‘Nashville’ – Season 2, Episode 11 – Recap & Discussion Post!

So, who really died in the midseason of Nashville, Will or Peggy? How will Teddy find a way to blame Deacon for Peggy being shot? What’s ahead for Juliette and Avery now that they have feelings for each other, and will Scarlett ask any questions about Juliette’s visit? Find out that and more and hear Season 1 Idol champ and superstar Kelly Clarkson sing the gorgeous “Fade Into Me”! Edit: Not so much with the singing part. HMPH!

Welcome back to Nashville! We join Juliette rehearsing “Dreams,” a song she cowrote (for the show’s purposes) with Avery. She’s adding the song to her set list, and Manager Glenn invited Avery to come watch her perform. Juliette is surprised to see Avery there. She isn’t rude but avoids him.

While Juliette is singing, we see clips that tell us that Peggy died from the gunshot wound, on the scene, and see Teddy, Maddie, Daphne, and Rayna grieving quietly after the funeral.

To DOWNLOAD “Dreams,” cowritten by Jaida Dreyer & Cory Mayo and performed by Hayden Panettiere, click HERE.

BONUS: Check out “Nashville: On The Record” featuring co-writer Jaida Dreyer, Hayden Panettiere, Jonathan Jackson, and Nashville producers:

Check out Jaida Dreyer singing “Dreams” acoustically:

Check out an extended performance clip of Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes singing “Dreams”:

At home with Rayna, Maddie and Daphne sit down to watch Teddy give a press conference, as the suspect in Peggy’s shooting has been found dead in an apparent suicide. He is clearly still grieving while he explains that Charles Stoffel blamed him for his chronic unemployment and that is why Stoffel went after the mayor with a gun. Maddie and Daphne want to know if they can see their father soon and if the death of the shooting suspect means this is all over. Rayna reassures them that Teddy has said the only thing keeping him going is being around the girls.

Avery has hung around after Juliette’s rehearsals, and tells her that he just wanted to check in, that he’s left her some messages. It’s awkward. Juliette is not unfriendly but says she’s been busy. They’re interrupted by the return of PA Emily, whose aunt is apparently better. Juliette greets her warmly and Emily is back up to speed on all of Juliette’s problems.

Layla and Brent are in a radio station waiting room. Layla and Will were supposed to do a radio interview together but he’s nowhere to be found. Brent has left messages for Will, and gets worried when Layla says she hasn’t spoken to Will since the music festival. She goes in to do the interview alone.

Deacon is meeting with the manager who expressed interest in his material at the festival. The manager tells Deacon his new tunes are solid, but he wants songs that fit the story of THE Deacon Clayburne. He gives Deacon a few days to come up with some “gold,” since that’s when his partner is returning to town.

Zoe and Gunnar are at Gunnar’s when someone knocks at the door. Gunnar is busy trying to write, so a grumbling Zoe answers the door. It’s Brent, looking for Will. Brent tells Gunnar that nobody seems to have seen or heard from Will since the festival, that he missed an interview with Watty White this morning, and the Juliette Barnes tour is back on in 2 days. If Will doesn’t show up for that, he’ll be dropped. Zoe asks if this is a “call the cops” situation and Brent tries to play off his concern.

Avery returns to Scarlet’s place and apologizes for not being able to pick her up. He tells Scarlett he has been watching Juliette rehearse a song they cowrote. Scarlett doesn’t seem to mind but she is still curious about why Juliette showed up at Avery’s at 2 AM. They’re interrupted by a phone call from Scarlett’s publisher, who tells her that OMG, Kelly Clarkson wants to cut “Fade Into You”! Kelly wants to meet with Scarlett…and Gunnar. Scarlett is really excited about a possible Kelly Clarkson cut, as she should be!

