Nashville Review: A Change Would Do You Good (Season 5 Episode 15)

The world refuses to move on from Maddie’s police confrontation, which causes strife between her and Highway 65 Records, while Scarlett is betrayed by a reporter looking for a story.

On Nashville Season 5 Episode 15, “A Change Would Do You Good,” Maddie must decide whether to go along with the label’s plans for her to publicly read their apology or risk losing her career, while a new artist emerges at the label, and Rachel Bilson’s character is finally introduced to the city of country music.

Hallie

Hallie is given her own opportunity to betray her friends, quite the same as she called Juliette out for when she planned to perform without the choir, and her choice seems to be clear. Where does she get off calling out Juliette, only the make the same decision herself?

She performed at the Bluebird with her band – including her married boyfriend that still lives with his wife and children – and she was signed by Deacon to join Highway 65 Records as a recording artist. But only her. Even Avery, her new producer, said that her band didn’t have what it took to make a chart-topping album, but Hallie fought until only a recording of her song, one with Avery’s band and one with her band, showed her which way to go.

While it’s great that the series is branching out and including new characters to the mix after the death of country legend Rayna Jaymes, they’re not doing it very well. Does anyone actually care about Hallie? She went from Juliette’s savior, to Juliette’s friend, to the person yelling at Juliette for looking out for herself as her career was threatened. Hallie’s story isn’t very interesting at all, and it’s definitely not enough to take up such a prominent slice of the episode. She was only interesting in her scenes with Juliette, yet even that’s grown dull. I’d take more focus on Daphne than on Hallie at this point.

Juliette’s Betrayal

Well, Juliette’s song, “Water Rising,” is killer, but the song wasn’t meant for her, and she certainly was brave to perform it in front of Maddie. She stole the song from her without Maddie ever knowing otherwise, so when this comes back to bite Juliette, her friendship with Maddie is certainly going to be in jeopardy. Maddie may have even been graceful enough to give Juliette the song, knowing it would help her career, but Juliette went down the path she would’ve in Season 1.

We all know Juliette is desperate to regain her star power and be the Princess of Country again, but she’s slowly fading away, and unless she can release a hit album soon, she’s never going to get her place back. Not only that, but with Rayna’s passing, Juliette has a chance to rise higher than she ever was before and become the new Queen of Country, but stealing songs isn’t going to get her there.

Scarlett, Gunnar, and Damien

Scarlett’s pregnancy may even be more boring than Hallie’s story. Yes, Gunnar isn’t the father, but she’s still going to stay with him and pursue a relationship with him (they did reunite just for her to decide she wanted a break, and over the ten week time jump, they apparently got back together, again). Can Gunnar get past his feelings about Damien, and even his hostile feelings toward Scarlett, to be a parent to this baby and be the boyfriend Scarlett needs?

No one could blame him if he decided to step away for a while and focus on the music, and turn his romantic partnership with Scarlett into just a business one as she investigated what lies between her and Damien, but in true Nashville fashion, they’re dragging this out to prolong the drama. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t step up the story; create a problem with the pregnancy, a sense of danger for Scarlett’s life, and see what happens and what the reactions of the men in her life are. 

Maddie’s Fauxpology

After the “scandal” and outrage over Maddie’s decision to stand up against the police officer that pulled over her and Clay, she’s in hot water with everyone: the fans, Highway 65, and Clay. They want her to read off an apology they wrote for her, condemning herself for what she did and uniting with the police because country music fans here are so insecure that they refuse to listen to any outrage against the government or police force.

I’ve always been back-and-forth about Maddie as a character, but this has really shown her in a different light, and she’s definitely starting to be a character worth following. Her live apology in her bedroom with Daphne in tow showed us a different, stronger side to Maddie; instead of outright apologizing, she very bravely admitted her faults in the situation to accept she escalated the situation and created more danger than was already there (and she did acknowledge the police officer doing an already very difficult job under this pressure).

But Maddie didn’t apologize for standing up for her friend, for Clay, and that’s exactly what she needed to do. Sure, Maddie might’ve done the wrong thing in the situation for what she was attempting to do, but her intentions were pure. She knew Clay was receiving unfair treatment and she was trying to protect him. It was very brave for Maddie to stand up for herself in front of the world for standing up for herself when everyone else will take any opportunity to tear her down. While it might not have been the apology everyone wanted from her, it was an honest apology, and if there’s anything Maddie should’ve learned from her mother, it’s to be honest to who you are and not give in to the pressures of the business. Long live Rayna Jaymes, y’all. She’ll always be part of her daughters and how they live their lives.

 

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What do you think? Are you happy with Maddie’s apology? Did you enjoy more focus on Hallie? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Nashville airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CMT. Follow Canary Sisters on Twitter!

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