‘Nashville’ Season 3, Episode 14: Recap & Discussion Post!

Welcome back to Nashville! We kick things off on Cumulus’s flagship morning program, America’s Morning Show with Blair Garner, Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks. Will is on the show, debuting his new single, “I’m On It,” cowritten by Matt Jenkins, Matt Ramsey, and Trevor Rosen.

To DOWNLOAD “I’m On It,” cowritten by Matt Jenkins, Matt Ramsey, and Trevor Rosen and performed by Chris Carmack, click HERE!

His performance just happens to be broadcasting when Layla’s alarm radio goes off, and she turns it off. She gets out of bed to find Jeff in boxers, trying to figure out his next job and how he’s going to get it. They have a little conversation about what’s going on, seeing as they’re sleeping together again. Layla’s eyes are wide open though, she knows she could just be some kind of midlife crisis for Jeff.

Rayna brings in champagne and glasses for Manager Bucky, in celebration of Jeff’s ouster but also to offer him the position of Head of A&R at Highway 65. Bucky says yes, of course. Now where is this going?

Deacon and Scarlett await Young Blandly Cute Dr. Rand, and we’re back to Scarlett fussing over Deacon’s to-do list and Deacon sulking and slouching. Young Blandly Cute Dr. Rand arrives apologizing for his lateness and blaming Scarlett for his new Crema addiction. Deacon is unpleased to realize that Scarlett has been talking to YBC Dr. Rand behind his back. She plays it off, and Dr. Rand tells them that a spot has opened up for Deacon in a new clinical trial that tests a drug that could potentially get rid of the tumor without surgery. Scarlett is all in. But there’s a catch: if Deacon joins this trial, he has to come off the donor list for at least 6 months. Faced with such a difficult choice, he walks out of the room. Scarlett asks YBC Dr. Rand when he needs an answer about the trial, and he responds that he needs to know by the end of the week. Sensing her concern, YBC Dr. Rand also tells her she shouldn’t take this all on herself, that she deserves to have a life. Which I’m pretty sure is code for, “I will be asking you out later.”

Avery is in studio with Best Engineer In Town, listening to Sadie’s cut of “Novocaine,” cowritten in real life by Cary Barlowe, Steven Lee Olsen and Caitlyn Smith. He doesn’t like what he hears…actually, he doesn’t like what he doesn’t hear. Just then, Sadie calls, and Avery wants to know if she’ll be in studio today. She is headed over to see Rayna and ask for her help with the lawsuit Peter the Abuser has filed against her. Avery encourages her, saying that the woman who took down Jeff Fordham will have no problem making this lawsuit go away. Sadie is just embarrassed that she’s in this position. Avery assures her she’s done nothing to deserve this, and snarks that he’s pretty sure Rayna has more high maintenance acts on her roster.

Cue the cut to Juliette, who is disgusted with the way she looks and wants P.A. Emily to cancel her Vogue shoot, even though it’s a shoot that’s meant to showcase and celebrate her pregnancy. Juliette doesn’t want to immortalized in a tent. “Designer tent,” P.A. Emily reminds her.

Will is finishing up his interview at Cumulus when Terri needles him about his personal life, he plays it off, and in response to a question from Chuck, he says he’s excited to get back into the studio. Meanwhile, Blair Garner is handed a note from an assistant, and ominously tells Will they have breaking news about his label.

Luke saunters into studio, and needles his manager about everything not being set up to record. His manager says there’s no rush with no Jeff breathing down his neck, but Luke wants to be ready when the new guy comes in. Except that his manager has just gotten the word…Benton Media is dissolving the label. Yeah, like they would do this without talking to the superstar act on the roster 1st.

Over at Highway 65, Bucky reports the news to Rayna. Rayna is shocked, and says she wanted to take down Jeff, not the whole company, which she all but built. Bucky points out that with all acts being released from their contracts and the back catalog being up for sale, there is going to be a feeding frenzy, and they should get in on it. Rayna wants to him to talk to Will Lexington and see if he’s interested in making a different choice this time. Bucky’s on it, and wants to know if Rayna wants to talk about the kind of acts they’re looking for. Rayna shrugs it off because she figures they’re on the same page (which means they won’t be, right?), as Sadie walks in and asks Rayna for a minute of her time.

