Welcome back to Nashville! We start with a meeting between Rayna and Manager Bucky, who’s updating her on the status of her tour stage and schedule. Rayna asks him if he can get her a meeting with Sadie Stone (Laura Benanti!!!!!) while she’s in Nashville. She tells Manager Bucky that she saw Sadie meeting with Jeff Fordham in LA, but Sadie’s not an Edgehill artist so that probably means she’s a free agent. Manager Bucky doesn’t mind the idea but is still wondering if Rayna needs to tell him anything. She says she doesn’t think Juliette will be ready this year due to her movie and being “distracted,” but doesn’t mention her pregnancy. Wait, does this mean we’ve been denied the Juliette-Rayna scene where they talked about her pregnancy?? Nooooooooooooooooooo :( Anyway, Manager Bucky agrees Sadie Stone would be a great get.
Pam is showering and singing (very well) in the hotel bathroom after a night with Deacon, and Deacon gets dressed and runs off.
Back in Nashville, Avery (who is still a mess) catches an entertainment segment announcing Juliette’s casting in the Patsy Cline biopic and hinting that she’s involved with Noah West, the film’s lead. That sends him back to the booze.
Deacon is at an AA meeting when Pam walks in. So she’s a fellow recovering addict? He talks about the importance of not trading one addiction for another, and not involving other people in his mess. After a nod from him, she follows him out. He apologizes and reiterates that he’s in love with somebody else. Pam seems unphased and says they were just having fun – that maybe he should remember what that is.
Over at the Bluebird, Avery is late for a shift, prompting the manager to ask Zoe if she knows where he is. Zoe doesn’t, but decides to call Gunnar. When she does, she can hear his phone ringing nearby, except he’s not supposed to be there?! She tracks the ring to the store room, where Gunnar is suspiciously chatting up Scarlett. Zoe is not too happy with this development, but asks Gunnar if he can cover for Avery. He awkwardly agrees and leave the store room, leaving Zoe unsatisfied. It’s going to turn out that Gunnar’s planning a surprise birthday party or something for Zoe that he’ll have to reveal in advance when she flies off the handle after her suspicions/insecurities get the best of her, right?
Rayna takes the mic at a benefit for Maddie & Daphne’s school, Langhorne Academy, which includes a silent auction (items include a golfing date with Mayor Teddy). Jeff Fordham makes a surprise appearance, and announces his commitment to music education in schools with a $25k donation to Langhorne Academy for that purpose. Rayna thanks him and introduces Maddie & Daphne for a performance. Jeff assures Rayna that his intentions are pure, which goes over about as well as you’d expect. Maddie & Daphne perform “Joy Parade,” cowritten by Jill Andrews and Josh Leo as Rayna and Jeff watch from the sidestage and a proud Teddy snaps pictures from the audience. Jeff excuses himself, and joins the bidding for the golfing date with Teddy. Jeff is sooooooo going to try to sign Maddie & Daphne.
To DOWNLOAD “Joy Parade,” cowritten by Jill Andrews and Josh Leo and performed by Lennon & Maisy Stella, click HERE!
BONUS: Check out “Nashville: On The Record” for “Joy Parade,” featuring cowriters Jill Andrews and Josh Leo and performers Lennon & Maisy Stella:
BONUS: Check out cowriters Jill Andrews and Josh Leo performing “Joy Parade” acoustically:
Manager Glenn and PA Emily are waiting for Juliette at her place, and still don’t know what’s going on. A businesslike Juliette finally informs them that she’s pregnant, and instructs them to look for a reputable and discreet adoption agency. She is not open to any discussion on the matter. Manager Glenn asks her what she’s going to do about the movie and her tour. Juliette appears to have that figured out too – the movie people have agreed to work around her tour schedule, and shooting will wrap in 6 weeks while the movie wraps in 8. When it’s all done she’ll be 18 weeks pregnant and she’ll just “disappear for a little bit,” have the baby, work on her album, etc. PA Emily points out she’s going to start showing, and Juliette says she’ll just tell people she gained weight for the role, a cover story people’ll love so much she may even win an award for it. Manager Glenn asks about Avery, and Juliette shuts him down.
Deacon is walking around backstage, and passes by Pam doing a shot with Luke’s band. He remarks she’s not in AA, and she jokes, “AAA, maybe. Does that count?” That angers Deacon, and he walks off. Pam chases him down and apologizes for the below the belt humor, saying maybe she was kind of hurt by his rejection that morning. After Deacon accepts her apology, she teases that she should’ve joked about his endless supply of denim shirts instead.
