And we’re back in Nashville! Rayna is in studio cutting her part of “Wrong Song” with Liam at the switches. Juliette is late and Rayna is rolling her eyes at manager Glenn’s assurances she’ll be here any minute now. Out of curiosity, what happened to Randy the old producer, and why did we not see a scene in which the ladies fought over the right person to produce this duet? Manager Bucky and Rayna are discussing starting the Rayna/Juliette tour on Sunday, which is just a few days away. This sounds realistic! So where is Juliette? She’s in a limo making out with
Not Tim Tebow Sean, with whom she has eloped! They’ve clearly thought this one through based on their conversation about telling their families.
Meanwhile, Scarlett & Gunnar are at their publisher’s office, snapping at each other while they suffer writers’ block. Scarlett is about to set off to meet with Avery for a transfer of keys (he is giving her back his key to her place). Speaking of Avery, he is with Domino/Dominic in Atlanta, living it up. He has agreed to a solo record deal, and Domino wants to know if he has told his band yet. Avery says no, because he doesn’t want to do it over the phone.
Deacon about to take the stage with the Rebel Kings where lead singer Sy tells him that this isn’t a country concert but a rock show, where Deacon really has to crank it up. In strolls hot reporter Carmen Gonzalez, who greets Deacon with a kiss. They have a romantic history, it seems. She is joining the band for a profile.
Juliette finally shows up at the studio and announces her marriage. Manager Glenn speaks for everyone in saying she is crazy. Rayna shoos out the managers to talk to Juliette. Rayna wants to start the tour on Sunday, which prompts a fun little conversation where each gets her digs in on the other about scandals. When Juliette returns to her place, Sean’s parents are beside themselves. But Sean’s mother wants them to do it right, in a church. So they will marry this Saturday in a proper ceremony.
At Casa James/Conrad, Rayna is telling Teddy that she’s going to head out on the road for 5 months and take the girls. This doesn’t go well, with Teddy telling Rayna that he won’t let her take their daughters out on the road. Also on his mind is the election and the poor optics of his wife hitting the road instead of campaigning by his side. Rayna reminds him of his crimes and how she finds him untrustworthy now.
With Sean’s parents now gone, Sean and Juliette are in a rehearsal studio and Sean is trying to coordinate meeting times with Juliette over the next few months. Schedule coordination is not going well, as they’ll see each other twice in 2 months. Sean wishes Juliette had discussed the tour beforehand with him. Juliette just wants to make out.
At campaign headquarters, Tandy updates Teddy – Coleman got a slight bump from the release of the photos but the election is within reach. Peggy is recovering with her husband by her side. Teddy reflects sadly on what politics has done to his marriage and also his friendship with Coleman, but Tandy assures him that he can repair those things after he’s elected. Teddy glumly tells Tandy about Rayna heading out on the road, which shocks Tandy. Teddy’s so down on himself he isn’t even sure he should try & stop Rayna.
Now on a swanky private charter jet, Carmen bypasses the rest of the band to talk to Deacon, while Deacon continues to tell her that she’ll get the better stories from the rest of the band. But Carmela is all about him. She wants to know why Deacon never settled down and rested on his laurels. He tells her that he and happiness don’t mix well.
Meanwhile in studio, it looks like Rayna’s album is going to be on hold while she heads out on the road. Because nobody ever recorded an album while on the road? This plot point makes no sense. Liam thinks touring could kill Rayna’s career not save it and wants to know why she’s suddenly headed out on the road when she wouldn’t take no for an answer when she had first approached Liam about an album. She tells Liam she needs to get out of Nashville because her marriage and family are a mess.
Avery breaks the bad news to his band. They do not take it well and some shoving and name-calling ensues. Avery wants to join the band for their last scheduled gig together but, the band is not interested.
Juliette and Sean’s mom have one of those nice Southern conversations where the smiles are ironed on and the digs are sharp. Sean’s mother needles Juliette about her mother’s awareness of and participation on the wedding.
Tandy and Lamar confront Rayna about touring and its possible impact on Teddy’s campaign. Lamar pulls the Maddie’s real father card again. Rayna kicks them out of the house.
Scarlett & Avery have a cold (on her part) conversation as he drops off her housekey. Avery is remorseful, and asks for a parting hug. The hug becomes the one thing that leads to noather.
Deacon is being primped for a Rebel Kings photo shoot and hating it. Sy tells him to back off the guitar solo a little bit. It’s a friendly conversation about finding a happy medium. Carmen is still hanging around, and lets slip that Rayna and Juliette are off on a big coheadlining tour. Deacon wants to know who’s playing lead guitar for Rayna. Carmen asks him whether that really matters.
