Welcome back to Nashville! We resume proceedings at Casa Jaymes, where Maddie & Tae are reliving the great days of the rock band Boulevard, who just broke up over “creative differences.” They are up late trying to learn a song to perform in tribute to them at the school talent show the next day. Rayna says she has “creative differences” with their current choice of bedtime. Heh.
When Rayna heads back to her room, Deacon is packing up to go back to hospital – doesn’t want Beverly to wake up alone. Rayna misses him, and wishes he weren’t putting his life on hold out of guilt, but she understands.
Over in New York, Juliette appears on Live with Kelly & Michael to promote her #1 movie, Shenandoah Girl as Jeff is backstage. He calls Layla to apologize for his absence, says he fred Substitute Jeff Patrick. He wants Layla to leave Highway 65 because he doesn’t believe they’ll ever make Layla a priority, though Layla feels like they surely have no other choice now. As we cut back to Juliette’s conversation with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, Juliette gets all weepy when they show a picture of Avery and Cadence, talking about how much she misses them. Is this a reflection of her new acting chops or real? Or both?
Avery’s in Nashville watching and wondering that very thing. Will gets the whole “not knowing” thing. He’s meeting with Luke tomorrow about his future.
As Luke makes his way through a crowd of media, we meet PR advisor Ms. Gabrielle Manning who wants Luke to drop Will because he no longer suits the preferences of Luke’s demographic. She believes they can turn Luke into an “industry.” But Luke is a believer in Will’s talent and music and wants to keep Will around. He suggests Gabrielle fly down to Nashville to see that small town doesn’t necessarily mean small mind.
Wade Cole is at Highway 65 offices to sign with the label. But is he? Turns out his team is putting the brakes on the deal because it’s too much of a risk. Manager Bucky protests they offer the best royalty split in town and the only non-360 deal and Rayna talks about how they recently swept the CMAs. Wade says he respects the heck out of Rayna but none of the other Highway 65 acts have gotten an album out.
Gunnar and Scarlett are all gussied up and posing about 10 feet apart for a photo shoot to be used for their upcoming EP release. The distance between them doesn’t get in the way of them both talking under breath about how far apart they are. Scarlett eagerly steps off set when her phone rings. It turns out the hospital is planning to take Beverly’s breathing tubes out today. Noel excuses Scarlett from the photo shoot and suggests they’ll work with what they’ve got.
Over on Juliette’s private jet, her new BFF is making plans to go to Ibiza, and they have champagne flutes in hand. Jeff, meanwhile, is concerned about tabloid chatter about Juliette not having been seen with family. Juliette is sure Avery hates her guts.
Meanwhile, Rayna is in Highway 65 offices musing about how her focus really has been on other matters and how that’s hurt the label. Bucky gives her a pep talk talking about how he and every label employee takes the label very seriously, credits Rayna for her vision with Layla and predicts both Layla and The Xes will be huge. Layla is set to play the Bluebird the following night. But Rayna thinks she needs to sign a big name in order to give her more indie-leaning acts a chance. Rayna is scheduled to meet with Layla but has to bail when she is alerted to the news about Beverly. She hugs and apologizes to Layla, promising she’ll see her the following night. Where, asks Layla. Bucky informs Layla of her solo Bluebird gig and she hugs him out of gratitude.
At the hospital, we learn that though Beverly has passed brain function tests, she may not be able to respond verbally right away after having been intubated for so long. But in fact, she’s able to speak, and sibling banter ensues. Beverly is all smiles for Deacon and Scarlett, though her smile hardens just a touch when she sees Rayna.
Luke greets Will at their meeting, and says that he doesn’t have an answer yet about Will’s future. Still, since Will is a Wheelin’ & Dealin’ artist, Luke invites Will come to Juliette’s launch party, one just for industry-types, where the press will be kept outside. How Will has been able to get around without facing the press is beyond me considering how this show has handled media presence in Nashville (and media coverage in general), and why there hasn’t been talk about embracing the many outlets that would be eager to tell Will’s story is beyond me. But maybe that’s coming.