To tide you over until Kelly’s version is available, check out “Fade Into You,” cowritten by Shane McAnally, Matt Ramsay, and Trevor Rosen and performed by Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen here:


Over at Rayna’s, Rayna is wrapping up a phone conversation with Tandy, who’s at a spa. After they hang up, Manager Bucky updates Rayna on the progress of the Highway 65 website, and shows her that news of her split with Edgehill Records has hit the trades. Rayna snarks that means it’s at least half true. Edgehill is of course spinning it as if the label dropped her, but Rayna’s confident nobody will believe that after her recent success. She’s planning to meet with Liam about sequencing, while Manager Bucky talks about doing some market research to figure out which track might pop as a single. Rayna says Jeff gave her Edgehill’s market research. She says she’s determined not to use Edgehill’s model, because it didn’t go well on her previous album. Sooooo…how did we go from Rayna not thinking her album was done to prepping the release of her album without any additional studio time that we know of?

Juliette, PA Emily, and Manager Bucky are headed to a car and are greeted by “No respect for Juliette” protestors. Juliette doesn’t care about them. When Emily asks if she should call security, Juliette snarks that they are simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights, and follows suit by giving the protestors a one-fingered salute from her car window.

Gunnar and Zoe go into Will’s room, and Gunnar immediately concludes something is wrong when he sees that Will left his cowboy hat on the bed. Zoe wants to dig into Will’s laptop to see if there are clues where he would be. Gunnar thinks he should do it in case there’s “guy stuff” Zoe shouldn’t see. He looks at Will’s recent searches and finds he’s been reading about the Smoky Mountains.

Liam surprises Rayna and immediately starts hitting on her. Rayna doesn’t mind, but she tells Liam she’s seeing Luke Wheeler. Liam snarks that this must be why she looked so miserable when he walked in. Rayna says she was miserable because she made the mistake of reading Edgehill’s market research on her album, which says “Better Days” is not the single. Liam tells her to trust her vision and that “Better Days” *is* the single.

Meanwhile, Deacon is struggling to write some new songs. Megan has returned from her trip to Dayton and Deacon is happy to see her. She bought him a nice composition book in Dayton. They banter, they coo, it’s all very sweet.

A grieving Teddy is with Maddie and Daphne at his home, where he forlornly looks at what may be Peggy’s wedding dress. Maddie and Daphne catch him, and Maddie reassures Teddy he doesn’t need to hide how sad he is from them. Teddy embraces the girls and tells them he’s not nearly as sad when they’re around. He asks what he should make for dinner, and the girls tell him they’re making mac & cheese with hot dogs for dinner.

Gunnar has driven up into the mountains. He sees Will’s motorcycle, and finds Will. Gunnar starts yelling at Will for worrying the heck out of him. Will is weeping and when Gunnar sees that, he asks if Will is OK. Will says he (Will) is disgusting, and runs away again.

Juliette has arrived in Pittsburgh, where more protesters (or the same ones) await. Layla is signing autographs. The protesters start heckling Juliette about her mother being in hell and reminding her about God, leading Juliette to fire back “There is no God [pause] that would listen to a crackpot like you.”

Scarlett goes to see Gunnar, but is greeted by Zoe. Gunnar is of course not home. Scarlett asks Zoe to ask Gunnar to return her calls. Zoe asks if she wants to come in and talk. Scarlett turns her down. Zoe tells Scarlett that she has already apologized many times and that if Scarlett can’t understand that Zoe fell for Gunnar for the same reasons Scarlett did, then Zoe doesn’t know what more she can do.

Juliette and PA Emily are having a nice quiet evening toast when Emily gets a Google alert with a gossip blog posting that only captures Juliette snarling, “There is no God…” and leaving out the rest of what she said. That is going to be a problem.

Meanwhile the Cadillac Three (who in real life are signed to Big Machine Records, which distributes and promotes Nashville soundtrack albums) are auditioning for Rayna and Manager Bucky with their real life single “The South.” Rayna and Manager Bucky are impressed, and will let them know what they decide. Manager Bucky tells Rayna her duet single with Luke is up to #6 at Itunes and climbing, which was a great parting gift for Jeff Fordham. Rayna says it was a great parting gift for her too, because it could help her sell her album. She tells Bucky Jeff Fordham’s research indicates there’s no single on her album. When she and Liam were making the album, they didn’t have to care about a single, but now that Rayna’s on her own label, she needs to consider that issue.

