Primetime ‘Nashville’: Take These Chains From My Heart

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The friendly bromance between Gunnar and Will hit a snag when the cowboy made an uninvited pass at his neighbor.

Take These Chains From My Heart Season 1 | Episode 118 | Aired 05/01/2013

Nashville returned with the first of four new episodes last night (May 1), leading up to the season finale on May 22. ABC has yet to renew the show for next season, but the network will reveal its upcoming primetime schedule on Tuesday, May 14. Last night’s episode placed third in the 10 p.m. ET hour, coming in behind CBS and NBC with about 5.3 million viewers, according to Zap2It. The site predicts renewal.

At the beginning of the episode Rayna and producer Liam started a fling and planned a romantic getaway to St. Lucia, but by the end of the show, she ditched the trip and wound up in Deacon’s arms. Onstage at her Nashville concert Rayna and Liam sang “Postcard from Mexico,” which was new to the show, though according to the script was a song written years ago by Rayna and Deacon. It was actually penned by John Hadley and David Olney. Watching in the audience, Deacon couldn’t bear to see her sing it with another man, so his girlfriend ditched him and he confessed his feelings to Rayna.

It was an eventful episode for Deacon, who quit his gig as Juliette’s band leader, but will finish the current leg of the tour. Juliette wasn’t bothered (she called him “replaceable”) because she had plenty of other drama to deal with. Her boyfriend Dante “helped” her find a new home to purchase, through his “friend” a real estate agent. But they scammed her out of about $500,000 and high-tailed it out of town. He also framed Juliette’s mom Jolene by placing prescription drugs in her bag, almost landing her back in rehab until Juliette discovered the truth. To Juliette, it was just further proof that no one can be trusted. With a name like Dante, what did she expect?

In Scarlett-land, she finally met Rayna and scored Gunnar a second audition for Rayna’s imprint on Edgehill Republic. (Scarlett is the label’s first signee.) Gunnar was less than enthusiastic about the opportunity. However, he started to come into his own as a performer during open mic night at Tootsie’s, where was approached by manager Jack Nelson. He debuted a rockin’ new sound with “Gun for a Mouth” (written by David Poe). His stage-swagger tips came from pal/neighbor Will. The singing cowboy, who seemed like such a ladies’ man when he’s working the bar, made an unwelcome drunken pass at Gunnar, potentially ending their friendly bromance.

Are we supposed to believe that any modern-day twentysomething hangs clothes on the line to dry?

Are we supposed to believe that any modern-day twentysomething hangs clothes on the line to dry?

The scenes with Rayna and father Lamar display some of the show’s best acting. Last night, amid a spread of aged newspaper clippings, he confessed how closely he had followed her career, even though sometimes he disagreed with it. He wasn’t so kind to other daughter Tandy, who has long been his right-hand business associate. Tandy tried to one-up Daddy by telling deputy mayor Coleman that Lamar will soon be taking a lesser role in the family company. She also pointed Coleman toward a career-crippiling secret in Teddy’s past. Mayor Teddy kicked girlfriend Peggy to the curb after he found out she leaked news of his divorce to the tabloids, and that she had been in cahoots with Lamar.

• • • •

Big Machine Records/Universal Music Canada will release the second installment of The Music of Nashville (Season I, Volume 2) on May 7. The first installment has sold over 2 million tracks in the U.S. The project features new music from Lennon and Maisy Stella (Maddie & Daphne Conrad), Connie Britton (Rayna Jaymes), Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes), Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott). Also contributing are producers T Bone Burnett, Buddy Miller, Gabriel Witcher, Garth Fundis, Frank Liddell, Dan Auerbach and Ross Copperman. Big Machine Records is promoting Lennon and Maisy’s “Ho Hey” to country radio.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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