Back in the ‘Nashville’ that wasn’t hosting the Grammy nominations show last night, Rayna, Liam, and Manager Bucky are back in the dressing room after Rayna and Juliette closed the show at the Ryman. They are all high-fiving about how well things went. Marshall Evans joins them, and tells them he is going to release a live version of the song as a single. Rayna is fine with this, and says she hopes he is excited to release her new album. Marshall is in such a good mood that he’s down with this plan. Marshall even welcomes Liam to Edgehill Republic! Teddy walks in on the celebration and adds his congraluations, which leads to non-family clearing out. Rayna is still in a celebratory mood, but Teddy is ready to let her know what has been on his mind.
Back at Casa James/Conrad, Teddy is telling Rayna about the pictures of him and Peggy. He is winning the mayoral race now, apparently. Rayna wants to know why he was meeting with Peggy in a public park at night. He tells her that Peggy & and her husband Robert are having problems. Peggy has signed a prenup and she’s afraid he’ll leave her. Rayna is a little skeptical (maybe more of Peggy’s intentions than Teddy’s) but leaning toward believing Teddy. She and Teddy are both concerned about their children having to deal with this, and Rayna moralizes about the things people will do to win elections.
Juliette got flowers from the label and is on the phone with Manager Glen hoping to get her tour back off the ground. While on the phone she ignores a call from “Mom’s Rehab.” She ends the call when Sean knocks. He ran over, which impresses Juliette. His dad is pacing him in his car so Sean needs to go but, invites Juliette to meet his family at church tomorrow.
Deacon is visiting some old friends of his, the highly successful Hall of Famer Rebel Kings, who are now living the high life in a great mansion. He has a history with the band that dates back to gigs in the dinky Lomax Inn, and apparently didn’t break out with them because of his substance abuse issues. It appears they had substance abuse issues too though, and have also now cleaned up their act (the lead has been sober for 6 months, another band member has been sober for a year). It turns out the Rebel Kings now have an opening and want Deacon to join the band for their next tour, with the option of becoming a full member after 2 years if it’s still working for everybody. Deacon is flattered but wants a little time to think about it. The band will let him sleep on it. The Rebel Kings’s lead singer asks him rhetorically, what is keeping him in Nashville?
Meanwhile at the publisher, Haley meets up with Scarlett and Gunnar in the coffee room, where they banter about Scarlett’s breakout performance of “Ring of Fire.” While Gunnar’s away Haley mentions to Scarlett that she knows a band that needs a female lead singer and thinks Scarlett should try out. Is Haley looking out for Haley’s best interest or Scarlett’s? Gee, I wonder. Scarlett hems and haws because we’re back to treating her as somebody who was born yesterday on a turnip truck. I guess uncle and niece both struggle with the idea of breaking out on their own.
Scarlett’s ex Avery is singing Peace In The Valley with his band while Dominic Wells and Marilyn Rhodes watching, and Dominic says he is impressed. He asks about the the band’s history, and Avery mentions his band has been together since in middle school. Dominic compliments their loyalty and invites Avery to Atlanta. Avery says he can drive down there, and Dominic chuckles and says he’ll fly him. Nice! But I think we can see where this is going since it’s just Avery he’s flying down to Atlanta.
DOWNLOAD “Peace In The Valley,” written by Gillian Welch and performed by Jonathan Jackson HERE.
Gunnar & Scarlett are writing “When The Right One Comes Along” at their publisher’s office. Scarlett is distracted though, and this is apparently the 3rd time she’s stopped. Gunnar asks what’s on her mind, and Scarlett tells Gunnar about how Haley thinks she should try out. Gunnar is all pensive and distracted because of what that would mean for their writing partnership and what that means about Haley’s agenda.
Bonus: Check out the “On The Record” video where cowriters Justin David & Georgia Middleman (the duo known as Striking Matches) and Sarah Zimmerman talk about and perform “When The Right One Comes Along” with additional commentary from performers Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen as well as Nashville show execs on how the song fits into this episode.
Rayna walks into Coleman’s campaign offices to confront Coleman. It isn’t going to get the rumor mill going that the opposition’s wife is walking in and out of Coleman’s office? Coleman tells Rayna he is fighting back against Teddy and Lamar’s lies by throwing their tactics back in their face. Despite telling Teddy that he believes him when he says there’s no affair, Coleman concern trolls Rayna and asks her what other conclusion can be drawn from those pictures as he shows them to her. Rayna storms back out with the pictures, telling him they are none of his business.
Now we’re at church. Juliette is a little late but she looks beautiful as she meets the family. Sean’s mother is that perpetually well-coiffed, tightly wound Southern mother bear with standards and pitch-perfect “Bless your heart” at the ready. Sean’s sister Dana is a huge fan. She gushes about Juliette’s pink boots from her “Drive Through Dreams” video. The family is amused. Dana invites Juliette to sing with the church choir. I’m pretty sure this is where artist management would normally step in and say Juliette has a fee, but not in Nashville world! Juliette is eager to please and agrees.
