Download “No One Will Ever Love You,” cowritten by Steve McEwan and John Paul White and performed by Connie Britton and Charles Eston HERE.
Download “Fade Into You,” cowritten by Matt Jenkins, Shane McAnally, and Trevor Rosen and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio HERE.
Download “Telescope,” cowritten by Cary Barlowe and Hillary Lindsey performed by the Stella Sisters HERE.
Welcome back to Nashville!
Juliette is all tarted up for a photoshoot. She talks to her manager Glen on a break, and her first question is about whether Deacon has signed on for her band. He has not. Juliette is fixated on this, and the show is giving us no idea as to whether that’s because she has feelings for him, because she thinks he’s her ticket to credibility as a real country act, because she wants and expects to win this tug of war, or anything else. Meanwhile her manager informs her that her mom showed up at her record label, and though the record label didn’t give her any information about how to find or contact Juliette, they gave Juliette’s mother $100 to go away. Juliette is furious because she knows where that money is going. She tells her manager to manage both situations.
Now we’re home with Rayna & Teddy in your typical busy family morning scene. Maddie, a 7th grader, is nervous about what to wear for their upcoming talent show, and wants to go shopping for inappropriately revealing clothing. Rayna is appropriately horrified. Teddy is looking for a tie with horseshoes that he thought were “U”s. They have a meeting with “Joe” coming up. When Deacon calls, Teddy offers to drop the girls off at school. Rayna starts to talk with Deacon but quickly shoos him off when he gets a call from his lawyer. His lawyer wants an update on his response to Juliette’s offer to join her tour. Deacon’s answer is still no-ish.
Scarlett & Gunnar are singing a new song called “I Will Fall” at Scarlett and Avery’s home when Avery makes a sulking entry. They’re prepping for their session with Watty White.
Interlude: Check out songwriters Tyler James and Kate York performing their song “I Will Fall,” and check out their comments about the song’s inclusion on Nashville here.
Back at Casa James/Conrad, Rayna and Teddy are meeting with their accountant Joe and her manager Bucky. Joe talks about their abundance of non-liquid assets, points to their lack of incoming revenue at this time, and says they have to cut their expenses in half. Suggestions to deal with are primarily Rayna’s 2 favorite ideas involving her 2 favorite people: join that tour with Juliette Barnes so that they can sell out 3 nights at Madison Square Garden instead of 1, or borrow money from Rayna’s father. There’s also the possibility of taking out a line of credit against their home, which is portrayed as a long shot. If they don’t find a solution, they’ll have to declare bankruptcy.
Cut to a studio where Juliette and team (including her manager and producer Randy) are feeling smug about 16 tracks, with track listing decisions for the deluxe and regular versions still up in there. But you can guess what Juliette is concerned with. Not even producer and recent paramour Randy bats an eyelid over Juliette’s interest in Deacon. The answer is never no with Juliette so she calls Deacon and reminds him that if he wants to be on “Undermine” he needs to show up for a recording session soon. Juliette wants gross processed cheese and her PA gives her judgmental side eye. Juliette is real country white trash ya’ll! Considering this came after her PA complimented her on the success of her teeth whitening strips, it’s some kind of miracle that PA is still employed!
We are now at a different studio, where Scarlett is all wide eyed and nervous about the legends who have recorded there before her. There are missed cues and a whole lot of going nowhere during the recording session thanks to Scarlett’s nerves. A super apologetic Scarlett runs off while Watty tells Gunnar they need to talk.
Meanwhile Rayna, Deacon, and manager Buddy are discussing tour routing. They will be playing theaters around the country, starting with the Ryman. The routing will mean extended time away from Nashville, with Rayna getting the nice master suite on the bus while Deacon is consigned to a bunk. Deacon being Deacon, he doesn’t care. Buddy leaves them to discuss the setlist. Deacon suggests deep cuts, acoustic cuts like Don’t Leave Without Me and No One Will Ever Love You but Rayna is scared off by the intimacy of that and wants big songs Already Gone. They see they’re not on the same page and a long, meaningful pause ensues along with many glances. Rayna needs a moment. Deacon gives her more.
