Welcome back to Nashville!
We resume proceedings with Gunnar and last week’s still nameless roadie in bed together, having hooked up all night. Roadie gets dressed, thanks Gunnar and is gone with the wind, politely declining his offer of breakfast and a ride home. She doesn’t leave her number and tells him Gunnar she knows where he lives.
Over in Atlanta, Juliette is sitting devastated on a hotel room floor, staring at the business card Avery gave her for his lawyer.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle has met up with Luke to remind him of his busy schedule for the day. Where are his manager, personal assistant and the rest of the people on his team? You know, all the people in that room back when Rayna and Luke were planning his wedding? Suddenly Gabrielle is responsible for all of this. Luke is meeting with investors at noon, has a presentation to brand executives at 3p, and there is a rooftop event in the evening. Gabrielle advises him that he will need to charm these people and Luke claims his charm has worked on everybody but her. Really? After she turned you down saying she doesn’t mix business with pleasure, you’re still trying? Maybe it’s realistic but it sure isn’t likeable.
As Luke tries to flirt with Gabrielle, Colt walks across the room while on the phone with Maddie. He misses her so much, and Luke is there to make fun of him. Maddie tells Colt that she’s grounded and thinks this is just so unreasonable. The conversation ends as Rayna walks into Maddie’s room for a talk. Rayna tells Maddie and she and her father (Deacon, presumably) have decided to take away her phone privileges until Maddie can win back their trust. Maddie is of course not OK with this. Rayna lectures Maddie that she needs to learn that song choice and presentation matter, that every time she gets up on stage, she is making a statement. Maddie is not listening.
Cut to Gunnar’s, where Avery is on the phone with Lawyer Arkam, who informs him that Juliette has apparently acceded to all of Avery’s terms. Avery is surprised. Will greets “Cady,” and Avery gives him the news.
We now head to Natchez, where Scarlett and Deacon are having breakfast at the local diner. Scarlett isn’t sure she wants to head back on the road a week after her mom passed and they muse about life going on as if nothing has changed. When Scarlett goes up to the cash register to settle the bill, it turns out the women there was friends with Beverly. With Deacon now listening, the woman mentions that the owner of Landslide, a local lounge, is having a get-together that night in Beverly’s honor, because this is the first Sunday that she won’t be playing there in four years.
Back to Nashville, where Marcus visits Rayna at Casa Jaymes and we get more stereotypical indications of rock star free-spiritedness/bad manners. Marcus claims to Rayna that Avery didn’t get him and insists that Rayna should be his producer. He’s sure that any other producer in town would just lecture him about country music. Rayna hesitates but agrees at Marcus’s insistence, and Marcus instructs her to come to soundcheck so he can play her a new tune he’s worked up.
Back in Atlanta, Layla runs up and greets Jeff with a kiss as Gabrielle looks on disapprovingly.
Shortly afterward, a hooded, sunglass-wearing Juliette emerges in the hotel lobby, with taunting media and public voices ringing in her head. She sees judgment everywhere, and absolutely snaps when a fan tries to a selfie, throwing the fan down on the ground and attacking her while begging the fan to stop attacking her. Jeff and Luke pry Juliette off the fan, but there is plenty of phone camera footage of the incident.
Across town, Will is waiting at Kevin’s as Kevin walks up. He tells Kevin that there’s nothing wrong with being a songwriter but giving up their song to Luke means giving up his Nashville dream. Kevin starts to point out that if Will is thinking about that dream, being a hermit is not the way to go, before offering to book Will a surprise performance that night via his friend.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, Luke is yelling at Juliette, wondering if it’s booze, drugs, or what that has her acting out. Completely tone-deaf, of course. Juliette tells him this is none of his business, grabs a bottle of alcohol and locks herself in bathroom where she takes a swig and weeps.
Later, Jeff, Gabrielle and Luke are having a powwow. Jeff says the fan is not going to press charges, but Luke, focusing on what’s really important this week, is worried about the timing of all this. Gabrielle seems to think the “wholesome” brands may be scared off by an incident like this (really now?). Jeff thinks they can control the story in the press. Luke tells Jeff and Gabrielle to just take care of this and walks off, because he doesn’t want to know what it’s going to take to do so. After he leaves, Jeff tells Gabrielle that he’ll take care of the situation but he wants the CEO gig. When Gabrielle correctly points out that he would be handling this anyway because he’s Juliette’s manager, Jeff threatens to spend day with his girlfriend instead.
