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Welcome back to ‘Nashville’!
We resume our journey in Deacon’s house, where Deacon wakes up in a cold sweat, screaming from pain. A concerned Scarlett checks in on him. Deacon tells her he must have rolled over onto his arm while sleeping. Deacon asks her for his beloved Gibson and gets back to trying to play it. Scarlett tells him the kind of pain he’s in is not right, and Deacon replies that either the pain’s going to go away or he’ll get used to it.
Meanwhile, Teddy and Rayna have finalized and are signing their divorce papers. Teddy seems especially glum about it. After dismissing their lawyers, Teddy thanks Rayna for their daughters. Rayna tells him he’s a good father and a good man, and she wants him to be happy. He says, “You too.”
Over at the Edgehill Republic offices, Layla Grant is OMG-ing over being on the same label as Juliette and tells her what an honor it was to cover Juliette’s song with Juliette there. Juliette snarks about it being easier to sing other people’s songs, how it’s just like karaoke, and Layla excuses herself. Manager Glenn asks Juliette if that was really necessary. Juliette rhetorically asks him if he really buys Layla’s “fresh off the farm act.” But it’s time to meet with new label head Jeff again. Jeff apologizes for keeping Juliette waiting, and she snarks that he obviously has his priorities. Jeff apologizes for his role in their getting off on the wrong foot and assures Juliette that she’s a very important part of the label. Juliette retorts that she knows that. Jeff asks her to reconsider singing at the label’s stockholders showcase, which is critical to the reboot of the label. Manager Glenn is ready to at least pretend to consider it but Juliette immediately shoots Jeff down, saying she was a commitment to perform at the 5 year anniversary party of Charles and Olivia Wentworth, of the media-conglomerate owning Wentworth family. Juliette is only too hilariously eager to inform Jeff that she is Olivia’s favorite singer, and tells him that she could either agree to this gig for a family that owns so many radio stations and magazines, or leave them very disappointed. Jeff knows where this is going, and tells Juliette to have fun in Maryland. Juliette tells him she’ll send him some crabs. LOL.
Back at Casa James/Conrad, Rayna and Manager Bucky are meeting, discussing how to get her out of her Edgehill contract. Manager Bucky says it won’t be easy because she still owes them an album and would have to buy herself out. Speaking of which, Manager Bucky wants to know if Rayna has heard from Liam. Remember Liam? The dude she was about to fly off to the Carribean with before she ditched him to go sleep with Deacon? Well, apparently Liam sent flowers to Rayna while she was in the hospital but hasn’t been returning her calls since. Rayna is going to keep calling Liam, and Manager Bucky says it’s going to be good to get Rayna back in the studio again. Her noncommittal response is the first sign of trouble. Scarlett arrives for her meeting with Rayna, and compliments Rayna’s house. Rayna tells Scarlett about Jeff’s stockholders meeting, and says they’re both going to go and shake some hands, get the moneybags excited about Highway 65. Scarlett smiles & nods, and Rayna tells her Edgehill is very excited about this and has gotten her a stylist and everything. Scarlett looks scared, but Rayna assures her the clothes will be amazing.
Meanwhile over at Gunnar and Will’s, Gunnar is playing “What If I Was Willing” on his guitar when Will messes up the tuning of his guitar. Will tells him the song is great and he needs to stop messing with it. Gunnar says it’s called a work ethic, and they banter back and forth until Will gets a call inviting him to Jeff’s stockholders showcase. He, too, is getting a stylist.
Juliette has brought Avery along for her gig at the Wentworths, and Juliette banters with him that she’s glad he’s here because his bad manners will overshadow hers. They meet Charles and Olivia.
Liam has agreed to meet with Rayna at a local cafe, and tells her he’s glad she pulled through her accident. He tells her St. Lucia was great and she should have come. She says in retrospect, she wishes she had. Rayna asks Liam to finish their album with her, and he tells her he’s booked solid before leaving. But when Rayna returns home and tells Bucky Liam is still mad at her, it turns out Liam has showed up with the masters of her album. More banter, and after extracting an apology from Rayna, Liam agrees to finish their album together.
Teddy has gone over to see Peggy, who is all hospitality and excitement and fake transparency (she offers to show Teddy doctor’s statements she knows he won’t want to see). Teddy is just here to hand over a check, and asks how she’s feeling. Peggy says she’s fine, and then lays it on thick, saying she has a feeling it’s a boy and she wants to name him Theodore. Teddy squirms away and tells her he’ll see her in a month.
Will is admiring his new outfit in the mirror, when Scarlett and Zoe arrive to snark on him a little. Scarlett is led away by her new stylist, and Zoe looks Will over again.
Meanwhile at the Wentworth estate, more Avery and Juliette banter about how the place reminds her of where she grew up, except not even a little. Charles Wentworth approaches them with guitar in hand and asks if he could sit in and play during their set tomorrow. Juliette is all fake pleasantry and agrees immediately. Avery notices and compliments the guitar, and nearly buckles at the knees when it turns out it’s one Hank, Sr. used to play. Charles asks him to tune it for him. Avery is over the moon, leading Juliette to ask him if he’s going to tune it or breastfeed it. LOL!