Sadie shows Rayna the Cease & Desist order that Abuser Pete served her to prevent her from working any further on her new music until she’s paid up, and is on the verge of tears when Rayna, unflinching, tells her they’ll fix this and to explain who Pete is and what the whole story is.

Meanwhile Teddy is in the mayor’s office, and upon hearing the Benton Media/Edgehill Republic news, calls Jeff to make sure they’re cool, and to absolve himself of any and all responsibility for what happened. He leaves a message.

Jeff and Layla are glumly watching news coverage of the Edgehill Republic, with Jeff grousing about how he’s now unemployable, and Layla responding that now she’s label-less with anybody in position to buy her masters and do with them what they will. That gives Jeff an idea that he thinks will save them both.

Back at Deacon’s, Scarlett is packing up to go write and gives Deacon the literature he’s supposed to read in order to make an informed decision about whether to go for the clinical trial. But Deacon has no interest in reading that stuff right now, and is relieved when Avery calls him asking if he can lay down some guitar tracks for Sadie’s album. Deacon is only too happy to oblige, and heads over to Bucks Run.

Gunnar is moping about Kylie and his brother and Micah as Will walks in. I don’t really understand this choice from a show writer’s POV – we had Gunnar reaching out to Micah and driving to Austin to see him before we really started seeing Gunnar coping with Kylie and Jason’s betrayal. Anyway, he tells Will he might move because he sees Micah everywhere. In the meantime, Will is freaking out about being labelless and when Gunnar tells him all the labels around town will be calling, he’s frustrated that he hasn’t gotten a single phone call. That is, until he realizes his phone was on silent, and he actually has 10. He immediately returns Scott Borchetta’s call from Big Machine, because calling a bigtime label exec without thinking is the smart thing to do. Does Will even have a manager?

A creepy photographer who keeps calling Juliette “babe” is trying to coax a sexy smile out of her, and Juliette is having none of it. When he asks what he can do to make her feel better, Juliette tells him to stop calling her “babe” before shutting the door in his face.

Gunnar arrives at South Circle Publishing to write, and wouldn’t you know it, Scarlett’s there too! She’s surprised he’s not writing in his music room at home. She notes with a little chagrin that they haven’t had a chance to talk since Micah left, but says she’s been busy. She won’t say why of course, and politely squirrels her way out of the conversation and a possible co-writing situation.

Deacon compliments Avery on his progress as a producer as he listens to “Novocaine,” but has his own ideas about the kind of guitar track he’s going to lay down and doesn’t read as too open to Avery’s vision.

Sadie has filled Rayna in on Pete’s abuse, and Rayna is all sympathy and encouragement. She offers Sadie a place to stay, but Sadie says she’s got it covered, which on this show, means somethin’ bad about to happen.

Luke meets with Jeff, and confirms Jeff’s speculation that every label is town wants to meet with him, and is making good offers. Jeff covers the role of his own misdeeds in the sinking of Edgehill Republic, and encourages Luke to turn down all offers and buy his masters himself, to start a new label and let Jeff handle the business side.

Meanwhile Will is taking meetings with various labels, and smiles politely as several promise to boost his “bad boy” image and sex appeal.

In studio, Deacon wants to keep trying his slide guitar for the track, but Avery wants to try a more aggressive solo. They disagree, Deacon tries to play the experience card, but Avery plays his producer card.

Rayna and Luke somehow end up in the same elevator at a lawyer’s office, leading to a loaded exchange that’s about how Rayna feels about the end of Edgehill Republic that doubles as a conversation about how Rayna feels about the end of her relationship with Luke. As she leaves the elevator, Luke calls Jeff and says he’s in, and instructs Jeff to get former Edgehill acts Will Lexington, Arkansas Mountain Home, and Roy Harris on board. When Jeff tries to lobby for Layla, Luke says no.