Back in Nashville, Rayna has brought sulky daughters Maddie & Daphne to Marcus’s soundcheck, which is about the least punishing grounding ever. Marcus is playing his new song, “In The Name Of Your Love,” (written in real life by Sean McConnell), and Maddie loves it, declaring that the song sounds like Boulevard. Marcus congratulates Maddie on “killing it” in Atlanta and Rayna is just thrilled about the message Maddie just got. She agrees that the song is great but wants to play around with the song so that it sounds a little less like Boulevard.
To DOWNLOAD “In The Name Of Your Love,” written by Sean McConnell and performed by Riley Smith, click HERE!
Will, Avery and Gunnar have reconvened at Gunnar’s place, and 2 of them have news. Will is excited about playing live tonight and Gunnar is all excited about the earring he found on the floor, because surely it’s the roadie’s and he’s convinced this is a game so he can find her. Will and Avery roll their eyes, and Avery comments on how he always tries to turn one-night stands into relationships. Before they can continue that conversation, Will notices news footage of Juliette. Note: the television is always on on Nashville. Always. Avery is concerned by what he sees and thinks he should call her. Will and Gunnar suggest that Juliette is no longer Avery’s problem. Which is ridiculous because she is still Cadence’s mother, custody notiwthstanding.
Over to Atlanta, where Jeff manhandles a weeping, desperate Juliette and demands she stay in her room and sober up. Juliette hollowly tries to get him to hook up with her, but he yells at her and insults her, sneering that he couldn’t want her less and that she’s “a waste,” before walking out.
Scarlett continues to be anxious to get out of Naches, a restlessness largely unexplained during this episode. But Deacon wants to hang around and attend that night’s gathering at the Landslide. Scarlett says she knows the place, and that it’s just a “sad lounge where none of Mama’s dreams came true.”
Rayna has come up with a countrier, mandolin-based arrangement for “In The Name Of Your Love” while Marcus was texting, and though Marcus takes the mic to try it out, he cuts out before singing a word. Marcus is just not feeling it. Rayna tells him he doesn’t need to be afraid of the sound because it’s new, which immediately puts Marcus on the defensive, but Rayna covers. Still, Marcus feels this is a dictation not a collaboration and muses about whether this is working or if it’s going to work.
Back in Atlanta, Jeff finally rejoins Layla in her room and says he has to keep handling the Juliette situation. Layla notices the scratches on his face and neck and immediately launches into a tantrum about him sleeping with Juliette again. Jeff controls her, as he tends to, and explains that he has a real shot of becoming the new CEO of Luke’s brand, which would mean not having to deal with Juliette again. Layla points out that this would also mean he would no longer be her manager. Jeff concedes, but ever the salesman, says it will make things less complicated when she moves in with him. Snow job or not, Layla is giddy at the thought and sends Jeff off to do what he needs to do. All this future planning doesn’t bode well for somebody.
Meanwhile, Gunnar has found Erin (that’s her name) and details her process of finding her, which basically involves skirting a confidentiality agreement signed by Juliette’s tour manager. Erin is a sound tech. When Gunnar tells Erin about the earring he found, Erin informs him that she wasn’t wearing earrings last night. Undeterred, Gunnar invites her to Will’s gig that night and she says she’ll see him there.
Deacon has gone to check out Landslide, where he asks for a club soda and sees a poster advertising Beverly’s performance there.
Back in Nashville, Manchild Marcus is playing pinball when Rayna asks to talk about what happened. She says to Marcus that she hears the storyteller in his music and wants to connect his sound to that. Marcus calls her out about the label needing him, but Rayna retorts that his reputation as difficult and arrogant precedes him. She understands that he is questioning and doubting what’s going on, but insists they have the opportunity to do something special. Marcus backs down and says he’s just not hearing what she’s hearing. Rayna asks if he knows how she first encountered his music. He does not. So Rayna asks the girls to sing that Boulevard song for Marcus. Daphne, though, is not interested in singing right then, and Maddie rolls her eyes as Rayna goes off to hear Daphne out.
Back to Natchez, where Scarlett is going through the last of Beverly’s drawers. She discovers a manila envelope with Beverly’s demo, a glamour shot and all the label rejection letters she received. Awh.
When Rayna and Daphne go off to talk, Daphne finally reveals that after they played the Boulevard song at the school talent show, she overheard girls in the bathroom talking about how she and Maddie should be ashamed (because of Teddy) and the meanness has been difficult for Daphne to overcome. Rayna talks to Daphne about how some people are just mean, that there will always be negativity but that Daphne should never let that get between her and the way music lets her feel.
Across town, Will is on stage playing “Run With Me,” written in real life by Al Anderson and Adam Sander, and the crowd, including the row of front row ladies, is loving it. But when they playfully bring up a guy to the front row (with good, if token, intentions), Will doesn’t really know how to deal with it.
To DOWNLOAD “Run With Me,” written by Al Anderson and Adam Sanders and performed by Chris Carmack, click HERE!
Back at Gunnar’s, Avery has the TV on (I’m telling you, the TV is always on in Nashville) when the fan Juliette attacked makes a public statement claiming that she stalked and harrassed Juliette and provoked her this morning. Jeff is in the background and naturally, Avery sees through the charade and calls Jeff to find out what’s really going on. Jeff tries to cover but Avery is not buying it and tells Jeff that Juliette needs help. Jeff is completely unconvincing when he tells Avery that the last time he saw Juliette, she was in her room and fine.
Over to Natchez, where Deacon is having fun catching up with the locals who knew Beverly. Scarlett arrives and wants no part of the remembrances, but she’s stuck there for now.
Meanwhile, Will finished his set and seems to have bailed, so Kevin and Gunnar run into each other while Kevin is looking for Will and Gunnar for Erin (whose name Kevin did not know until then. Hey Kevin, I feel you here.). Gunnar does manage to finds Erin, just in time for her to tell him she’s off for a ladies night.
By the time Rayna and Daphne return from their conversation, Marcus has already played through a song with Maddie (offscreen, darn it), and says he now gets it. Daphne left out. Again. Marcus plays “In The Name Of Your Love” with a different arrangement, and Rayna loves it.
It’s a more triumphant scene in Atlanta, where Gabrielle reports that the investors are all on board. Luke embraces her again. Jeff fixed it, she tells him and she again recommends Jeff for the CEO position.
A concerned Avery has gone to see Glenn, convinced that Glenn is going to reach out to Juliette. But Glenn is not. Glenn tells Avery that he, too, is heartbroken to see what’s happening to Juliette, but that it doesn’t how much they care about her when she doesn’t care about herself. He advises Avery to block out Juliette.
Over at the soundstage, Mercurial Manchild Marcus thanks Maddie for unlocking the song, and is suddenly feeling good again about working with Rayna.
Back to Natchez, where the locals are regaling Deacon with stories about Beverly, while Scarlett learns about how much Beverly bragged on her. Beverly’s old friend asks Scarlett if she would sing there tonight.
At the celebratory rooftop event where Luke’s business dealings went down, Colt is alone and grumpy at a bar. Luke greets him and tells him to try to enjoy himself, so Colt sneaks a bottle of alcohol. This is going to end well. Then, Luke offers Jeff the CEO job, thanking him for proving his commitment. Jeff tells Layla he’s already called the movers and they share a celebratory moment. This is all wrapping up a little too neatly for the show to tolerate, and we’re not quite at the end of the show, either. Something’s going to go awry.
Kevin finds Will behind the venue, drinking on the curb and wonders if his life now is going to be playing gay pride parades. He vents about how he should have never come out, and Kevin, who really shouldn’t be surprised that somebody newly out might be ambivalent about it after the fact, says they’re done. As in, done, done or just done with this conversation?
Meanwhile in Natchez, Scarlett sings the mournful song Beverly closed all her shows with, “Curtain Call.” Deacon imagines (and we see) Beverly singing the song and it makes him smile. The locals are touched.
To DOWNLOAD “Curtain Call” performed Clare Bowen click HERE!
Back in Nashville, Erin visits Gunnar at his place. He says he’s confused – she fled this morning, accepted his invite to Will’s show, blew him off there and visiting him now. Erin congratulates him on correctly recounting the day’s events and makes herself comfortable. “What is this?” Gunnar asks. “It’s fun,” replies Erin. So are we going down the route where Erin actually falls for Gunnar just as he decides to fight for Scarlett after all? Because I feel like we’ve done that before.
