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

Welcome back to Nashville!

Rayna and Luke are all loved up for a photo shoot, discussing how much they’re going to miss each other as they head off on their respective tour dates. They’ve got a full lineup of “couple” press ahead. The photographer is happy with his shots, and asks for a selfie. He’s going to hashtag it “Ruke,” and Luke barely suppresses an eyeroll as he lobbies for “Layna” as the less cringeworthy option.

Meanwhile, Juliette is throwing up in the bathroom. She tries to leave a message for Avery, but is interrupted by Manager Glenn’s knock on the bathroom door. She yells at Manager Glenn to give her some privacy, drops her stash of pills, and is about to freak out when she realizes she can delete her message to Avery.

Luke and Rayna (with Manager Bucky in tow) arrive for a meeting with Team Wheeler, which is headed by Doug Kraft, who congratulates Rayna on her success and jokes about how much easier she’s made Luke to be around. He’s ready to report on all the offers they’re receiving as a couple (music competition shows, teddy bears #Layna not #Ruke, Christmas albums…), but Luke wants to hold off on the marketing talk and talk wedding date. Rayna’s more reluctant to but Luke tells her they haven’t been able to figure out a date and his team knows their schedules better than they do. After some calendar crunching, Team Wheeler proposes 11/1, which is sooner than Rayna wants. But since the other option is 2016, Luke is game. Rayna’s still not happy about having this conversation with business people, but seems ready to go along with the plan.

Deacon is bidding Maddie goodbye for now, and Maddie is grousing about their upcoming time apart. She tries to diss Teddy for his strictness, but Deacon defends him and proposes a fishing trip the week before the CMAs. A teary Maddie tells Deacon, “I love you, Dad,” and Deacon is moved.

Will is venting about his album dropping to #2 and the stress of cameras in his face during his latest session with Trainer Tony. He’s about to head out on the road on the Luke Wheeler tour, and tells Tony he’s going to miss their sessions. Tony coyly reminds him that trainers come out on the road for tours all the time.

A sweaty, listless Juliette is rehearsing for her tour while Manager Glenn and PA Emily have a concernd conversation about what’s up. Juliette tries to blame Zoe for messing up the words, and walks out of rehearsal.

Rayna tells Maddie and Daphne that she and Luke have set a date, and predictably, they have opposite reactions. Maddie tells Rayna she was supposed to go fishing with Deacon and her “stupid wedding” has ruined it. As Rayna tries to explain, Maddie lays into her for rejecting Deacon’s proposal, and walks out on their conversation.

Rayna goes to see Deacon about having told Maddie that he proposed. He explains, and says it’s not his job to make this easy for Rayna. Rayna tells him it’s their job to make it easier for Maddie, and after Deacon asks, says she and Luke will marry the 1st week of November.

Gunnar is trying to cut a demo for “When You Close Your Eyes” when Zoe interrupts him. She angles to sing with him. He doesn’t want to do that song, but when she reminds them of a gig their band with Avery had the opportunity to play, he’s game for it. They head off to find a hung over Avery, who apparently had some female company the night before and is still being the drunken heartbroken loser. Gunnar informs Avery that he’s playing with them the following night whether he likes it or not.

Scarlett is at her publisher’s office, and her publisher is thrilled that she wants to get back in the writing game. According to her publisher, there is a great demand for female-driven material, and when Scarlett says she can go consult her poetry, her publisher says the demand is for fun songs. She wants Scarlett to get out there and hang out with people, then write her version of fun songs.

Over at Teddy’s, Maddie has made herself some short shorts, and Teddy tries to maintain his sense of humor when he disapproves. Maddie lobbies to go over to her friend Talia’s for a backyard BBQ the next night, because she’s never lied about going over to her friend’s house before (in fact, on this show, I’m pretty sure every time she has been showing asking to hang out with a friend, it’s been under false pretenses). Teddy teases here about Daphne and him joining her, but agrees to let her go after she confirms that parents will be there chaperoning. But no short shorts.

