‘Nashville’ Season 4, Episode 9 – Recap & Discussion Post!

Welcome back to Nashville! As we resume, Scarlett and Gunnar are riding their tour bus on their way to Charlotte. Scarlett is staring off into space missing home and singing the very pretty “Only Tennessee,” written in real life by David Gehrke, Claire Guerreso, Jason Lehning and Daniel Tashian while Gunnar horses around with Erin. Gunnar asks Scarlett if she just wrote the song, and it turns out it’s just 1 of 7 she’s written during their down time.

Upon arrival in Charlotte, the band and crew are informed that a kitchen fire has resulted in the cancellation of their gig that night, so they have a free day until their show tomorrow. Scarlett asks to be dropped off at the airport so she can go home to Nashville for a day.

To DOWNLOAD “Only Tennessee,” cowritten by Claire Guerreso and Daniel Tashian and performed by Clare Bowen, click HERE!*

* Songwriting credits corrected. Thanks to Kelleigh Bannen!

BONUS: Check out a performance of “Only Tennessee” by its co-writers, Claire Guerreso and Daniel Tashian:

At Casa Jaymes, Rayna and Deacon are starting their day as Marcus calls to announce he’s scrapping a song from an album due the following week. Does this sound realistic to anybody? The timeline, I mean.

Out of town, but also having breakfast are Luke, Colt and Gabrielle. Colt is as withdrawn despite Luke’s efforts to make small talk. Gabrielle tries to impress Colt by discussing her start in hiphop, but she loses him and the rest of us the second she says “brand.” Luke muses about how he always thought branding was something done to cattle. Colt escapes the table to call Maddie and they grouse about parents. Maddie picks up on the fact that something’s wrong. Colt says he can’t talk about it but assures Maddie that she’s the only thing that matters to him.

Luke is worried about his relationship with his son, and Gabrielle tries to make him feel better by talking about how things are all go with the launch of his brand. She’s booked him a Forbes cover, too. Luke thinks he needs 1 on 1 time with Colt and is looking forward to his tour being off the road for couple weeks.

Scarlett surprises Caleb at work, though she did call ahead. He has a working lunch and so has no time to spend with her right then. He doesn’t even seem enthused about her effort.

Meanwhile, Will’s signed a publishing deal and his new publisher tells him a big-name artist has already put “History Of My Heart” on hold and is eager to write with him. Who is that artist? Wade Cole, the guy who at the last minute chose not to sign with Highway 65 and who declined to be photographed with Will at Juliette’s album launch party.

Avery goes to see old friend Cagney, who books gigs for East Nashville venue The 5 Spot. After accepting Cagney’s observation about having recently played the Bluebird, Avery angles for a gig. Cagney is worried about draw since Avery has mostly been out of the game, but Avery wants favor returned. Cagney agrees to a three-song set in the early evening.

Over at the studio, Rayna and Marcus are going through songs together and Marcus isn’t feeling any of them. A song called “A Father/Son” isn’t on hold anymore, but Marcus doesn’t like it anymore. Deacon shows up to mark his territory/bring coffee, and Marcus is excited to meet Deacon. He turns on the charm and asks Deacon to pitch him songs, because he needs something fresh and isn’t feeling it from their current stack of album possibilities.

When Avery returns home in a good mood after booking a gig, he discovers Will drinking beer on the couch. Will shares his news about Wade Cole’s interest and his own reservations. Avery suggests Will give Wade the benefit of the doubt.

On private jet, Luke still wants to talk to Colt without addressing the cover up that Colt already told him is bothering him. Luke tells Colt he misses “us” and wants to spend some quality time. Colt’s already made plans with Maddie. Luke says their relationship as father and son are important too. Colt pointedly asks if it’s more important than what Luke’s doing with Gabrielle. Luke says it is. This will be tested later, no doubt.

Back to Charlotte, where Erin invites Gunnar to pub crawl. But he’s feeling inadequate after learning that Scarlett has knocked out 7 songs (not that he says so) and thinks he needs to write. Erin doesn’t mind and heads off with her friends.

At home again, Rayna and Deacon are bantering about their meeting with Marcus. Deacon isn’t so sure they have anything in common but Rayna sees how they might work musically. Deacon is a little reluctant. Meanwhile, Maddie and Daphne walk Marcus into the room, and Rayna suggests that they start writing songs since they are now signed artists. Deacon suggests the “clouds” song, for starters. But out of Daphne’s earshot, Maddie thinks the song is lame. Rayna chuckles to Marcus about teenagers as Maddie flounces out. Now it’s time for the putative adults to talk music. Marcus continues to sweet talk Deacon, talking about how he has Deacon’s whole collection of work, and singling out “Don’t Make ‘Em Like You Anymore” as a song that particularly caught his ear. Deacon isn’t sure why it never got cut. Marcus wants it, and suggests a Motown guitar lick. You see Deacon start to thaw a little when he admits that’s what he imagined when he wrote it. Marcus insists Deacon join them in studio.