Teddy is still freaking out about Jeff Fordham not returning his calls, and instructs his assistant to alert the police, which seems like a bang up terrific idea considering their past.

Meanwhile, Jeff returns to Layla’s, and confirms he’s the new president of Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records. But, he confesses to Layla that he couldn’t get Luke to sign her, because he’s only interested in making money, not developing artists. Layla is discouraged there’s nobody in town who’s interested in nurturing her songwriting and voice. Jeff thinks there’s 1 label head in town who would.

Yup, it’s Rayna. We won’t find out until later though, because she’s meeting with a lawyer about what they can do about Pete’s Cease & Desist letter to Sadie. Much like last week, the lawyer says there’s not much they can do. She recommends a settlement offer that would start in the $500k range. Sadie doesn’t have that kind of money, but Rayna says their label’s liability insurance could cover it. Sadie feels awful about this and doesn’t want to let Abuser Pete win, but Rayna says getting him out of her life and being able to move forward with the album would be a victory for them. The lawyer tells them all work on the album must stop.

Avery and Best Engineer In Town are working on the sound of “Novocaine” when Juliette calls. She fired the photographer and tells Avery she feels ugly and fat. He tries to reassure her, but sees Deacon and Best Engineer In Town jamming to what is apparently Deacon’s vision for his track, and goes to reassert his role. Deacon accuses him of not listening, and they argue, with Avery reminding Deacon that he’s not co-producer – Avery brought him in because he’s a great guitarman. It’s all moot for now though, as Best Engineer In Town takes the call that shuts down work on Sadie’s album.

Scarlett is sobbing on a South Circle Publishing couch when Gunnar walks in on her looking for help. She’s able to cover her grief by saying it’s music-related, and Gunnar suggests they do something together like grab Avery for an open mic night. Scarlett thinks that sounds like fun.

Layla waits at Highway 65 offices as Rayna meets with a bunch of male groups and duos, some of whom will do whatever she wants them to do, some of whom have no clue what she’s saying, and 1 of whom appears to be the band Arkansas Mountain Home. It’s been a long day, and Layla’s about ready to give up when she calls Jeff. Jeff is at a meeting with Luke, waiting for Will, and encourages her to stick around, because Rayna’s a sucker for women with something to say. Luke eyes Jeff during the conversation, and just in time, Will arrives. Luke tells Will about his new label, and he and Jeff pitch Will on how they can give him the opportunity to work with people he already trusts. Jeff subtly reminds Will of how he’s been there for him and how that doesn’t have to stop. Luke jokes that as a bonus, they won’t be signing his ex-wife, which gets a wince from Jeff. Will asks if Luke’s label will have what it takes to compete with the big guns as it finds its footing. Luke says he’s the biggest gun in town, leaving Jeff to pipe up that they are together the 2 biggest guns in town.

Somehow, Gunnar and Scarlett were able to snag Avery for a night at the Bluebird. They launch into “World On Time,” cowritten by Jeremy Bose and Trent Dabbs

To DOWNLOAD “World On Time,” cowritten by Jeremy Bose and Trent Dabbs and performed by Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen, and Jonathan Jackson, click HERE!

Check out co writer Trent Dabbs’s version of the song, from his recently released album Believer, here:

Arkansas Mountain Home signed with SteelString. Rayna isn’t sure about signing the duo Roy Harris, because she’s not sure they represent what the label’s looking for. She and Bucky start to argue, and Rayna shuts Bucky down on this, and Bucky walks out.

Layla is asleep on the couch when Rayna walks out and thanks her for waiting so long. Layla makes her case as an act beyond the reality show and Edgehill’s singles, and gives her a demo CD. She admits to having made a lot of mistakes for somebody her age, and they’ve led her to figure out what she wants to say an artist.

Scarlett and Gunnar are sharing a drink after a fun set at the Bluebird, and Scarlett admits she had so much fun up there, that it was nice to do something like that. Gunnar encourages her to do something for herself, and says that if she’s interested, he could call up manager Noel Loughlin and see if this could become a regular thing. Avery overhears, and instead of shutting Gunnar down on account of his coming baby, says he’s in since his producing’s on hold.