Jeff goes to see Avery at Gunnar’s house, even though we don’t know how he found out Avery is there. Their encounter quickly becomes a physical confrontation, but Jeff claims he is concerned that Juliette is off the rails. He tells Avery that Juliette is alone, scared, convinced that Avery hates her and doesn’t know how to tell Avery how desperate she is to see Avery and Cadence. Oh Jeff. So truthful when it comes to serving his own purposes.
Meanwhile, Juliette walks into her empty Nashville home and thanks her bodyguard.
Deacon and Rayna are not outside Beverly’s hospital room, so I guess we’re not going to get to see Beverly and Rayna interact. Deacon is encouraged Bev wants remote control. With everything going on, he forgot about Maddie & Daphne’s talent show. Rayna totally understands he can’t make it but she’s obviously going to be there. Deacon picks up on the fact that something’s bothering Rayna and asks what it is. Rayna is a little chagrined because it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but she tells him about Wade backing out of the Highway 65 deal. Deacon reassures Rayna with a pep talk about things picking up in the next few months, including their wedding. Normally, I would say that talking about a wedding this early in the season bodes ill because there will inevitably be a wrench thrown into things on this show. On the other hand, if the show is looking to bolster ratings a little bit in a bid to try to get to season 5, maybe they will let some happiness for the couple the show’s been built on last.
Meanwhile, Scarlett’s awkwardly catching her mom up on things in Beverly’s room. They talk about Dr. Caleb. Beverly says she likes him better. “Better than who?” Scarlett asks, as if she doesn’t know.
Over at his house, Gunnar is poring over pictures from the Xes photoshoot, which have been photoshopped so that he and Scarlett are quite close together. Gunnar sees undeniable chemistry and sex in those pictures and tells Will he’s concerned about selling a lie. A rather callous thing to say to Will, don’t you think? But the show doesn’t pick up on it. Gunnar calls Noel to express his concern.
It’s evening when Avery brings in Cadence into Juliette’s home where there’s a loud party going on. Where are Cadence’s headphones to protect her ears? Hello? Juliette kicks everyone out when she sees Avery and Cadence. Avery is obviously not amused, Juliette begs him to let her explain.
Back at the hospital, Deacon is by Beverly’s bedside and they’re reminiscing. All this sweet family stuff bodes ill for Beverly’s role on the show, doesn’t it? Scarlett is there, too, and she’s suddenly called off to a meeting. Dr. Caleb walks in with good news about Beverly’s test results (it’s starting to rain anvils, isn’t it?) and, when he learns about Scarlett’s meeting, offers her a ride with dinner afterwards. Scarlett hesitates but Caleb guilts her into saying yes.
Maddie & Daphne are performing at their talent show. In tribute to their favorite band Boulevard, so recently broken up, they perform a song called “Rockin’ & Rollin’,” written in real life by Big Machine act Levi Hummon with Sean McConnell, but credited on the show to Markus Kane, former frontman for Boulevard. Rayna is impressed and video taping the performance with her phone.
When we see Juliette and Avery again, they are having a civil conversation. Juliette claims to be paying the price every second for the choices she made, and says she doesn’t know how to be a good mom. She lays it on a little thick by telling Avery she doesn’t deserve him, too. Avery believes her (and honestly, she probably believes what she’s saying in the moment, too) and says he’s scared too but he pushes through it. Juliette wants to hold Cadence.
When Scarlett and Caleb arrive for the Xes meeting, Gunnar is pacing around frantically. But Scarlett has no problems with the pics and Dr. Caleb shrugs them off, too. They are not so united in reaction when Noel informs them of 20 added Eastern seaboard dates to their tour, as Scarlett smiles and Dr. Caleb glowers.
Backstage at the girls’ school, Rayna is on the phone with Bucky, having decided that she wants Markus Kane, that he’s just the big name Highway 65 needs to snag. Bucky thinks she’s nuts and doesn’t even know how to get in the door to meet an alt-rocker. Rayna is going to make it happen (and I’m thinking she is, because there has to be a reason we’ve heard Markus Kane’s name so much on this show already), and congratulates the girls on their performance. The girls are pleased, and Daphne excuses herself to go the restroom. While she’s in there, she overhears two girls gossiping about her now incarcerated dad and how they can’t believe the girls are out there pretending everything’s fine.
