‘Nashville’ Episode 17 – Recap & Discussion Post

Welcome back to ‘Nashville’! We’re in New York, in the hotel room where Juliette and Dante have slept together, because what could possibly go wrong from there? They discuss Dante possibly resigning as Jolene’s sober companion and telling Jolene about their new relationship, and decide they’ll hide it from her until she is “stronger.” Because again, what could possibly go wrong? Juliette and Dante are interrupted by a knock on the hotel door, and it is Rayna. There’s a family emergency (Lamar) and she has to go back to Nashville. Juliette tells Rayna to use her (Juliette’s) jet to fly home with the girls. Rayna thanks her and says she may have to miss that night’s sold out show. Teddy takes a call from Rayna, and tells Peggy (who has made herself comfortable at Casa James/Conrad) that Rayna and the girls are on their way home after Lamar’s heart attack. How serious is his condition? Unknown but he has been admitted to a local cardiac ICU.

Meanwhile Scarlett and Gunnar are all loved up at Scarlett’s place. She has signed her contract with Edgehill Records (I still don’t get how Rayna just forgot about the other guy and how Scarlett trying to convince Rayna to include Gunnar in on the deal didn’t involve bringing Gunnar in for an audition, but OK), and Gunnar wants to celebrate with orange juice and champagne. He has still been thrashing around at night having nightmares about his brother, but doesn’t want that to cloud their day of celebration.

Back in New York, Stacey and Sue are headed back to Nashville for a week, and Deacon and Stacey are bidding each other fond farewells. Deacon gives Stacey a key to his place because their relationship is SRS BSNS. As Deacon waves Stacey and Sue off, he spots Avery, who it turns out is going to be a roadie on Juliette’s tour (really, what were the odds?). Deacon is surprised and asks about Avery’s record deal. Avery tells him he doesn’t have a deal anymore. Meanwhile Avery’s new boss tells him the show tonight may be canceled. Deacon wants to know why, and learns that Lamar is in the hospital.

Rayna and Tandy are in the hospital, and Rayna reminisces about losing their mother there. Tandy reassures her that this won’t be a repeat of that. Chief henchman Albert wants to talk to Tandy, so Tandy sends Rayna ahead to see Lamar. Henchman Albert wants to update Tandy on the new stadium deal, and she asks him whether he really thinks she cares about that right now. He tells her that she should because she’s CFO. Lamar opens his eyes to greet Rayna when she walks in. He is as edgy as ever, telling Rayna that she shouldn’t have to stop doing what she does for him, and wants to know where Tandy is. He tells Rayna he’ll be fine, and Rayna tells him she will tell Tandy that he would like to see her.

Meanwhile, Juliette is getting her nails done and on the phone with Marshall complaining about having to cancel the night’s show just because Rayna can’t play. She tells him to find another roster act to open, because she was supposed to close the show that night. Dante agrees that this was her tour anyway. Meanwhile Jolene has arrived for a therapy session, but is somewhat getting lost in whining about that night’s concert. Meanwhile PA Emily says that Juliette’s single has sold 50k since midnight, and Juliette says she could expand her set, talk about some of the new songs, and increase excitement for the new music. Dante thinks she could negotiate some more money for this show. Jolene announces that she took a bottle of vodka from the bar last night, and though she didn’t open it, she thinks it’s time for Dante and her to go home. That’ll get people’s attention!

Deacon is in a crowded restaurant leaving a concerned message for Rayna. Meanwhile the crew manager tells Avery to find Juliette’s ears. Avery is amenable but says he thought he would be more of a load-in guy. The crew manager says for now, he’s a “do as you’re told” guy. Avery heads off to to follow instructions, and Deacon notices. PA Emily arrives to confirm that Juliette wants to go on with the show, and to add 10 new songs to the night’s set, songs that Deacon already knows. Meanwhile Dante tells Juliette (just back from a workout) that he has calmed Jolene down for now. Juliette tells him that he needs to accompany her to meet with the band, who is apparently not happy with the new set additions.

Scarlett and Gunnar are lazing about their home. Scarlett wants to write with Gunnar because they haven’t in ages, but he says that’s work and he wants to have fun celebrating. They decide to go listen to some music. Scarlett mentions his instant writing chemistry with tenant Will.