Gunnar chases Scarlett down at her car, and assures her that since all Watty is doing is shopping the demos to a publisher, Scarlett doesn’t need to be the one singing on them. Scarlett, who is fresh off the turnip truck, feels the first sting of emotional ownership of her art, which she expresses by hesitating before shrugging OK and driving off .
Rayna is at home with an assistant making wardrobe decisions for her tour while her daughters play dress up with her old outfits. While they’re doing this, they receive a communique from Lamar, who has sent over a check for $500k.
Cut to the studio where Juliette is recording “Undermine” and is about to be irritated by an interruption when she realizes Deacon’s showed up. She purrs “Welcome.”
Teddy has now joined Rayna at home, and they have a conversation about the stipulations Lamar has put on the loan, which are basically limitations on when and how much Rayna can tour. Teddy and Rayna agree that’s not going to fly (there’s no doubt shown in Teddy’s mind either), so Teddy’s going to talk to Billy about getting a line of credit against their house.
It’s back to the studio where Juliette and Deacon are recording Undermine with Deacon on harmonies. Producer Randy, manager Glen, Juliette, and Deacon are all feeling good about how that turned out. Juliette asks for privacy (with Deacon) which once again, doesn’t seem to bother producer Randy. Deacon wants to know who the last verse of the song’s about. Juliette puts him off at first, but eventually admits it’s about her mom. Juliette dismisses Rayna as somebody who had her career handed to her on a silver platter and who grew up rich. Finally we’re being given a look at why Juliette may actually be the one who grew up with the kind of life country songs are often written about, though Rayna may have gotten herself involved some rather ‘country’ storylines herself through her romantic entanglements. Deacon says Rayna’s taken her fair share of knocks. Juliette wants to know who Deacon is writing about and he says he writes about himself. Juliette suggests they go off somewhere.
Talent show time! Teddy gets a call from Billy, who agrees to meet with Teddy tomorrow. Lamar shows up with 2 giant flower bouquets for the girls. The girls seem to love him. How did that happen when it appears both their parents have guarded them from him? Rayna makes sure Lamar knows that his conditions are unacceptable and Lamar chastises her for neglecting her family. Anybody else expecting Lamar to make a phone call to Billy before he meets with Teddy? [Well it didn’t go that way, which surprises me seeing as Lamar seems to have eyes and ears everywhere.]
Juliette and Deacon are sleeping together. Deacon’s another blank slate in that we have no idea if this is him using Juliette to get over Rayna, him going for available sex, him having feelings for Juliette, or something else. She asks him about the other night at the Bluebird Cafe when he asked Rayna to sing with him instead asking her. She wants to be the girl that gets chosen sometime. Deacon offers no explanation. Juliette presses her case for him joining her tour. It’s not obvious to me why she’s going for a guy who comes off like such a weakling.
Back at the school talent show, Rayna and Teddy’s girls are killing it on Juliette’s “Telescope”. The parents are beaming with pride, the audience is loving it, and Tandy has been allowed to be in the crowd despite being Daddy Lamar’s stooge. The girls are great, and it feels like Von Trapp family singers moment.
Interlude: Check out this video of songwriters Hillary Lindsey and Cary Barlowe talking about how they came up with the song “Telescope,” which was introduced in episode 2 and that reappeared tonight in that performance by Rayna and Teddy’s daughters:
Later that night, Tandy and Rayna have a heart to heart at Casa James/Conrad. Rayna wants to know why Lamar is so hellbent on putting the brakes on her career. Tandy reveals that Lamar hates Rayna’s career because of their mother, who had an affair with a singer/songwriter for 10 + years until she passed away. Tandy said that between the 2 men their mother felt she had a complete marriage, a line that can only be in there because we’re supposed to see the parallel to Rayna’s life. I don’t know if I’ve watched too many soaps or not enough, but I’m not sure if this revelation is conveniently timed by the writers to make Lamar sympathetic or conveniently timed by the writers to allow Tandy to emotionally manipulate Rayna. I get that things have come to a head financially but, this is the 1st crisis where Tandy felt like she had to tell Rayna that important factoid about their mother?
