Welcome back to Nashville! We’re actually kicking off the show in Cincinnati, right after Juliette collapsed offstage. She is on a stretcher and being given oxygen, but she is conscious (albeit woozy). Manager Glenn insists that he will go there. Noah is shown moving quickly…somewhere. Zoe is offstage by now (we have no idea whether the crowd was given any kind of explanation about what happened), and calls Avery at Bluebird to let him know what happened.
Now we’re back at Nashville, outside the Hermitage. Gunnar believes Kylie left Texas because she got pregnant, and he’s mad that she never tried to contact him. She reminds him how controlling her parents were and how much they hated Gunnar and Jason (yup, the baby’s totally going to be Jason’s), and Gunnar reminds her that she got away from them. Kylie tells Gunnar about how hard she’s had it supporting Micah, and how he doesn’t know who his father is, and how she’s determined to take this chance to make it work with the guy in Tulsa. She tells Gunnar to forget she said anything, that she made a mistake (did I mention Micah’s totally not Gunnar’s?).
Back in Cincinnati, Juliette is fully conscious and wants to know what happened to her. With Manager Glenn standing watch, the doctor explains she had a pulmonary embollism, a blood clot in her leg that traveled up to her lungs. But she’s OK and so is her baby. She and Manager Glenn share a sweet moment of relief together.
Deacon wakes up to see Pam getting dressed. Everybody on Luke’s tour is gathering around to watch CMA nominations. Deacon has no intention of joining them, even to be sociable, and that the only reason he’s on this tour is that Luke made him. Pam reminds him that they met through this tour and Deacon says that’s the only good thing that’s come of this tour, but he’d still rather be home spending time with Maddie. Pam chides him about making the most out of the life he’s been given.
Sadie shows up to Rayna’s hotel room with champagne, as they’re going to watch the CMA nominations together. They’re both nervous, Sadie because this is her 1st chance to get a nomination and Rayna because this is her 1st chance to get nominated as a Highway 65 act.
Back on Luke’s tour, Will has joined Luke’s CMA nominations watch party – his eye is still healing from his “walk in the park.” Layla arrives with reality show camera crew in tow in case Will gets nominated. They share a cold greeting and notice each other’s recent injuries (Layla’s hand, in addition to Will’s eye). Luke announces that if he gets nominated in all 5 categories, everybody’s getting bonuses. Pam shushes everybody because Robin Roberts of Good Morning America is about to do nominations. Robin throws it to Sara Evans, who announces New Artist Of The Year nominees Brandy Clark, Will Lexington (who gets a handshake from Luke and an eyeroll from Layla), Sadie Stone (hugs from Rayna!), and Cole Swindell. Female Vocalist nominees are Miranda Lambert, Rayna James (hugs from Sadie, cheers from Luke), Taylor Swift (should’ve been Kacey Musgraves!), and Carrie Underwood. No Juliette? She’s the reigning Female Vocalist Of The Year. Male Vocalist nominees include Luke Wheeler and Eric Church. Rayna and Luke get nominated for Musical Event Of The Year for “Ball & Chain,” and will compete with each other in the Single, Album, and Entertainer categories! Luke calls Rayna to congratulate her on her 6 nominations (he got 5), and they agree they’ll celebrate later. Amy Robach and Robin Roberts talk about the nominations, and offend Rayna and Sadie by suggesting the power couple dynamic had a lot to do with the support they’re getting from the voters.
Meanwhile, Robin & Amy talk about the surprise snub of Juliette Barnes, who is nominated in just 1 category, Song Of The Year for “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet” with Avery Barkley. A glum Juliette is watching with Manager Glenn from her hospital room as they also discuss her overnight hospitalization. They are kind of gossipy and unsympathetic, completely unlike how Robin Roberts and Amy Robach would cover this story on the real GMA. Juliette has it all in perspective though after her rough night – she says she’s still here, everything’s OK, and she thinks this is a pretty good day. Just then, Avery arrives. Manager Glenn excuses himself to get coffee. Juliette asks Avery how he found out, and he tells her Zoe called him and he drove all night to get there. Juliette mentions their CMA nomination and Avery doesn’t want to talk about that. He’s still hung up on Juliette telling him about her pregnancy in a text. They’ve started bickering when Noah arrives with flowers. Avery immediately jumps to conclusions and walks off.
Gunnar shows up at Scarlett’s, and he’s barely aware of what she’s talking about when she congratulates him on his CMA nomination for Best Song. He immediately spills on his situation with Kylie. He doesn’t want to lose any more family. Scarlett asks him if he’s told Zoe, and obviously he hasn’t since she’s on tour. Gunnar doens’t know what to do with Kylie set to leave town, and Scarlett advises him to make the most of the time left and befriend Micah.