Back in the hospital, Lamar is ornery, complaining about how financing a whole hospital wing is pointless if he can’t even get a milkshake. He has his smart phone in hand, and expects Tandy to be conducting business as usual. She was talked to the Tennessee governor as he asked about “Subway Field,” and the governor has promised to talk to Teddy about the stadium. Lamar says the governor needs to do more than that, specifically to tell Teddy that there is only one acceptable location for the stadium. He is about to answer his ringing phone when Tandy snatches it from him and orders him to rest. Lamar tries to leave his hospital bed, prompting Tandy to threaten him that she’ll call somebody in to give him a sedative if he doesn’t chill out. That seems to work.

Juliette is rehearsing “We Are Water” with the band when her front monitors fritz and she’s generally unhappy with how things sound. She is showing her usual (lack of) understanding when Deacon calls for a break. Deacon tries to get Juliette to be reasonable about what she has been asking, but they end up arguing and Juliette cites Dante as the only person who has her back. That gets Deacon to raise his eyebrows, get sarcastic, and call the band back to learn 10 songs in 20 minutes. Juliette heads back to her bus to sulk.

Back at the hospital, Watty White has come to see Rayna after she left a message for him. She is appreciative. As they chat, we hear a ruckus as Lamar has in fact escaped his hospital bed while Tandy dozed off for a moment. Lamar spots Watty White and demands he leave immediately. I guess we now know who Rayna and Tandy’s mom’s special friend was?

Avery knocks on Juliette’s bus door since he’s still on the hunt for those ear buds. Nobody answers and the door is unlocked so he walks onto the bus. This is not going to end well! He does some perfunctory searching under sofa cushions and makes his way to the back of the bus, where he spots Juliette and Dante in bed together. Dante see him, and Avery runs off the bus.

Scarlett, Gunnar, and Will are at Boondoxxxx BBQ bar, and Scarlett is tipsy. “Stupid” by Kacey Musgraves is playing in the background! They banter about Will’s pickup skills, and he heads off to work on a lovely redhead. Scarlett idly wonders about Will being a good influence on Gunnar, but Gunnar reassures her that he’s taken. Meanwhile Will has jumped onto the stage and announces Scarlett’s record deal, and invites her to perform while it’s still free of charge. OK, presumptuous? Scarlett invites Gunnar to sing but he defers. So Will’s going to do it instead? He suggests the Ashley Monroe song “You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter).” Interestingly no shoutout to Blake Shelton, but there is a shoutout to Vince Gill for cowriting the song. Cowboy Will’s a smart guy, getting himself noticed singing with a gal with a major label record deal, I guess.

  • MUSIC BREAK: “You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter)” is from Ashley Monroe’s incredible album, Like A Rose, which came out in March and is available on ITunes. Check out Ashley’s version with Blake Shelton here:

Avery hands Juliette her earbuds, which he found in…a wardrobe rack. Dante is still with her, and hangs back after Juliette walks away to tell Avery he’s fired for barging in on the bus.

In the hospital, Rayna apologizes to Watty White, and thinks Lamar might have been delusional. Watty confesses that he was in fact the guy with whom her mother had an affair. He tells Rayna that her mother was not easy on the men in her life, and that holding onto her was like trying to hold onto a butterfly. The night that she crashed her car (presumably the night she passed), her bags were packed because she was finally going to leave Lamar, hard as he had tried to hang onto her.

Back at the bar, Scarlett confides in Will that she’s worried about Gunnar. But he’s all about flattering Scarlett, and takes a picture with her so he “can say he knew her when.” Yeah, he’s going to use that picture all right. Gunnar walks over, and Scarlett asks him to take a picture of the three of them. Gunnar notices that Bucky Dawes left a voicemail. Will doesn’t know who that is, and Gunnar tells him Bucky is Rayna’s manager. Will says that’s a number he’d love to have. Rayna is in town, and wants to meet with Scarlett the next day. Suddenly all those drinks Scarlett had don’t seem like such a great idea. Gunnar takes her home.

Lamar now appears to be asleep in his hospital room. Tandy is keeping watch when Rayna walks in. They quietly discuss Lamar’s toughness when Lamar has another heart attack and they are shooed out of the room.

