Welcome back to Nashville! We rejoin proceedings at Casa Jaymes, where a dead-eyed Deacon is staring off into space, wanly allowing Rayna to think about practical things like matching shoes. He’s to deliver the eulogy at Beverly’s funeral that day. It doesn’t appear that he thinks very fondly of Scarlett right now.
Any doubts about what Deacon thinks about Scarlett are erased when he pointed ignores her when arriving at Beverly’s funeral. Rayna does hug Scarlett, though. Gunnar arrives with plans to give Scarlett some space. Zoe (hey, remember her?) has returned to town to support Scarlett, and performs the gospel standard “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Deacon tries to get through his eulogy but dissolves into tears as he tries to read what he wrote, which devastates both Scarlett and Maddie (who is there supported by Colt). Rayna takes over for Deacon and completes the eulogy, which acknowledges Beverly’s wrong turns but ultimately, her big spirit and heart.
To DOWNLOAD “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” performed by Chaley Rose click HERE!
Meanwhile, Juliette has wiped out on her bed, while Jeff demands that she get herself together for purposes of an Oscar campaign. Juliette just wants a few days off. But Jeff has booked an E! Online feature that will allow a reporter 48 hour exclusive access to her through a hectic two days of events. What could possibly go wrong? Juliette demands coffee from newfound BFF/personal assistant/enabler Lindsay, who sleeps on the floor, apparently.
Back at the funeral, Gunnar and Zoe have an awkward reunion. Gunnar compliments her singing and asks if they can catch up. Zoe tells him she’s seeing somebody in L.A. and really needs to be here for Scarlett, but agrees to stop by if there’s time.
Meanwhile, Avery hugs Scarlett, as does Will. Scarlett asks after Cadence. Will apologizes not having been around and Scarlett says he’s been brave. The friendly chemistry here is really strong. Wish we would see more of these interactions. Scarlett sees Gunnar and embraces him, thanking him for being a friend. Right on cue, Dr. Caleb walks up and he tells Gunnar he’s worried about not being able to get through to her. Gunnar tells Dr. Caleb to let him know if there’s anything he can do. They see Deacon reject Scarlett, again. Rayna, who is trying to help manage the scene, gets a phone call and, seeing that it’s new artist Marcus Keen, feels she has to take it. Turns out Marcus has cut his vacation short and is on his way to Nashville.
Rayna quickly gets on the phone with Bucky and tells him they need to race to line up possible producers as quickly as possible. Bucky offers to steward Marcus around Nashville today, since Rayna has a lot on her plate and mind. Rayna suggests that they bring Marcus to the Opry tomorrow, as an introduction to Nashville.
As the E! reporter (costumed, strangely, in a business suit) watches, Juliette puts on a workout show, insisting that she can’t start a day without a full workout. Her phone rings and she pretends the call is from Avery, though it’s really from Enabler Lindsay. Juliette orders Lindsay to make a new doctor friend to get her something prescription for energy. This is going to end well.
It turns out that Emily had been looking after Cadence during the funeral, and Avery finds them in the park afterwards. They have a friendly conversation in which Avery figures that since Juliette, like Beverly, is ill, she, too, must still feel strongly for her daughter, and just wants Juliette to rediscover that connection. He also says he’ll need Emily more often because he needs to find work as a producer. As they tend to a fussy, possibly teething Cadence, a photographer snaps pictures of them. Misunderstanding upcoming!
Over at Highway 65 offices, Bucky is showing Marcus around, and Marcus makes himself right at home in Rayna’s office. After Marcus asks, Bucky explains why Rayna isn’t there, but mentions they have producer meetings set up for the next day, plus a visit to the Opry where Rayna will perform and Layla will debut tonight. Marcus guesses that the Opry is where Hee Haw filmed. Okay.
Speaking of Layla, she’s having a cuddly post-coital reunion with Jeff. Blech. Pillow talk turns to career talk, and Jeff defends Rayna’s signing of Marcus, assuring Layla that rising tides raise all ships. Layla wishes he could be her date. He doesn’t think that’s the right look, but has bought her a lovely pair of boots for her debut.