Manager Bucky joins Rayna and Sadie in Rayna’s hotel room to congratulate them on their CMA nominations. Rayna asks if he’s heard the whole celebrity/power couple feeding into nominations argument, and Manager Bucky tries to pass it off as 1 comment, while also reminding Rayna that she and Luke have been all over doing the power couple thing. Sadie’s been on Twitter all morning and the celebrity/power couple angle is apparently a hot topic. Blake & Miranda much? Rayna thinks this undermines how much persona and financial investment and work she put into her album and her label.
Teddy calls Jeff to thank him for the party and the introduction to Natasha. Jeff invites Teddy to his place for a double date dinner with Briana and Natasha. With Maddie & Daphne entering the room, Teddy says he’ll get back to him. Teddy asks Maddie to watch her sister tonight, but Maddie says she has plans with Colt. Teddy tells her to bring her sister along, which Maddie finds embarrassing. But she has no choice after Teddy reminds her that if she wants to be treated like an adult, she’ll have to take some adult responsibilities. Daphne is hilariously and unrepentantly chipper after Maddie warns her not to embarrass her.
Scarlett goes to see Terry to thank him for his help with her song, and asks if she can get him a hot meal or wash his clothes or something. Terry reminds her that he doesn’t accept charity, but if she has a job for him, he’ll glad accept whatever payment she sees fit. Scarlett says her uncle’s gutters could use a good cleaning – how does that sound?
In his hotel room, Deacon is strumming the chords for a new song when Pam walks in. She says she feels like she’s been hearing bits of that for weeks, and Deacon says in fact he started the song soon after he met her. She snarks that she thought it sounded inspired, and he says he was thinking of debuting it during his set that night. Pam thinks that’s a great idea, especially after Deacon admits the chorus came to him after she left this morning.
Will goes his hotel room to find Layla examining her cut and drinking. He asks how much she’s had, and she tells him it’s none of his business, just like what and whom he’s doing is none of hers. Will says he knows this has been tough for her, but this is the last day of their shoot – could they get through the day without drama? Layla says drama makes for the best TV.
Noah is hanging out with Juliette and they’re having a friendly conversation. She even allows Noah to stay when the doctor delivers her diagnosis. She has a hereditary condition that leaves her atypically vulnerable to blood clots, so she’s going to have cut down on travel and specifically, cancel/postpone her tour. He gives her permission to hang out in Nashville and finish the film, but she must keep her hours short. Juliette is disappointed. Noah takes her hand and tells her she doesn’t have to do this alone. Juliette appreciates how great a guy he is, but tells him Avery, despite being a mess, did show up, and she needs to figure out what that means.
Meanwhile Luke calls Rayna again and asks if she’s still on Cloud 9. Rayna asks him if he’s heard all the talk about how their nomination dominance is because of their power coupledom. Luke tells her to ignore because a) it’s not true and b) it’s not them. Rayna’s still bummed about it though. Luke advises her that the way to prove all the people wrong is to win – that’s why he’s flying Sara Evans out to sing with him tonight. He says to win, you got to campaign, and he good-naturedly advises Rayna to start doing the same. It’s time for Rayna to meet fans, so after they hang up, Rayna asks Manager Bucky how he feels about campaigning. She basically talks him and herself into it, for the good of Highway 65, of course.
Gunnar shows back up to the Hermitage Cafe. Kylie is not happy about this, and is definitely not game for Gunnar spending the day with Micah. But Micah is already totally attached to Gunnar, and excited to spend the day with him. Kylie relents. They are set to leave the next day.
Terry is singing as he cleans out Deacon’s gutters. While emptying Terry’s pockets to get his clothes reading for washing, Scarlett discovers a family picture of Terry, a lovely woman, and 2 lovely kids. She walks out to talk to Terry about the picture, and stands out on the porch listening to him sing as she debates whether to pry.
Juliette is wheeled out of the hospital while trying and failing to reach Avery (again), where the paparazzi await. Manager Glenn tells her they will have to make a statement. But the producers of the film are ready to work around her pregnancy, so there’s that. Juliette is not read to make a statement about her personal life because she is still not sure where her personal life is.
Maddie and Colton are hanging out at the diner when his friend says the scene is dead, they should go somewhere else. Daphne reminds Maddie they only have permission to go to the diner, but when Colton is ready to go off with his friends, Maddie says she knows somewhere they can go. Daphne is not happy about this.