Back in New York, Avery runs into Deacon while on his way out, and tells Deacon that he’s been fired. Deacon wants to know why, and Avery tells him that he caught Juliette and Dante in a compromising position, Dante saw him, and fired him. Deacon “unfires” Avery, and then goes into confront Dante. They needle each other about authority and ethics, and Deacon tells Dante that he is not to touch or speak to Avery. The only way Avery will be fired is if it is directly from Juliette.

Jolene tells Dante again that she wants to go home. Dante condescends to her that this is about her jealousy that he is now helping Juliette and that going back home won’t solve anything. Jolene asks him when they last had a therapy session. He tells her he cares for her, and Jolene asks him to prove it. She kisses him and naturally, Juliette walks in on that. Juliette walks out of the room (and in front of the crew), and lays into her “disgusting” mother, who tells her she thinks Dante has feelings for her too. Dante tries to mediate the situation, but when he takes Juliette’s hand, Jolene realizes that they’ve been sleeping together. She tells Juliette that she’s disgusting.

Gunnar has tucked Scarlett into bed, and is hanging out with Will. Will suggests they write, and Gunnar confesses that other than Scarlett, he’s been feeling really empty and numb about everything since Jason died. Will says he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a brother but he does know what it’s like to lose family. He tells Gunnar that the night is young and they’re going to go out. Gunnar is game but tells Will he doesn’t want to go chasing skirts. Will says that’s not what he had in mind.

Teddy is at Casa James/Conrad with the girls, who are making “Get Well” cards for Lamar. He takes a phone call from a weepy Peggy, who tells him that she’s there for him and that she loves him. Teddy is a little weirded out and awkwardly (because it’s in front of the girls) tells her that he feels the same. What’s going on here?

At the hospital, Lamar has had surgery with complications, and will have to be monitored for the next 24 hours. The surgeon suggests that Rayna and Tandy go home for the night. Rayna tells Tandy to go home, that she’ll watch over her father for a change. Rayna asks Tandy if she knew Watty White was her mother’s lover (Tandy did) and asks why she didn’t tell her. Tandy tells her that she didn’t know how to tell Rayna something like that. Tandy goes on to tell Rayna that Rayna is a lot like their mother, which seems rather insensitive considering Tandy goes on to say that their mother is why Lamar is so screwed up. For all his faults, he did love their mother. That leaves Rayna with a lot to think about, so she calls Deacon and leaves a message.

Gunnar and Will are in Will’s pickup truck. Will says the only way to get over death is to tempt it, and guns the truck over a railroad track with a train fast approaching. Gunnar is furious and says they should be dead, but Will points out that they’re not. Gunnar wants to do it again.

Juliette is on stage in Brooklyn, and acknowledges the Rayna fans in the audience. She says she wants to make up for Rayna’s absence with some new songs, and starts performing “Hangin On A Lie.” She tries to groove with Deacon, who ignores her. After the show, Deacon listens to Rayna’s message, before Juliette lays into him for ignoring her on stage. She and Deacon argue about Dante, their own friendship, and Rayna. Juliette tells Deacon that Rayna is not her family and she isn’t Deacon’s family either. Deacon walks out, but not before telling Juliette that Rayna *is* family.

  • MUSIC BREAK: To DOWNLOAD “Hangin’ On A Lie,” cowritten by Striking Matches (a.k.a. Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann) and performed by Hayden Panettiere, click HERE.
  • BONUS: Check out Striking Matches’s original version of “Hangin’ On A Lie”:


  • You can DOWNLOAD Striking Matches’s EP, which includes “Hangin’ On A Lie” and “When The Right One Comes Along,” a song Scarlett and Gunnar dueted on earlier this season, HERE.

It’s the next morning, and Gunnar is strumming a pretty guitar melody when Scarlett walks in. She’s happy to hear him playing music again. He tells her he hung out with Will last night, and she says that if he’s back to playing music the next morning then maybe Will isn’t such a bad influence after all.

Tandy is in her father’s Dr. Evil office when Chief Henchman Albert walks in. He tries to assure her that it’ll take more than a couple heart attacks to take Lamar out of the game but she feels like she has to make sure she’s on top of absolutely everything anyway. She has recently discovered that Peggy Kentor has been calling Lamar. Ruh roh.