Night has come and Gunnar is camped out where Will was hiding out. He has started a fire to stay warm as Will returns. Gunnar asks Will if running away had anything to do with Brent. Will doesn’t answer but finally tells Gunnar that he’s hiding out because he thought about killing himself and couldn’t. Will talks about how the light and noise from the oncoming train was a relief, finally drowning everything out. Gunnar is furious with Will for not calling him when he had these thoughts, and makes Will look at him and promise that if he ever has suicidal thoughts again, that he will call Gunnar. Gunnar tells Will that it’s the 21st century and it’s OK to be whoever he is. Will says not if he wants to do what he wants to do. Gunnar tells Will he’s too good to quit on life. Will responds by saying if he hasn’t hurt himself yet, it’s probably not going to happen, so something else is going to have to do. He says he’s going to get his 1st night of sleep in a long time tonight, and tells Gunnar to go home. Will promises he’ll be OK.

Deacon is still stuck in writers block, and this time, he gets snippy at Megan, who is only trying to help. He’s a jerk to Megan, who refuses to take his attitude and walks out.

Teddy is poring over the evidence in the case of the guy who killed Peggy, and has the police commissioner over. The head of police tries to talk Teddy out of seeing anything rational in this case, but Teddy insists it doesn’t make sense that a guy who lost his job 5 years ago would blame him when he’s only been mayor for a year. The head of police offers him more security but Teddy says it’s not his own safety he’s worried about, it’s the safety of the girls.

Juliette, Manager Bucky, and PA Emily are greeted by apparently growing protests in Pittsburgh, and Juliette gets what looks like a cup full of black tar thrown on her sweater.

Gunnar finally gets a phone signal by standing on his pickup truck. Turns out he’s still in the mountains, just hanging around nearby in case Will needs a friend. Gunnar finally gets Scarlett’s messages about Kelly wanting to cut one of their co-writes. Will comes by and sees Gunnar’s grinning about something. When Gunnar tells him, Will congratulates him and says “Making it happen. That’s what matters.” He tells Gunnar to go on and ahead. Will is going to pack up and go to Pittsburgh.

Deacon is in his car and looking pretty down. He takes a call from manager Joey, who says he’s set up a meeting with the partners in 2 days. Perfect, says Deacon. Turns out, he’s sitting outside a liquor store. Ruh roh.

Juliette is cleaning up after her encounter with protesters, and it’s clear they’ve unnerved her. Emily tries to comfort her. Juliette doesn’t take a call from Avery, saying it’s her mouth that always gets her in trouble and she just needs to stop talking. Emily asks if the public would believe Layla if Layla spoke up for Juliette. After all, Layla was there.

Rayna has come to see Teddy at Teddy’s request. We’re not supposed to be able to tell if he’s just tired from grief and therefore vulnerable to paranoia or actually onto something. He tells Rayna that it’s possible that guy who tried to kill him wasn’t acting alone, and that he doesn’t want to jeopardize the safety of Rayna or the girls. He says he’s going to have to keep his distance from the girls for now and asks Rayna to cover for him. She agrees. So….why can’t Teddy just hire extra security for the girls and Rayna?

Juliette has Layla over for a little pow wow about Layla standing up for, and they verbally circle each other like two boxers positioning themselves to take the next punch. Juliette tells Layla that if she doesn’t help settle this, their tour will be in jeopardy (because of attendance issues) and of course, Juliette will owe Layla one. That last bit makes Layla smile widely.

Scarlett and Gunnar are performing “Lately” for Kelly Clarkson (!!!!). Their chemistry together is still there. Kelly picks up on that and asks if they wouldn’t mind locking themselves in a room and writing some songs with her in mind. Scarlett, shockingly, says they’re not in a place where they can write together leaving Gunnar to tell Kelly, “It’s complicated.” No footage of Kelly singing! *sadface* But Kelly did get the word out there to anybody who didn’t already know that she’s working on a country album.