Rayna is talking to Sadie on the stage of the Ryman, saying that while Highway 65 is a small label that can’t offer as much money upfront, but it’s still competitive and there’ll be no 360 deal. Too, she can promise Sadie complete creative control. A giddy Sadie says she’s not sure she heard a word Rayna said because she’s just such a fan. Rayna says she wants Sadie out on tour with her, writing with her. Sadie says this is a lot to think about, and wonders if they can grab a bite to eat. Rayna’s out of time because she has to do a wedding dress fitting, and invites Sadie to go along.
Meanwhile, turns out Jeff won that golf date with Teddy, who’s skeptical. Jeff acknowledges that his history with Rayna meant Teddy wouldn’t take a meeting with him, so he took this opportunity. Jeff tells Teddy that he wants to make similar donations of $25k to every school in Nashville. Teddy says Jeff must have a real image problem if that’s his play, and Jeff acknowledges he does – but says there’s no reason Teddy can’t take advantage of that. Teddy says he’ll give Jeff 9 holes, no more.
Zoe is packing for Juliette’s tour and a little stressed, and Gunnar plays it light as he tries to calm her down. Gunnar says he’s going to go check on Avery. Zoe’s beginning to think they need to leave Avery to his own devices, but Gunnar says he’s not figuring things out this way. He says Avery’s girlfriend cheated on him, but that’s not the end of the world. Cut to a freaked out Zoe.
Juliette is doing a presser for her movie, and talking about her kinship with Patsy Cline and why she’ll be able to handle the role. She handles it all very well, and as she heads off with Manager Glenn, he explains to her that Tennessee state law requires notification of the father prior to an adoption. A frustrated Juliette is determined to find a way to deal with her pregnancy and the adoption of her child privately.
Rayna and Sadie are at her dress fitting, where Sadie banters with Rayna about how there are Vegas odds on her wedding, including the dress designer. Sadie loves Rayna’s wedding dress so much she’s “reconsidering her stance on marriage,” which had taken a nosedive after her ex-husband cleaned her out. The store owner comes in to inform Rayna that the paparazzi have swarmed outside. This is not terribly realistic for Nashville.
Gunnar is trying to get Avery to get over his misery, and tells him Juliette is not worth it. Avery’s offended – he loves her but hates her. Gunnar makes an analogy with his brother, about how much he idolized him but then Jason would go off and do things that so disappointed – it just made Gunnar feel stupid. Gunnar jokes with Avery that without him, their band “ZAG” is just “Z-G” and that doesn’t really trip off the tongue. Gunnar tells Avery to beat at work that night.
Pam hops onto Deacon and his band’s bus for poker. Deacon asks if she’s stalking him, and Pam said she was invited to play poker, because she has quite the reputation. Deacon doesn’t doubt that. Pam invites him to join, and he declines. Matter of time, matter of time.
Jeff tells Teddy that if they pull off their music education feat, it could help Teddy if he plans to move up. Teddy laughs at the sales pitch, and tells Jeff he actually likes his ideas. Jeff tells Teddy that he took the job at Edgehill to be near music again, but the job’s just about being a glorified salesman. Teddy says he’s seen Jeff’s resume, and there’s nothing in there about past music experience. Jeff says he was actually in a band through undergrad, but “big dreams, small talent” got in the way. He claims he loves music and good musicians, which is a dangerous but nice segue into a discussion of Maddie & Daphne. Teddy says music is a family business, but he wishes the girls took school half as seriousl as they did music. Jeff says to a teenage musician, a sensible parent is public enemy #1, and invites Teddy and the girls to the Sadie Stone show, where he’ll be announcing Sadie’s new deal with Edgehill. Teddy’s not sure about this, since this is a school night. Jeff needles him about being public enemy #1. Jeff really can be charming at times.
Manager Glenn brings Juliette the portfolios of prospective parents after finding an adoption agency that will ask no questions and accept any answers (for a price). Juliette calls Manager Glenn out for not being more enthusiastic about the fact that she’s being responsible and taking care of this so she can continue her career and making them money. Manager Glenn says he doesn’t care about any of that right now, because he just wants Juliette to be happy, to believe she can be happy, to believe she deserves to be happy. Juliette tearfully and firmly tells Manager Glenn that it kills her to disappoint him, but he needs to respect her decision.