Juliette and Dante have a talk. Dante believes this isn’t the first time Jolene has gone for a man in Juliette’s life. Juliette says it isn’t, but it is the last time.

Deacon has come to visit Rayna, who has dozed off beside Lamar’s hospital bed. How does Lamar not have his own room, and how is it a good idea for Rayna to talk to Deacon with Lamar right there? Rayna tells Deacon she feels like she has new clarity on her mother but doesn’t know her father at all. She was 12 when her mother died. Lamar kicked her out of the house at 16 when Watty White got her her first gig, and Rayna now understands why. After a short conversation, Deacon gets up to leave and wishes Rayna well. Rayna thanks him for coming, and Deacon says there was something in her voice that sounded like she needed him.

Bucky welcomes Scarlett to Edgehill Republic’s offices, where Rayna isn’t able to come but Marshall Evans & staff are ready with champagne to celebrate her signing. Scarlett is awkward but grateful. Rayna’s label doesn’t seem to have a name yet, because everybody’s still calling it “Rayna James’s label.”

Meanwhile at South Hill Publishing, Gunnar is playing, a beautifully sad acoustic ballad called “Shine.” The woman who signed him thinks it sounds promising and is glad to hear him writing again.

  • MUSIC BREAK: To DOWNLOAD the acoustic version of “Shine,” cowritten by Ashley Monroe and Trent Dabbs and performed by Sam Palladio, click HERE

    BONUS: Check out cowriter Ashley Monroe’s demo of “Shine”:

    Check out cowriter Trent Dabbs’s demo of “Shine”:

Rayna is at Lamar’s side. He is asleep and she tells him that she wishes he had told her why he was so angry about her decisions. She gets that he was just angry about her mother now. Lamar opens his eyes as she talks to him.

Deacon heads home, where Stacey lets him in. She hugs him and is happy to see him.

Tandy walks into Teddy’s office and presents him with phone records proving that Peggy was in touch with the tabloids that leaked lies and tawdry details about Teddy’s divorce from Rayna.

Meanwhile Juliette packs her mother off to Nashville, where she will get her own apartment and and a new female sober companion. Juliette will visit her on travel days. Jolene asks if Juliette fired Dante and Juliette tells her that she’s hired him as her own manager. With Dante’s manager/boyfriend title, we can end this episode where we started: what could possibly go wrong?

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.


  1. Can we all agree that the plot line in getting a bit outrageous. Seems writers had nothing to write about and filled in gaps with relationships between characters. (Messed up ones at that).

  2. Occurred to me that Ashley’s line “….and you’re a whole lot shorter.” is probably not a reference to Blake’s height. ;)

  3. I know, the two new characters introduced turn out to be psycho! The sober companion becomes a power-hungry jerk, and the neighbour turns out to be a death-wish adrenaline junkie all in one episode!

  4. Yeah, there are way too many “convenient” plot developments. Newbie roadie Avery immediately lands on the Juliette/Rayna tour? What are the odds? Rayna had the time to call Watty White, and Watty White showed up to see her knowing that Lamar is not exactly his #1 fan? There are continuity issues that pop up every now & then with plot and character too.

    I’m mostly here for the music that gets showcased tbh.

  5. I don’t know country music very well, so I’ll ask a potentially stupid question: Who is Porter? Cute song!

    Thanks for the recap windmills. I always find something that I missed!

  6. Thanks for the recap! We had storms in our area and missed parts of the show :(

  7. Porter is Porter Wagoner. He’s a Country Music Hall Of Fame member who in addition to country radio hits had his own weekly TV show than ran for a couple of decades. He’s responsible for bringing Dolly Parton to national prominence as a country singer (though she’d already had cuts and singles by other acts of songs she had written or cowritten), because he featured her on his show for many years. He performed and recorded many duets with her – it was a legendary partnership, and that’s the basis for this song.

    When Dolly Parton wrote ‘I Will Always Love You,’ it was actually about ending her professional/creative partnership with Porter Wagoner (source). He didn’t want her to leave his show, but she felt it was her time to go off and go solo.

  8. I still don’t get why they would only signed scarlett.Didn’t Watty White discovered both of them? And Rayna already seen them performed together?

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