First off, a big thank you to SirMac for stepping up to the plate & recapping last week! It was very helpful reading when I was finally able to catch up with the show.
Juliette’s in the studio with Deacon recording “Yellin’ From The Rooftop”. Her publicist brings coffee for everybody. Apparently Juliette is trying to avoid facing her mother at home by spending all day in the studio, and forcing her band, producer Randy, her manager, and everybody to work endless hours. Producer Randy says they’re past the point of diminishing returns and have 20 perfect takes but, Juliette isn’t satisfied. Her publicist is going to leak that Juliette’s back in the studio. Deacon comes out to grab coffee, and we find out he’s now aware of her mother’s issues. He tries to talk to Juliette about her mother and offers to help but, she shuts him out.
DOWNLOAD “Yellin’ From The Rooftop” written by Busbee and Sarah Buxton and performed by Hayden Panettiere HERE.
Fun fact: Charles Esten (a.k.a. Deacon) will be making his Opry debut this Saturday. You can tune in to listen at WSM Online. He’ll be part of the 7 PM show and the 9:30 PM show, both times are Central.
Meanwhile Rayna is trying on a pretty maroon dress. Her manager says label head Marshall Evans wants to make peace and has suggested Rayne release a Greatest Hits album. Rayna has no interest in a GH album before she’s 70 and already feels like she is selling out by doing this commercial. Teddy calls, he’s headed to a debate with Coleman. He’s more worried about polling numbers than the debate. He’s headed somewhere, and it turns out that somewhere is a clandestine meeting with Peggy, who is freaking out over their mysterious secret teased at the end of last week’s episode. It turns out Peggy and Teddy borrowed $2 million before repaying everything. The auditors looking over the books of the Music City Credit Union want to talk to her. Peggy thinks that if they come clean now, they can make a favorable deal for minimal punishment for money laundering. Teddy doesn’t want her to spill and promises to protect them. There are no meaningful, longing glances exchanged between them. So the show writers are probably not ready to explore their romantic history just yet, but watch out if we suddenly find out Teddy and Peggy at the Bluebird (wonder if they can sing?). Peggy’s being written as somewhat of a well meaning damsel in distress, which isn’t the vibe I originally got when she walked into that fundraiser host committee powwow.
Back to Rayna, who is shooting a cheesy commercial where she’s singing a song called “American Beauty” (written in real life by Ross Copperman, Bob DiPiero, and Jon Nite) which involves a reworking of lyrics of a song she originally cowrote with Deacon. Manager Bucky tells her they have a problem: Deacon has conveyed through his lawyer that he doesn’t want to clear the lyric change for the ad, which could put the fork in the commercial. Rayna and Bucky also discuss her need for a new writing partner and guitarist.
We’re now at the offices of the publishing company that just signed Scarlett and Gunnar. Hailey initiates another one of those “Let’s keep this casual, uncomplicated, no strings attached” conversations because she doesn’t want to get in the middle of a male/female songwriting duo, which is the show’s way of telling us her sole purpose on this show is to make this particular love triangle a square. Scarlett walks in, they’re going to play a writer’s night for Lady Antebellum, which is looking to cut songs with their producer Paul Worley.
Juliette arrives home from the studio, immediately knows it’s too quiet when she can’t hear her mother. She walks in on her mother passed out drunk and in bed with a guy who is also passed out drunk. She wakes them up and kicks the guy out. This is probably a case of Juliette having more houses than I can keep track of but, what happened to the house with the gated entry? Because Juliette’s mother Jolene makes a huge public scene that gets neighbors staring.
We’re now at a mayoral debate. Teddy is arguing that Coleman Carlile represents more of the same since he has been on the city council for 10 years, and that Teddy can bring in a fresh approach that will generate new business. Carlile goes after Teddy’s father’s troubled financial history, and says Teddy is exactly like his father: the only thing Teddy does well is inherit money and lose it. Burn!
Back at Chez Juliette, Wise Bodyguard Man joins Juliette out on the porch. She apologizes to him for the big scene. Since the wise bodyguard is wise, he points out maybe Juliette isn’t the person who can get through to her mother. Light bulb moment! Juliette calls Deacon.