Deacon is reviewing literature when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Will. After some perfunctory catchup, Will talks to Deacon about his label situation, and how Luke and Jeff (the same Jeff who knows and has had his back) are starting a new label. Deacon muses that having a choice is not the same thing as having control, which of course applies equally to Deacon’s own life. Deacon tells Will he tends to lean towards the devil he knows.

Meanwhile Jeff is drinking in a bar when Teddy finally finds him. Jeff does nothing to reassure him.

The next morning, Juliette tells Avery that she rescheduled her Vogue photo shoot, because he was right. Avery is ready to hang around to hear a little more about being right, but Juliette comically shoos him away.

Rayna and Sadie are sitting in a conference room awaiting Abuser Pete, and Sadie is ashamed, embarrassed and angry about the situation. Rayna assures again she does not deserve this, that she can direct her anger at her abuser, and that they will take the control back today.

Teddy is frantically calling Natasha, and going through his files to search for a police summons for her. He finds the summons.

Back to the Rayna/Sadie/lawyer settlement meeting, where they offer Abuser Pete a generous settlement including a 25% share of future earnings from Sadie’s 1st album, something that Abuser Pete’s lawyer advises him to sign. He does, with gloating. Sadie walks out, and Rayna gets in a few digs about member size and who really has the power. She threatens him that if he goes anywhere Sadie again, she’ll ruin him.

Will calls Luke, who is waiting with his manager, to accept his label offer. Jeff walks in to hear the good news, but before he can celebrate, Luke says his manager has put feelers around town and learned that nobody is going to take their new venture seriously if Jeff’s a part of it. And with that, Jeff is excused from Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records. Good decision, Luke, because you were going to be pretty upset if you’d heard about the little incident at the party at Jeff’s house.

Deacon calls Blandly Cute Young Dr. Rand and tells him he has decided not to join the clinical trial, and that he would like to stay on the donor list. He’s sure. Over at BCY Dr. Rand’s office, Scarlett has arrived to ask Dr. Rand out. He says yes.

Avery and Best Engineer In Town are listening to Sadie’s “Novocaine” when Sadie walks in with doughnuts and news that they can move forward with the record, because Abuser Pete is officially out of her life (is it going to be that simple?). Deacon arrives to apologize for his earlier behavior, and he’s ready to get in line to do what the record producer wishes.

Rayna is listening to Layla’s “Blind,” written in real life by Jabe Beyer, Ian Fitchuk and Maren Morris.

To DOWNLOAD “Blind,” cowritten by Jabe Beyer, Ian Fitchuk and Maren Morris.
and performed by Aubrey Peeples, click HERE.

Bucky walks in and agrees that is a great song from a real talent, but is hesitant about taking on an act who is a walking punchline right now and needs a full re-branding. Rayna says Sadie’s album is a go again, they bought a ton of the Edgehill catalog and will make money back on the Highway 65 Presents series, so she’s brimming with optimism. On the other hand, Bucky’s concerned about Juliette and when she’s going to get going again, and wants to make sure they learn from their mistakes. Rayna says they need to learn from Edgehill’s mistakes too, and that she never wants to lose the passion for the music at the label. Bucky seems convinced, for now.

Juliette and Avery are having a movie night, and Juliette shows Avery some highlights from her photo shoot. The photos show Juliette draped in some white sheets, and Avery loves them.

When Layla and Jeff reunite at her place (why not his?), it’s Layla with the good news (she got an offer to sign with Highway 65) and Jeff with the bad (he got canned. Again.). Somehow this resolves in Layla asking Jeff to be her manager, because sleeping with one’s manager could never possibly go bad. But it’s going to happen.

A doorbell rings in this week’s final scene, and it’s Teddy visiting Natasha, making references to their cover story. Natasha doesn’t know what he’s doing there, but…SHOCKER! The local police have her house tapped, and immediately recognize the mayor’s voice. And now Teddy is really in trouble. That’s it for this week…until next week, when the writers promise the Rayna-Deacon reunion shippers have been waiting for.

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.