‘Nashville’ Episode 5.03: We’re On Our Way

Another week, another Nashville CMT episode for Tora Liliedahl and Shira Gur to discuss. Here are few thoughts on Nashville, episode 5.03 – ‘Let’s Put It Back together Again’. 

More: Tora and Shira discuss Nashville Season 5 Premiere
Related: All of Tora and Shira’s Nashville Season 5 Reviews

Slow pace, low energy?

Tora: I think it works. The tempo is slower and the focus is on fewer characters at the time. It’s less breathtaking, but stories are less forced.

Shira: Still don’t know how I feel about the pace. On one hand, the intimate moments between characters and the songs needs the space to breathe. But other than that, I do miss a bit of a faster pace or at least more energy.

I loved the tension between the soap and minimalist Drama on Nashville that existed from the pilot. From the middle of season 3 and especially during season 4 they lost the balance and chose the soap. Now they went in the other direction. It’s good but it does make the creepy stalker(s) creepier and drains the show from much-needed vitality. That’s at least what I felt during this episode.

Tora: Agree about the pace. It’s nice storytelling, but miss the feeling when I forget to breathe because I’m so wrapped up in it.

Juliette is on her way…somewhere

Tora: So, Juliette’s story…to me, it’s still predictable and a bit of a bore.

Shira: Agreed. It’s really not my favorite. Hayden’s performance is great, but all this story with her “angel” felt too easy and not really true to her character. It bothered me especially when Juliette said she never cared about anyone but herself. Really?? I thought we are already way past it.

In season 2, when she went to Avery’s apartment to confess her love, I thought it was a turning point. Saying now she has been a horrible human being kind of dismisses all that she already achieved and takes us back to that familiar dichotomy of female characters: A complete sinner or a saint.

Avery finds his voice and those (long) studio scenes

Tora: Contrary to Juliette, I found Avery’s story nuanced and interesting. Who is he in this and finally daring to ask the question I wondered throughout the episode. Who are they to each other? Together with the question of what he actually wants professionally, I think his story was the one I found most engaging.

Shira: Avery was the highlight of the episode to me. As much as I love how he selflessly gives to the ones he loves, it’s time he starts waking up his own ambition and creativity. Remember when he was the most ambitious character on the show? Where did it go?

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Tora: And love that they give Deacon and Avery scenes again. More of that, they can both be so quietly hilarious. “Sounds like she’s choking”

Shira: Yes, Deacon and Avery are two funny people together, but I could easily live with fewer and faster studio scenes here. It was more fun watching Rayna say Ashley Whatshernuggets than watch her in person.

More: Avery Barkely – First you Fall, Then You Fly 

Daphne the unicorn, Maddie’s reality-check, Rayna and Deacon co-parent

Tora: These short moments of truth dripping out of Daphne…Love that. And that Maddie actually went to Daphne because she knew that was what she was going to get from her.

Shira: Daphne is probably the most level-headed mature character on the show…She’s the Rayna to her Maddie, who is very much a Deacon.

Tora: Haha, yes! What would they do without Daphne!?! And yes, they do mirror Rayna and Deacon. But I don’t want her to end up the level-headed truth-teller little sister only. She is the same age now as Maddie was when we first met them. She needs a story too.

Shira: Finally they addressed the court issues and I did love Rayna didn’t try to fix it this time but push both Deacon and Maddie to sort it out themselves.

Tora: I first thought that Rayna was also going to tell Maddie off about her behaviors at the studio and was thinking that she need to leave some parenting to Deacon and then their conversation turned into something else and you are right, she gave Maddie a push instead to talk to her dad.

Shira: What did you think of Clayton, the new guy? Loved his voice and Maddie and he had a fun dynamic.

Tora: No definite feelings about the new guy. Thought he paid a little bit too much attention to his clothes and appearance. A little bit vain, but let’s see where it goes.

