I lost my full recap of last night’s episode…hope to reconstruct it as quickly as possible.
Welcome back to Nashville. Luke Wheeler is sure happy to be back after a couple months of touring in Europe. He is looking forward to his weekend with Rayna and their children. Deacon notices that Will seems to be the only one less than excited to be home, and there’s banter about how being home means you have to face real life. Deacon, who is feeling under the weather, goes over to see Pam, who hopes his cold won’t get in the way of time with Maddie. Deacon says he doesn’t think he would see Maddie right away anyway, because Rayna is also home for the 1st time in a while. So Pam asks a hanging question about what Deacon will be doing, and he says he’ll be laying low.
Meanwhile, cross promotion! Synergy! And lots of exclamation points as Rayna introduces her new bonus single “Lies Of The Lonely” on Dancing With The Stars as dancing pros Lindsay Arnold and Val Chmerkovsiy interpret the music. The tune is about the lies a single person might tell herself to make herself feel better about being single. It’s a good tune, a little stiffly performed. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to tell us something about Rayna, like she’s with Luke because she doesn’t want to be single? Anyway, Luke is watching her perform, but it’s daylight outside, which is weird because DWTS is a primetime show. Anyway….
To DOWNLOAD “Lies Of The Lonely,” cowritten by Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne and performed by Connie Britton, click HERE.
After Rayna’s performance, she is exhausted and soooooo ready to go home and spend time with the kids and Luke. Except, as Manager Bucky informs her, her original feature story in the upcoming Rolling Stone has been bumped up to a cover thanks to somebody pulling out, and this is the only weekend the reporter can meet with Rayna. The CMAs loom, so we know what Rayna is going to decide and how this is going to go. Indeed, it is a happy scene at Casa James, where Luke knows exactly what kind of bacon his daughter Sage (she exists!), Maddie, Daphne, and Colton like and has made it to their preferences. Rayna walks in and hugs ensue. Luke is happy for the Rolling Stone cover, not so much about it interfering with their family weekend.
Sure enough, the Rolling Stone writer Brett Rivers’s intrusions into what was supposed to be a family weekend get worse and worse as the episode wears on. He distracts Rayna during a meeting with the wedding planner (during which we learn Tandy will be at the wedding and Teddy even offered to officiate), and Luke has just about had it, especially after Rayna agrees to let Brett Rivers inside her home. There, he’s there when Rayna and Luke see Maddie & Colton making out. That is not OK with the soon to (never) be wife and husband, and Rayna winds up having to make a trade to keep the Maddie-Colton story out of Rolling Stone. She agrees to talk about her relationship with Deacon, and is so wiped and upset at the end of it, she really needs a hug when she gets home. Luke is there to provide it. Rayna apologizes for what she did to their weekend, and mournfully remembers that that day was their original wedding day. She asks Luke for a dance, and as they dance, she asks if he will take this woman as his wife. He says yes, and asks if she will take this man for her husband. She says, “Yes, I do.” It’s a sweet moment, made bittersweet because you just know we’re not going to see them take their real vows.
So speaking of Deacon, his storyline this week is that he’s under the weather. Yep, that’s his story. They’re probably taking this somewhere dramatic, but for now, it’s a cold. He tells Will he’s there for him if Will needs somebody to talk to, he brushes off the Rolling Stone reporter who wants the scoop on his long time relationship with Rayna, and he doesn’t seem overly interested in seeing Pam. Why not? Because, as he tells Scarlett, what works on the road doesn’t always work at home. The thing about Pam is, she gets it. She shows up at Deacon’s later with soup, and they talk about his house and his Nashville life have Rayna all over them. As Pam goes to leave, Deacon thanks her for helping him out of a dark place and putting him back in touch with his music and says he’s never met anybody quite like her. Pam smiles and finishes his sentence, “But road love isn’t real love,” and makes her exit.
Meanwhile Scarlett continues to pry into Terry’s life after Terry drops off a thank you note and gift at Deacon’s. But it goes better this time, because Terry’s in a better place. He’s moved to a shelter, and taken a job selling newspapers. Scarlett asks him to write with her in exchange for buying a stack of those newspapers, and together, they cowrite “Carry On,” a bluesy number cowritten in real life by Julie Lee and Sarah Siskind.