DOWNLOAD “For Your Glory,” written by Kate York, Leeland Mooring, and Jack Mooring and performed by Hayden Panettiere HERE.
Bonus: Check out the “On The Record” video where co-writer Kate York tells the story behind and performs “For Your Glory” with additional commentary by Nashville show executives on how the song fits into this episode.
Rayna visits Tandy after the pictures shake her, and Tandy reassures Rayna that there is no affair. Tandy reminds Rayna that when she set her up with Teddy, she told her that he would make a good husband and a great father, and he has. Tandy tells Rayna “we” are going to have a strategy session to take care of all this. “We” does not currently include Rayna, and Rayna objects.
Peggy is crying outside of Teddy’s campaign offices, and runs out to see him as he steps out of them. He tells her they can’t be seen together. But Peggy is hysterical because she told Robert about the pictures but he doesn’t believe her and is flying back from Hong Kong. Teddy brushes her off and tells Peggy to tell him the truth.
Meanwhile at church, Juliette is singing “For Your Glory” with the church choir. Dana is thrilled to be singing with Juliette and keeps grinning at her parents. Sean is proud of Juliette, and his mother has an ironed-on smile for her daughter.
Scarlett is at Deacon’s strumming her banjo on the porch when Avery drops by. Scarlett gives him a friendly greeting, which is strange because things certainly didn’t end well the last time they talked. Avery mentions he has something going with Dominic Wells and is flying down to Atlanta in the morning. He has brought over a bottle of champagne that they were saving for when he made it, and he finally does the right thing saying they should have opened the bottle of champagne when she got her publishing deal. He leaves the champagne with Scarlett, and she wishes him well.
Juliette catches up with Sean’s family after the church service and asks what they are doing later. Mrs. Butler is going to make dinner for Sean. After an awkward pause, she invites Juliette. Juliette is thrilled and excited and hugs Mrs. Butler. Oh, Juliette.
We head over to a strategy session in the chambers of Lamar’s mansion : Lamar and Teddy are in with a campaign strategist discussing the likely leak of the pictures. Rayna storms in with Tandy, and Tandy warns her father that Rayna isn’t leaving. Rayna is angry that there’s a strategy session dealing with her family and she’s being left out. She lectures Teddy on the impact this will have on their children. He can only nod his head in shame, because he knows she’s right. Meanwhile the pictures have been leaked to “DMZ.”
Gunnar confronts Haley about suggesting Scarlett try out for a band, accusing her of trying to separate him from Scarlett out of jealousy with no concern for his career. Haley argues that Scarlett joining a band doesn’t have to affect their writing partnership but finally confronts Gunnar about his feelings about Scarlett and his behavior the other night at Tequila Joe’s. She says this is why she didn’t want a relationship with him and that their relationship is over.
Eager to please Juliette has arrived at the Butler mansion, with a bouquet of lovely yellow flowers for Mrs. Butler and those pink boots from her video for Dana. Juliette is the picture of a good girl with charm and manners. It’s actually something how she puts on different personalities for different times. Mrs. Butler doesn’t think Dana should accept the present but Juliette says she’s never had a sister and this is fun for her. Coming on a little strong, girl, but it’s actually kind of sweet to see her so anxious to make a good impression.
Gunnar shows up at the Bluebird where Scarlett is setting up. Scarlett guesses Gunnar is still thinking about the band gig, and Gunnar says she read her mind. Scarlett says she’s sent in a demo but she’s sure nothing is going to come of it. Gunnar says she should stop doing that because as soon as they hear her sing, they’ll want her. Gunnar is all gushy about Scarlett’s talent as they move closer to each other and start making out until Scarlett backs off. Gunnar confesses he has wanted to kiss her since she walked in, and tells Scarlett that he no longer has a girlfriend when she brings up Haley. Scarlett protests that he can’t just go around kissing people because he feels like it, and their conversation is interrupted by another Bluebird employee walking in.
Rayna is driving by Peggy’s home, maybe intending to talk to Peggy about what is going on. But there is a crowd and an ambulance on the scene. Peggy may have overdosed on pills.
Rayna drives home, and tells Teddy about Peggy, saying the only reason Peggy is alive is that her husband came home and found her. Rayna says people don’t just try to kill themselves for no reason, and asks Teddy again if there was an affair. He finally confesses about the Cumberland deal, though you’d think the affair possibility would still be on the table even with that confession.
We’re now back at the Bluebird, where Gunnar/Scarlett are set to perform. Scarlett can’t go up there, so Gunnar performs When The Right One Come Along by himself as he gazes longingly at Scarlett. We see scenes of Rayna by herself at home processing what Teddy’s told her while Juliette happily says grace with Sean’s family before dinner (girl is giddy that she may have finally found herself a family).
DOWNLOAD “When The Right One Comes Along,” written by Justin Davis, Georgia Middleman, and Sarah Zimmerman and performed by Sam Palladio HERE.
Teddy rejoins Rayna in their bedroom and wants her to just say something about his confession. She restates his crimes (he stole from a bank though he paid the money back, he, Lamar, and Tandy bribed an auditor) and says she doesn’t think she can trust him. To his credit Teddy has the look of a guy who knows she is right and doesn’t try to deflect or hide.
