As if 2016 can’t get much worse, Nashville is back. Worse than that, it’s on CMT. I ask you all, my lovelies, name one hit show on CMT (besides ABC show rejects). Couldn’t name any, huh? Me neither.

Anyway, CMT is premiering the first hour of the show and will officially debut it next month, on January 5th. I have my wine and possibly some vodka (if Trump takes to Twitter in the next few hours), so let’s jump in, shall we?

I am not exactly sure where Rayna is at, but she is buying gas in a vintage, little town that only exists on antique hunting shows and country music videos. Anyway, she meets an old, blind man playing mandolin and singing “Wayfaring Stranger.” And it was flash forward.

We now flashback to a plane crash near Dixon, Tennessee. A witness to the crash finds Juliette alive and has called for help. Let me guess? She is the only survivor? Yep, called it. Seriously, with CMT at the helm, Nashville is as predictable as ever.

Three weeks after the plane crash, Juliette is in a wheelchair and pissed off at the world. She shattered two of her vertebrae and has little feeling in her legs. Her prognosis is up in the air. But, hey, maybe a visit from Rayna will make things better? Not if she brings Maddie. It seems the brat is truly becoming Juliette II. Anyway, Rayna stops by the hospital and tells Juliette she will walk again and gives her a pep talk. Then, Juliette says it was her fault the plane crashed. Essentially, it’s typical Juliette. She has to be mad at her situation and have a pity party. She does tell Rayna about the woman who sang to her after the crash while they waited for help to arrive. She called the woman an angel. This is very different than the angel in Party Monster, sweeties. At least I hope it is.

Rayna is stressing about playing a concert for a Silicon Valley mucky muck. But, there is more distressing news from Bucky. Juliette II has been released from the record label she signed with in LA. Rayna’s label bought out the contract to the tune of 275K. If it were my kid, I’d have left her there to clean up her own angst-filled mess. And guess why? It could cost Rayna her record label. But, Maddie still fancies herself an artist and is being a hateful cow to Daphne when Rayna says her goodbyes to go to California.

As Rayna’s plane experiences turbulence, she starts to freak a bit. I’m not going to lie to you kiddies, this is pretty bad so far, even for Nashville. Once in the Golden State, Rayna calls Deacon and tells him she had a panic attack on the airplane. Now, she has to get herself together to perform for a tech billionaire and his pals. Before her panic attack, Rayna was reading up on the tech head honcho, so my guess is, he wants to go into business with her and save her record label. It will be a Christmas miracle, my bitches!

Anywho, when Rayna arrives, the young techie mogul, Zach Wells, is all excited to see Rayna, who has apparently started using real-life band Sixwire as her backing band. Zach gherms all over Rayna, who is actually performing a benefit for people who aren’t country music fans. Okay, how stereotypical can we get, CMT? Your parent company, Viacom, has offices in California and it is filled with country music fans. Don’t alienate the Californians. Anyway, Rayna performs the benefit in a tricked out airplane hangar and no one cares about the show but Zach.

Juliette is leaving the hospital and there are fans and TV cameras there to cover the non-action, which NEVER happens in real Nashville. But in fake Nashville, fans are allowed to camp out outside the hospital with supportive poster board signs. Anywho, Avery goes home with her and she is being typical Juliette and pushing him away. If Juliette doesn’t have something to be upset about, then there is no reason to have her on the show.

Maddie and Deacon are working on a song she is struggling to write and when Daphne walks in with an idea for the song, Juliette II dismisses her. Deacon gets onto her, but she has almost become Juliette at this point. I mean, the little terror is also now blonde.

Zach is embarrassed by Rayna’s reception and offers to buy her a drink. They chat and he explains how his mother was diagnosed with a terrible illness when he was a teenager and he spent his young adult years taking care of her. His mom is the reason he is such a Rayna fan because he grew up listening to his mom’s Rayna albums. It makes me grateful my mom listened to Dolly. Anywho, the billionaire techie asks Rayna why she isn’t recording anymore and she says she’s been too busy running a record label to have a voice. She tells him the first country song she ever loved was Bill Monroe’s “Wayfaring Stranger.” Zach says it’s time for her to feel that way again about music.

Juliette is having nightmares about the plane crash and the nightmare sequence is done with bad effects and suspenseful music. Anyone miss ABC yet? When she wakes, she demands Avery take her to the crash site. Avery is hesitant, but agrees to help her find the spot she was found at the site. He carries her to the charred ground, but Juliette insists that isn’t the spot. Then she has a breakdown and asks Avery, in tears, why she didn’t die. I’m asking myself the same question, there, Jules. Anyway, after sleeping in their car all night, still at the site, which is super creepy – they wake up and Avery finally kisses her.

Scarlett and Gunnar are in disgustingly adorable, reunited bliss hanging out with Deacon and Daphne when Daph plays them a song she has been working on. When Juliette II hears it, she gets all angry because she thinks her little sister stole her song. In fact, Daphne made it better. I know I have pointed this out before, by why is Daphne on the show? She is one talented, adorable little girl, but she is literally only there to be Maddie’s punching bag. Can’t we make her a lesbian and have her get thrown into juvie for smoking pot?

Scrawny Scarlett goes to talk to Maddie and they have a little girl chat about how Daphne made Maddie’s song better. Scarlett explains to her that creative people collaborate to make things better. Oh Lord. Maddie didn’t learn how to share in the nursery? Well, not if she is filling Juliette’s selfish shoes.

Back in her hotel room, Rayna decides she can’t get on the airplane to go back to Nashville. The next day, Deacon shows up to surprise her in Silicon Valley. He is AA-meeting-caliber determined to get her on the airplane to get her over her fears and she insists it isn’t about that. She just needs some alone time to figure her shit out. So, she rents a car and heads to Nashville at her own pace and on her own terms. This explains Rayna driving into the small town at the beginning of the show.

Scrawny’s pep talk helped with Juliette II, who now wants to hear what Daphne wrote. They begin to sing the song together and, of course, it’s beautiful. At least the quality of the music they make on Nashville hasn’t suffered on CMT. But that was the least of my worries.

Juliette and Avery stop in a small town on their way back to Nashville for a smoothie and Juliette hears music from a church nearby and wheels herself into the building. The woman leading the singing is the same one who found and comforted her after the crash. Juliette listens to her with tears in her eyes.

Now, we are back at the gas station with Rayna and the old, blind man. He tells her she should sing more because it’s good for the soul. “You mind find the joy you’re looking for,” he tells her. She sits with him and listens to him continue to sing “Wayfaring Stranger.”

And that’s all until January 5th- THANKFULLY. The second hour had better make me pee myself, kids, or we are in for a very long 2017.

 

 

 

See also:

NASHVILLE recap: "Maybe You'll Appreciate Me Someday" (Season 4, Episode 21 Season Finale)

NASHVILLE recap: "The Wayfaring Stranger (Part 2)" (Season 5, Episode 1)

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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