Juliette is doing an album signing with the E! reporter watching, encouraging the fan to go buy the album. This is not how signings work these days, is it? Don’t stores require that you purchase an album at the store in order to get it signed? Anyway, excuses herself to sign an autograph for her friend’s “friend.” The “friend” is of course a doctor (“doctor”?) Lindsay met at the hotel, and he prescribes Adderall to Juliette, in Lindsay’s name, of course. Juliette announces the end of her signing, assuring all fans who didn’t get an autograph that they’ll get free album copies. This is also not something that would happen, it’s always security/management that’s the bad guy, never the artist. The reporter seems understanding of Juliette’s predicament, since she just has so many fans.
Back at Casa Jaymes, Rayna tries to help Deacon get through the hours. She suggests warming up a funeral casserole or have a quiet night. Deacon shuts it all down, saying he doesn’t know what he wants to do, but realizes he needs to go to a meeting.
Over at Dr. Caleb’s, he’s set Zoe up on a pullout sofa. He tries to talk to Scarlett, but it comes off too much like a doctor-patient. Scarlett says she doesn’t speak doctor, and Dr. Caleb realizes he has to figure something out.
At the AA meeting, a guy is speaking about loss (of money), and comes over to talk to Deacon after he’s done. Deacon’s probably not going to share. The guy, sensing Deacon’s difficulty, offers a one-on-one.
Over in her hotel, Juliette is so wired, she’s tossing and turning and can’t sleep. Now she demands Lindsay give her something to relax, so Lindsay offers sleeping pills. Juliette takes them with alcohol. This is definitely going to end well!
Zoe and Scarlett are having breakfast out, because Scarlett felt like she wanted to get outside a little. Scarlett tries to ask about Zoe’s new life, but Zoe’s not there to talk about her boyfriend. We learn that Scarlett wanted to have the funeral in Naches but Deacon insisted that the funeral be in Nashville and Scarlett wasn’t going to argue. It’s not clear how any of those conversations could have taken place considering Deacon’s current silent treatment of Scarlett, but anyway. Scarlett doesn’t know if there’s going to be an Xes tour because it doesn’t feel right now. Zoe promises she’ll get through this, that she has Zoe and she has Caleb. Scarlett grouses that that’s like hugging a textbook.
Juliette is somehow functional the next morning as Lindsay runs through her schedule, which includes a radio interview and many other things. Juliette demands her “vitamins,” as the E! reporter is in earshot. Was this reporter born yesterday, because who would buy this?
Over at Highway 65 Records. Avery walks into Bucky’s office, says he needs a producing gig. Avery pitches that he knows Marcus’s work better than any producer he’d be meeting with in town. After declining to cancel any of Marcus’s scheduled meetings for the next day, Manager Bucky suggests Avery find Marcus backstage at the Opry.
Back at Casa Jaymes, Deacon chooses to skip out on the Opry and Rayna understands. Hearing this, Maddie also chooses to stay home, even though, as Rayna points out, Marcus Keen will be there and she could meet him. Daphne also skips, saying with not a little attitude that he’s Maddie’s fave singer, not hers.
In a surprise move, Dr. Caleb goes to see Gunnar. Gunnar is surprised to see him, but Dr. Caleb says he’s decided to take Gunnar up on his offer. Turns out Dr. Caleb’s trying to write a song, wants help finishing it. Well, isn’t that sweet (but oh, are they going to show us how awful that song probably is)?
Will is somewhat forlornly looking over the wall of Opry member plates when Rayna walks up. Rayna and Will have a nice exchange – he’s there to see her and to see Layla and she applauds his bravery. Rayna invites Will into a selfie with a fan, and it’s a lovely moment. The fact that Will has been dropped by Wheelin’ Dealin’ for “business reasons” does not come up.
Rayna goes to see Layla, who is side of stage, nervously strumming her guitar. Jeff is course confident that she’ll be fantastic, and Rayna agrees while never once pretending to like Jeff. Layla’s introduced and takes the stage at the Opry, performs “Mess Worth Making,” written in real life by Kelly Archer, Maren Morris and Justin Weaver.
To DOWNLOAD “Mess Worth Making,” written by Kelly Archer, Maren Morris and Justin Weaver and performed by Aubrey Peeples CLICK HERE!
As a note: the Opry usually has a fancier announcement that notes a person’s Opry debut and tells the audience a little bit about that person than what the show showed.
Meanwhile, Juliette is doing a radio interview where the DJ asks about how she deals with tabloid rumors and shows her a photograph of Avery and Emily, taken during their picnic outing, and a blog claiming that he’s stepping out on her. Juliette smoothly laughs it all off as the E! reporter watches, saying Emily’s a friend and long-time employee who helps with Cadence.
