Nashville: Season 1, Episode 16
I Saw the Light
This week was what spring break focused entertainment should actually look like (I'm looking at you, Harmony). Rayna, Juliette, and the whole gang went up to New York this week for the next leg of the Red Lips White Lies tour. Maddy and Daphne are on spring break and get to join her on the road. Tandy takes some time off from playing Lamar's henchwoman and decides to join in on the fun. Girls trip!

Obviously mom and daughters have very different ideas about their New York activities. Rayna wants a slumber party, sightseeing, and"¦ Chinese food! (Apparently they don't have any in Nashville? If I were travelling to New York my first big meal would not be Chinese, just saying. But I digress.) Maddy and Daphne are the world's biggest Juliette Barnes fans and obviously want to spend the trip at every tour function where she might also be in the room.

The girls are also super talented musicians and want to join the business. Their idol Juliette started performing at 12"”obviously they think it is time for them to get moving. Rayna, of course, does not want her girls losing their childhoods to the music industry. Tandy helps her see their point of view and Rayna gives the girls a little treat. Unlike other tween girls who dream of being superstars (read: this girl), Maddy and Daphne get to try out their jams during sound-check at Barclays Center. This also allowed for some bonus Deacon marveling at Maddy"”points. He can't really think Teddy gave her those guitar-playing genes, can he?

Over on Juliette's half of the tour, it is always two steps forward and one step back. Her mom, Jolene, and her sober coach, Dante, join Juliette on tour. Juliette has been participating in their therapy sessions and trying to find her own zen. To some extent, this seems to be working. Dante seems to be able to keep Juliette's temper in line and Jolene's demons at bay. In a past life, Dante was also an extremely successful businessman. Soon he is helping Juliette tackle encounters with the President of Edgehill Records and potential corporate sponsors.

But of course, Juliette cannot share well with others. With the strategy sessions, she toes the line of taking Dante away from her mother's recovery too much, but acquiesces by the end of the episode. However, once the lights are out, she finds out another way she can have Dante that her mother cannot. Aren't there laws prohibiting sober coaches hooking up with their clients' daughters?! Despite the positive moves she makes towards handling her brand and career like a mature adult, this is a pretty reckless move by Juliette that cannot end well.

While Juliette was inappropriately hooking up, Deacon is trying to make himself into a more legitimate boyfriend. He invites Stacey out on the road, probably not realizing that she would be in the potential cross hairs of his two glamorous, world-famous, high-powered former flames. Deacon assures her not to worry, that the past is the past. This Deacon-Stacey coupling reminds me of Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy with the nurse Rose. They are cute together, and, in a parallel universe, they would be a great couple. But we know just in the wings is the woman he is meant to be with. They are lovey-dovey now, but hopefully this can end without too much heartbreak so we can get back on the Deacon and Rayna trajectory ASAP.

Some of my favorite episodes from this second half of the season have been the tour episodes. In a different city, staying in a hotel, and the constant energy from performing puts everyone a little outside of their comfort zone. This one did not disappoint.

Back in Nashville, nobody is keeping quiet counting the minutes until the tour is over. Teddy is actually being quite flagrant, shacking up with his mistress in The House that Rayna Built.â„¢ Lamar soon finds them, however and conscripts Peggy to join the good fight for the baseball stadium. Turns out, Peggy tipped off the tabloids about Teddy and Rayna's divorce. This is perfect blackmail for Lamar to hang over her head to get her to whisper very specific sweet nothings into the Mayor's ear.

Apparently several weeks had passed since last week's episode, and somehow Scarlett had managed to keep Gunnar in the dark about her record deal with Rayna (even though they are now officially BF and GF). Thanks to their hunky new cowboy neighbor with mixed up mail, he finds out. Gunnar and Scarlett proceed to spend the majority of the episode tense and upset with each other. But, it turns out Gunnar is not upset about her solo deal. He just wanted her to feel as if she could tell him the truth. He asserts (and rightfully so) that he is not Avery. Her loyalty to him shouldn't keep her from signing the deal she deserves. Then, after 15 ¾ episodes of waiting, they say they love each other.

The moment about Scarlett's career is really touching, but it lost its punch for me when they said the I-love-yous. That has been building for so long that the actual moment was a little anti-climactic. Insisting your partner choose their dream over their loyalty to you is more romantic than three words we all already knew.

Speaking of record deals, post master tape inferno, Avery Barkley has fell from grace. He is blackballed by everyone"”Marilyn isn't just a cougar, she's a ball busting music power broker. Ultimate humiliation might come when his former band mate, J.T., finds him singing on the street. Rather than spit in his face, he gives him the number of a guy who can get him a road job. Soon after, Avery is picking up a bus to head to New York to join a yet to be named tour. This better be the tour. Between Scarlett's uncle and Juliette's penchant for bad boys, Avery could definitely ruffle a few feathers.

For most of the episode, I was not sure what to make of the episode's title, "I Saw the Light." Then we hit the final 10 seconds and we know someone might actually be seeing the light. Powers Boothe and his gravelly whisper voice have been an essential part of the Nashville cast. Lamar's backroom wheeling and dealing has been a great balance to the center stage power struggles all season. But we know the man likes his whiskey (and probably his steak, too) so this heart attack isn't from too far out of left field. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing: Rayna and Tandy will rush back to Nashville, the balance of power will shift. Hopefully Lamar can get a mahogany-walled hospital room for his recovery.

Grade: A-


-"Thank you, Brooklyn!" sounds really weird when shouted by a country starlet. I was really just waiting for Bey and/or Jay to join them on stage. THAT would've been the best.

-Tip of the hat to Juliette's fashion-forward power suit.

-Of course Stacey the vet would fall asleep to a documentary on lions.

-Daphne is the cutest sassy little sister!
Tags: Nashville
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