Out in LA, Deacon arrives at his hotel, where Luke is surrounded by gushy female fans who call him and Rayna the best couple ever. Deacon’s assistant tells him that he has a satellite radio interview in the morning and then nothing until soundcheck. As he heads to his hotel room, he’s interrupted by Pam, Luke’s new backup singer. Deacon brushes off her flattery and advances, which means it’s only a matter of time until he doesn’t.

Not content with the pregnancy cliches they’ve already foisted on Juliette, the writers send Juliette home with a tub of ice cream, only to find Manager Glenn and PA Emily rifling through her stuff in search of drugs. They are concerned about her erratic behavior. A suddenly focused Juliette kicks them out after reminding them that they are employees and telling them she’s not on drugs.

Deacon is supposed to be having his soundcheck, and is none too happy waiting while Luke’s on stage, and Jeff Fordham has Sadie Stone (Laura Benanti!!!!!!) in tow as he woos her to join Edgehill Republic. Jeff hears Luke has a new song that he wrote for his wife-to-be. Turns out Sadie idolizes Rayna James. Back up singer Pam says in passing that Deacon’s even cuter when he’s angry. Luke’s conversation with Jeff and Sadie is interrupted by a call from Rayna who wants to talk about how their kids are taking the news. Deacon is watching all this go down, but probably not there when Luke gets frustrated over Rayna’s desire to delay their wedding on account of Maddie (she tells Luke that Deacon told Maddie that he proposed) and just…stuff (meanwhile, Luke’s kids are on board). Luke hangs up on Rayna.

Juliette is in Hollywood for her screen test with movie lead Noah, played by Derek Hough. He asks if she’s acted much before. She hasn’t, but she says she’s done her fair share of pretending. Juliette is all charm and sass right now.

Meanwhile, Layla is clutching Will’s neck as they film a performance of “If Your Heart Can Handle It” for their show. Having fulfilled his husbandly duties, Will is ready for a session with his trainer, but Layla informs him that he’s not leaving until he’s filmed testimonials about how great it is to sing with her.

To DOWNLOAD “If Your Heart Can Handle It,” cowritten by Dean Alexander and Jaida Dreyer and performed by Chris Carmack and Aubrey Peeples, click HERE!

BONUS: Check out Nashville: On The Record for “If Your Heart Can Handle It,” featuring cowriters Dean Alexander and Jaida Dreyer and performers Chris Carmack and Aubrey Peeples:

BONUS: Check out co-writers Dean Alexander and Jaida Dreyer performing “If Your Heart Can Handle It” acoustically:

Also don’t forget that there’s a live Chris Carmack/Aubrey Peeples Opry performance of “if Your Heart Can Handle It” posted in last week’s recap/discussion post.

Maddie is set to leave for that “BBQ,” and Teddy compliments her on her outfit. It’s apparently Talia’s, and apparently Talia’s mom is out front ready to pick up the girls. Teddy doesn’t bother to check, and Maddie is off. Daphne has been invited to go glow in the dark bowling with friends, but offers to stay home. Teddy wants her to go have fun too, and says he’s figure out something to do.

Juliette rips into a scene where Patsy Cline argues with her husband where he accuses her of putting her career before her children. The director is impressed, and Noah wants to “celebrate.”

Zoe meets up with Scarlett at “Barn-a-roo,” where she, Avery and Gunnar will be playing tonight and real life band Old Dominion is playing now. Scarlett says she’s there to take in the fun scene and figure out if she can do this writer-for-hire thing. Zoe asks if she’s considered partnering with Gunnar for writing again, and Scarlett gently turns down the idea. Inside, it turns out Maddie is also at this Barn-a-roo shindig. She ditches the skirt Teddy approves of in favor of those short shorts she didn’t, and accepts the hard lemonade offered to her.

As Gunnar makes his way through the crowd, he’s greeted by old friend Kylie, who’s just come to town and is waitressing. She’s very proud of his success, and asks if his brother is also in town. Apparently, she kept up with Gunnar’s career and not his brother’s fate. Gunnar introduces Zoe to Kylie, and Zoe points out they have a problem…a sauced Avery. When they take the stage, Avery reworks “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World,” a song he wrote about Juliette, into a bitter breakup song. Meanwhile, Scarlett spots Maddie and neatly extricates her from her little tangle with the guy who was hitting on her (who immediately starts hitting on Talia). Finally, some interaction between cousins!