To DOWNLOAD “Lately,” cowritten by Sally Barris, Ashley Monroe, and Sarah Siskind and perfomred by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, click HERE.

Will has arrived in Pittsburgh, where Layla greets him with a hug. She tells him she was worried sick. Will apologizes for not leaving a note. She wants to know if he wanted to get away from her. There’s an emptiness in his voice when he assures her he wasn’t running from her. He tells her he just needed to focus on his music, and asks if she’s coming when he goes to take the elevator up.

Rayna meets with Liam and tells him that after consulting with some programmer friends, they seem to agree “Better Days” isn’t the song to launch the album. Liam starts with his “artist” versus “playing it safe” spiel again when Rayna reminds him that she’s risked everything on her new label and still has her daughters to think about. She wants no more upheaval for her daughters, who have already been through so much this year. Liam tells her she’s right.

Scarlett is ranting to Avery about wanting to punch Gunnar in the face. Avery asks her why that is when she’s the one who broke up with Gunnar. He asks if she still has feelings for Gunnar, and she asks Avery if he has feelings for Juliette. They both know the answer to both questions, leading Scarlett to observe “We’re like old slippers. We try to pick up right where we left off.” But they’ve both changed.

Gunnar is ranting to Zoe about Scarlett tanking the meeting with Kelly. He thought that if he & Scarlett could work together again, they could be friends. But it’s not to be, Zoe observes. Gunnar starts to apologize to Zoe for going on about this, but Zoe tells him she loves him. Gunnar tells her he loves her too. That went well!

Deacon thanks Megan for agreeing to come over and apologizes for being a jerk. He tells her about sitting outside a liquor store, wondering if the solution to his writer’s block was at the bottom of a bottle. He reassures her that he didn’t go in, and says he’s always been used to writing from a place of pain, chaos, and heartache. But he’s struggling to figure out how to do that when he’s happy. Awh. He’s happy because of Megan, Maddie, and his new music. It’s just going to take some getting used to, he tells Megan. She seems touched.

Layla tells Juliette, Manager Bucky, and PA Emily that her management thinks her speaking up for Juliette is a bad idea. Manager Bucky calls her management amateurs and says he’ll manage her himself if they drop her. That leads to a priceless glare from Juliette. Layla goes out for a press conference and after talking up her religious beliefs and how she would never defend what Juliette said if that’s all there was to it, she gives the press the full quote, and the context of how Juliette was responding to protesters saying “horrible things about her mother.”

Rayna returns to her home to applause from Manager Bucky and associates. Her duet with Luke Wheeler went to #1. They banter about Jeff Fordham being happy, but also freaking out about the Juliette situation. Rayna says to forget Fordham and focus on Highway 65. “Better Days” is not going to be the single. Manager Bucky suggests she write a new song with a mind towards making it a single. No pressure! Manager Bucky encourages Rayna not to let her confidence be shaken by market research, and talks about how she and Deacon used to knock out future #1s between dessert and coffee.

Over in Pittsburgh, Brent is relieved to see that Will’s OK. Will is back to angry brushoffs and seethes to Brent that nothing will ever be OK between them again. He tells Brent to tell Jeff that he (Will) doesn’t need a minder and Brent can go back to Nashville.

Deacon is hanging out with Maddie and they’ve written a song together. Rayna and Daphne are eager to hear it when they walk in, so Deacon and Maddie perform “Believing,” cowritten in real life by by Tami Hinesh, Emily Shackelton, and Kate York. As they sing happily, Teddy is in his office having an ugly cry, Scarlett heads back on her tour bus, Avery calls Juliette to let her know she can call or come by at any time, and Juliette tearfully watches local news coverage of “anti-Juliette sentiment growing,” including bonfires stoked by her CDs and photos. And that’s a wrap, until next week!

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.