Avery shows up at the Bluebird. Gunnar tells Avery that Scarlett choked during their recording session, which of course Scarlett hadn’t shared with Avery (he wouldn’t have asked her how that went?). Gunnar tells Avery that Scarlett’s choking out of guilt that she’s leaving Avery behind.
Over to Casa Lamar Wyatt, where Rayna is let in without any notice to Lamar. Lamar is on a phone call being dastardly but quickly pretends he was talking about something else when Rayna walks in. Rayna starts out conciliatory in revealing that she now knows about her mother’s affair. From Lamar’s reaction it appears Tandy’s story about their mother’s affair is true. He starts scolding Rayna about going down the same path as her mother. This angers Rayna, who walks out saying that if Lamar treated her mother the way he treats her, she doesn’t think her mother had any choice. Odd way to put it.
A now tearful Rayna would love to talk to Deacon, who is wrapping up a hot night with Juliette. Well, it was a hot night turned difficult morning for Juliette, whose mother has found her mansion and shown up there. Juliette rejects her again and pretends all is well with Deacon. Deacon was all ready to enjoy some breakfast with Juliette, but Rayna beckons. Deacon’s life appears to consist of answering the beck & call of the woman of the moment.
Meanwhile Teddy is at the Music City Credit Union, having a friendly conversation about taking out a line of credit with his old friend Billy. Billy says it may be difficult, and also says things are backed up because of a federal audit. Teddy gulps and asks how far back that audit will. Back to 2008. Cue ominous music. Teddy excuses himself from the meeting, pretending he hasn’t spoken with Rayna about the line of credit yet.
At Avery and Scarlett’s home, Avery gives Scarlett a pep talk. He tells her nobody else has any business singing her songs, and that these recording sessions are not about her, but about making her voice the vehicle for the piece of her she put into the songs when she wrote them. He offers to go to the next recording session to support her. It takes quite the weight off Scarlett’s shoulders to know she has his blessing.
Manager Glen tells Juliette that her team has sent Deacon another offer. That’s the good news. The bad news is her mother has been picked up at a bus depot after getting into an “altercation.” She had some Oxycontin on hr. Manager Glen tells Juliette that until they can get her mother into rehab and/or back to Alabama for good, the situation would be best managed if Juliette would let her mother stay with her.
Over at Percy Warner Park, Deacon and Rayna are having a heart to heart talk. Deacon wants to know why Rayna won’t let him go. Rayna says it’s because Deacon and music are the same to her. She wants to do the right thing but none of it feels right to her. Deacon says OK, and he says he’s going to go. Rayna stays behind in her impossibly high heels and cries pretty tears. But Deacon tells Juliette that he’s turning down her offer. He says he can’t be the guy who’s there for her. An angry Juliette tells him she hopes Rayna is worth what he’s giving up.
As Scarlett and Gunnar record “Fade Into You” with Avery and Watty White watching (and Gary Nicholson playing guitar), we see Lamar gaze sadly at an old picture of his late wife, along with some black & white pictures that are presumably his daughters. Scarlett keeps gazing over at Avery while she sings, and this time she’s singing well. Watty compliments Avery on Scarlett, and Avery takes the opportunity to introduce himself to the legend. So is his support of Scarlett self-serving? We also see that Juliette has taken her mother in, though she rejects her mother’s thanks and attempts at affection. Juliette goes by herself to the local store, and seems to know she’s been recognized (and probably photographed) by a trio of teenage girls when she pockets (or purses) a bottle of nail polish. Cry for help? A sign that self-destructive behavior is hereditary? Both? We’ll start to find out next week, when video of the incident goes viral.