Oh man. You guys alright? This was one depressing episode, one that blindsided me a bit considering it’s not sweeps time. Deep breath, and we’ll dive in to the aptly titled “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye”.
- After seeing the promo for this episode, I knew that Scarlett and Deacon’s storyline (more on that later) was going to tear me to pieces, but I didn’t expect Teddy’s with Rayna and the girls to do the same. I’ve never been Teddy’s biggest fan, but even I felt bad for the guy when Daphne and Maddie stormed out of the prison, with Daphne throwing her necklace to the ground for good measure. I felt for the girls too, especially with the stuff with Beverly happening at the same time, but yeah, that was harsh. Rayna’s speech to Teddy and the girls the next day was great though, especially considering all of the crap she and Teddy have put each other through. It’s weird, at this point the first season where she and Teddy were together seems like a lifetime ago, but this was a nice way to remind us that the four of them were a family for a long time, we just didn’t see that much of it as viewers. I’m also glad that Teddy’s pleading guilty; if he’s not going to be a part of the show’s world much any more, at least he’s leaving on a good note. One question remains though: Is he going to shave the prison beard?
- I’ll be honest, Juliette is becoming harder and harder to like with each passing episode. She’s always been a volatile character, but there comes a time when you just don’t even want to root for her anymore, because it’s basically guaranteed that you’ll end up disappointed. I had really hoped that Luke’s conversation with her at the end of the episode would help her in some way, but judging by her crazy pants reaction to Emily and Avery in the promo for next week, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
- Speaking of Luke, I am eternally grateful to the writers for not having Juliette come on to him. I think that would have pushed her over the edge as a character who just can’t come back, so I’m really glad they didn’t make that move. Also, I’m enjoying what they’re doing with Luke’s character this year; he seems more human, if that makes sense. Last season I believed him as a country music superstar but not really a real guy, and I think that’s been remedied a bit in these first few episodes.
- Though Luke and Juliette singing “Bad Reputation” (on the stage that came from nowhere), a little too on the nose, right?
- I absolutely loved Kevin and Will’s scene at the end of the episode (Will is progressing so dang much and it’s awesome), but I feel like their storyline was a little heavy-handed. I’m already having a hard time believing that, in the show’s world at least, country music is so opposed to gay musicians in this day and age, so adding in a bunch of songwriters we’ve never seen who think Will needs to be the poster boy was a little much. Though, I do think we’re on our way to a bit of a comeback story for Will, which would be great. Highway 65 anybody?
- I was way too excited that we got the Three Men and a Baby scene I was hoping for after last week and it was even better than I thought it would be. Seriously, I did not know how much I needed Gunnar, Will, and Avery passing Cadence around while Gunnar complains that no one’s eating his pancakes in my life until I had it.
- Unfortunately, Avery’s day was downhill from there, as he contemplated divorce and petitioning for sole custody (and how sad was his face when he told the lawyer Juliette wouldn’t fight him on it?). I totally don’t blame him for wanting to sign those papers, but I am glad he’s holding off for now. As a viewer, I’m kind of giving Juliette one more chance to get her shiz together, or at least admit that she needs help, so I’m hoping Avery will do the same.
- No Layla in this episode, but I can only assume she was making a poor choice with Jeff Fordham somewhere. Sigh.
- Alright, I put this off for as long as I could, but let’s talk about the most heartbreaking part of the episode: Beverly’s death. I think all of the scenes focused on that were the perfect example of how good this show can be when it focuses on the ramifications of the huge (and sometimes soapy) twists it’s known for. I have to say, as good as the writing was, Clare Bowen and Charles Esten were a big part of the reason why this storyline was so powerful. Seriously, all of their scenes, whether they were fighting or grieving alone were played beautifully, and had me feeling for their characters in a way I never have before. As hard as it was to see the two of them apart when Beverly died, I understood that each had to say goodbye in the place that felt right for them. Long term, I’m wondering if the circumstances of Bev’s death will be a point of contention for them, or if Scarlett’s decision is something Deacon will come to understand with time.
- In wrestling with that decision, Scarlett talked with both Caleb and Gunnar, and it was interesting to me that their input showed how much better Gunnar knows her than Caleb does. Caleb basically gave a non-suggestion, while Gunnar knew that all Scarlett needed was reassurance that she was kind and smart enough to make the right decision. And that song she played before Gunnar walked up? Absolutely gorgeous, and I love the idea of it being a sort of conclusion to “Black Roses”, showing that she has now forgiven her mom. Like I said last week, I’m really glad that she got that closure before Beverly’s death.
Real talk, how much did you cry during this episode? Let me know in the comments!