I think this was one of the stronger episodes of the season, with that long-awaited Rayna/Deacon duet and final reveal, as well as some nice movement in the other storylines. Without further adieu, here are ten thoughts I had while watching “That’s the Way Love Goes”.
1. I really like Will’s new songwriting buddy, Kevin, both as a mentor-type figure for him (to show him that you can be gay and successful in the country music industry) and as a potential love interest, and I say that not because they’re currently the only two gay men on the show, but because they genuinely have chemistry. I also think it would be really healthy for Will to have another confidante besides Gunnar, especially one who understands what it’s like to come out in the country music world.
2. I know that the show is trying to make Luke a bit more likable through his storyline with Colt, but it still isn’t working for me. Too little too late, unfortunately.
3. It’s hard to get past the awkwardness of Maddie and Colt potentially dating (honestly, I think it would have been a lot more interesting if their feelings had come up after the wedding was called off), but even I have to admit that they are pretty sweet together, and Lennon Stella and Keean Johnson are playing the innocent first love thing really well.
4. Scarlett and Caleb are another cute couple, though I can’t shake the feeling that we’re headed for a Gunnar/Scarlett reunion soon. I’ve always been bummed by their quick burnout after getting together the first time (and never quite understood why Gunnar proposed), so I’d love to see them make another go of it. Their renewed closeness lately, and the way he looked at her after their performance, seemed to indicate that it’s a possibility, at least on his end.
5. I’m hoping that the Triple Exes (personally, I feel like the plain ol’ Exes would have been a better name) are a constant presence throughout the rest of the season. When Zoey was a member, the band storyline felt like it was only put in episodes where the writers had a little time to kill, rather than being a meaningful plot with its own development. It seems like now would be a great time for Scarlett, Gunnar, and Avery to start talking it more seriously, and if they actually do end up opening for Rascal Flatts, hopefully that’s what will happen. Also, is it too much to hope that we get to see the scene where Avery tells Juliette he’ll be leaving for a short while? Mama is not going to be pleased!
6. I was really proud of Sadie for coming forward on GMA about the situation with her ex-husband, and I’m curious to see Rayna and/or Avery’s reaction to it. Her storyline has been moving along more quickly than I expected, so I’m wondering if this is the last we’ll here about her ex-husband, or if we’ll see some retaliation on his end for her honesty.
7. I’ve always had a hard time getting invested in Teddy’s solo storylines, and this one with Natasha is no exception. I feel like we’re headed for something big in his career, an impeachment (can you impeach a mayor?) or some other punishment for his transgressions, which, honestly, would really only interest me because of the effect it may have on Rayna, Maddie, and Daphne.
8. As much as I hate Layla dating (or really just sleeping with) a slime ball like Jeff, I am glad that she’s showing some agency that she really didn’t in her relationship with Will. She took Jeff’s advice yes (however tactlessly he doled it out), but she also showed some self-respect by not inviting him out with her, and really, judging by his expression, it almost seemed like he was proud of her for it. I really like this new and improved Layla, so I’m hoping that she continues to take his good advice, like she did in this episode, without letting him drag her down.
9. I loved all of the Opry stuff. It was really sweet that Rayna was the one to introduce the girls (and that moment when she told them about it was adorable), and Deacon’s proud smile as he backed them up on guitar was perfect. I don’t totally get why Rayna is so adamant that they not play music professionally, but is willing to let them play at the Opry, Bluebird, etc, but when it means that we get to hear the awesome Stella sisters sing, I’m willing to overlook it. I also love the totally shameless way that Maddie played matchmaker with Rayna and Deacon in this episode, and props to her, because it led to the world’s most swoon-y duet and the first honest conversation the two have had in awhile. And speaking of…
10. That duet! I am forever in love with the way Rayna and Deacon sing to each other, like they’re the only two people in the room. I also really liked that Deacon decided to come on stage while Rayna was talking about him, like he finally realized that with all their history on that stage, he couldn’t not do it. But of course the moment was short-lived, when Deacon ran out immediately afterwards, realizing he couldn’t keep his secret to himself any more. Later on, when he (finally!) came clean, Rayna’s reaction was heartbreaking, but considering their tumultuous relationship, appropriate (anytime Rayna or Deacon start a conversation with a pet name I know we’re in for a doozy).The slap may have seemed harsh, but for me it perfectly summed up how she must have felt towards him all those years that he was drinking, knowing that he was shortening his life by doing so, and to see that come to fruition, being angry first was a completely honest reaction. But then after that moment you could see her immediately devastated at the possibility of losing him and the way that she collapsed in his arms was heart wrenching and perfect at the same time (kudos to Connie Britton), as was his obvious guilt at causing her that pain.
Unfortunately with Nashville‘s love of leaving us hanging, we won’t find out what happens next until April 2nd! Have a prediction? Let me know in the comment section!