Last week on 'Nashville', the battle of the gold glitter and sprayed hair reached quite the peak. Rayna and Juliette both strutted toned legs and curvy mid-sections under bright lights and belted out a song that may or may not have been entirely about Deacon. It was all so insestual, especially when the supposed enemies actually hugged it out, in slow motion. Okay, so the slowmo was just an ABC effect, but STILL. It was truly bizarre that the two seemed to have put all their drama behind them, especially in a series where clichés are its thing. But anyway, the night is young and there's more drama to be had. So let's just get right to it, shall we?
Scandal Crashed the Party
Rayna skipped along into her dressing room, her dress ridding up her shaved thighs as her minions followed suit, singing her praises on the duet with Juliette. Everyone was in a cheery, a champagne-swigging kind of mood. Even edgy new producer Liam McGuinness was warmly welcomed by the record label. Yep, spirits were higher than Ray's hair… that is until death's bitch, Teddy, walked in. Suddenly, the air grew thick and everyone fled the room. Teddy did not crack a smile. Not even a tiny one. He told his wife that no, he did not want to celebrate her amazing night. He did not want to congratulate her on getting her new album. He wanted to take her home by the wrist, sit her down, and explain the leaked photos of him and "Peggy" that may lose him the campaign. And that is exactly what he did. Rating: 9/10, because Teddy would steal Ray's thunder without second thought. Is he not the biggest twerp on TV in a long, long time, or WHAT?
No Sex Until Marriage, OKAY?
Juliette looked all fresh-faced and high school cheerleader-y when her football star virgin boyfriend ran in the door with a crumpled newspaper. "Nashville loves you!" Mr. Mancandy shared. This got J so hot and bothered she flung her stained zip-up off her shoulders and invited him in. To her disappointment, he kept denying her advances, Are we really to believe that the vixen would be just fine and dandy with this? I expected her to get her daggers out, tie his hands down and force herself upon him. That would seem more in character. Just a few weeks ago, J was literally throwing herself at men (yes, that actually did happen) and seduced them into bed. This is just like the time on Felicity when sex-crazed Elena stayed with Tracy even though he said he wanted to wait until marriage and she was all like OKAY COOL WHATEVER. Rating: 3/10, because, UGH, it just doesn't make any sense at all.
New Opportunities For All!
Remember how Deacon was sort of on the road to recovery after his rehab stint, but then we were led to believe that maybe he was going to relapse (and we were secretly praying for that to happen, because lord knows this show needs more real drama)? WELL, looks like he got a ticket out. D's former band friends, The Rebel Kings, approached him about joining them on tour. It would be a chance for him to get away from the Bluebird, if only for a bit, and play some new stuff. But Deacon isn't sure what he wants. "What's holding you back?" his pals asked. Apparently all his former druggie musicians also spent some time in rehab and they all flaunted pretty necklaces that said so. SO it wasn't that. But of course, it was Ray. Deacon couldn't imagine a life without her in the picture.
Meanwhile, our dear, sweet Scarlett faced major decisions of her own. Based on one performance ever EVER on a microphone, someone wants her to be the lead singer of some band. It's really quite realistic, don't you think? And like uncle like niece, or something, Scar wasn't sure what to do either – but this time because of Gunnar. Could she really bear to leave the man she loves and who loves her back?
And then there's Rayna, because why not make it a trifecta? The lady of the hour. Or every hour, for that matter. The record label loved her performance with J so much that they offered them a co-headlining tour. Ray looked down, remembered her no-so-perfect life, a life without Coach Taylor, lifted her head and gave an approving nod. She really just might go. Rating: 10/10, because everyone, and I mean everyone just happened to get essentially the same offer at the same time. How Nashville.
Not-So-Sweet Choir Girl
Okay, so even if we were to believe for one nano second that Juliette would stay in a committed relationship to virgin football man, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that she would not only go to church with his family, but perform in front of their choir, too. She is the opposite of wholesome, although I do give her props for trying to pull herself together. Sort of. But when J swayed back and forth in that church house, with the light of Satan God shining from above, nothing seemed sacred about it at all. Rating: 2.5/10, because you can't just go changing around character in a flash and expect us all to believe it. I'm not sorry.
"It's Always Been Over"
Bad couples are just falling apart left and right on this show – and it's amazing. First up: Ray and Teddy. These two have been on the rocks since the dawn of Deacon's 5 o'clock shadow. She knew she made a mistake the second she turned her back on his alcoholic scruff. Hell, even Old Man Watty knew it (and he don't know much these days). But no, this spat wasn't about their unresolved love, it was about Teddy being a stupid idiot and getting caught hugging "Peggy" something or other out in the public eye. Rayna went to see Teddy's opponent who was hoarding the photos to take a look for herself. And she was not happy with what was in the yellow folder. Hugging, closeness, shoulder rests – it was all in there. She stormed her bedazzled cowboy boots right into her dad's office, where her husband just so happened to be, and demanded an explanation. He said he would address everyone with the deets as soon as the photos were made public. And just like magic, they appeared on the good ole' Internet. Time to fess up. Teddy came clean to Ray about all the money-stealing and shadiness. And while Rayna's hair is shiny and her voice kind, there was no way she could ever trust him again. She got in her car and drove to "Peggy's" house to confront the ho. But it was too late. "Peggy" had overdosed on pain killers and was being pulled into the ambulance. Womp womp.
