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Nashville Recap: Polo Matches and Fabulous Hats

NASHVILLE - "It Must Be You" - Rayna sets the record straight on all things personal and professional in a candid interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts (as herself). Determined to be her own boss, Rayna attends the Belle Meade Polo Match to seek out investors for her own label, Highway 65, but is surprised by the reaction from Nashville's elite. Meanwhile, Juliette, who is also at the event, runs into Charlie Wentworth, and Luke Wheeler (guest star Will Chase) and Deacon have an awkward encounter. With her life about to change dramatically, Scarlett leans on Avery for advice, and Teddy announces to the press that he and Peggy are getting married, on "Nashville," WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Mark Levine)HAYDEN PANETTIERE

Well, that was all kinds of wrong.

Look, I love a soft-focus sex-and-kissing montage as much as the next gal (especially one with the ABC Halloween Spooktacular cobweb graphic creeping in the corner), but it needs to be the right people doing it. Definitely not Deacon and that horrible lawyer lady who ruins everything. (More on her ruinous ways in a bit). Definitely not Juliette and that polo-playing adulterer. Definitely not Gunnar and Zoey — while Scarlett is a few feet away onstage! (Keep it classy, Gunnar and Zoey.) And, oh, hell no, definitely not that possibly shady Luke Wheeler stealing a kiss from Rayna by her car, when both Deacon and Liam are two men with perfectly good lips who also exist in this universe. 

Nope.

So the show’s much-touted Robin Roberts cameo is disposed of quickly and I have a serious question for you guys: Did you think it was appropriate that Rayna (a made-up character) referenced Roberts’s real-life struggles and bravery, by saying, “You go through something like that, and I know you know, it gives you perspective”? I dunno. It gave me a moment’s pause, but maybe I’m just overly sensitive.

Hey kids, pop quiz! Your famous patriarch is in jail so what’s the first thing you should do?

1, Visit him in jail.
2. Keep a low profile.
3. Attend a polo match in a fabulous hat.

If you answered 3, welcome to Nashville. (Do they even have polo matches in Nashville?) Somehow, even though nobody is apparently the polo type, everyone and their sister (literally) is at that polo match: Juliette, secretly invited by Charles Wentworth; Rayna and Tandy looking for investors for Highway 65; Deacon following around lawyer lady like a lost puppy. Hey, at least Juliette had the decency to read up on polo on Wikipedia before she attended! (I laughed.)

This was the episode in which two characters decided to do the right thing and then, a few scenes later, were all like, “Just kidding! You didn’t believe all that doing-the-right-thing stuff, did you?”

We’ll start with Juliette and Charles Wentworth. First, she said no to having an affair with old Charlie boy. (Hooray, Juliette!) Then she witnessed his wife Olivia slapping him, and decided he was an abused spouse or something and needed her own special brand of TLC that involves getting naked. (Oh, Juliette …) Not quite sure where they’re going with this Charles Wentworth story line but I have a few thoughts.

  • If the casting note for Charles Wentworth was "Really handsome guy that you nonetheless want to punch in the face": Nailed it!
  • Is that accent of his supposed to be … posh? Because it sounds much more working-class British than high society to me. Now maybe that’s on purpose. Maybe Charlie has lied about inheriting his money and the dastardly Olivia lifted him from poverty and constantly threatens to cut him off if he doesn’t obey her every command. But if the producers of Nashville think that all Americans think all British people sound high society, well, yeah ... they’re probably right.
  • Generally Nashville is pretty good about weaving their songs organically into the story line, but that little impromptu barn jam session, featuring Santiago, the guitar-playing ranch hand, and Guy Who Conveniently Shows up With Harmonica ™ was a bit much. I especially liked the part when Charlie reached behind a bale of hay and pulled out the guitar.

Of course, the other character who did the wrong thing, then the right thing, then the wrong thing again was Zoey. (United States of Zoey much?) Zoey, it turns out, was plagued by guilt over her night of passion with Gunnar. She explained to him that it could never happen again because it was a violation of the Girl Code, as I nodded in solidarity — finally, Zoey speaking some sense! And then … wh-wh-what happened? Scarlett tells Zoey she slept with Avery and suddenly all bets are off? Is there some sort of fine print in the Girl Code that says: Once your BFF has a moment of indiscretion with her ex all previous statutes of the Girl Code are null and void? No, Zoey. No, there is not!


Speaking of annoying new characters, um, seriously, Megan (a.k.a. lawyer lady) — can you not? Has any character in the history of television had worse timing than that woman? First, Deacon is playing a lovely ditty on the piano and she interrupts it, buttoning her shirt as she emerges from the bedroom (because they had sex last night, you guys!!). Then, possibly shady Luke Wheeler is about to ask Deacon if he still has feelings for Rayna, and no sooner has he begun to form the question than Megan waltzes over (shirt buttoned as far as I can tell) and cuts him off. Then Deacon and Rayna finally have a scene together, and she kind of lurks a few feet away until Deacon has no choice but to invite her over.

Knock, knock. Who’s th— ? Interrupting Megan. Ugh.

As for Luke Wheeler, I have no real reason to think he’s shady, except for the fact that he wears black all the time (a clue!) and tends to look at Rayna like she’s a piece of meat and he’s a rottweiler. But now that Rayna blew Scarlett’s chance of being the preopening act for Juliette (by being Miss Nosy Pants over Juliette and Charlie), she’s stuck with the drooling Luke. Color me concerned.

All I’m sayin' is the show’s next soft-lit sex scenes better involve any of these following sanctioned couples: Rayna and Deacon; Rayna and Liam; Scarlett and Gunnar; Scarlett and Avery; Juliette and Avery; Bucky and Tandy (just kidding).

But seriously, Nashville, I’ve got my eye on you. (Right now, I’m doing that thing where I point to my eyes and then point to the producers of Nashville. You have to see it in person to fully appreciate how intimidating it is.)

Photo: Mark Levine/ABC