But the next cut shows Juliette chewing out Emily by phone (does Emily’s phone not have caller ID? Because Juliette appears to be calling from her cell phone, and that means Emily now has her new cell phone number.) Juliette hangs up on her just as the apparently clueless E! reporter knocks on the door to say farewell. So is the E! reporter really that unobservant or will the truth be revealed on the E! site.
Backstage at the Opry, everybody is full of applause for Layla after her successful Opry debut. But Marcus quickly steals the attention, simply by showing up. Jeff reassures Layla that nobody cares what happens backstage, it’s all about what happened on stage.
Over at Casa Jaymes, Maddie asks Deacon if he wants company. Deacon at first says sure. But as an overeager Maddie runs down a list of things they could do, low-key and sweet though they are, Deacon bails, saying he just remembered that he had to go over to his place to take care of some things.
Meanwhile, Marcus is regaling backstage Opry crowd with a story about playing Wembly Stadium and performing “God Save The Queen,” only to have Prince Harry join them on stage. Rayna introduces Marcus to Avery, who is there to pitch his services as a producer. Marcus recognizes him as “Juliette Barnes’s baby daddy,” which is probably not a line on Avery’s business card.
Back in her hotel room, Juliette revisits the tabloid pictures of Avery and Emily and weeps. Lindsay appears at just the wrong time, but is obviously unworried.
Back to the writing session at Gunnar’s, where Gunnar is trying to find a melody to Dr. Caleb’s awkward lyrics. Gunnar suggests a change to the line, and Dr. Caleb realizes Gunnar’s idea is much better. He apologizes for what he said earlier when he dismissed music. He knows music is a gift, that he could never do what they do. Gunnar says they could never do what he does. Well, this is nice and cordial. Turning Dr. Caleb, temporary distraction though he obviously is, into a jerk would have been too trite and too unsatisfying from a narrative point of view.
Avery is making his case to Marcus, emphasizing what a big fan he is. He cites “Drunk Moon,” the song Marcus says never got released and was what got him kicked out of his band. Marcus asks Avery about his credentials, and Avery mentions the Sadie album…that never got finished, his CMA-nominated single with Juliette…that didn’t win (but, Avery says, the CMAs always go for conventional and safe – how interesting to diss the voting on the network where the show airs!). Avery’s pitch is interrupted by a phone call from Emily, who tells him Cadence has a 104-degree fever and she has to take her to the hospital. Avery reluctantly excuses himself, realizing this will probably blow his chance at being Marcus’s producer. Indeed, Marcus doesn’t seem to get why Avery has to go. If this show does a real treatment of how people in Nashville do make more allowances for family than you’d expect and how that’s an adjustment for people coming from other genres, it could be informative (may not make for sparkling television). Anyway, considering Avery’s the only character on the show right now who’s a producer, do we see Marcus going with anybody else? Maybe he’ll give Avery a second chance.
At Casa Jaymes, Maddie and Colt commiserate about uncommunicative parents in times of crisis and tragedy. Colt says sometimes it’s not about what they say, but what they do. Maddie figures she can bring Deacon dinner. Colt thinks that’s a good idea, and will drive her over. Maddie says tells Daphne she’s leaving for half an hour and not to do anything stupid. Uh oh.
Sidestage at the Opry, Rayna and Marcus are bantering, and she introduces him to Layla. Jeff introduces himself and Rayna rolls her eyes before taking the stage herself. Rayna brings Layla back on stage to give her another moment, but is interrupted when Marcus crashes the stage and suggests a duet with Rayna. With the spotlight off her, Layla storms off stage and Jeff gives chase.
Avery arrives at the hospital and Emily says the doctors think Cadence has ear infection but can’t get fever down. Avery says he has to find Juliette. Emily hasn’t mentioned the phone call from Juliette? I guess that isn’t necessarily the time, but on the other hand, it’s not completely irrelevant.
For their Opry duet (and Marcus’s Opry debut, effectively) Rayna and Marcus launch into the Joe Tex song “I Want To (Do Everything For You)” while Layla sulks in her dressing room.
To DOWNLOAD “I Want To Do Everything For You,” written by Joe Tex and performed by Connie Britton and Riley Smith, click HERE!