Shira: One small thing that did bother me a little was his background. Why did the black guy on the show had to have a mother who died of addiction? In general, pairing someone who grew up with addiction at home to Maddie can be interesting, but I just can’t ignore the fact he’s black and in that context it may be a bit stereotypical.  Still, interested to get to know more this character and see where it goes.

Rayna’s Creepy Stalker(s) and why we fear them

Shira: Should we talk about Rayna’s creepy stalker(s)?  With all these long lyrical scenes

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this whole story feels like a show within a show. Makes me miss the silly over-the-top stories instead of this horror tale. Fear in general (other than the one of cancellation, casting news about potential love interests and Connie’s status) is not something I associate with Nashville. It feels foreign to the fabric of the show and I can’t say I enjoy it.

Tora: It felt yeah, a bit creepy, and the heart rate did rise realizing there is a second suspect, but not sure this is the soapy, energizing storyline I would prefer. It feels really dark and maybe even too dark already for Nashville!

Shira: I also can’t ignore the fact, it has the potential of ending very badly, and in badly I mean, a dead Rayna. I don’t even want to think about it, because to me there will be no Nashville after this (especially not after the interviews Connie gave).

Tora: I don’t read much spoilers and in general I’m not so much about thinking ahead, figuring out what could happen, what will happen, but all the rumors about Connie/Rayna makes this a bit different and more creepy.

The social media guy though! Is it Randall? I snored when he first showed up, the character seemed so constructed and unreal, but then I suddenly loved him in this episode, thought he was quite endearing, until the end of course.

Shira: You thought he was endearing? I was afraid he poisoned her juice. But got to say that Rayna’s face when she felt uncomfortable was priceless.

More: Why Connie Britton’s Rayna Jaymes is Important

Location and Final Montage

Shira: Glad we heard a full song at the end. It was a beautiful intimate moment for Juliette. Think it did a much better job conveying her emotions than the entire episode.

Also, missed the Nashville closing montage. A somewhat tacky tradition I completely support and embrace!

Tora: Yes!! The end montage!!! Really sweet song, but I loved how they used to wrap up the episodes before showing where everyone are.

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Shira: Totally random, but loved the location of the street fair…The Post East, my neighborhood coffee shop whenever I’m in Nashville. East Nashville rules!

Tora: Totally missed that they filmed around the Post East. Had many breakfasts there during my last trip. Need to rewatch.

Shira: Rewatch and return to Nashville. Fast!

Now it’s your turn. Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us. 

 

19 comments

  1. love the show and yes it is not as explosive as last season can you build on that now and show the reality of the world and how bad relationships can become and how hard the music world is and be more real i think we all need the feel that life is not a fantasy and things do happen but you learn from it still think the show is great and hope it fill continue the actors are amazing and the music focus on will and the difficulty of being gay and the teenagers and what they experience i feel that is what the world is looking for too much fantasy land out there with shows

  2. I didn’t care for how they just automatically wrapped up Juliette and the plane crash. What I really thought would have been a cool way to start was the losing contact with the plane being a lie and Avery rushes into the airport and there’s Juliette with a candelit dinner waiting and a table with roses and her on bended knee proposing to him and Cadence. I’m disappointed that their love story isn’t solid still after last season him saying “we’re still here” was such a great indication that they would get back together.
    Another thing I really wish they would do is bring Luke and Layla back at least show them in their current cities and situations – Luke obviously back with his ex wife and maybe show Layla in a gutter someplace drunk or high with her life totally shattered and homeless as the character deserved

    • Interesting scenario for the missing plane, I didn’t think of that. I don’t mind they portraying the Juliette/Avery relation a little bit strained. It makes sense, but I do really hope they won’t break them up, it has been to much of that with all the couples.

      I have heard Luke will do a guest appearance later in the season. And he if anyone should suffer in the gutter for not telling Layla that her boyfriend died saving Juliette. Layla I for one would like see her happy and successful. I think she was treated miserable by Luke and Juliette.