Scarlett isn’t sure any of the outfits picked out for her *are* her, and the stylist tells her that’s the point. When Scarlett says an outfit is worth more than she makes in a month, the stylist suggests that if Scarlett does things right, that won’t be the case for much longer. Meanwhile Will flirts with Zoe and asks her to join him at the showcase as his date. She says she already promised to be Scarlett’s +1, which means Will is going to have to ask Gunnar. He suggests they all take a limo there together, and Zoe agrees, apparently forgetting that Scarlett and Gunnar are exes.
Rayna and New Label Chief Jeff meet and try to patch things up. Rayna tells Jeff she is ready to go back into the studio to finish up her album with Liam, and Jeff is very enthusiastic about using recent events to engineer “the biggest launch in Edgehill history.” Rayna laughs and says she’s not sure whether to be offended by his cynicism or flattered by his confidence. He says the latter, and invites Rayna to debut a new track at the stockholders meeting. Rayna says she thought Juliette was performing, and he lies and said she decided against it. Rayna says she’s not sure about debuting the new stuff at this time, so Jeff suggests she sing one of her many hits. Rayna nods, but Jeff senses something is wrong. Rayna plays it off, but at this point it’s clear she’s either too nervous about the state of her voice to sing, or there’s actually a problem.
Deacon is at an AA meeting when Coleman finally finds him and tells him he’s supposed to find his sponsor, not hide from him. Deacon brushes him off, and Coleman tells him he and his wife are moving out of town to accept a great job offer. Deacon plays that off, but in a moment, you can tell he is affected by the news. Aw that they’re writing off this character for now. Coleman tells Deacon the real issue is how he’s going to deal with the Maddie issue, and that he can’t start to deal with being a father until he starts to deal with what his own father did. This sets Deacon off.
Gunnar returns home to see Will shining new boots. Will tells him it helps him think, and he’s trying to figure out what to sing at the showcase tonight. He asks Gunnar if he can sing that song Gunnar’s been working on. Gunnar isn’t sure, saying he hasn’t performed the song himself. Will makes a point about how being a songwriter with a publishing deal means trying to get your songs out there for other people to perform. Gunnar retorts that since Will isn’t a songwriter, he wouldn’t know. Will shrugs and says he knows when he hears a good song and he knows when somebody’s getting in their own way.
Meanwhile Scarlett tries to warn Zoe off Will, when Zoe confesses she’s agreed to all 4 of them sharing a limo together to the showcase despite the Scarlett/Gunnar ex situation. She offers to cancel but Scarlett tells her it will be fine.
Over at the Wentworth estate, Juliette and the band are wrapping rehearsal, and she tells her sound guy to make sure Charlie’s guitar is turned off. Ha! Avery snarks that he always knew Juliette was a big romantic at heart. She says she’s in love…with the million dollars she is getting paid for the gig. Avery says that can’t be all, because she’s way too chipper about this. She admits she’s especially happy to be defying her label head for this gig. Avery warns her defiance is a drug and can lead you to do stupid things. He tells her about burning his masters and walking away from a six figure deal. Juliette says she knew there was a reason she liked him. Charles and his Australian accent join them for rehearsal, and he proposes starting out in the audience and then jumping up for Olivia’s favorite song “Trouble Is.” Juliette says her stage is his stage, literally. Charles notes “her boyfriend” has a crush on his guitar. Juliette says Avery’s not her boyfriend, he’s on the payroll. Charles comments about lines getting blurred when money’s involved, and Juliette chuckles. Avery seems to have overheard the whole thing.
Deacon has an appointment (that he requested) with Teddy, and thanks Teddy in the Mayor’s office for agreeing to meet with him. Teddy says that if this is about making any claim of paternity for Maddie, Teddy will do everything in his power to stop him. Deacon says he’s here to tell Teddy that he (Teddy) is Maddie’s father, that he (Deacon) is not built to be a father. Deacon wishes Maddie has never found out. Teddy says that if this is Deacon’s way of making amends as part of his 12 step program, it’s not that easy. Maddie does know Deacon’s her father, and Deacon has a responsibility to Maddie whether Teddy likes it or not. Teddy tells Deacon that Maddie will watch every step Deacon takes, note every choice he makes. Deacon thanks Teddy for the choices he made way back when and says a lesser man may have done differently. An unforgiving Teddy says a lesser man did.
Liam and Rayna are listening to their masters and loving what they’re hearing. Liam wants to rerecord the ‘Worlds Collide’ vocal. Rayna hems, haws, and mentions some instrumental stuff on ‘Hickory’ and ‘You First.’ They banter a little, but finally, Rayna admits she can’t sing.
Rayna says she has been working with a vocal therapist but her vocal cords just aren’t the same after she was intubated. She needs time. Liam promises to delay the heck out of the album to buy her time, and then asks if she isn’t going to ask him what he wants in return. They start making out, and sleep together.
Deacon finds Coleman outside of church, and asks if he’s really leaving. Coleman says he is. Deacon tells Coleman he was right, and Deacon has to face his family past for her. Which her, asks Coleman. Maddie, not Rayna.
