Meaningful glances during a performance, and yogurt flirting, and shady dealings with Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Oh my! There was plenty of drama to be had on this week’s episode of Nashville, “We Live in Two Different Worlds.”

My favorite parts of the episode were those centering on Juliette. I gave high praise to Connie Britton’s and Clare Bowen’s performances as Rayna and Scarlett last week, but somehow I neglected to commend Hayden Panettiere’s portrayal of Juliette. I can’t help but feel that she was born to play this role. She’s done a great job with the complexity that the role requires. One second Panettiere has me laughing at the ridiculousness that is Juliette, and the next I feel genuinely bad for her.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like how Juliette’s shoplifting storyline panned out. It seemed like such a random path for the show to take. However, I really enjoyed watching it. I had a good laugh at Juliette shutting the door in the police officers’ faces and responding to the video of her shoplifting with “at least I look good.” Later in the episode, however, I felt genuinely bad for her when she explained that shoplifting was a habit from her earlier, poorer days. Between Juliette’s comment that the dress chosen for her looks poor and her defensive claim while preparing for the Good Morning America interview that she’s not “some white trash lowlife,” this episode laid on the idea of Juliette trying to escape her past a little thick. I do, however, like this explanation for her behavior. I’m still iffy on the idea of Juliette’s mom staying with her, but Panettiere did a really good job in the scene where Juliette rifled through her mother’s bag.

I had some mixed opinions on Rayna’s storyline in this episode, but I liked that she got a little recognition for her career. It wasn’t anything drastic, but she was mentioned to Juliette as an example of someone who earned her success, and she was shown to be popular enough that her performance gave a boost to her husband’s political fundraiser. With Juliette’s career headed downhill, at least temporarily (I’m really hoping this will somehow lead to her and Rayna going on a joint tour. They need more scenes together.), it was nice to see a power shift between the two.

I’m not quite sure how to feel about the storyline between Rayna and Deacon. I’m a little bit conflicted because they make a cute couple, but on the other hand, an affair isn’t going to do much for the characters’ likability. The two are caught in some weird limbo, and the whole thing is starting to feel a little repetitive. I’m hoping that Rayna firing him will help with that, but I kind of thought she broke things off with him last week, and that didn’t seem to do much.

We saw a little more in this episode about whatever scandal Rayna’s husband Teddy is trying to cover up. Whenever Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) was first introduced, I fell for the idea that she’s having or has had an affair with Teddy. I don’t think we know for sure yet what the deal is between the two of them, but it looks like they both participated in some kind of illegal financial scheme. It’s possible that they still had an affair, but I feel like there has to be more to it than that. Teddy’s secret isn’t my favorite storyline, but the introduction of Peggy made it a little more interesting.

Peggy didn’t have enough screen time for me to form any strong opinions on her, but Kimberly Williams-Paisley seems like a good fit for the show. And I loved Rayna’s shoulder shrug when she was talking about Peggy.

While I like Gunnar and Scarlett, they feel a little bit disconnected from the rest of the show. The brief scene where Deacon gave Scarlett some advice helped a little bit (and reminded me that Deacon is her uncle because I’d completely forgotten), but I’m hoping their story is about to cross over in some way with Rayna’s or Juliette’s.

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I commended last week’s episode for letting Avery give Scarlett a pep talk and showing us why Scarlett could want to stay with him. This week he pretty much went full jerk, going berserk over some comment Scarlett made during dinner. I liked that Scarlett tried to stand up for her career at the end of the episode, but I’d like to see her take a stronger stance for herself and break up with him. I’m going to get tired pretty quickly of watching Avery berate Scarlett while she dances around his ego.

While I really like Scarlett, this episode was the first one that her naivety started to slightly grate on me. Avery’s reaction was entirely inappropriate, but I too was a little annoyed by her talking about song lyrics during the dinner. The naivety was laid on just a little too thick in that scene. I don’t want Scarlett to turn into a different character, but I’m hoping we’ll see just a little bit more bite from her in the future. I’m thinking some slight jealously towards Gunnar’s new love interest Hailey might do the trick.

connie britton nashville

I’m obviously going to be happy when Scarlett and Gunnar eventually become a couple, but I’m glad that Gunnar’s not having to wait by himself in the meantime. After watching Gunnar follow Scarlett around like a puppy dog for the first three episodes, it will be fun to see Scarlett react to his relationship with Hailey. Like with Peggy, I didn’t see enough of Hailey to form any strong opinions, but she’s likeable enough to fill the role of alternative love interest for the time being. The yogurt thing between her and Gunnar was pretty cute.

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“We Live in Two Different Worlds” was the most music-light episode of Nashville yet. I adore the amazing Gunnar and Scarlett duets, but I like that Nashville’s plot is strong enough to not need the music to support it.

This was the first episode that didn’t end with a closing montage set to a duet. I’m a sucker for montages, but it’s nice to see Nashville mix it up. I wasn’t crazy about the ending itself though.

As I wrote last week, I find the Juliette and Deacon relationship very creepy, even if it isn’t being presented as a healthy relationship. There’s already a pretty big age gap between the two, and Hayden Panettiere looks especially young with the minimal makeup she had on in that scene. I’m hoping that this storyline is concluded fairly quickly and that Juliette’s next love interest is closer to her age.

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How do you feel about Juliette and Deacon’s relationship? What do you think Rayna’s husband is hiding? Do you think there’s any hope for Juliette and Rayna to tour together?

Written by Julie Matthews

Photo Credit: Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC Television Group © 2012 Disney