Juliette is rehearsing “Boys & Buses” when Sean shows up. Sean has scheduled a meet up with her mother at rehab at his mother’s “helpful” suggestion. Juliette wants to talk to her mom alone. Sean doesn’t seem to mind.
Scarlett and Avery slept together. Avery invites Scarlett to come with him as he heads to a meeting. Scarlett appears to be considering it when she mentions JT and the rest of the band being excited about their new deal. Avery sheepishly informs her that the record deal is a solo one only. Scarlett yells at him for letting JT & company go and once again points out that he hurts the people close to him.
Scarlett runs off to find JT & the band, with whom she commiserates. JT offers her the lead singing spot in the band for their upcoming gig.
Gunnar has writer’s block. Haley offers him a beer, says they should talk. Haley tells Gunnar he has to work things out with Scarlet because they are better together than they are separately.
Juliette is visiting her mom Jolene at rehab. Not surprisingly, her mother thinks she has jumped the gun on the marriage thing. Juliette angrily scolds her mother for not supporting her happiness.
Teddy and Lamar are at campaign headquarters when Rayna walks in. Lamar decides to use the Maddie’s paternity card. Boom! Except, it turns out Teddy knew about the questions surrounding Maddie’s father? Or did he just put up a great front?
Scarlett has joined JT & the rest of Avery’s former band has great time performing with JT & band. We see her performing “Twist Of Barbwire” (which we had seen Avery perform on a previous episode). The gig goes so well that JT offers Scarlett a permanent gig as their lead singer. Scarlett doesn’t give him an answer.
DOWNLOAD “Twist Of Barbwire,” written by Elvis Costello and performed by Clare Bowen HERE.
Avery is in studio with Domino, and not sure about the level of bass on his new recordings. It’s just not what he’s used to but Domino tells him this is the big sound that works these days. Meanwhile Avery gets a link to video of Scarlett performing Twist Of Barbwire with his band. Burn!
Juliette and Sean snuggle at home while Sean is watching football tape and Juliette is pensive. Juliette suggests one of her usual solutions: getting away via jet. Sean can’t go anywhere because of his football responsiblilities.
After another successful gig after which Sy congratulations Deacon for finding that “happy medium”, Deacon once again comments on how loud it was out there. Sy says it is only going to get louder. The band wants to know that Deacon is OK with all this and he says he is. Not very convincing. Deacon is going to head back back to the hotel to nurse a headache. Carmen trades in her audio recorder for some one on one time with Deacon. She regrets letting Deacon go 14 years ago. They have rekindled that old flame at least for now, though as Carmen tries to dig a little deeper Deacon is wondering whether she’s being a reporter. She says she’s trying to be a friend and that she’s worried about him. Deacon looks his cover story on Guitar Player magazine and broods. Carmen watches.
Rayna and Teddy have a talk at Casa James/Conrad. Rayna tries to thank Teddy for standing up to her father, and Teddy rhetorically asks her if she was surprised. They agree to an amicable separation on the grounds that they love each other but simply haven’t been happy the last few years (recent events being a catalyst but not the cause). Rayna heading out on tour will be the cover for political purposes and the cover for their kids, who are not supposed to know of the trouble in their marriage. Rayna thinks the girls should stay at home with Teddy, and she will come visit them when she can. They are both emotional over their marriage being in the state it is but would like to make things work.
Juliette is prepping for her church wedding when a gift from Sean arrives, a pendant his grandmother wore. Juliette puts it on and her assistant says it’s perfect, but the tightening of Juliette’s face points to some clouds in her mind.
Scarlett rejoins Gunnar, saying that Avery’s former band’s offer to join them reminded her how much she loves singing the songs she & Gunnar writes. She says she has lyrics for the melody Gunnar was working on, and Gunnar wants her to sing them. Scarlett sings “Change Your Mind” as we run through scenes of Rayna bidding Teddy and the girls farewell, Juliette riding the limo to the church, and Deacon brooding. Juliette’s limo stops, and she rips off the pendant Sean gave her while heading to her private jet. We’ve got a runner!
BONUS: Check out cowriter Hillary Lindsey‘s DEMO of “Change Your Mind” here:
DOWNLOAD “Change Your Mind,” written by Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, and Troy Verges and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, HERE.
BONUS: Check out video of songwriters Brad Tursi and Aaron Scherz performing “Sideshow” plus comments on the song by Charles Eston (Deacon) and Nashville execs: