perspective, love and support can do to heal the wounds of the past.

And now to Rayna, Deacon and well…all (most) of it:

Luke and Rayna ­The heart and mind can play tricks on us but not the body. Luke’s heart told him he loved Rayna. His mind told him that since she’s single it’s the perfect timing but every bone in his body screamed it’s a mistake. His body told him that no matter what he does and how much he tries, some things even time and love can’t change and definitely not erase.

nsh311_Luke-CakeSadly, Luke chose to ignore this voice and now the only thing left for him to do (besides acting like a grownup) is run over wedding cakes, shoot champagne bottles, get into a feast fight with Deacon, throw a party, get drunk…and well, I suspect it will only get much worse before it gets better.

Luke and Rayna may be a bad match with or without Deacon but while watching Luke shooting the bottles he has put on Rayna’s tab in a scene that comes full circle with their first date, I couldn’t help but wonder about their beginning and the thing that brought them together in the first place. That thing is a quality they both share and that’s their similar reaction to fear.

Rayna reacts to fear by pushing forward and overdoing so she won’t have to stop and feel the fear and the pain that comes along with it. Luke does the same. So, in a way, when they met the timing was indeed perfect for Rayna to be ambivalent enough (but not too much) to cause Luke to fear a little (but not too much) so that he will keep pushing the relationship forward to avoid his fear she doesn’t love him enough and for her to commit to this kind of relationship in order to avoid the fear of going backwards and being consumed by pain.

Luke was right about one thing though : Their relationship gave her a lot. But it wasn’t the rings and the awards (seriously dude, enough with it!). What it gave her was security and vitality. Those two gradually healed her and the more Rayna was healed, the less she was afraid…until she was brave enough to look in the mirror.

Yes, timing IS everything but it goes both ways.

Related: The Nashville Characters Defense: Luke Wheeler- Where’s the Love?

Rayna and Deacon – We live in a linear time – one thing follows the next. We put lots of emphasis on moving forward and meeting goals and do our best not to go backwards. But it’s not the only kind of time there is. There’s also a circular time, that in the ancient world many cultures embraced. This is also the timeline of the heart – the heart moves in circles.

Rayna tried to protect herself for so long by stirring her life in another direction hoping that creating a new life, will also stir her heart in another direction and take away her pain. That failed because, as I said, the heart moves in circles so she could only go so far before the road that took her away from where she started brought her back to the same place only more exhausted because that’s what happens when you fight against yourself.

At the end of the day where she was brave enough to look in the mirror and act accordingly and after doing her best (and worst) to clean up the mess created by her long time battle against her heart and just before collapsing from exhaustion on her bed, she braced herself and went over to Deacon to confess.

Related: The Full Rayna and Deacon analysis – Rayna, Deacon, Christmas and the Truth

It’s not the first time Rayna confessed her love for Deacon but it’s still a big moment for her. First, it’s the first time she admitted to Deacon and maybe to herself that she chose Luke out of fear. Second, it’s the first time in a very long she has been able to seewpid-http%3a%2f%2f31.media_.tumblr.com%2ff3b3006f73b34c5ea3270bdb55e8fcb0%2ftumblr_njak1mblju1qccwpto4_250.gif and feel beyond her pain and the first time ever she did it without blocking it or ignoring it.

In the brief time Rayna and Deacon were together during season 1 she tried to walk around it but it was a fantasy and so it wasn’t long before it blew up in both their faces. Now, Rayna is choosing the long road to love and taking her time to do it. She’s fully aware that by opening her heart she’s also allowing the pain to resurface but she’s choosing it anyway. She is choosing to live a life that’s full.

Related: Thoughts on Season 2 Finale – Thank You For Letting Me Live

This moment is also not the first time Deacon heard Rayna telling him that she loves him or that their love hurt her, but the timing here is what made this moment so important and particularly tragic.

Saying “I didn’t want the pain” is almost the same as saying that she’s choosing another man in order to have a clean slate. But when Rayna said it at the beginning of the season Deacon was in another state of mind. He believed that the truth is on his side and that there’s a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow for them.

Thing is that now, when he’s so painfully aware of how short life is, the fact that he was right doesn’t matter anymore. As much as he loves listening to Rayna’s words, he can’t fully enjoy it because all he sees in front on him is the time that slipped through his fingers and will never come back.

Related: The Nashville Characters Defense: Deacon Claybourne- A Perfect Mess

For so many years Deacon behaved as if the linear time doesn’t exist and lived within the realm of the circular time of his heart. Love as an emotion was all that mattered. Now, when he knows how little time he may have left, all that matters is the linear time and that emphasize to him how fast time has passed and how much of it slipped away.

That’s why his response to Rayna’s words is not happiness that the moment has finally came but an apology for the time that was lost and his part in it.

nsh311_Deacon-time-wastedThe question is whether Deacon will stop moving in circles and step out to the world appreciating the time he does and by that allow himself to show his love with kindness to the ones he loves like Scarlett who now has one hell of a burden to carry, Maddie and Rayna, but also let love in. When that happens it will not matter anymore who’s taking care of whom, because our journey is short and Deacon must realize that it’s not about his inner journey and fixing the past but it’s about love, doing the best we can and making the best of each day as if was the last even if you’re perfectly healthy.

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