Welcome back to Nashville!
Juliette is attending a Zoo In The School fundraiser as another step in her publicist’s image resuscitation campaign. She’s snarling at her publicist under that camera-ready smile.
Not Tim Tebow Sean Butler is a hot good guy rookie quarterback fresh out of college who is responsible for the event, and a key part of the photo op. Juliette & Sean meet, take pictures, and an adorable rodent climbs all over Juliette while the photographers snap away.
Meanwhile Rayna is playing “Buried Under” for Edgeville Republic label head Marshall Evans. He thinks the song has potential and asks Rayna whether Randy will produce it. Rayna says she feels like she needs a change. Marshall says to Bucky that he knows the label’s list of approved producers and Rayna can work with anybody on that list.
BONUS: Check out songwriters Chris DeStefano and Natalie Hemby talking about writing “Buried Under”:
Teddy is meeting with Tandy and Lamar about his campaign. He is now 7 points behind his opponent Coleman Carlisle according to Tandy and doing well but obviously not well enough. They’ve got a Clean Campaign Pledge event coming up in which Teddy and Coleman will publicly agree not to go negative on each other. Lamar wants to engineer a little traffic stop to make Coleman late to the event. Teddy is hesitant because he remembers his wish not to do anything personal to Coleman. Lamar promises that it’s just a little traffic stop.
Scarlett is still picking up after Avery, who is packing for a gig. Avery promises to pay up his half of the rent and thanks Scarlett for covering for him. He takes a call from a bandmate who says regional promoter Reed Olsen is coming to see Avery play. Avery is excited and hopeful things are going to turn around for him.
Rayna is meeting with manager Bucky about possible producers, and asks about Liam McGinnis. Bucky says he’s a non starter because he’s a rock guy who probably has no idea about country music. But Rayna’s impressed with his relevance at Itunes, has read that Liam has a dog named after June Carter Cash, and she’s sure he’s her guy. Confession: I looked up the names of Jack White’s dogs to see if Liam McGinnis might be modeled after him. But “Astro” and “Jasper” are not country legends :\ Although the incredible Trisha Yearwood does have an album called Jasper County!
Juliette’s publicist wants her to go on a date with Sean Butler. She’s very happy about all the publicity from that morning’s photo op. Juliette is rolling her eyes at the idea of going out with a goody two shoes.
Avery is gigging. The crowd seems to be digging it, including Reed Olsen and a mystery female. Avery takes Scarlett along to meet Reed and angles for a gig opening for the Lumineers when they come into town in a few weeks. Reed is non committal. The mystery woman Marilyn Rhodes jumps into the conversation. She’s a manager who snarks that Reed never knows whether he likes anything until 10 people tell them they do. Marilyn gives Avery her card, says she and Reed go a long way back, and she can help Avery get that Lumineers gig.
DOWNLOAD “Kiss” written by Sean McConnell and performed by Jonathan Jackson HERE
Rayna, dressed in impossibly high heels shows up to a sketchy part of town with Bucky, who is still unexcited about the idea of her working with Liam McGinnis. Liam is totally unimpressed by Rayna and disses her, saying she’s “moms & SUVs”, which is not what he does. That went well, and Liam seems like a real prize!
Juliette and Sean are having lunch, where Sean tries to make small talk and Juliette curtly reminds him that this is a publicist set up. Sean says that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy themselves and get to know each other a little. Always the charmer, Juliette disses Sean’s rookie quarterback stats.
Avery visits Deacon at Deacon’s place, where Deacon is working on some home repairs. He’s nominally bringing over some food Scarlett made and checking in on Deacon after his night in jail. Deacon says he wasn’t drinking and he’s fine. Avery asks if he knows Marilyn Rhodes. Deacon does and though he doesn’t say how, he’s obviously concerned about Marilyn getting involved with Avery. Deacon says he doesn’t want Avery wasting money on a manager and promises to talk to Reed Olsen himself. Avery thanks him and said he always figured Deacon didn’t like him. Deacon politely denies that.
Rayna apparently wasn’t angry enough about Liam shutting the door in her face because she shows up again the next morning and turns on the charm. She tells him not to judge her by her biggest hits, just like she won’t judge him based on one record after hearing a show he played a few years ago in Belfast. Liam’s not above his ego being stroked and invites Rayna in for a talk.
