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Speculate This: Deacon’s Downward Spiral on Nashville (+ “I Fall to Pieces” Highlights) 

Photo Credit: ABC/Bob D'Amico
Photo Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

Charles Esten‘s Deacon is in a very bad place right now. Not only did he seriously injure his hand – I’m assuming we’ll get a lot more details on that in the next episode – but he blames himself for the crash that left Rayna in critical condition. And even though he wasn’t behind the wheel, he is responsible. His drinking is what put Rayna behind the wheel and his drinking is what led Rayna to be distracted enough to crash. (You could make a case for the fact that Rayna’s lie led to his drinking, but I think that argument would become circular at some point. Both Rayna and Deacon are ultimately responsible for their own actions.) I made no secret of the fact that I thought the ending of season 1 was a just too soapy for me. I mean, I know this show is a nighttime soap but I like my soaps to stay in the realm of realism whenever possible. So while I’m extremely excited to see how the results of the crash play out, I’m hoping we don’t have anything quite that dramatic (and obvious) happen again – or at least for quite some time. With a foundation of hurt, pain, betrayal, and recovery – both physical and mental for both Deacon and Rayna – the future is rife with possibility. I know what I’d like to see come out of this tragedy.

With Deacon out of jail and Rayna out of her coma, there is so much great potential for drama. Rayna’s determined not to look back, which I think could be healthy although I doubt it will be. I hope she doesn’t give up on Deacon completely though. If Deacon’s actions in “I Fall to Pieces” are any indication, he’s far from done punishing himself. I have so many questions.

Will Deacon and Rayna ever reconcile?

Life with any kind of addict is full of ups and downs. We saw part of Juliette’s struggle with her mother last year and that definitely took a toll. Recovery is something that is a lifelong commitment and when Deacon falls off the wagon, he falls hard. Does he deserve another chance with Rayna? Is their love strong enough to get  them back together? Has too much happened between them? Maybe Deacon and Rayna are star-crossed lovers destined to long for each other but never truly be together. They’ve got a lot of history – mostly good and some bad – but is that enough of a reason to keep someone in your life? I’d like to see these two rebuild their relationship, but they both need to take it slow. Deacon needs to forgive himself for the crash and forgive Rayna for keeping this huge secret. I think they’ll get there eventually, but earning back trust is a long and winding road.

Will Deacon be a part of Maddie’s life?

The way Deacon reacted to Scarlett saying she thought of him as a father was very interesting and very telling. What is Deacon’s history with his own father? I can’t remember if we know anything or not, but now would be a good time to learn that backstory. Not only does Deacon have no real history raising children, but it’s clear he doesn’t think he’s cut out for it. Deacon’s always been there for Scarlett as much as he could be and he’s always been like an uncle to Maddie, but now he needs to step up his game. Whether or not he has a relationship with Rayna, I’d like to see him try to be in Maddie’s life. I don’t want to see Teddy’s role be diminished, but there should be a place for Deacon in his daughter’s life if he wants that. Of course, it’s possible that Rayna’s not going to want Deacon around their child. He’s done drinking for now – jail kind of forced him into rehab – but there’s always a possibility that he’ll drink again. Maybe the accident scared him so much that he’s permanently off the sauce. But will Rayna ever really be able to trust him? Or will Deacon ever really be able to trust himself?

Will Deacon be able to play again?

Who is Deacon Claybourne if he’s not playing his guitar and/or singing with Juliette or Rayna? We know he’s a very talented songwriter, but can he be creatively satisfied with being “behind the scenes?” What’s the extent of his injury and what kind of rehab will he have to undergo to recover? If he’s in pain and he can’t play, it’s such fertile ground for a relapse. I just hope there’s something in his life that’s worth fighting and staying sober for.

Photo Credit: ABC/Katherine Bomboy-Thornton
Photo Credit: ABC/Katherine Bomboy-Thornton

“I Fall to Pieces”

The Good:

Selfish Juliette

I will never get tired of this girl and her machinations. Not only is she worried about a comatose Rayna ruining the launch of her new record, but she takes every opportunity she can to cash in on Rayna’s tragedy. And she knows the real reason behind the crash because Maddie confided in her. I’m sure it’s only a matter or time before Juliette uses that piece of information for her own gain. I just hope she doesn’t hurt Maddie in the process. If Juliette’s actions with that candidate for the assistant position are any indication, she’s also about to get herself into a heap of trouble personally. I have to admit that I love it when her love life is a wreck – and it’s always a wreck.

Scarlett and Gunnar

I can’t even tell you how pleased I am that Scarlett said no. I like these two, but I’m not sure I’m sold on them being together – right now or ever again. They’ve got great chemistry when they’re singing and writing music together, but I don’t know if they quite work as a couple. They definitely still have growing to do as individuals and it seems clear that Scarlett wants to work on herself before she gets into another relationship. Gunnar promised not to give up on the people he loved. He wants to remain in her life any way she’ll let him and that’s good. He’s a great influence when he’s a friend and I think Scarlett needs that right now.

An In-the-Closet Will

There’s already great potential for drama in this. Will thinks he needs to live his life a certain way to be successful in the music industry. And country music is certainly about struggle and heartbreak and misery. So I guess he’s going to have a lot of personal experience to draw from if he doesn’t start being honest with himself. I just hope he’s able to be himself and find not only happiness, but also success. It’ll be an interesting journey and I’m really excited to be along for this ride.

The bad:

Peggy Kenter and Her (Now Phantom) Pregnancy

I like Kimberly Williams-Paisley and now that she’s a series regular I understand that they need to give her something to do, but this isn’t it. Even though she lost the baby she told Teddy she heard the heartbeat. I’m already tired of this storyline and it’s barely started. Teddy’s already told her he has a family and can’t be anything more to her than financial support. How long does she think she can keep this up and how does she think he’ll feel when he discovers the truth? I just don’t like it at all.

Avery’s Road to Redemption

I get it. You’re trying to redeem Avery. I think he’s got the potential to be a very interesting character. He kind of acts like a voice of reason – much like Deacon did – when it comes to Juliette and I like him in her orbit. But keep him the heck away from Scarlett. I know they have history and Scarlett seems to have forgiven him, but I can’t for some reason. I don’t ever want to see Scarlett and Avery back together. EVER. I hope I’m making myself clear.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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