      • Guess I see it differently – she was finally told – there was nothing to gain from telling her by the time Luke realized that what his son was telling him was the truth – he didn’t believe him at first – there was no actual crime committed – sucked yes but no actual crime that someone could have been prosecuted for and it wouldn’t have brought Jeff back. But she’s been a calculating whiner the entire show – first with getting back at Will then Juliette and Avery – Juliette’s actions were in error – Layla’s were deliberate

      • Being led to believe that your boyfriend took his own life instead of dying in an accident trying to save someone is incredibly cruel, I think, adding a lot of pain to the unimaginable grief – guilt, disbelief and not understanding what happened. And withholding information to the police… I’m team Layla on this one, even if her behaviour was not OK of course, it was understandable.

  3. Love the discussion and the ladies leading it! My take:

    The first two episodes of the season (the premiere) were fantastic. The episodes included longer scenes and a slower pace, but there was still tension and energy. I didn’t feel the same about the third episode. I found the pace a bit too slow and almost lacking any energy/tension.

    I thought Juliette’s scenes were actually the worst in this regard, which is so rare for me to say, as even in S4 (which I really didn’t like on many levels) I usually found Juliette to be so compelling. But except for the last scene, I thought her scenes were too slow, too drawn out and lacking much substance (space for the sake of space almost– especially with the angel character).

    I actually loved the idea around the Youtube phenomenon, and I liked how it led Avery to rethink his career and get back to the heart of his inspiration (I agree, one of the best parts of the episode), and I liked how it led to a bit of self realization for Maddie, but it was a little forced. I almost wished it were a longer sl with a lot less focus on Ashley whatsernuggets and a lot more emphasis on the business dynamic. Maybe that will come.

    Clayton’s voice is amazing and I like the connection with Maddie. Wish they’d tone down his character a bit. He’s super gorgeous and with the outfit turned out to be a bit ‘bright and shiny’ which seems at odds with reality, but I like where that can go (yeah, the whole mom addict thing is a bit cliche (at best) but I can see the connection with Maddie, so maybe it’s legit for the sl)

    The Randall dude is OTT quirky to me. That’s a little strange strange for a social media marketing type. A little forced and unsettling but not in a way that really helps the whole episode (i’ll get to that).

    I loved the Daphne/Rayna/Maddie scenes. Would also love to see Daphne have an SL of her own. But truly, Chip knocked the scene with Maddie out of the park. I love Chip, I do sometimes think he over-acts a bit (sorry, just me), but he was soooo perfect in this scene, he blew me away (not the first time, of course).Sort of wish the scene was a little longer.

    My final thought. It feels as if the show needs a nemesis, but not really a stalker, but a force, like Jeff and the record label, to serve as something like gravity and the moon and the tides– to pull characters in different directions and maintain a sense of tension.

    I’m really hopeful, based on the first two episodes, that the writers will find the sweet spot more often than not, between the pace and energy level of the show. So I’m really looking forward to the next episodes. I’m trying to ignore the Connie rumors– sort of out of the loop anyway :).

    • Not forgetting 🙂 Nashville always handled “heavy stuff”. By dark, we didn’t mean the show suddenly got serious because it always was. We referred to the way the story was told – not as a drama but almost as a thriller.
      And as for that girl, after her car blew up she disappeared…together with many unsolved season 4 storylines 😉