Rayna is ready to drop her tour prep for the moment so she can surprise Luke out in LA and figure out the wedding situation with him in person. She’s chartering a private jet.

The tour manager informs Deacon that he is going to have cut his set by a couple of songs, and when he confronts Luke, Luke all but admits he cut Deacon’s set because he’s mad about Deacon telling Maddie that he proposed to Rayna too. The writing on this show being what it is, I don’t know if we’re supposed to believe that Luke has been trying to communicate with Maddie (because we sure haven’t been shown that) or if he thinks Maddie’s objections would magically disappear. But it is certainly true that Luke proposed without consulting Maddie and Daphne 1st, and we only know that Daphne adores him. Anyway, back-up singer Pam watches and is impressed as Deacon stands up for himself and his right to tell his daughter what he thinks is right.

Teddy is out for a night on the town. A friendly woman sits next to him and doesn’t appear to recognize him as mayor of Nashville? She tries to make conversation by asking if he’s liking his cheese. He responds politely, but the woman gives up and starts chatting up another guy.

Juliette and Noah are chatting around a fireplace, and Juliette assures Noah that his movies are not “formula,” as he calls them, but wonderful. He offers her a drink and goes in for a kiss, but Juliette politely and kindly turns both down. When he starts a conversation about what went wrong with his ex (she lied), Juliette excuses herself, saying she feels really sick.

Will is getting ready to take the stage, and Layla wants to know what he thinks of her outfit. Without looking, he tells her she looks great (the cameras are rolling, after all). Jeff Fordham asks for a minute without the cameras, and tells Will he can’t go up there with Layla because the women who are buying his album won’t keep doing so if they’re reminded that he’s married. Jeff warns Will that his album is #5 and falling, and proceeds to diss Layla, telling her her music career is over and she should stick to her reality show. Will heads off to take the stage.

Scarlett and Maddie have a nice conversation as Scarlett drives her home, and bond over feeling left out. Scarlett tells Maddie that feeling things very deeply is something that bonds artists, and the best way to deal with those feelings is to write them down instead of acting up. She promises Maddie she won’t tell either of her dads what happened, reminds her to put on her other set of clothes before she gets home, and asks Maddie to call her the next time before she does something stupid.

Back at Barn-a-roo, a wasted Avery is accepting the attention from a blonde who calls him the lovechild of Johnny Cash and Johnny Depp, and Zoe gives up trying to save him when she sees Gunnar having a warm chat with Kylie. She waitresses at the Hermitage Cafe and invites Gunnar to come for breakfast one day. Zoe is just not a happy camper at this point, and she and Gunnar head off.

Back in LA, Will and Layla fight in his dressing room, and he says that he is doing everything Layla wants, but his music and set are Jeff’s to control. The fight ends when Will tells Layla, “I may be gay but you’re insane!”

Meanwhile, Luke is in the middle of his set. Rayna has arrived, and as she makes her way through the backstage crowd, she meets Sadie Stone (Laura Benanti!!!!!!!). They quickly form a mutual admiration society that is interrupted by Jeff Fordham’s jibes, and Rayna heads off to surprise Luke on stage. He’s finishing up his band intros, and it turns out back up singer Pam has a last name…Ford! He’s about to bring out Deacon and Will for “It’s On Tonight,” but Rayna’s surprise appearance prompts a change – he instead debuts Rodney Crowell’s “Good Woman – Good To Me” with Rayna sitting on stage.

To DOWNLOAD “Good Woman – Good To Me,” written by Rodney Crowell and performed by Will Chase, click HERE!