Our Will/Zoe/Gunnar/Scarlett foursome have gathered, with the boys ogling the ladies and Gunnar in particular stumbling over an unintentionally backhanded compliment to Scarlett’s vampy new look.
At the Wentworth estate, Juliette is in the middle of her show when she invites Charles up on stage to join her band for a song. They play “Trouble Is,” and although Charles seems to have early trouble hearing his guitar (gee I wonder why), he seems to have convinced himself he’s jamming along by the end of the performance. Juliette is a gracious hostess on stage.
To DOWNLOAD “Trouble Is,” cowritten by Marv Green and Kate York and performed by Hayden Panettiere, CLICK HERE.
Deacon gets a house visit from his doctor, who is stitching him up after he sawed off his cast. She again offers him something for the pain, but he says he doesn’t think he could handle that. He said that if the doctor can still help him, he would like to accept.
Meanwhile, Jeff is gleefully taking press pictures at the stockholders showcase, and Brent brings Will and Scarlett over for pictures with him. Jeff greets Rayna and Liam, and asks about the album. Liam tells him this can’t be rushed, and Jeff tells Rayna how eager he is to hear Rayna sing that night. Layla finishes her set, and Jeff introduces Will. Will turns on the charm, and introduces a song he says is from the best songwriter in Nashville, Gunnar Scott. He points Gunnar out in the crowd, and launches into “What If I Was Willing?” The crowd, Jeff, and Brent are jamming, but Gunnar doesn’t seem thrilled.
To DOWNLOAD “What If I Was Willing” (Nashville‘s new radio single) cowritten by Brian Davis, Billy Montana, and Randy Montana, and performed by Chris Carmack, CLICK HERE.
Bonus: Check out ‘Nashville’: On The Record, featuring Brian Davis, Billy Montana, and Randy Montana discussing/performing plus Chris Carmack and Sam Palladio:
Here’s full video of Chris Carmack performing “What If I Was Willing” as Will Lexington:
Here’s video of Chris Carmack and Sam Palladio performing “What If I Was Willing” acoustically:
Avery is packing up after the Wentworth gig when Juliette drops by for some more banter. Avery did in fact overhear her “payroll” comment, and when Juliette lashes out at him for being oversensitive, Avery tells her that for her, it’s never her fault, she never takes responsibility, and the sad thing is, she chooses to be the person who is unavailable and unattached. Juliette says if he keeps talking, he’s fired. Avery says that proves he was just the hired help to her. Juliette is shocked and unhappy to see him go.
Back at the showcase, Jeff introduces an artist and the legend Rayna James. She takes the mic and starts talking about Highway 65 Records, introducing Scarlett, much to Jeff’s chagrin. Scarlett performs “Waitin’,” originally by Caitlin Rose and cowritten by Rose with Mark Fredson, Jordan Lehning, and Skylar Wilson. while Jeff and his lackey Brent stew.
Check out Caitlin Rose’s studio version of “Waitin’”
Deacon is back at an AA meeting with Coleman there, tells a chilling story about his drunk dad not being happy with the dinner his mother had prepared, resulting in his dad throwing the casserole at her, and then breaking her nose and beating her when she screamed. Deacon’s older sister tried to get between them to protect her mother, but his dad took off his belt and started whipping her. Their mother screamed at their dad, asking him if that’s what he wanted Deacon to see. Deacon’s dad smirked and said when Deacon grew up, he would be just like his father. Deacon has tears running down his face when he says he is an angry drunk who hurts the people who love him, just like his dad, but he has never hurt a child, and he’ll be damned if he ever does. Great performance by Charles Esten here. Deacon thanks the group and sits down, and asks Coleman if he’s happy. Coleman squeezes Deacon’s shoulder and tells him he’s proud of him.
Back at the showcase, Will is still pumping up Gunnar, who ignores him for Scarlett. He compliments her performance, Scarlett compliments her song. Gunnar admits it’s hard for him to see Will and Scarlett up there performing when he’s not. Brent interrupts to take Scarlett around for introductions.
Juliette is drinking champagne at the Wentworths and looks pointedly at the happy couple cuddling and nuzzling. Her mind is obviously on what Avery said.
Meanwhile Teddy has visited Peggy, and you can tell the finalization of his divorce with Rayna and his meeting with Deacon has him thinking about parental responsibilities. He tells Peggy, who plays this well (except for the part where she’s lying to him!), that he doesn’t want their child to grow up without a father. She asks where that leaves us. He says he knows they had something once, and Peggy eagerly tells him they still can. They kiss.
At the showcase, Gunnar is moping around when Zoe finds him. They chuckle about their bad dates for the night, and agree to leave. Rayna and Liam toast her success in presenting her new label to shareholders when Jeff comes by for a chat. Rayna plays off the move, saying what’s good for Highway 65 is good for Edgehill. Jeff makes it clear he suspect there’s something going on that she’s not telling him.
A tipsy Juliette is stumbling around the Wentworth mansion when Charlie finds her. Oh dear. He offers to escort her to her room, which we all know is not going to end well. Sure enough, after some banter, they start making out (first at his initiative, then hers), and close the door behind them. Super.
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