  4. I thought the first show was great but setting the stage for something. We are now on the 3rd episode and I still feel like we are setting up storylines. Juliette and her “angel” has enormous potential – I hope it becomes a very deep and rich part of the show. Avery needs a crisis of his own, and the set up is there if the want to go there – (“Avery losing his own identity”) I have never gotten the whole Maddie character. To me she is this minor annoyance that I tolerate until the story goes somewhere else. And sorry folks – I don’t think she can sing. Daphne character has much more depth and talent that is underutilized. Gunner & Scarlett need to get back to doing what they do well: singing. I am enjoying the intrigue of the possible stalkers storyline – that could have some meat on them thar bones if given half a chance. The YouTube video queen is a 2 episode character at best. The new Street performer is a welcome addition and I did not mind the “dead mother” background – stereotypical or not – it happens a LOT and discounting that reality does nothing to bolster the character. There are thousands upon thousands of young people who have lost parents to drugs – that this particular character happens to be of African American heritage is no more “stereotypical” than the “Angel” also being African American. It is really irrelevant to the story and I found it strange that it would even be brought up in the discussion.
    What would I like to see happen? I would like to see a bit of role reversal for Avery and Juliette – let him have his crisis now and have her put her hard learned life lessons be put to work. I would like to see Maddie leave the show – I REALLY don’t like that character at all. I would like to see the show get back to the Bluebird Cafe and discover more new talent. I would like to see a whole lot more singing – concerts, behind the scenes of concert tours. I would like to see Hwy 65 find a superstar that builds the label up and helps the company be successful. And that is just for starters. Having said all that, I am SO GLAD that the show is still around and into this season but it is time to get into the stories now. Setting story lines up is great, but eventually you have to actually tell the story or you lose your audience.

    • I like your idea of role reversal between Avery and Juliette. Regarding Maddie, I totally like her, always have. Yes, she can be annoying for sure, but my experience is that teenagers are just that. But yeah, there is so much in Daphne to explore and work on. It’s time to give her space!

  5. I love your review, and I totally agree with what you said about Avery’s storyline. He’s been so knocked down in the show and had to give up all his dreams that it’s nice to see him finally start to focus on himself. I loved the scene with Gunnar and Will and how they kind of pushed him in that direction.

    I, personally, thought the second ep was the boring one that moved too slow. I love Deacon and Rayna, but if I had to watch another scene of them kissing, I would gag. To me, this ep felt more like the real Nashville. The scene were longer, but they didn’t bother me.

    In 501, the longer scenes sometimes felt like a waste, like they were drawing them out just to be different, and I didn’t appreciate the space. It bored me, and I missed the energy of old Nashville. (I did not miss the cast of a thousand characters, though!)

    I actually like Juliette’s storyline, and I’m enjoying her scenes with Avery. I feel like she’s finally moving past her own needs and scares in this ep and possibly to a place where she can think about them. I’m glad Avery stood up for himself and said he wasn’t okay with her not knowing what they were.

    I’m enjoying the stalker storyline–it’s intriguing, and I like trying to guess who it is.

    As for Maddie, I appreciate that she needed to learn a lesson and apologize to Deacon. Now, can she please fade into the background. I do not want this show to spend so much time on her. She is just not a character I want to follow. I’d much rather see more Scarlett and Gunnar than Maddie. Or more Daphne even.

  6. Hi, this is so much fun. A place to talk about Nashville. I have to say that I’m loving the new season. Longer scenes, less soapy, less drama! Season 4 was so over the top that I feel we need this new pace. I have a few good points and a few issues. I loved episode 1 and 3 thought they were great (episode 2 was boring). Finally liked a Maddie story line which I thought would never happen. I really like that they are focusing on Rayna and Juliette and finally we get to see them for more than 30 seconds every scene. Im not sure Im into the whole religious direction with Juliette and I feel like the new writers dont know that she is a good person. She is difficult sometimes, but strong and funny and often loving. I want to see her an Avery talk about the PPD and the divorce at some point, because they didnt have a chance to heal from that. I actually like Will’s storyline. He has never been openley gay and its natural he would want to have some fun ;-). Im glad Layla is gone, I think that her character was a mistake from the start. As for scarlett and Gunner, I actually find them very boring together so I have nothing to say about that, maybe just let them sing more they are good at that.

  7. I don’t love the pace, it’s way too slow. Would be okay if the storylines were interesting but they aren’t, so far. Let’s hope it gets better because I love this show! I miss all the concerts. Season 1 and 2 were the best.

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