Deacon storms off. When he slams the door on his dressing room, he’s greeted by Juliette, who needs advice. Deacon isn’t in the mood, and is short with her. He advises Juliette to either tell him absolutely everything (she mentions a 3rd party, but doesn’t say the 3rd party is a baby) or to let the “poor bastard” go and set him free. Later on, Pam Ford arrives at Deacon’s hotel room, and when he tells her she must be the only one who doesn’t realize he’s in love with Rayna James, she points out Rayna James is in love with somebody else. Pam makes it clear she’s still available, and this time, Deacon accepts her advances, shutting the door behind them as they make out.

Back in Nashville, Gunnar and Zoe finally have it out, when Zoe yells at him for shutting her out of “When You Close Your Eyes” and not telling her about Kylie. Gunnar admits Kylie was his 1st love, and says he didn’t tell Zoe because he wanted her to like her, because Kylie’s as close to family as he’s got now that Jason is gone. Zoe tells Gunnar that he has her for family now, and that she’ll like whomever he wants her to like as long as he’s honest.

Rayna and Luke are having a loving, lustful reunion in his hotel room, and he is appropriately grateful for the effort Rayna took to see him after their phone conversation didn’t go well. He apologizes to her, and admits the Deacon thing is hard on him. Rayna undresses him, and tells him she still thinks November is too soon, but has an idea for a merged “honeymoon tour” that will allow them to marry in December. Luke is game. When Rayna is done disrobing him, she notices the new Rayna tattoo on his arm. Because that kind of gesture never ends badly, amirite? Well, Rayna thinks he’s crazy, but she likes it.

Will is trying to work off his stress with weights when Tony the trainer arrives. Will says he needs more, and Tony says he understands. And they start making out, when Will takes Tony into the locker room.

Layla arrives at Jeff Fordham’s hotel room, and informs him that her next record will go gold, or she will out his cash cow on the rise. Very nice, Layla Grant!

Now back in Nashville, a hooded Juliette is rehearsing her speech to Avery in a car outside his place. It’s a heartfelt speech about how what they had is bigger than them now, and how she hopes he can find it in his heart to forgive her. But naturally, she sees Avery arriving home with the Barn-a-roo blonde, which takes care of the reveal that night. Inside Avery’s place, the Barn-a-roo blonde wants to know how Juliette did it, and that kills any mood Avery may have had. The blonde leaves, and tearful Avery sings a stripped down version of “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World,” as we see Juliette going through her messages (a congratulatory one from Manager Glenn and a friendly one from Noah, plus one from Dr. Davidson about whether she wants to go through with her pregnancy or not) and Deacon thumbing through the morning paper (which has a feature on “Country’s New Power Couple” Rayna and Luke) while Pam wakes up in his bed.

Gunnar goes to see Kylie at the Hermitage Cafe, and she is pleasantly surprised because she wasn’t sure Zoe would approve. Gunnar says that was his fault and it’s fine now. It turns out Kylie left their hometown without telling him, and left no forwarding address, because her parents thought he was a bad influence on her. She says it was one of the many things they were wrong about, and Gunnar and Kylie go down memory lane, remembering Jason’s musical inclinations too. That’s when Gunnar tearfully tells Kylie that Jason was killed. She cries with him.

Scarlett is back at South Circle Publishing, and she’s written a song about feeling like an outsider, and what peer pressure feels like. That’s not exactly what her publisher was looking for because it’s not what girls will want to hear. But, Scarlett says, it’s what girls ought to hear.

Rayna is chatting with Manager Bucky on the phone while driving home, telling him she and Luke have worked out a wedding date in December with a honeymoon tour to follow. Manager Bucky is ready to get right on that with Team Wheeler. It’s an ominous scene where you just know something is waiting for Rayna. Sure enough, Rayna spots a still hooded Juliette waiting in her driveway – an important development but fortunately not a negative one. Juliette tells her she can’t seem to talk to anybody else, but thought maybe Rayna would be the one to understand. When Rayna asks what there is to understand, Juliette shows her the sonogram of her baby. And that’s it for this week, but tune in next week for what will surely be some nice scenes between Juliette and Rayna that really underscore what makes this show worth watching. Join us again, won’t you? And thanks again for bearing with me through this week’s recap delay!

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.