Coleman is on his way to the Clean Campaign pledge event when he gets stopped by a cop for turning without signalling. Coleman treats it as a minor offense and tries to smooth talk his way into a warning. But the cop apparently has his marching orders and isn’t about to let Coleman off easy.
Juliette and Sean are still at lunch, and Sean finally sasses Juliette back after another choirboy jab, asking if she’s as much of a klepto as she seems. She’s impressed, and invites him out for a night out on the town.
While waiting for Coleman, Teddy charms the crowd. He signs off on the Clean Campaign pledge and thanks everyone who attended, including Peggy, who informs him she is going to volunteer for Teddy’s campaign. Her husband’s in Hong Kong. Teddy isn’t sure he likes where this is going but he doesn’t say anything.
Back at the traffic stop, Coleman objects to the police treatment and says this is harrassment. But the cop’s partner finds a bottle of Oxycontin in Coleman’s car (the bottle Deacon turned over after Juliette’s mother Jolene dropped it when she entered rehab). Does he have a prescription for this? The police are going to take him in. Ruh roh!
Meanwhile at Liam’s studio, Rayna and Liam are having their talk. She wants his help in finding her voice. He wants to have a drink. She has a schedule and family responsibilities. He doesn’t think art can work on a schedule, and he thinks Rayna needs to clear the “buzz” in her head from all the other people and things she has going on in order to find herself again. It takes some convincing but Rayna agrees to that drink.
Deacon drops by the Bluebird, where Marilyn is hanging out and having a drink. He tells her that he has already spoken to Reed about Avery and that she doesn’t need to get involved. It turns out that Marilyn had wanted to sign Deacon. She believes she could have turned Deacon into a star. Deacon says he wasn’t willing to pay the price that would have come with that. And wouldn’t you know, Gunnar just happens to be eavesdropping.
Teddy storms into Lamar’s office demanding to know more about Coleman’s drug bust. He obviously thinks the drugs were planted. Lamar gloats that the drug find was pure luck, and then sneers and asks Teddy if there is anything more he thinks he is “entitled” to know.
Avery and his band are standing around at The 5 Spot moping that they didn’t get the Lumineers gig after all. Lindi Ortega (whose music has been featured on the show and who is playing in the background) did. Lindi Ortega’s getting all the good gigs lately.
Meanwhile Juliette has taken Sean to a club, which isn’t his scene. He orders a club soda, and reminds Juliette he has practice the next morning when she laughs at him. He is still down for a little dancing with Juliette though.
Marilyn sympathizes with mopey Avery and lays out her plan for him. She wants to get Avery a residency at the right venue, and then use her connections to work college radio. She’s got a plan and a timeline, and she invites him over to her place at 8 the next night to discuss it and to “get to know each other better”. Mmhm. Avery is smart enough to know what this means, and turns her down. But after moping some more, he changes his mind.
Back at the club, Juliette & Sean are headed out the back when a photographer catches them. A savvy Juliette instructs Sean to look down and get out of dodge as quickly as possible. Sean gallantly punches out the obnoxious paparazzi guy when he starts jeering about shoplifting and druggie moms. They make their escape but we have no idea if they talk things out then and if Juliette’s finally learning that she doesn’t have to make out with a guy to thank him.
It’s morning and Teddy greets Rayna with a cup of coffee. She didn’t get home until after 2. Teddy doesn’t seem to mind, and is actually really amused by her hangover. While she’s tossing around trying to find the will to get on with her day, she notices Coleman on the TV doing a press conference. With his wife by his side, Coleman says he was keeping the bottle for a good man who was also recovering from substance abuse, and he has released his drug test to the public to put the matter to rest. Rayna doesn’t believe Coleman would’ve fallen off the wagon after 20 years but Teddy says sometimes people do. Rayna wants to know if Lamar could’ve had something to do with it. Teddy defends Lamar.
Meanwhile Juliette’s publicist is concerned about the damage pictures could do after checking out tweets about Juliette and Sean’s night out. I guess it wouldn’t look good for Juliette if she were seen as corrupting the choirboy. There is one shot of Sean looking drunk even though he didn’t drink that night.
