With an episode titled "I Fall to Pieces" there is some foreshadowing that there would be a lot of sadness, and that was definitely the case for the "Nashville" second season opener. The opening moments pick up shortly after Deacon and Rayna's tragic car accident and the fallout that ensues. The other cliffhangers of the season, Gunnar's proposal to Scarlett and Peggy's pregnancy are tackled as well. Don't read ahead if you haven't watched the season premiere....
Rayna is in a coma following the car accident and Deacon is quickly arrested for driving under the influence. While in jail, Deacon reminisces on happier times with Rayna when he proposed while drunk and how she ultimately left him to go and be with Teddy. He remembers what Rayna meant in the finale about how he was back then and why she didn't tell him she was pregnant. Deacon rebuffs all attempts to help him and will not even mount a defense against the charges. Meanwhile, Scarlett asks Juliette for help posting Deacon's bail and Juliette tells her to leave Deacon where he is because addicts will always disappoint you. Scarlett goes to see Deacon and he loses it when she mentions he has been like a father to her. Deacon screams " I am not your father, I'm nobody's father."
Scarlett and Gunnar are walking on eggshells around each other after she turned down his proposal. They perform one last song together at the Bluebird while a clearly envious Avery looks on. Peggy visits her doctor and despite Teddy's offer of only financial support she is overjoyed at being pregnant. While at the doctor, Peggy learns that she has miscarried but lies and tells Teddy that she heard the baby's heartbeat.
A heartbroken Maddie confides in Juliette that she feels responsible for her mom and Deacon's accident because she revealed to him that he was her biological father. Juliette is stunned to hear the news and doesn't share the revelation with Scarlett who is wondering what set Deacon off.
Deacon is eventually released at the end of the episode when it is revealed that he was not the person driving...by Rayna. She has regained consciousness and Deacon is overwhelmed by emotion at the news. The episode ends with Rayna looking at the Nashville skyline saying she has no intentions to revisit the past.
The season premiere was a very fitting start to "Nashville's" second season. Now that the Maddie paternity bombshell rocked the first season it seems that the fallout from the revelation will dominate the second season. In addition, the Peggy pregnancy storyline which came off a bit cliche at first will take on a whole new edge now that she is lying about still being pregnant. The writers also threw in a bit of a monkey wrench when it was revealed that Rayna's dad may be responsible for her mom's death and her mom's car accident was no accident at all.
The MVP of the season premiere was no doubt Charles Esten. His performance as Deacon is powerful, emotional and strikes so many chords. Although Deacon is seriously flawed, Esten's heartfelt portrayal of him instantly makes the audience root for him and want to see he and Rayna together. The scene where he lashes out Scarlett for the father comment and the emotion from knowing that Rayna has regained consciousness were the scenes that stood out during the show.
The writers of "Nashville" have seemed to find their stride with this show when they needed it the most. There was some concern that the show would not be picked up for a second season after up and down ratings last year. This season premiere shows that there will be a lot of material for the writers to work with this year and there will be more drama for other characters instead of just Rayna, Juliette and Deacon.
There are a few flaws that I hope get worked out this year. One is the character of Avery. Although Jonathan Jackson is a great actor, his character is so under utilized and so pointless in some ways that it almost comes off as a waste of talent. Avery was only shown in the premiere looking sad while watching Scarlett and Gunnar and making faces whenever Juliette would do or say something particularly snarky. His character either needs to have a storyline or be written off. Then there's Scarlett. She's full of talent but she is a bit too good and it can come off a bit annoying and boring. "Nashville" is basically a soap opera with music and Scarlett's character needs a little bit more of an edge.
"Nashville" airs on Wednesday nights on Cox Cable channel 5.