Over at the Bluebird, Scarlett is trying to take a secret call when Zoe finally explodes about how all this secrecy clearly means something’s going on between Gunnar and Scarlett (apparently there have been many phone calls). Scarlett denies it all, tells Zoe she would never do that to her. Zoe wants to know why Gunnar begged Scarlett to stay. Scarlett wants to know why Zoe didn’t beg her to stay.
Rayna’s still grousing about paparazzi and how they’re blocking her car when Sadie suggests they escape via her Mustang. Banter, speeding, an ignored stop sign and a paparazzi chase ensue. Sadie’s a little bit of a crazy driver.
Deacon is writing a mopey love song on the bus when Pam joins him with some soulful lines about how he needs to move on. You can at least see the respect growing in Deacon’s eyes as he realizes that she can write. The song is “The Night Is Still Young,” cowritten by Sarah Siskind and Kate York. Pam wishes Deacon good night and leaves after the song is done.
Meanwhile Rayna, Daphne and a mortified Maddie are catching up over the morning paper, where Rayna’s escapades with Sadie are front page news. Luke calls and wants to know if he needs to hire Rayna a bodyguard or driver, and Rayna laughs it all off. Daphne wonders if Sadie might give them a ride after the show tonight, which is how Rayna finds out that Teddy’s taking them. Rayna wishes she could go, but she’ll be flying out to her next show by then. Manager Bucky calls with the bad news that Sadie is going with Edgehill. Rayna isn’t ready to give up, but she’s going to do mani/pedis with her daughters first.
Manager Glenn goes to see Avery and asks him to just talk to Juliette. Avery asks how he can still defend Juliette when he knows how she treats people. Manager Glenn tearfully tells Avery she’s like his kid, and Avery will understand one day that you can’t ever give up on your kid. Avery says he can’t talk to her and sees Manager Glenn out.
Juliette is looking through the portfolios of prospective parents when she experiences some major discomfort. Rayna has come to the Ryman for Sadie’s soundcheck when Juliette calls and tells her that she’s in pain and bleeding, that she fears she’s losing the baby. Rayna passes on the chance to talk to Sadie and tells Juliette she’ll stay on the line. She says they need to get Juliette to her doctor.
Pam and Deacon are at the truck stop, and Deacon wants to know if she’s coming. Pam is going back to her own bus. They banter and flirt about being on each other’s buses, except it’s all innuendo and they wind up having truck stop sex.
Rayna has taken Juliette to the doctor, and everything’s fine – she was experiencing cramping and spotting that isn’t unheard of in the 1st trimester. The doctor lets Juliette listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Juliette remembers how Rayna told her about how a child needs love, and tells Rayna love is the 1 thing she has no idea how to give, that she’s tried and she screws it up every single time. Rayna asks if she’s thinking about giving the baby up for adoption, and Juliette says she just wants her child to have a chance to be happy. Rayna tells her she’s sounding like a mother. This is nice. I would’ve loved more of a conversation between them and hope there’s more coming.
Sure enough, Gunnar and Scarlett have thrown Zoe a surprise going away party, and Zoe feels like an idiot. Gunnar toasts Zoe and makes Avery feel all drinky when he says Juliette has good taste.
Meanwhile, after Pam and Deacon are done doing…each other, they discover that their buses have left. They buy a motorcycle and go for a ride.
Zoe goes outside the Bluebird to see Scarlett and apologize. Scarlett wonders what happened that they’ve pretty much spent the past year apologizing to each other. Zoe says she’s been insecure and competitive, that just being in Nashville has changed her. Scarlett knows that feeling. Zoe wonders if it’s just growing pains, and Scarlett wonders if it’s growing pains or growing apart. They’re interrupted by Avery making a drunken scene as Gunnar takes his car keys away from him. Avery sneers about Zoe spending the next 2 months kissing his ex-girlfriend’s ass and blames Scarlett for being needy before stumbling out.
Juliette walks around her place pensively, and seems to be doing some soul searching.
It’s nighttime, and Rayna shows up to Sadie’s show at the Ryman. She’s supposed to be on a plane, as Sadie knows, but Rayna just had to talk to her. Sadie is grateful for Rayna’s interest, but she doesn’t just want to be 1 of Rayna James’s artists, she wants to be Rayna James. She thinks Edgehill can do that for her like it did for Rayna. Rayna tells Sadie she made Edgehill, Edgehill didn’t make her, and that Edgehill isn’t the same place it was when Rayna was starting out. And the music business has changed too…Rayna talks about all the women that were rising and doing well on the radio at the same time when Rayna was coming up – Reba, Martina, Shania, Faith, Jo Dee, Pam, all amazing. But now there are all of 2 solo female acts in the t40 at country radio. This is true. Country radio is all “big hat cowboys,” Rayna tells Sadie, and so is Edgehill, between Luke and Will. Jeff Fordham’s sole female signing, Layla Grant, is a reality show star. Hey, remember what I was saying about women who were at least getting a shot at country radio? Sounds familiar!