Check out Joe Tex‘s version of the song here:
Layla is an unhappy camper, saying the duet is going to absorb all of the attention she would have gotten from her debut. She throws Jeff’s remark about how the only thing that matters is what happens onstage back in his face. Jeff wants to listen, but his phone keeps ringing. Layla, tired of feeling like second priority or worse, demands that he ignore the call. But Jeff is sure that he wouldn’t be getting this many calls from Avery is there weren’t a crisis. Indeed, Avery is desperate to find Juliette and tells Jeff that their daughter is ill.
Where is Juliette? She’s with that shady “doctor,” who ominously asks what Juliette wants to feel. She wants to feel nothing. So the doctor injects something into her hip. She’s going to be unconscious and hospital-bound by the end of this episode herself, right?
Deacon, it turns out, is at his home, in what was Beverly’s room. He wrecks the place, punching a mirror as an exclamation point just as Maddie walks in. She’s upset by what she’s witnessed, and runs off before he can see her.
Back at the Opry, Marcus is very pleased with himself after his duet with Rayna. Rayna enjoyed it too, but points out that Layla’s debut got overshadowed and that wasn’t cool. He promises it won’t happen again (it totally will). Marcus says the same gut that made him sign with Rayna tells him Avery’s the one, so he tells her to cancel all of the next day’s producer meetings. Well, that was easy!
Lindsay stumbles over to the hotel room phone as it rings. It’s Avery, of course and he tells Lindsay to tell Juliette what’s going on. She tries to wake Juliette up and certainly doesn’t bother to say that it’s Avery, much less that he’s calling about their daughter. A drugged-out Juliette replies if it’s not about work, she doesn’t care. Lindsay tells Avery that Juliette says she doesn’t care.
Meanwhile, Will knocks on Layla’s dressing room door at the Opry, and gives her a really sweet pep talk about how getting overshadowed sucks but sometimes it’s okay to be happy with what you’ve got. It’s exactly what Layla needed to hear.
Over to Dr. Caleb’s, where he and Scarlett are in their bedroom. Dr. Caleb actually does fine with words when he’s introducing the song Gunnar wrote, and he gives it to Scarlett. Scarlett starts playing the first chords, and we cut to Gunnar singing the song, called “Count On Me,” written in real life by Claire Guerreso and Viktor Krauss.
To DOWNLOAD “Count On Me,” cowritten by Claire Guerreso and Viktor Krauss and performed by Sam Palladio, click HERE!
Check out Claire Guerreso’s version of “Count On Me” here:
As Gunnar sings, a montage ensues. Dr. Caleb admits he had “a little” help on the song, but doesn’t appear to say from whom. But the song is what Scarlett needed and wanted. Maddie, meanwhile, is horribly upset in Colt’s car by what she saw and just wants Colt to drive. Deacon’s AA sponsor, the same guy who was sharing at the meeting earlier in the episode, works at a bar, where there is constant temptation. Deacon goes to see him. The doctor tells Avery that Cadence’s fever broke, that she’ll be on antibiotics for a while but she’ll be fine. He tells Emily the good news, but also shares that Juliette’s indirect rejection is enough to convince Avery that things are hopeless. I guess Avery’s never watched primetime TV, otherwise he’d know that indirect communications should never form the empirical basis for any conclusions. As the montage continues, Layla and Jeff make up. Layla says she hates not being able to be the way she wants to be around him. Jeff kisses her very publicly. Bucky and others notice.
As Gunnar finishes playing his song in his home studio, Zoe walks in and compliments him on the beautiful song. Gunnar tells her the origin story and Zoe observes that while she thought it was Micah who broke them up, the reality is he’s not over Scarlett.
Meanwhile, Dr. Caleb and Scarlett share some pillow talk, where he tells her he’s sorry he hasn’t been able to help her with Deacon. She takes comfort in his
Back at Casa Jaymes, Deacon returns home and tells Rayna he wasn’t drinking if that’s what she was worried about. Rayna says she wasn’t worried about that, she just knows he’s holding onto a lot of pain. He says he’s not holding onto pain so much as anger. His sister was a fighter who never gave up. Deacon can’t forgive Scarlett because he believes she did give up. And with that quiet, seething moment of rage, the show closes for the week. Come back and join us next week to see where it goes, won’t you?
P.S. In case you don’t already have it bookmarked, country singer/songwriter and EMI Nashville artist Kelleigh Bannen does a weekly blog of things that the show gets right about the music industry and what it doesn’t get so right. Check out her recap of last week’s episode here!