To DOWNLOAD “Carry On,” cowritten by Julie Lee and Sarah Siskind and performed by Clare Bowen and Mykelti Williamson, click HERE.
While they cowrite, Terry tells Scarlett that the picture she saw was of his wife, daughter and son, and he hasn’t seen them since Thanksgiving 1993. Why not? Well, he had a gig playing for 5k people in Chicago that weekend. They decided to try to drive up and see him, but were involved in a head-on collision that killed them. Music lost Terry much more than it ever gave him, he says. Turns out he is Terence George, and Scarlett’s Google search reveals that he charted and is amazing. Well, Terry can Google too at the shelter, and he finds out Scarlett’s history. They both break through their traumatic associations with music to perform “Carry On” at the Bluebird Cafe.
Meanwhile, Will discovers on his return to Nashville that Layla has found her voice as a songwriter. They have a few friendly and gentle if awkward conversations in which Will doesn’t apologize enough and Layla does. Layla plays a gig at the Sutter, and introduces a dark, folky, Will-inspired song called “Blind,” cowritten 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.
Gunnar & Zoe are impressed by this side of Layla they’ve never seen. But this isn’t a side Layla & Will’s reality show “Love & Country” is interested in showing, because as the premiere event reveals, the edit casts Will as a shirtless hunk while Layla is a total ditz. Will tries to reassure an upset Layla by telling her everybody knows reality shows are fake. Reality producer Gina gleefully tells them the show’s a hit (how would she know? This was just a premiere and actual ratings aren’t it?) and they’re bound by contract.
About Gunnar and Zoe, well, Zoe is frustrated that she’s back to homemaking duties with no job prospects, and Gunnar wants to comfort her with a night out. Well, turns out Kylie’s a flake always showing up late to pick up her song Micah when she’s shuttles back to Nashville from Tulsa, where she’s spending time with boyfriend Brad. By the way, Micah is also under the impression Gunnar’s his father (a reveal we were never shown), so it’s going to be super-awkward when it turns out Gunnar isn’t his father. Seriously, why even tell him this and traumative the kid? Anyway, Zoe thinks Gunnar needs to lay down the lay with Kylie about being more responsible, but when he tries, it’s after Kylie reveals that she just told Brad about her son (over the phone?) and he’s not interested in kids. Gunnar thinks the silver lining is that Kylie and Micah can stay in Nashville now, but Kylie decides to leave Micah with Gunnar and run off to be with Brad.
Also trying to navigate 1st time parenthood are Juliette and Avery, who start the episode with different thoughts on whether they want to know the baby’s gender and different ideas about what parental participation mean. Avery’s not so sure about those Lamaze classes and the intimacy they’d require. He does try to buy a crib, but feels like he can’t do anything right. Juliette is trying to give him his space but feels frustrated and alone. At Rayna’s advice, she channels that into a new song called “Disappear,” co written in real life by Jaida Dreyer, Cory Mayo, Steve Pasch and Andrew Rollins
BONUS: Check out the “Nashville: On The Record” feature on “Disappear,” featuring cowriters Jaida Dreyer, Cory Mayo, Steve Pasch and Andrew Rollins and Nashville music supervisor Frankie Pine (the song is performed by Hayden Panettiere on the show):
Check out an acoustic performance of “Disappear” by cowriters Jaida Dreyer, Cory Mayo, Steve Pasch and Andrew Rollins here:
During one of Juliette’s tearier moments, she apologizes to PA Emily for the awful things she’s said to them, and asks Emily if she’ll be her birthing partner. Emily is excited and agrees, but after Avery walks in on Juliette recording a song he knows and feels to be inspired by their issues, Emily goes to see Avery and try to nudge him into more involvement with Juliette now, as more than just the “vessel” for their child. Sure enough, Avery comes around for Juliette’s 1st Lamaze class, and they share a sweet moment when he feels the baby kick (for the 2nd time). Avery commits to not missing more moments.
And that’s this week’s episode! Next week, the cross promotion continues with a CMA Awards-themed episode featuring cameos from The Band Perry, Joe Nichols and Trisha Yearwood. Who will be the big winner? Tune in next week, won’t you?
To DOWNLOAD “Christmas with Nashville, a full-length Christmas album by the Nashville cast, click HERE.