Sadie wants to know, if all that’s true, then why is Jeff trying to sign her. Rayna tells her it’s because she’s new and shiny, a trophy for Jeff to present to his board, but Rayna is sure that after that, Jeff will not support that. Rayna tells Sadie that she will support Sadie being the one and only Sadie Stone (as opposed to the next Rayna James), that Sadie’s fight is her fight because space for Sadie on the radio means space for Rayna at the radio, and space for Juliette Barnes…space for all the talented women trying to catch a break. Sadie doesn’t answer, but she’s moved. So, are the show writers arguing that major country labels are treating females as token signings now? That’s an interesting point of view…I don’t think the majors are really signing solo females at all at this time, whereas the indie labels signing solo females tend to always claim that they’ve signed the next one who’ll break through.
Over at the Bluebird, the crowd wants a speech from Zoe. She talks about her dreams coming true…but she knows how she got here. All her earliest memories are of singing…with her best friend, who by some miracle is still standing there today, as her best friend. It’s a sweet speech, and Zoe asks Scarlett to sing with her again. But Scarlett is traumatized by the thought of public performance and runs off.
Avery has passed out in a stranger’s car, and is taken in by the police.
Zoe doesn’t understand what happened…she was trying to apologize, but when a tearful Scarlett tells Zoe, “Not everything’s about you,” Zoe realizes it was the audience. Zoe tells Scarlett these were her friends – Scarlett replies that she loves her and they’re fine, but Zoe must never do that to her again.
Juliette is knocking on the door of somebody else’s house. It’s a toupee-less Manager Glenn! Awww…Juliette’s scared, and Manager Glenn embraces her.
Sadie Stone is on stage at the Ryman with Jeff Fordham sidestage and Teddy, Maddie & Daphne front row. She mentions how she and Rayna were “cattin’ around town yesterday,” and how that may have been today’s headline, tomorrow’s headline is that Sadie is signing with Highway 65, and that Rayna is there tonight. Jeff Fordham is not a happy camper, while Teddy and the girls are surprised but happy. They launch into “Gasoline & Matches,” cowritten by Buddy & Julie Miller, and the harmonies actually work pretty well.
To DOWNLOAD “Gasoline & Matches,” cowritten by Buddy & Julie Miller and performed by Laura Benanti and Connie Britton, click HERE!.
Avery is booked and put in the dry tank to sober up. A police officer asks him who he wants to call, but Avery’s cell phone is temporarily locked away with the rest of his stuff. There must be 1 number Avery can remember, says the officer. It’s going to be Juliette’s, right?
Deacon and Pam are laughing over coffee after catching up with their buses. He’d always wanted a motorcycle, but Rayna correctly thought an alcoholic and a motorcycle would be a bad combination. Pam ribs him that she’s getting him chaps for Christmas, and Deacon tells his roadie he’ll catch up with his bus later.
Back in Nashville, it is indeed Juliette whom Avery has called. After bailing him out, Juliette tries to talk to him. Avery asks her to stop apologizing to him because he feels like a jerk for not forgiving her, and if he does forgive her, she’ll wreck his heart all over again. He loves her, he hates her, but he needs to feel nothing for her. Which is not going to happen and we all know it. Juliette just weeps.
Rayna passes Jeff by on her way off the stage, and tells him Sadie’s still on stage if he wants to give it a shot, but Rayna doesn’t have high hopes. Jeff says Rayna crossed a line, that he had a deal with Sadie. Rayna reminds him that this is much like the deal she had with Will Lexington. Rayna calls him a thief and whore, and tells him he doesn’t deserve to have a single woman signed to his label. Jeff tells Rayna that he’s enjoyed their “little game of chess,” but now the rules have changed, and now everybody’s fair game. Rayna recognizes the threat and is unintimidated. But as Rayna goes to greet her daughters and Teddy, Jeff calls somebody in Legal to see if he can sign 2 kids with only 1 parent’s consent. An unsuspecting Teddy gives him a friendly wave.
And…that’s it for this week. Tune in next week to see whether the writers are really going write Teddy into a naive corner with respect to Maddie & Daphne, and also to see what happens when Avery possibly/probably finds out that Juliette is carrying their child!