Meanwhile, Juliette and Avery and Cadence seem like they’re OK for now. Juliette lays Cadence down in her crib and assures Avery she’s never stopped loving him. All is calm.
Deacon has spent the night in Beverly’s room and wakes up to find that she is already awake. More loving sibling banter ensues and Beverly tells Deacon she knows he hasn’t left her side. She wants him to go home and watch the girls. If Beverly is being this reasonable, it is definitely not a good sign for her future in the show. But! We get a glimpse of the other Beverly when she teases that she wants Deacon’s house and wants her room painted yellow. Deacon accedes to the former demand, refuses to accede to the latter.
So we know why Juliette would want Baby Cadence on the red carpet for her album launch party with her, but why Avery would agree to it and not for a second question her motives or at least whether this is a good idea is beyond me. Cadence still has no headphones despite the mess of noise and attention on the red carpet. Juliette and Avery answer some media questions and Avery says they might tag along on the rest of the tour. The look on Juliette’s face in response to that is not promising.
Luke & Gabrielle arrive at the red carpet and banter around, so I guess the show is going to get them involved with each other now? Gabrielle is supposed to be the big city girl who has absorbed all the stereotypes about country.
Over at the Bluebird, Bucky arrives with flowers from Rayna for Layla, and Layla says Rayna also called to apologize for not being there. Jeff is not there either, Layla tells Bucky, because he’s at Juliette’s album launch party. Bucky warns Layla he may have to leave, too, because they’re trying to get a big name labelmate for her. None of this is reassuring Layla.
Somehow, Rayna, a woman of many resources, finds a seat next to Markus Kane on a flight to New York.
Over to Juliette’s album launch party, which Will enters through the back. He’s welcomed by Luke and greets Pam Tillis and Wade Cole, who are friendly and who commend him for his bravery.
Back on the flight to New York, a newly solo Markus Kane is grousing about overproduction and all the band battles that resolved in music that hid all of his influences. Rayna says she knows the feeling, that’s why she started Highway 65. She asks Markus what he wants to do and he admits he’s not sure what his next step is. Rayna makes her move and suggests country.
Cut back to Juliette’s album launch party, where Luke introduces Juliette and says she has the #1 album in all genres. But the big news is Cadence finally has headphones! Jeff walks up beside Avery and Cadence and congratulates Avery for taking his advice. Avery dismisses the idea that Jeff had anything to do with his reunion with Juliette. Meanwhile, Cadence has started crying, prompting Avery to snark that she’s a good judge of character. Juliette, meanwhile, is performing a new rocker called “What If It’s You,” cowritten by Scott Effman, Lily Elise and Audra Mae.
To DOWNLOAD “What If It’s You,” written by Scott Effman, Lily Elise and Audra Mae and performed by Hayden Panettiere, click HERE!
As Will enjoys the performance, Wade Cole passes by with a little chatter about Juliette. But when someone tries to take their picture together, Wade shuts the photographer down, says no pictures tonight. will is convinced it’s because Wade doesn’t want to be photographd with him. Gabrielle and Luke see what happens, and Gabrielle asks Luke rhetorically, “You still think I’m wrong?”
As Juliette continues to sing, Cadence is still crying but for some reason, Avery doesn’t take her backstage.
We return to the hospital, where Beverly wakes up to see Scarlett sitting beside her, working on a song. Beverly remembers “Black Roses,” and owns that she wasn’t the mother Scarlett needed her to be, the mother Scarlett deserved. Beverly apologizes, and Scarlett hugs her and weeps. Closure really, really doesn’t bode well for Beverly’s survival prospects.
Juliette finishes her performance, during which she noticed Cadence’s loud crying. She and Avery realize Cadence needs a diaper change, and though Juliette wants to take care of it, she struggles with every step. Avery says she’s there to mingle and that there’ll be plenty of time to practice when they’re on tour. Juliette agrees and heads back out.
We’re back on the plane, and Rayna says you strip away the production, Markus could be himself in country, that country is the fastest growing market and that country needs its Springsteen, its Dylan. Markus chuckles that Rayna is pitching him.
A sad and lonely Layla performs a sad & lonely song called “Makes No Sense At All,: written by Hillary Lindsey and Ashley Monroe. None of her team is there to see it, but former Juliette manager Glenn is in the crowd. Yay, that would be a nice way to reintegrate him into the show!
To DOWNLOAD “Makes No Sense At All,” written by Hillary Lindsey and Ashley Monroe and performed by Aubrey Peeples, click HERE!
As Layla performs, we see a montage that shows Scarlett by her mom’s side, calling Gunnar and wondering about scaling back tour dates while Avery can’t find Juliette at her party and asks Will about her whereabouts. Will doesn’t know, and leaves the party himself. Why didn’t he bring Kevin to this party?
Markus seems into Rayna’s proposal by the time their flight ends, and Rayna calls Bucky to make the deal happen. Manager Bucky has now seen Team Markus’s terms and says they’ll have to spend all they got on Juliette’s buyout to get Marcus. Rayna wants in anyway – she believes this is a chance they have to take.
Avery has gone back to Juliette’s home to find her. But when he calls Juliette’s cell phone, he finds her cell phone in the trash. She has left.
Jeff is on Juliette’s private jet calling Layla – he can’t pick Layla up because he’s stuck with Juliette. He promises to make it up to Layla (sure) and asks how her show went. Layla says it went great, except for the fact that none of her team was there. Jeff can’t resist an “I told you so.” He promises to return to Nashville soon. After they’re talking, Manager Glenn Goodman greets her, says if she’s ever in the market for a manager, he’d like to be first call. Yes. This would be healthy. And Juliette would have a fit.
Back on Juliette’s private jet, Juliette has been imbibing, and Jeff cuts her off. By her ordrs, Jeff got Juliette a new phone with a phone number nobody will know. When he asks why, Juliette sneers, “You got all your red carpet pictures, right?” She’s playing off the family time off like it was all for show.
Gunnar takes it upon himself to visit Dr. Caleb in his office and still has it in his head that Scarlett’s tour hesitation is due to the cover art pictures and Dr. Caleb feeling threatened. Dense. Dr. Caleb informs Gunnar he’s not threatened and that Scarlett must have just decided her priorities lay at home rather than “chasing some fantasy.” What’s that, Young Blandly Cute Dr. Caleb? Well, it’s “not like you’re saving lives,” and the “odds of a successful career” are astronomically low. Soooo…now we’re going to turn him into a clueless jerk. Got it. Gunnar snipes that he may not be the one for Scarlett but neither is Caleb. Not so bland now, our young doctor!
When Will goes to see Luke, Luke sadly tells Will that he’s dropping him because the community and the fanbase are not ready. Luke offers to cut some of Will’s songs for his next album, as if that isn’t rubbing salt on the wound. He tells Will to tell Kevin hello. Luke does not feel good about this, but Gabrielle, who comes in after the meeting, approves, insisting he did it to protect his brand, which is going global. Weaksauce. I guess if Will winds up on Highway 65, that’s nice. But here’s hoping Luke grows a conscience.
When we return to Casa Jaymes, Rayna is pleasantly surprised to find Deacon at home and in the bedroom. Deacon has heard the news of Marcus signing. Flirting, banter and bedroom voices ensue.
The next morning, Scarlett comes in to see Bev, who is glad she got a good night’s sleep. There is so much tenderness in Beverly’s voice, but as they talk, the irregular beeping from the machines she’s hooked up to doesn’t seem like a good sign. Scarlett is looking forward to getting Bev out of the ICU. But just then, Bev flatlines. As the episode ends, the hospital staff is working frantically to revive Beverly, but I think we know what’s going to happen.
And that’s it for the week! Come join us next week, when we learn Beverly’s fate and see Teddy again, not to mention more drama as always!