Scarlett’s been making dinner for Avery back at Casa Scarlett/Avery, and is telling her momma all about the writer’s night and how they’re going to need to add a guitar player for a bigger sound. Now where might we find a guitar player? Hmmm. Why, Avery plays guitar! And he offers to join the gig. From the look on his face there’s maybe a little bit of ambition in there, maybe he’s thinking he can get some attention from a big name act and a big name producer. But remember, Scarlett was born on a turnip truck yesterday so she’s all grateful for his support. And who can blame her, because what could possibly go wrong?
Rayna has dropped by Deacon’s place to beg him to go along with the lyric change for her sake.. She needs the money from the commercial. He doesn’t want his song altered for a beauty product commercial and says Rayna’s the one who cancelled their tour. So, Rayna was able to cancel not only her big arena tour but also her theater tour, and the media isn’t all over her (or Teddy) about it? Realistically that’s a PR situation that would have to be handled just like Juliette’s shoplifting was a PR incident that would have to be handled, even though Rayna’s guilty of no crime. Rayna and Deacon have another fight, and Deacon won’t back down from his desire to protect the integrity of his song.
Rayna’s back talking to Bucky. He reached out to one of her top choices Vernon Black, but he’s booked for the next 3 weeks. Rayna muses maybe she should write by herself.
Now we’re at Casa Wyatt, where Teddy and Lamar are having a backroom meeting. Teddy confesses all (or most?) to Lamar. He ran out of capital while waiting for the Cumberland development permit, the market crashed, taxes came due, Teddy did what he had to do, floating his own money. Except it wasn’t his money. Peggy Cantor fronted the money, maybe because she had feelings for Teddy. Teddy insists he had no romantic involvement with her. Lamar asks why Teddy didn’t come to him at the time and Teddy says he thought he had the situation under control. Lamar promises he’ll make Peggy feel safe. And in an unusually tender moment Lamar assures Teddy that Teddy is not going to turn into his father. Awh but, I think there’s some missing storytelling here to explain when Teddy suddenly started feeling comfortable running to Lamar to handle his problems. It all probably connects to Teddy wanting to be mayor but, they’re not showing any part of Teddy’s journey to believing he’d be a good mayor and growing in ambition on the way. Teddy also agrees to support negative ads against Coleman, likely because he really took Coleman bringing up his father personally. To give credit where credit is due, this link was established so Teddy’s change of heart with respect to Coleman being a good man and not wanting to rumor mill tactics makes sense.
Deacon visits with Juliette and her mother Jolene. Jolene is thrilled to meet Deacon. It’s not too clear which way this little talk Deacon wants to have is going to go because Jolene tries to deny her issues to him.
Now we’re at the writers round at the publisher’s office. Scarlett and Gunnar are performing “Loving You Is The Only Way To Fly” (written in real life by Sarah Buxton, Rodney Crowell, and Jedd Hughes). Scarlett and Gunnar are all moon eyed at each other singing this love song while Avery seethes, but it seems to be going pretty well until Avery steals the spotlight at the end with some guitar licks. He gets the attention he was seeking from the producer in attendance (not Paul Worley), who compliments him on his work. Scarlett and especially Gunnar are not pleased.
A cocky Avery is packing up his guitar and taunts Gunnar about giving the song the kick it needed. Gunnar goes after him for trying to steal the spotlight. Avery goes after him for making eyes at Scarlett during the performance, and Gunnar says it was just acting to sell the love song. Hailey’s watching this all go down. Awkward! Gunnar storms off with her. Avery walks out of the room, and Scarlett’s waiting on him.
Deacon in his miraculous Deacon ways convinces Jolene to enter rehab. They all drive over to the rehab facility, the same way one where Deacon got clean. Jolene has cold feet, and slaps Juliette. Juliette hardly reacts, and that moment is what Jolene needs to turn around and enter the facility. She drops a bottle of painkillers on her way in, excusing herself for having them by saying she needs them for her back. Deacon puts the bottle in his pocket.
Deacon & Juliette are sitting out on his doorstep. Juliette’s way of saying thank you to Deacon is trying to kiss him. Deacon tells her she needs to spend time by herself and work out her issues. He says she needs to put her past in the rear view mirror.
Scarlett drops by the Bluebird to pick up her paycheck. Naturally, Gunnar’s there sorting through the envelopes so they have a talk to “clear” up that Scarlett is with Avery. Gunnar unconvincingly tells Scarlett that he and Hailey are in a real relationship, and Scarlett unconvincingly acts OK with that.