Scarlett drops by the Bluebird, where Gunnar invites her to join Hailey and him at a show. She says she and Avery can’t because he has that big meeting with would be manager Marilyn. Scarlett hasn’t batted an eyelid yet over the fact that this woman wants Avery over at her home at night. She still doesn’t when Gunnar reveals Deacon seemed to be discouraging Marilyn from getting involved with Avery.
Rayna visits Liam again to ask what happened last night. Liam plays what happened for her: Rayna recorded “Buried Under” drunk and with a glass of whisky in her hand. To be honest this sounds about as polished as the demo version but we’re supposed to hear some slurring of words and general looseness from Rayna. Liam loves the result and says she’s been juggling too much, needs to let it all go.
DOWNLOAD an ALTERNATE version of “Buried Under” cowritten by Natalie Hemby and Chris DeStefano and performed by Connie Britton HERE
Scarlett confronts Deacon about stepping on Avery’s prospects. But Deacon spills that Marilyn is a predatorial manager who only goes for good looking male acts under the age of 30 who are willing to “get to know her”. I guess Deacon is saying he was once a good looking male act under the age of 30?
Avery is at Marilyn’s. He thinks his music speaks for itself but Marilyn asks, then what is he doing there? Marilyn comes on to Avery. At first Avery makes out with her before his conscience calls & puts a stop to it.
Deacon comes to visit Coleman at his campaign office and offers to call the media (specifically The Tennessean) and set the record straight. Coleman nobly says AA only works if anonymity is preserved and tells Deacon not to worry about it.
Meanwhile, Avery saunters back home, proud of his integrity. But Scarlett calls Avery out for knowingly putting himself in a situation where a woman would come onto him. He can’t believe she is angry at him for doing the right thing, but she knows the right thing would have been for Avery not to visit Marilyn at all. She stomps out with a packed suitcase.
Juliette and her publicist are hanging out in a SUV waiting. This is Juliette’s idea, not her reluctant publicist’s. Juliette buys the “drunk” Sean pictures from the photographer and promises she’ll tip him off the next 10 times she’s out. It’s a deal.
Speaking of photographers, remember that photographer from last week who was there to take advantage of Teddy and Peggy’s inability to use phones? He went straight to Coleman with the pictures and says he knows an affair when he sees one. Coleman is surprised Teddy would do this.
Over at Juliette’s very modern Sean visit Juliette to thank her for taking care of the pictures. He says he’s obviously not made to go out but asks her on a date in. She is charmed, and agrees.
Rayna plays the new version of “Buried Under” for Marshall Evans. He stonily tells her Liam McGinnis is not on the label’s approved list of producers. Rayna insists this is her new sound and that it isn’t right for Marshall to let the fact that Liam insulted him 5 years ago get in the way. Marshall wants to know why she has to fight him on everything. Rayna tells him she doesn’t want to but, she’s confident another label will buy out her contract if he continues to stonewall her. Marshall isn’t happy with her but doesn’t say anything more.
Scarlett has finally grown a backbone: she has brought a suitcase to Deacon’s place and is going to stay there. She tells Deacon that it is best for her to know now that Avery’s the kind of guy who’ll put ambition in front of everybody and everything, including her.
Teddy is in a dark, dark room taking a call from his campaign that says his numbers are up and everybody’s loving him right now. The Tennessean wants to know if he has anything to say about Coleman’s traffic stop/drug bust and Teddy says he has no comment. Meanwhile Coleman is talking to his wife about leaking the pictures. He’s hesitant but, his wife thinks he should go ahead. Rayna may be devastated but Mrs. Carlisle doesn’t believe Coleman owes the James family anything after everything they’ve put him through. I guess Coleman didn’t sign the Clean Campaign pledge for a reason!
In the episode’s closing shot, Avery shows up at Marilyn’s again. In 2 weeks (Nashville takes a holiday break next week), we will hear him shout, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” Not really. But I would laugh if he did!
Until then, Nashville area Nashville fans have a chance to become extras on a future episode. Fun! That’s on Tuesday, and you can also stream Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio’s Opry debut this Saturday on WSM Online.
DOWNLOAD “Loving You Is The Only Way To Fly” written by Jedd Hughes, Sarah Buxton, and Rodney Crowell and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio HERE