But that's not all. Gunnar and his girlfriend whose name still does not exist or at least I don't care to remember, broke up. It's not even worth going into, considering we all knew she was a stupid filler girl, just a placeholder until the Scar-Gunnar storyline could progress. And now it's here. GunGun turned right around, marched over to the Bluebird, and landed a gross one on Scar who gave her typical holding-my-breath wide-eyed stare and ran away. Rating: 10/10, because the demise of already-failed relationships is better than sex scandal in any dysfunctional southern drama.
A Casual Drop-By
Deacon stopped by Juliette's house to, I don't know, catch up? Their relationship is so under-developed it's confusing as to what the show is trying to accomplish. Are they friends? F*ck buddies? Co-workers? A mixed bag of psychotic nuts? Dea handed J a note from her mother. Apparently, he had been checking up on her since they're so close as all, having met once. But J didn't want to see it. She didn't want anything to do with anything her mother may have touched. You see, when J was just a little thing, she was ashamed of her mom. The way she'd hang around when her friends were over. The way she made her eat dry pancake mix (WTF?!). The way she had to act like a grown up before she could fit into a push-up bra. She especially didn't want to hear advice from the man risking an opportunity for a woman who's been playing him since pre-curling iron days. And so they parted ways and Dea went over to see The Gypsy Kings and agreed to the tour. He said goodbye. Rating: 1/10, because there's no reason these two need to stay connected at all anymore, unless it's illicit – then, I'll take it.
Oh, The Cliffhanger
Don't get your hopes up, my friends. It was more like a baby sand slope than a cliff, if anything. Juliette was all faklempt after her football star boyfriend's mom told her that she'd never be in their family. There was no way they'd let scum like her into their perfect, Christian home. J shrugged off her insecurities and kept her head high, but she was clearly hurt. Perhaps even more hurt than the day she had to eat dry pancake mix (not over it). But instead of sulking forever and fading into the background (as if), J took matters into her own conniving hands – the hands we've grown to love. In an attempt to either f*ck with his mother or deflower the poor lad, she asks him to marry her. Rating: 4/10, because J may be desperate for some real love, but she's not stupid. She'd want a ring.
SO, will he say yes? Will we finally get to see his naked body? Will Ray and Dea and J and Teddy and "Peggy" and Old Man Watty and GunGun and Scar (and not Avery, because who cares?) live to make more shameful choices? I sure hope so. What about you? Let us know in the comments below!
[Image Credit: Chris Hollo/ABC]
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S01E10 I think it’s safe to say that Game of Thrones had the better season finale last night than its competition, but then again GoT had its source material laid out before hand so it might have had the strategical advantage. Either way, it still kicked all kinds of ass, effectively wrapping up many story lines, setting them in motion for the second season and pulling off one of the funniest scenes ever put on film. Not a bad way to go out.
Let’s start at Winterfell, since the episode started off there and that’s about all the justification I need. Bran is dreaming again and demands to go down into the crypt because he dreamt he saw his father there. He shames Osha into taking him down there (“I’m a cripple” BOOM roasted) and Rickon is already down there. Turns out he had the same dream. Shared dreams mean something deeper is going on. It’s a subtle but effective way of setting up what will happen with him in the upcoming season. Meanwhile all of Robb’s men get fed up dealing with Joffrey this, Renly that, Stannis blah, so they go and pronounce Robb King of the North. A really powerful scene anchored by Richard Madden’s regal stare. He managed to mix humbleness and strength all into one look and it contrasted an earlier scene in the woods when Catelynn and Robb let out their grief over Ned’s death (letting out grief = beating a tree with a sword). Very emotional scene and a good source of inspiration for his actions next season.
"We will kill them all." - Cat
Ep.10 - Inside the Episode
One odd thing was Cat’s interrogation of Jaime. I’m not exactly sure why this was included, seeing as this scene in the books happens pretty far along in the second installment and goes very differently. It makes sense, from a narrative standpoint, that she would accuse him and what not but in the book they get out a lot of information from the captive warrior. The only thing she gets out of him here is that he did in fact try to kill Bran but he wont tell her why (we already know ourselves). Are they just splitting this confession up because Cat doesn’t know about Cersei’s incest yet or was just an excuse to have Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the episode since he won’t be seen for a while? Methinks the latter.
I was really concerned with how they would end the season at the Wall. Jon’s honor would be tested, as was set up last episode, but I prayed they wouldn’t end on a cliffhanger of him just deserting the wall. Thankfully they didn’t and the final call to battle of the Rangers heading beyond the wall was amazing. Things got a little corny with Jon’s friends all reciting the pledge of the Wall but Commander Mormont’s talking down and rebuttal the next morning made up for it. “I wasn’t talking about your honor,” indeed. And holy hell, I know Sam is supposed to be a craven coward but the way he whined “no” as Jon left? That was just pathetic.