Upstair, Daphne has dressed up in preparation for their upcoming EP photo shoot. Daphne thinks her outfit is too Kidz Bop.

Across town, Avery has nailed the flamenco link for his latest jingle and is rewarded with half the paycheck he was promised, because he worked fast. The studio producer assumes that he doesn’t need the money, thanks to his wife.

When Caleb arrives home late to be with an eager Scarlett, he is exhausted and hopes a quick shower will wake him up. Scarlett not invited, I guess.

Rayna, Marcus and Deacon are now in studio vibing. They agree on the key of the song, they are feeling the arrangement, and everybody’s happy. Rayna feels smug and Deacon’s impressed. He wanted to hate Marcus and he doesn’t. Since this is early in the episode, something is going to put a spanner in the works, as they say.

Over at Luke’s expansive farm, he & Colt fishing. Luke tries small talk and memories. Despite his continued avoidance of the thing he knows is troubling Colt, Colt starts to thaw. But just in time, Gabrielle arrives for the Forbes shoot, which Luke had forgotten about. Luke doesn’t shut it down, naturally.

By way of pillow talk, Scarlett is telling a road story about the tour bus swerving, and Caleb doesn’t get it. Scarlett asks him about work and Caleb starts to go on about grants and red tape. He realizes he’s being boring and promises to try to clear calendar for the day so that they can at least go for a walk before Scarlett leaves.

Emily drops by Gunnar’s to find Avery and drop off Cadence’s favorite teddy bear. Avery is milling over his bills and stewing over how he’s not making enough to pay off his bills. Emily mentions she has access to Juliette’s account and offers to access some money for Cadence. But Avery doesn’t want Juliette’s money. Emily then offers a personal loan, but Avery says he has to be able to provide for his own child. Avery asks Emily to watch Cadence so he can go somewhere. As he heads off, Emily gets text from Juliette: “Can we talk?”

When Erin goes to see Gunnar after the pub crawl, she finds that Gunnar has been up all night and has just three strung notes together to show for it. After observing that he has crazy eyes, Erin drags him out of the room for some air.

Wade Cole meets with Will at office for their writing session. He volunteers that he usually writes at home but right now there’s a renovation going on and the kids are on vacation at home, which I guess is the show’s way of making us suspect the real story is that he doesn’t want to invite a gay man into his home. Will brings up the incident at the launch party to express his surprise that Wade is interested in working with him. Wade claims that he doesn’t care about Will’s sexuality and pushes his reservations about the photo off on his fans, his wife and her charity donors. Sure, Wade Cole.

Back at Casa Jaymes, Daphne is now all dolled up pageant-like and singing “Telescope” when Maddie discovers her. Maddie’s derisive reaction is swift and cruel, and Daphne yells at her to get out.

Luke and Colt are petting horses in Luke’s stables for the Forbes shoot, and Colt grows increasingly impatient with the Forbes photographer trying to stage photos. As Luke tries to scold him underbreath for not playing along, Colt finally walks off, leaving Luke to try to cover with the photographer.

Marcus is cutting “Don’t Make ‘Em Like You No More,” written in real life by Corey Crowder, Chris Gelbuda and James Otto, and much to Deacon’s dismay, he’s changing lyrics. He tries to get Rayna to intervene, and though she does, she accepts that Marcus needs to tweak the song for it to work for him. That’s enough to make Deacon walk out.

To DOWNLOAD “Don’t Make ‘Em Like You No More,” cowritten by Corey Crowder, Chris Gelbuda and James Otto and performed by Riley Smith, click HERE!

BONUS: Check out co-writer Chris Gelbuda‘s version of “Don’t Make ‘Em Like You No More”:

Back in Charlotte, Erin’s taken Gunnar to an art museum. Boring, per Gunnar, so she spices it up by dares him to touch a female statue’s chest and make a wish. He demurs, so Erin does it first and challenges him. Of course, Gunnar is the one that gets caught, and as the security guy starts yelling at them, they run off.

At Casa Jaymes, Daphne finally has it out with Maddie, calling her out on her self-involvement and insensitivity as a mid-teen who is suddenly too cool for her little sister.

Back at Gunnar’s, Avery’s striking out in his job search, partially because everybody thinks he’s married to Juliette. Emily provides a sympathetic ear while looking all shifty-eyed at her phone and Juliette’s secret attempt to make contact. Avery doesn’t notice because he gets a phone call for a new jingle offer that is going on that afternoon. That conflicts with his 5 Spot gig and Avery can’t get his 5 Spot gig moved. Cagney observes that Avery must not need the live gig very much if he’s bailing. Avery thinks Juliette is ruining his life, and doesn’t seem to know where she is.

After their writing session, Will is looking up Wade Cole’s wife’s foundation, which was established to support “traditional marriage.” Upon further research, he finds video of Wade Cole’s vocal support of Prop 8, which is strange because these days, mainstream country stars typically avoid that level of political involvement on issues that spawn such polarization.

