Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 1 of ABC's "Nashville," titled "I Fall To Pieces."
The Season 2 premiere of "Nashville" took us immediately to a decidedly gorier, foggier, less-slow-mo version of the moment at which the finale left off. In the wake of Rayna and Deacon's tragically drunken car crash lies the wreckage ... and it is dark, and green, and literally bloody.
We soon find that Rayna is in a coma. The remainder of the cold open shifts through a series of vibrant colors -- from the abysmal marine scheme of the crash, to the bright, highly contrasted white of the flashbacks of Deacon's young love, to the glowing yellow of the hospital, pinned against family members dressed rather blatantly in black. Could Rayna die?!? (Just kidding, this show would be nothing without Connie/her hair).
It's possible to pick apart the episode in its entirety according to color theory ... although, the most screamingly obvious example comes shortly after the Rayna rainbow, when a mulish Juliette Barnes ditches grieving over her mother, in favor of plotting some weird anti-Rayna scheme. It seems the heart-string-tugging sad song of the finale has merged with her patented stubbornness and become a revenge plot.
This is confusing for three reasons, namely: Rayna is in a coma, Juliette already won the desired country music award (for which she competed with Rayna), and also Rayna is in a coma.
Popping up from an apparent trip to third base with another Tim Tebow doppelganger (whom she is considering for employment), Juliette turns on a news story about prayers for the "Queen of Country" and angrily calls her manager, snarling aggressively that she wants to "pray." It seems silly in the moment, almost enough to make us wonder whether Juliette is going to use prayers as part of her confusing revenge plot ... and then she does!
Cut to Juliette's album release concert and a return to painfully obvious color theory: Dressed in white against a literally glowing red background, Juliette pretends to be good while being so very bad (white = angel, red = devil, get it?!?!) She asks her fans to pray for Rayna, and then invites them to the hospital (as though anyone besides immediate family members is allowed to visit people in comas) and even slimy Avery is in the back making little judgey faces.
"Interestingly enough, you were in most of the pictures," he says of the Rayna tribute slideshow Juliette sprang on her band. "Just a friendly observation." Oh, how would we direct our moral compass without Avery? Whatever, at least he found the time to wash his hair for the concert.
Anyway, Juliette goes to the hospital and bumps into Maddie, and I'm not sure whether she is actually feeling the feels or just being manipulative again. Although, it's Juliette, so probably some complexly duplicitous version of both.
There are sympathetic moments, but by the time we get to the scene where Juliette is makeup-free and crying over a fire-hazardous amount of candles, it is legitimately unclear whether J. is projecting her junkie mother grief onto Rayna or still enacting the aforementioned weird prayer revenge plot.
Speaking of fire hazards, somewhere, threaded between the coma plotlines is some strange anti-climactic couch fire that appears to signal the return of faux badass Gunnar. Don't care, boring.
Meanwhile, it is Scarlett and Scarlett's weave's last night at the Bluebird, and there is a party, but she is very preoccupied with Deacon, who is in jail pretending to be responsible for the car crash that put Rayna in a coma. (Rayna was driving.)
So, Scarlett visits Deacon and is all doe-eyed and Scarlett-esque, and tells him she knows Rayna will be okay, because prayers. (And once again it is legitimately confusing whether or not these people literally think prayers are an actionable thing.)
Deacon doesn't care about prayers, though. He is pouting and angry and finally realizing what a drunk he is. And there is even a flashback, where he is throwing records around, and drinking, like, nine drinks in five minutes, and just being an angry drunk man.
As much as Deacon would like to be the villain here, he mostly ends up being a whiny martyr, until his court appointed lawyer comes to jail and is like, "This is annoying, go home. And also Rayna admitted she was driving."
It turns out the real villain is Rayna's evil father Lamar! He is all face-touching and emotional in the hospital, and we discover via convenient news story that Rayna's mother Virginia was also in a tragic car accident. Despite the continued sass from sister Tandy, Lamar feels almost human ... that is, until we discover that Virginia's fatal accident was not so much an accident. So evil, Lamar! [Extremely convoluted explanation to follow next week, probably.]
The episode ends as Rayna wakes up, after conspicuously teasing us with the plausibility of amnesia. The doctor worries for her "cognitive abilities" and asks if she knows who the "people in the hall are?" She knows, and the hall people come in, and it seems like her "cognitive abilities" are fine, but she is not allowed to talk, and there is some concern for her "voice abilities," which is terrible, because the best thing about Nashville are the songs.
Give us more songs please, Nashville.
How did Deacon become sunburned in prison?
Actually more boring than the Gunnar plotline: Peggy is having Teddy's baby according to three at-home pregnancy tests, but then she miscarries. On an insensitive note, am I the only one who was rooting for her to be having a hysterical pregnancy?
When Scarlett called that "influential someone" up to the Bluebird stage, it seemed for a glorious moment that Gunnar and Avery were going to rough and tumble their way to the mic. So many smoldering eyes.
More importantly, how much emotional stress does Scarlett need to endure in order to consider cutting her
"Nashville" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.