We head over to Casa Jaymes, where Rayna wants to talk to Maddie, who is stll copping her teenage ‘tude. Rayna explains to Maddie that what she did today in singing with Marcus was her interpretation of his song, from her heart, versus performing Juliette’s song on Juliette’s terms. Maddie isn’t interested in apprecating the difference. Rayna also tries to talk to Maddie about Daphne and Maddie brushes it all off saying she can’t be expected to read Daphne’s mind and predict when she’ll change it. But Rayna just wants her to be aware so she can be more considerate of Daphne’s feelings. Why should she, asks Maddie, when Rayna doesn’t care what she wants. Another rule of Nashville: only one person is allowed to be reasonable at one time and people in the same arc can’t be reasonable at the same time.
As they drive out of Natchez, Scarlett tells Deacon that all that time, she thought Beverly resented her for having the things Beverly wanted. I mean, Beverly said as much, didn’t she? That isn’t mutually exclusive with Beverly bragging on Scarlett every chance she got. Anyway, bringing the conversation back to what’s really important, Scarlett bravely decides she’s going to do the tour with Gunnar, for Beverly. Well, good, because we were all worried about how the show was going to extend the romantic tension between Scarlett and Gunnar. Anyway, Scarlett is glad that Deacon made her stay. Deacon is glad too, because he got to see how much Beverly meant to Landslide and how much Landslide meant to her.
Over at the celebratory rooftop party, Colt has gotten himself drunk, which escapes Luke’s notice as he checks in with him. Another rule of Nashville: there can be only one good parent per episode. This episode, it’s Rayna’s turn.
Layla’s ready to head down to her hotel room from the party, but Jeff is going to stay and schmooze. Layla tells him to wake her when he returns. Portent of doom?
There certainly seems to be some doom in the air, as a weeping, shaking & woozy Juliette texts Avery to say she’s sorry. Avery receives the text and reluctantly deletes her from his contact list, and Juliette grabs a bottle and heads out onto the balcony. Well, she is certainly not going to die, so who will in her place?
Deacon is still driving, alone now, when he calls his sponsor at his sponsor’s bar. Having picked up on his sponsor’s talk about how his bar is struggling financially, Deacon has decided he wants to invest in it and rename the place “The Beverly.” This is…weird.
Again at the Atlanta hotel, Jeff thanks Gabrielle for keeping her word. Invited to join Luke & Gabrielle for nightcap, Jeff declines because he spots Juliette making her way through the rooftop area. Nobody else sees her, naturally. Not hotel staff, not security (which this event doubtless had). Suddenly, I’m remembering that the actor who plays Jeff, Oliver Hudson, is on another primetime show on another network…
Anyway, back to the show. Luke still really wants to sleep with Gabrielle, if for no other reason than she’s shown some resistance. He tries to fire her, promising to hire her back first thing in the morning. Somehow, this is enough for her to invite him in. Ugh.
Meanwhile, Maddie sneaks Daphne’s phone to call Colt. Colt is kind of slurring his words and asks if he can call her back. Maddie realizes there is something weird going on. Colt walks out onto his balcony to get some air. His room is across the street from the rooftop where Juliette has now walked out onto the ledge. It’s not clear whether he sees her right away, but Juliette stares at a giant billboard with her face and name plastered on it and pours her bottle of alcohol out below. She is about to let herself fall when Jeff tries to talk her down. She is unresponsive and when Jeff sees her letting go, he runs to stop her. He manages to throw her back to safety but has so much momentum from his run to grab her that he himself winds up going over the ledge. Because of course. Well, Colt definitely saw that! Bye bye, Jeff Fordham, who was actually pretty fun as show villains go.
And that’s all for this week. Next week, we have the 49th Annual CMA Awards, co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, which I will definitely be live-blogging/live-snarking. Join us next week for that, and then come back for two weeks to see the, um, fallout to tonight’s episode, won’t you?
As always, don’t forget to check out EMI Nashville singer/songwriter Kelleigh Bannen’s weekly insights on what Nashville gets right and what it gets wrong. For her scoop on last week’s episode, click here!