When Rayna arrives home, Deacon is storming around, loading dishes into the dishwasher. Naturally, Deacon thinks that Rayna chose Marcus’s version over his. Rayna defends Marcus as an artist and reminds Deacon that he knows what it’s like to feel like you have to change things around. Of course, Deacon’s real objection is not on artistic grounds. Deacon is convinced Marcus wants to sleep with Rayna. Rayna thinks he’s being ridiculous. Deacon storms out, just in time for Marcus to text Rayna offering to talk.

Back at Luke’s farm, Luke is pissed at Colt for ruining his photo shoot and Colt just doesn’t care. He even calls his father by his first name. Luke demands respect, Colt has none to give and continues to thumb his nose at Luke’s empty hand-waving. Luke starts to lose his temper raises his fist, Colt says to do it, because Luke can’t hurt him anymore than he already has. Finally, Luke is horrified by himself.

Having finally come to his senses, Luke tells Gabrielle that he wants to put off his brand launch for 6 months, that he has to figure things out with Colt. Gabrielle protests they have products in production. For once, Luke tells her to figure it out, because he needs to deal with his family.

Caleb arrives back at his home as Scarlett is packing up. He apologizes for his lateness – the head of his department scheduled something unexpectedly. Scarlett sort of passive-aggressively apologizes for trying to be spontaneous when he asks what she wants to do. Caleb retorts that he can’t just be spontaneous with the work he does, that he has important work compared to traveling around the country playing to 100 people for a few beers. Well, at least this time he did it to Scarlett’s face. Scarlett asks if that’s what he really thinks. Caleb immediately backtracks and says he’s just tired and frustrated and that it’s been hard. He reaffirms that he loves her and promises that next time will be better. Scarlett is unconvinced about that.

Back in Charlotte, Gunnar’s glad Erin got him out of the room. Gunnar confesses for the last few years, all he’s ever been able to write about was Scarlett. She was his muse. He doesn’t feel like that anymore. Erin says that sounds sad, that maybe he can get a song out of it. Gunnar agrees.

Over at Casa Jaymes, Maddie finally makes right with her younger sister, telling Daphne there’s nothing wrong with being 12, but that things happen when you become a teenager. Things change, her way of describing for her sexual awakening, I suppose. Maddie apologizes for making Daphne feel bad about herself and they agree that they shouldn’t have to change for each other. They’re going to figure out what to wear for their EP photoshoot together.

Rayna goes to see Marcus, and he’s shirtless when he arrives at the door, naturally. Rayna tells him about how much she loves working with him but tries to set boundaries and reminds Marcus that Deacon is her man. Marcus is good-natured about it, and assures Rayna that was never an issue. Rayna says she’s looking forward to getting back to work the next day, and Marcus agrees.

Back to Gunnar’s, where Will tells Avery about Wade Cole’s history. Avery’s so wrapped up his own problems, he is impatient with Will’s “high class” problems. He tells Will that if he wants to take a stand, he should take a stand, but that this one song could change everything for Will. Avery eventually gets to an observation that applies to his own life right now: “What we want to do and what we need to do don’t always line up.”

Meanwhile in Charlotte, Gunnar’s ready to play Erin a new song. It’s the carefree, flirty “Kissin’ ‘N’ Huggin’,” written by Nini Camps, Andrew Rollins and Garrison Starr, meant to suggest that Erin is his new muse. She’s loving it when Scarlett walks in, and they exchange pleasantries about her trip. Erin and Gunnar resume their giggles after Scarlett leaves.

To DOWNLOAD “Kissin’ ‘N’ Huggin’,” written by Nini Camps, Andrew Rollins and Garrison Starr and performed by Sam Palladio, click HERE!

Will calls Wade and leaves a message…after some hesitation, he tells Wade that he’s looking forward to working again. And if Wade is what Will suspects based on that Prop 8 video, he is just going to have to deal with Will leaving a message on his personal (presumably) phone, not that Will says that.

At Casa Jaymes, Rayna and Deacon reconnect, and Deacon admits he behaved like a child got jealous. Rayna says Marcus looked at her like she was crazy when she tried to set some boundaries. Deacon says she is crazy for putting up with him (Deacon). Cute.

Over at his farm, a truly chastened Luke tries to apologize to Colt. Colt informs him that he is planning to stay with his granddad for a while. Luke doesn’t think his mom will agree, but Colt says she already has. Luke says his grandfather is even stricter than Luke. Colt says at least his granddad stands for something. Does this granddad live in Nashville, because this might take Colt away from Maddie? Anyway, a pretty impressively responsible set of decisions by Colt, and Luke needs to now reckon with who he is.

Finally, as the episode ends, Emily takes a call from Juliette. And that’s it for this week. Next week, we keep acting like Marcus is actually going to get in the way of Rayna and Deacon, and now there’s a potential proposal involved. Come back to see what happens, won’t you?

Last but not least, be sure and check out EMI Nashville’s Kelleigh Bannen’s blog on what Nashville got right and what it didn’t in the previous episode of Nashville. In addition to talk of studios, soundboards and the romance/work crossover, she’s compiled a hilarious list of studio clichés!

About Deb B 432 Articles
Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.