Teddy has joined Jeff, Briana, and Natasha for dinner, and he is proudly showing off pictures of his daughters. Jeff notes how musically talented they are, and says Teddy must have a clip of them on his phone. He does, and as he shows that off, Briana and Natasha are all about him getting the girls signed to a record deal and how that would make him the coolest dad ever. Oy. I still think Natasha is a plant who will be used to blackmail Teddy.
Deacon is about ready to debut his new song, and as he introduces it, Pam is excited to hear it. But the crowd doesn’t seem into the idea, and he starts seeing the “We Want Luke!” signs. He gets frustrated and changes his mind, storming off the stage after saying his goodbyes to the crowd. Pam lays into him about not leaving it out there on stage, and the crowd picking up on that. Deacon thinks he just didn’t have this crowd.
Terry is waiting outside on Deacon’s porch when Scarlett brings him his laundry and a nice homecooked meal. Terry accepts it gratefully. Scarlett asks what he was singing while cleaning the porch, and Terry says it was some old blues that she wouldn’t know. Scarlett says she does like the blues, and says he’s got a great voice. Terry says he’s from Memphis, where people with good voices are a dime a dozen. Scarlett asks if he ever sang professionally. Terry hesitates, and says he did a little. He compliments her on the meal. Scarlett also returns his photo, with more questions. That finally sets Terry off, and he slams down his fork and plate and leaves.
Rayna is in her dressing room when Manager Bucky mentions that Dancing With The Stars is doing a country night and wants Rayna and Luke there doing “Ball & Chain.” Rayna thinks they need to tone down the public coupledom thing during the awards season. She wants to do DWTS solo.
Juliette visits Zoe’s hotel room, and there’s some real edge in her voice as she tells Zoe it was a real ballsy move, taking over the stage. Zoe protests that she was just trying to help, and Juliette says the only person she was trying to help was herself. Juliette tells her to pack her things. Zoe asks if Juliette came all the way over to fire here, and Juliette says no, that was a bonus, she’s really looking for Avery. He is in fact there, and Juliette sends Zoe off. Juliette asks Avery if he drove all that way for Juliette or the baby. Avery doesn’t know. Juliette tells Avery that she kept the baby because it is, and that though she knows she ruined his love for her once, there are 2 options for how this baby thing is going to go, and it’s up to him: either he’s all in, or he’s completely out. No in betweens.
We’re now in Milwaukee, where Luke has his fans thrilled. He talks about his CMA nominations, and how a good friend of his read his name 5 times that morning, and he’d like to thank her by bringing her out to sing for the fans here. It’s Sara Evans, and after some banter about whose song they’re going to sing, they launch into Sara’s current real life single, “Put My Heart Down,” cowritten by Nathan Chapman, Andrew Dorff, and Liz Huett.
To DOWNLOAD “Put My Heart Down,” cowritten by Nathan Chapman, Andrew Dorff, and Liz Huett and performed by Sara Evans and Will Chase, click HERE!
BONUS: Check out the “Nashville: On The Record” feature on “Put My Heart Down,” featuring co writers Nathan Chapman, Andrew Dorff, and Liz Huett, and performers Sara Evans and Will Chase:
BONUS: Check out an acoustic performance of “Put My Heart Down” by co writers Nathan Chapman, Andrew Dorff and Liz Huett:
Also check out Sara Evans’s studio version of the song:
Meanwhile, Maddie and Colton have dragged Daphne to some sketchy high school party (at Casa James!), and Daphne is scared. She calls her father, but Teddy is too busy flirting it up with Natasha. She invites him to go skinnydipping. Meanwhile, what’s Maddie up to? She and Colton are having a heart to heart, where she confides in him about her world exploding and everyone leaving. Colton kindly tells Maddie she still has Daphne, and she now has him. Maddie kisses him, and Colton pulls back, but just in time, the cops arrive demanding to know who actualy lives here.
Gunnar and Micah are having a grand ol’ time banging the drums, and Micah confides to Gunnar about how he never knows much about his mom’s love interests, and how they’ve moved around a lot. Micah is convinced the new guy in Tulsa couldn’t be as cool as Gunnar, and Gunnar deflects by redirecting their attention to the drumset.
At a tour afterparty, Luke thanks Sara for joining him for the show, and Sara jokes that her motto is, if somebody’s sending her a private jet, she’ll show up anywhere. Will thanks Sara and tells her what an honor it was to hear her read his name, and Sara tells him she’s a fan too, just in time for the camera crews to catch the show. Meanwhile, Layla’s drunk and getting mouthy. Deacon tells Will he has a situation to deal with, and Layla makes a small scene before making her exit with Will trailing behind. Meanwhile Deacon promises Pam that he heard what she said and that she was right. She smiles and isn’t falling all over him. Deacon grabs his guitar and starts performing the song he’d been teasing, called “Breathe In,” cowritten by Andrew Combs, Allen Salmon, and Sarah Siskind. As Luke glowers in the background (shouldn’t he be happy about Deacon and Pam?), Pam and then the whole party crowd starts singing along.