Meanwhile with the Lannisters, Tywin is pissed that Jaime was captured and intends to do something about it. He manages to show a bit of pride in Tyrion when he sends him off to rule the Kingdom through the post of the Hand of the King. For once, Tyrion is speechless. But being the dick he is, Tywin forbids Tyrion from bringing Shae to court. She is of course a little offended but Tyrion has a golden tongue and has her in bed after two lines. He’s a pimp! Also - fun fact, Shae used to be a German porn star before becoming an award winning actress! That’s Europe for you!
Arya gets carted off with a brother of the Night's Watch and he turns her into a boy so she won't rouse any suspicion. I was all sad to see this happen to poor Arya but then she meets Chris from Skins! Since I wasn't around to recap when we first met him can I just say how awesome that is? And if you were wondering if Joffrey is still a dick then you will be pleased to know that he is still, in fact, a huge tool. He starts off ripping the tongue out of a singer's mouth who performs a song about his family and then takes Sansa up to see her father’s head on a spike. He’s a charmer, that one. Sansa almost pushes him off the bridge they were standing on, but the Hound stops her. It shows that Sansa still has some fight in her so there may be some hope for her yet and it sets up her and the Hound's relationship. Good stuff.
More good stuff? How about the scene between Varys and Littlefinger? These two men are the ultimate tricksters. No one quite knows what side they’re on and they both respect the manipulative power of the other so they basically had a verbal sword fight unlike anything we’ve seen. It was a great reminder that we can never really trust either of these men but their slimy ways are just so fun to watch. When Joffrey returned and they turned on those smiles? Brilliant work.
"I warned you that only death can pay for life." - Mirri
Ep.10 - Recap
Then we head out East to Daenerys and Drogo. Daenerys wakes up to pretty much the worst news possible: her son died in birth and was horribly disfigured, Drogo is basically a vegetable, and her clan has dispersed due to being leaderless. She tries to figure out why the magic woman would lie to her after she saved the magic woman’s life but the gypsy had to open up her eyes. She didn’t really save her from anything. Aw hell nah, Daeynerys won’t stand for that so after a quick mercy killing of Drogo (the greatest warrior finally brought down by a pillow), she ties the magic woman to the pyre. Daenerys lays her dragon eggs around Drogo’s body and sets the thing on fire. Jorah tries to stop her but dragon’s aren’t afraid of fire. He wakes up next morning and we end on one of the most powerful visual scene’s ever. Her clothes have burnt off but she sits there suckling three baby dragons. DRAGONS! And then that’s the end of the season! BOOM! AWESOME SAUCE!
This first season of Game of Thrones has been incredible, effectively setting up this complicated realm and how high the stakes were. Then it pretty much just raised them even higher. And the second season will only be crazier because we have less to establish (I imagine we’ll only have a handful of new characters to acquaint ourselves with) and more time to just get into the drama. Jon is heading off beyond the wall. Arya has joined a group of scavengers heading to the wall with Yoren. Robb has claimed himself king and marches to war. Tyrion is sent off to test his golden tongues strength at King’s Landing against Varys and Littlefinger. Cersei is pretty much a hard core bitch and Joffrey rules with a hot head with poor Sansa caught in the middle. And did I mention Daenerys now has DRAGONS? Yeah, the second season is going to be awesome.
Let’s talk about the cast for a second, because as awesome as the story is, it is the cast that brings it to life and this show has one of the strongest ensembles assembled, especially the kids. Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright, as Arya and Bran respectively, carry huge weight on their shoulders but it doesn’t burden them. Jack Gleeson just oozes the slime out of Joffrey and revels in the bitchiness of the character. Richard Madden, as I said above, truly shines as Robb and is thrust into the crown when a few months ago he was all but considered a boy. Michelle Fairley and Lena Headey, as Cat and Cersei respectively, play two incredibly strong female characters with very opposing strengths and for a show to have two female characters like that is amazing. As Daenerys, Emilia Clark had one of the greatest character arcs on television this season and the level of intensity and compassion she brought to the role is rather remarkable considering it's her first major gig. And Peter Dinklage? That son of a bitch deserves an Emmy.
But I want to leave Game of Thrones remembering perhaps the greatest scene ever. We had our weekly gratuitous boob shot of Roz getting dressed as Julian Glover rambled off some monologue about Kings. He’s old and feeble and can’t remember what he meant to say even after he said it. As the Grand Maester Pycelle, he tried to be polite and walk her out the door but she jets. He looks around and then pops up like he was 20 years younger, does a few squats, crackes a few joints, gets dressed and heads out the door. But not before returning to his normal bent over stoop. It was completely unexpected and hilarious. Definitely one to leave the season on and with that, we’ll see you next season.