Last week on Nashville, we finally got the kiss we had all been waiting for. Yes, Rayna and Deacon's smackeroo was sexual and violent and everything in between. And they weren't the only two who got it on — Teddy and that crazy nut Peggy went all the way, securing the end of Rayna and Teddy's marriage. How did the Queen of Country and her politician husband handle the mess? Not as gracefully as she would have liked, that's for damn sure.
The Rayna and Liam Story
The sexy allure of our old pal Liam was back in full force when he conveniently planned a business meeting of sorts in the same hotel where Rayna was based for her tour. This was both dangerously amazing (considering Ray was mourning her impending divorce) and borderline stalkerish. The two had a hateful first embrace lined with sexual undertones and it wasn't long before they were back at a dirty bar table downing shots and revealing secrets. And like many alcohol-based friendships, it was only a matter of time before the two ended up making out in front of Liam's room. Rayna was all "what on holy land and sea am I doing here?" And Liam was all like "be my queen tonight."
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And so they entered his room and started pouring the bourbon (from the minibar no less). But Ray went and ruined the mood by breaking into hysterics in the bathroom toilet. She was crying for everything: her failed marriage, her loss of Deacon, that she put Liam's skuzzy fedora on her head in public, and, of course, having to continue being nice to Juliette Barnes. She even let mascara run sloppily down her face and made squealing noises. After Liam decided that his buzz was wearing off, he barged into the bathroom to check in. They ended up bonding in a deeper way than we could have imagined, pun intended, and maybe even developed something real.
The Juliette Story
Juliette doesn't get to share her story with anyone this week because it was all about her. Everything was about the diva being a diva and forgetting her roots, once again. She was getting on the right track with her mom, Deacon, her manager, but that all went to s**t. The icy glow was back and she wasn't taking any orders from anyone, especially not mealy-mouthed manager Glenn. You see, J really wanted to get her acoustic songs in the tour, but she didn't seem to understand that changing her entire voice in the middle of her show might cause some confusion. But what J wants, J gets, and her nasty attitude came shining through, so much so that Deacon didn't even want to molest her in the elevator, where he's known to get frisky.
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In her biggest diva fit of the night, she was all amped up on energy drink (Rockstar? Country Star?) that she woke everyone up in the middle of the night to remind them that they all work for her. She yelled so aggressively that Glenn quit. Let's hope it sticks so we never have to look at his goatee ever again. At the end of the episode she was left back at her mansion in Nashville with no one by her side, finally grasping loneliness. She picked up the phone and did what any other lost and scared blonde girl with an all-white wardrobe does, she called her mom.
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The Scarlett and Gunnar Story
Old Man Watty pulled through for these young things. He decided to make them big stars! It would be more exciting if Scarlett didn't continue to live her life with a large, permanent, pathetic pout. Now that she and Gunnar are living together, the lines have begun to blur in the most delicious way: shirtlessness. Despite the confusing "no naked" rule, Gunnar walked around freely in a barely-there towel teasing Scarlett in what seemed to be the most fun game ever. But of course, she didn't want to play because she gets off on being prude. The more serious plot line focused on Gunnar's fugitive brother, who happened to be a very lovely guitar player! Gunnar convinced Scarlett to let him stay with them and she ultimately obliged. It almost seemed like they were one big family when they sat around the couch and played some sweet tunes, until his brother walked over to his duffle bag and revealed the handgun he so neatly packed away. Oh, family.
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The Maddie Story
Who's Maddie, you ask? She's Rayna and Teddy's eldest daughter and she is looking more and more like Homeland's Dana with every episode. Maddie overheard Teddy on the phone talking to Peggy about how much he missed her voice and missed her touch and missed feeling "like himself." Thankfully he did not say that he missed "feeling himself" because that would have been an entirely different traumatizing phone call. When Rayna and Teddy sat the girls down to tell them about their divorce, Maddie didn't mention a thing. She acted surprised and didn't blow up her dad's spot. At least that's what we thought. It wasn't until the very last scene that Maddie ran up to her mom, threw her arms around her neck, and whispered that "dad is still seeing that woman." Let the games begin.
[Image Credit: Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC]
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The remake of Total Recall never escapes the shadow of its Arnold Schwarzenegger-led predecessor — and strangely it feels like a choice. With a script that's nearly beat-for-beat the original film Total Recall plods along with enhanced special effects that bring to life an expansive sci-fi world and action scenes constructed to send eyes flipping backwards into skulls. Filling the cracks of the fractured film is a story that without knowledge of the Philip K. Dick adaptation's previous incarnation is barely decipherable. Those who haven't seen Paul Verhoeven's 1990 Total Recall? Time to get a few memory implants. 2012 Recall makes little sense with the cinematic foundation but it does zero favors to those out of the know.
Colin Farrell takes over duties from Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid a down-on-his-luck factory worker hoping to escape his stagnate existence with a boost from Rekall a company capable of engineering fake memories. Quaid calls the damp slums of "The Colony" home (one of two inhabitable parts of Earth) but he dreams of moving to the New Federation of Britain a pristine metropolis on the other side of the planet. When the futuristic treatment goes awry — caused by previously existing memories of our blue collar hero's supposed past life as a secret agent — Quaid emerges from Rekall with lethal power hidden under his mild-mannered persona. He quickly goes on the run escaping squads of soldiers robots and his assassin "wife " Lori (Kate Beckinsale) all hot on his tail. Total Recall turns into one long chase scene as Quaid unravels the mystery of his erased memories.
But when it comes to answers and heady sci-fi Total Recall falls short. Farrell isn't a hulking action star like Schwarzenegger but he's a performer that can sensitively explore any human crisis big or small. Director Len Wiseman (Underworld Live Free or Die Hard) never gives his leading man that opportunity. Farrell makes the best of the films occasional slow moment but the weight of Recall's mindf**k is suffocated in a series of fist fights hovercar pile-ups and foot chases pulled straight out of the latest platformer video game (a sequence that sends Quaid running across the geometric rooftop architecture of The Colony looks straight out of Super Mario Bros.). When Jessica Biel as Quaid's former romantic interest Melina and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as the power-hungry politico Cohaagen are finally woven into Farrell's feature length 50 yard dash it's too late — the movie isn't making sense and it's not about to regardless of the charm on screen.
The action is slick and the futuristic design is impeccable but without any time devoted to building the stakes Total Recall feels more like a HDTV demo than a thrilling blockbuster. The movie's greatest innovation is the central set piece "The Fall " an elevator that travels between the two cities at rapid speed. The towering keystone of mankind is a marvel but we never get to see it explore it or feel its implications on the world around it. Instead it's cemented as a CG background behind the craze of Farrell shooting his way through hoards of bad guys.
Science fiction more than any other dramatic genre twist demands attention to the details. New worlds aren't built on broad strokes. But Total Recall tries to get away with it in hopes that audiences will recall their own movie knowledge to support its faulty logic. The movie repeatedly prompts viewers to think back to the 1990 version with blatant fan service that's absolutely nonsensical in this restructured version (no longer does Quaid go to Mars but there's still a three-breasted alien?). The callbacks may have given Total Recall a "been there done that" feel but rarely is it coherent enough to get that far. By the closing credits you'll be struggling to remember what you spent the last two hours watching.