Meanwhile at Casa James/Conrad, Rayna’s up late writing. Teddy’s up late brooding over his weak political prospects. They don’t want to talk to each other about what’s on their respective minds. Teddy finally asks why Rayna canceled the tour. Did she sleep with Deacon? No. Did she want to? She doesn’t really answer.
Deacon has met up with his sponsor Coleman to talk about what it was like to see his rehab center again. Coleman once again encourages Deacon to let Rayna go. Deacon gives him the bottle of painkillers that Jolene dropped. It apparently tortured him all night. Coleman asks where he’s going. Deacon doesn’t know.
Lamar and Peggy are having a clandestine meeting in a car, because that’s what people do when they’re trying to be clandestine. Lamar goes all creepy mafia guy and assures Peggy the auditors will go away if she just doesn’t spill. Damsel Peggy giggles nervously and agrees to cooperate.
Deacon is playing a new song called “Sideshow” at the Bluebird, but neither Scarlett nor Gunnar is there because this is no time to be thinking of that triangle/square. With lyrics like “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll just let her go, or you’ll end up next to me in her sideshow” it’s pretty clear it’s about Rayna and the shadow she continues to cast on Deacon’s life. While he sings, we see Juliette making the sudden decision to pack up and break a 2 year lease she’d just signed. She tells her PA she wants to leave everything in her rear view mirror.
Meanwhile at the Bluebird, nobody’s picking up that this song is about Rayna? A drunk guy does wonder where Rayna is, but only because he prefers her singing. He’s escorted out.
At Casa Scarlett/Avery Scarlett finally calls out Avery for ruining her chance at a big cut by hijacking their song. They didn’t get the Lady A cut. Scarlett tells Avery she always chooses him and that’s what she told Gunnar but, it’s too difficult to be in a relationship where Avery makes her feel bad for any success. Avery wants to go back to the way things were, and Scarlett finally calls him out about that nostalgia being for the time she was just writing poems with no prospects for music success.
Outside the Bluebird, trunk heckler tries to apologize to Deacon, who punches him out. The heckler’s buddy punches Deacon, who ends up on the ground until he picks himself up and goes in for more. That ends well, as we find out when Rayna declines a collect call from Deacon after he’s been arrested for the bar fight.
Back at the publishing company offices, Gunnar and Hailey discuss their relationship again, Gunnar tells Hailey he wants more than no-strings sex and they celebrate by hooking up. I’ll never understand how we avoided seeing a cut to a shot of Scarlett getting a peek at the start of their makeout session and looking wounded at this moment.
The morning after his bar fight, Deacon walks out of jail so, we know he’s been bailed out. By whom? The fact that they take their own sweet time before telling us is a giant clue….it’s Juliette. She drops him off at his home. They do not hook up. Deacon makes a phone call to clear the rewriting of his song for the commercial.
Meanwhile Rayna’s in studio asking Bucky what he thinks of her song. He loves it. In a flush of optimism they’re ready to tell Marshall Evans that Rayna’s cut the 1st song for her brand new album. The song’s called “Buried Under,” and Rayna starts recording the song.
DOWNLOAD “Buried Under” written by Chris DeStefano and Natalie Hemby and performed by Connie Britton HERE.
While Rayna’s recording, Teddy’s on the side of some road chatting with Peggy, because road side car meetups are what people trying to be discreet do. Do these people not know how to use phones? Peggy is so relieved the audit went so smoothly and she didn’t face any tough questions or reveal anything. Lamar is a miracle worker, ya’ll! Or these auditors are terrible. Anyway, as Peggy and Teddy share a friendly conversation including some friendly pats of the hand, a photographer merrily snaps away. Well, now you know why people on this show only selectively know when to use phones. So, is the photographer working for Coleman? For Lamar? Is the photographer a free agent who’ll sell to the highest bidder? Lamar would be the most intriguing possibility in that he could hold those pictures over Teddy’s head for leverage but, there would also be the dynamic of Lamar wanting to protect his daughter. We’ll find out soon enough.
DOWNLOAD “I Will Fall” written by Tyler James and Kate York and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio HERE.
In case you missed it in the Episode 3 post, here are the real life writers Tyler James and Kate York singing “I Will Fall”: