Okay, Jesus. Just when the monstrous memories of Drunk Deacon had subsided, the season two premiere of Nashville is here to sabotage any semblance of emotional well-being you've managed to piece together since the season one finale. We start with Deacon's bloody freaking hand being pulled back inside of an upside-down car, just after his and Rayna's wreck. I thought for a moment that he was a zombie, which would have been a REALLY interesting twist, but no. Anyway, Deacon drags an unconscious Rayna out of the car as distant sirens wail.
We get a series of Deacon and Rayna flashbacks throughout the episode. Happy times after Deacon's first stint in rehab! Deacon asking Rayna to marry him after yet another stint in rehab (even though she knows she's been seeing Teddy) and Maddie's conception! Deacon the morning after the proposal being drunk and having no memory of giving Rayna a ring. Rayna realizing that she's pregnant and going to see Deacon, who's completely trashing his house in a drunken rage, as he is wont to do. Tandy being like, "Girl, no."
The present is just as dire for these two. While Rayna has been put into an induced coma in case of dangerous brain swelling, Deacon has pled guilty to driving under the influence, and the charges could be upped to involuntary manslaughter if Rayna dies. But he wasn't driving, you say! Well, right, but there's nothing Deacon enjoys more than very dramatic self-flagellation. So he takes pains to make sure he goes to prison. A very savvy lawyer who he will probably be boning by episode four does some investigation and realizes that Rayna was behind the wheel and gets him released, much to his chagrin. He perks up a little, though, when she notes that someone else corroborated his story. Yes, it was Rayna, who is taken out of her coma at the end of the episode. She seems to have escaped any lasting brain damage, and in one of her first days of consciousness has to suffer through a lecture from Lamar about how Deacon was never good for her. Let the past stay in the past, says Lamar, which is convenient since back in the day he apparently murdered Rayna's mom and made it look like an accident. D'oh! That guy. To make matters worse, Connie Britton's hair is SO dull and greasy in all the coma scenes. It's like a crime against humanity.
Elsewhere, Juliette has hired Glen back, and is super-upset that comatose Rayna might affect how her new album charts. She concocts a scheme to sing a tribute to Rayna at her big release concert (garnering much stink eye from Avery in the process), then has her fans take glowsticks to a vigil outside the hospital. Klassy! Juliette herself goes into the hospital with no real intention of seeing Rayna, but when Maddie runs out and hugs her she has to come face to face with her own assholishness. Juliette gives Maddie her number, in case she ever needs advice or wants to talk, causing Rayna to roll over in her coma. Maddie spills the secret that Deacon is her bio dad, which Juliette regards with interest. Then she's forced to go to Rayna's coma-room, and later sheds a legit tear or two, about a lot of things.
And then there's Scarlett. I think she has upgraded to a new scraggly wig, perhaps to celebrate her rejection of Gunnar's proposal. The two of them are NOT talking, and she's in the process of moving out. She also has a party to celebrate her last shift at the Bluebird. Avery, Gunnar and her old friend Zoe, who I guess is a new cast member, are all there. This is only after Will tries to convince Gunnar to drink and bang his problems away. They have a party and while Gunnar has no luck in making sweet love to a non-scraggly-beweaved woman, the group drags his couch out to the backyard fire pit. Fire trucks are involved, though they manage to not actually burn the neighborhood down. In any case, once he makes it to the Bluebird (where Scarlett asks if he's come from a barbeque), he sings a song on stage with his former love and we are treated to one of Nashville's signature montages. Montage plot points include Peggy lying to Teddy that she heard their baby's heartbeat after already having learned that she miscarried, and Will not being in the mood for sex with his beard after having come to blows with a former male romantic partner of some sort.
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Previously on Nashville: The Rayna and Juliette rivalry! The Red Lips, White Lies tour! Scarlett got a record deal! Gunnar proposed! Rayna showed up at Deacon's house and said, "I love you, that is the truth!" and then they boned! Peggy announced that she was pregnant with Teddy's illegitimate love child! Lamar demoted Tandy, and in turn she quit! Will put the moves on Gunnar! Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene! Maddie showed up at Deacon's house and said, "I think that you might be my father!" Drunk Deacon…arrghhhhh! And the Rayna and Deacon car crash... oh noooooooo! And the whole time my blood pressure was at a record high, except for when they were talking about the baseball stadium.
We begin the season two premiere with a steaming pile of upside-down Chevy. Nice product placement, eh? In the Chevy Large-mobile, you can argue over a bottle of whiskey, roll over thrice, land upside down, and STILL only end up with a broken hand and induced coma! Spoilers.
In any case, yes, it's the Deacon and Rayna vehicle in its full wrecked glory. There is a grunt, and through a broken windshield we see Deacon's upside-down head, pleading with Rayna to wake up. Okay, first of all, with all the alcohol that he drank, how did he not choke on his own vomit during the crash? And second, what is with the close-up on his bloody stump of a hand being pulled back through the broken window? That is some Walking Dead shit right there. And there is so much drama already in the Post-apocalyptic Zombie Band (PSB) that I don't think it's a good idea for Deacon to join their tour. With his hand pulled back through the window, Deacon sort of wriggles over to Rayna and says, "Come on baby. Baby wake up. You gotta wake up!" She does not wake up. And so, Deacon kicks out the windshield and drags Rayna out of the car and onto the grass. Good call, since there are flames shooting out of the vehicle. Sirens wail as Deacon lays on the grass, breathing heavily with unconscious Rayna on top of him.
And then it's flashback time! Back in happier days, Deacon took Rayna to a house by a river. She's getting ready for CMA rehearsal -- she's just had her first nomination and is dressed like a 90's country ingénue to prove it. He covers her eyes, then takes her inside. She exclaims that it's her dream house, and apparently he's bought it for her. Or at least made a down payment. Deacon's not supposed to make big decisions after rehab (I'm guessing his first) but he says that Rayna wasn't supposed to have to take his drunk ass there in the first place. They kiss, and he thanks her for loving him more than he deserves. They're happy, but also, I'd say, still tinged with a little hint of sadness. It's as if they knew what was coming in the future.