To DOWNLOAD “Breathe In,” cowritten by Andrew Combs, Allen Salmon, and Sarah Siskind and performed by Charles Esten, click HERE!
Teddy and Jeff bro-five after Natasha and Briana leave. Teddy is so excited about Natasha being smart, sexy, and sophisticated…and then Jeff reveals that she is, in fact, an escort. Teddy is horrified. Jeff doesn’t think this is a problem – he says this is what people in Teddy’s position do. But that’s not how Teddy wants to live his life, and as he checks his phone, he has messages, including a voice mail from the police chief. Well, that’ll teach him. Except for the inevitable blackmail from Jeff, which will REALLY teach him.
Rayna gets congratulations from Sadie after a good show and returns to her dressing room to find a glum Manager Bucky waiting. Turns out Dancing With The Stars passed on solo Rayna. Rayna makes a personal call to producer Ken, who tells her he wants the “most promotable” option for his show. Rayna promises him a special bonus single, exclusively debuted on DWTS, and it’s now a deal. Does she have a special bonus single, asks Manager Bucky? Nope. But she’ll find one in 2 months.
At Luke’s tour afterparty, he weaves through the crowd to find Deacon and inform him about Maddie and Colton’s adventures, and to let him know he’s flying back. Deacon wants to go, and Luke initially says no. When Deacon argues…well, we don’t see what’s going to happen but Luke is going to relent because he’s a decent guy and he didn’t just tell Deacon because he intended to let him stew.
And now, on a very special episode of My Three Dads (pretty sure I’m not the 1st person to make this joke but I don’t remember where I read it before), Luke, Deacon, and Teddy powwow and bicker about what happened. Rayna has been comforting Daphne. Teddy is covering for himself. Rayna is the voice of reason when she takes him aside and doesn’t blame him, but they agree Maddie & Daphne need more supervision.
Maddie goes to talk with Deacon. Maddie admits she wasn’t thinking, and they miss each other. Deacon says he misses her too but that can’t be a reason for her to act out like this, because it’s dangerous. Rayna and Teddy take Maddie aside and have a good talk with her. Rayna takes responsibility for being out of town but is clear that the trust is broken and will be difficult to build back up. (Teddy really needs to own up to his failure here but he doesn’t). Rayna and Teddy have agreed to hire a nanny for more supervision.
Is it a hint that we get an immediate cut to Scarlett? Well, she walks by Teddy’s usual spot and he’s no longer there. She is sad.
Meanwhile Avery goes to see Juliette and tells her that being angry is making him a mess, and that he can’t keep being angry if he’s going to be a part of the baby’s life. He tells Juliette he forgives her, but when she reaches out to him, he says he still doesn’t trust her, and can’t be in a relationship with somebody he doesn’t trust. He tells her she doesn’t get to decide whether he’s the father of the baby or not.
A super glum Teddy is moping in his office. He’s really sad that what he thought was his newly discovered game was….not there. He calls Natasha. Oh Teddy, you idiot.
Pillow Talk with Rayna and Luke. She mentions the DWTS business, and Luke asks if she’s shutting him out. Rayna says they need to tone down on the couple thing as far as publicity goes because it’s getting in the way of their accomplishments as individuals. Luke says he didn’t think when he mentioned the campaigning thing that she’d make it a competition, and that they are actually a couple. Rayna argues that that is exactly why they need to tone down the publicity thing. Luke says no matter what happens at the CMAs, they’ll have each other’s backs. Rayna agrees, and begins the trash talk by teasing she’s totally going to win.
Kylie arrives at Gunnar’s to pick up Micah and thanks Gunnar for not saying anything. Gunnar pleads with her to stay, to give Micah some stability. Kylie agrees, and Gunnar gives her a hug just as Zoe walks in. Perfect timing, and we get a shot of Gunnar, Kylie, and Micah on one side and Zoe on another just to emphasize that point.
Meanwhile, Juliette has a short press conference to announce that she’s pregnant, that she can finish out the movie but has to cancel the remainder of her tour dates. When asked who the father is, she answers Avery Barkley, and leaves it there. Hey, you know, that could technically be a power couple to rival “Layna” but we know the show won’t go there (for now, that’s why Juliette isn’t competing against Rayna for Female Vocalist). And that’s the show for this week!
The actual real life CMA Awards are next week (where a different power couple has a multi-year reign going), so come back for our live snark/live blog, and then again in 2 weeks for the next episode of Nashville, won’t you?