Juliette is helping to fold napkins after dinner and thanks Mrs. Butler for having her over for dinner. Mrs. Butler snarks that Juliette gave them little choice. She says she won’t see Sean’s brand tarnished because he got tangled up trying to fix Juliette’s brand. Juliette remains polite and tries to assure Mrs. Butler that she genuinely cares about Sean and says again that it meant a lot to her that the Butlers invited her over. Mrs. Butler isn’t having it, saying that she has read about Juliette and her family and that Juliette shouldn’t expect to ever fit in. Juliette is crushed.
Rayna confronts Tandy about Teddy’s confessions. Rayna won’t let Tandy finish a sentence, and wonders if part of the plan was for Tandy to “handle” Rayna and just tell her things Rayna could believe. Tandy protests but Rayna walks out on her.
Deacon has come over to visit Juliette. Juliette welcomes him and says her duet with Rayna is up to #15 on the chart. Moving fast! She & Deacon banter, and Juliette says she would like to write with Deacon again. He is game, but says he may start being out of town more because of the Rebel Kings offer. Juliette is really excited for Deacon, and is shocked it’s even something he needs to think about before he accepts. Deacon deflects, and then reveals the real reason he is visiting: he has a letter from Juliette’s mother in rehab, whom he’s been checking on in from time to time. Juliette’s mood immediately turns dark and she scolds Deacon for bringing up her mother. Deacon says her mother wants to make things right and that Jolene is the only family Juliette has. Juliette tells him she had to eat dried pancake mix because her mother spent most of the money they had on drugs and that her 1st kiss was from 1 of her mom’s creepy boyfriends. She knows how important family is because she never had one. Now we see why she is so eager to be accepted into Sean’s picturesque proper family. Juliette tells him to stop meddling and fix his own problems, that he should see what a fool he is for even having to think about going on that Rebel Kings tour.
Gunnar is writing at the publisher’s office. Scarlett walks in with a smile and wants to talk about stuff you can’t take back even if you want to. Gunnar has no regrets though, which immediately changes Scarlett’s mood. Scarlett is confused and says she needs some time and space so maybe they should write separately for now. An exasperated Gunnar walks out, wishing Scarlett luck with her new band.
On Dominic’s plane, Avery is being served up some red wine. Dominic drops the bomb: he is serious about working with Avery. And Avery alone. That’s right, he wants Avery to drop the band, and Dominic will get him a new one. Avery is conflicted, and Marilyn stops him from trying to change Dominic’s mind.
Deacon and Rayna are chatting in the park. Deacon had called to check in on Rayna after hearing about the brewing Teddy/Peggy scandal. He asks her if the scandal is true, and Rayna says sort of, but it’s complicated. Rayna says they still have two girls who worship Teddy. She asks how Deacon is doing, and encourages him to take the Rebel Kings gig when he mentions it. Deacon tells her that Teddy may mean the world to the girls but, they have no world without Rayna.
Teddy is holding a press conference to address the photos, and tells reporters the photos are nothing more than a friend helping another friend through a tough time. He blames the media attention as a contributing factor to Peggy’s “accidental” overdose and expresses his wishes for Peggy’s full recovery. Rayna walks in (to Lamar’s relief) and after some photo ops hugs, she speaks up for him, defending him as a father and husband. She hits all the marks – she just came in from picking up their daughters, which Teddy did for years while she was out on the road, she makes a light joke about his superior cooking skills, and she hits out at the people trying to make a scandal out of the pictures. Teddy thanks her, and Rayna whispers to him that she did it for their daughters.
Over to the South Circle publishing office, where Gunnar and Scarlett find out “Fade Into You” has been put on hold. Their publisher is excited, and Haley is there for a not-at-all awkward champagne toast. How is their writing going? There’s no agreement there, but the publisher toasts to successful partnerships.
Deacon is back at the mansion with the Rebel Kings. He plays some riffs, and the band is impressed. Deacon razzes them that he knows most of their songs because most of them sound alike. Then he accepts their offer to go on tour with them. The band is delighted.
Meanwhile Rayna meets up with Marshall Evans, who thanks her for keeping their meeting despite what she’s going through (humanizing him, finally). He tells her that the single is really taking off, and concert promoter Performance International wants that co-headlining arena tour with Juliette (which the label really supports, and thinks would promote both their respective albums). It will be a 50-50 split of guarantee with alternating closers over 80 cities, and the tour would happen ASAP. Rayna tells him she’s not saying no. Interesting!
Back at Juliette’s, she has invited Sean over to a romantic poolside setting with candles. Sean is blown away. After telling Sean that she has been thinking a lot since having a heart to heart talk with his mother (she doesn’t tell him what his mother said), Juliette….proposes? This makes sense! That’s the cliffhanger we’re left with until Nashville comes back though the previews appear to tell us Sean’s answer. Nashville is finally starting to go somewhere, and with the Rayna-Juliette tour possibly a go, things could sure get interesting next year!