‘Nashville’ Season 4, Episode 8 – Recap & Discussion Post!

Welcome back to Nashville! We resume with Maddie snapping selfies of her newly blonde hair and texting them to…Colt, I guess? Or maybe her friend Talia? How does Maddie have a phone, isn’t she still grounded? She is unpleasantly surprised by a knock on her door, and has her hair wrapped up in a towel when she answers it. It’s Deacon, trying to check in and be friendly. He is rewarded with teenage sulk that softens only slightly when he asks Maddie if they can restart their guitar lessons.

Meanwhile, Daphne runs up to Deacon accusing Maddie of having stolen her phone. Deacon says they’ll deal with it in the morning. Oh, so that’s how Maddie wound up with a phone.

Over at Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Studio, Marcus is recording “All I Want Is Us Tonight,” cowritten in real life by Dylan Altman, Will Hoge and Eric Paslay. It’s an intense, catchy rocker and a good pick for this character considering its original performer, Will Hoge, is a roots rocker who now markets somewhat to country (though more Texas country than mainstream country). They’ve been recording for nearly 24 hours and Marcus is feeling inspired to keep it going. But Rayna, who just answered a text from Deacon promising to be home soon, is exhausted, good-naturedly tells Marcus as much and calls the session.

To DOWNLOAD “All I Want Is Us Tonight,” cowritten by Dylan Altman, Will Hoge and Eric Paslay and performed by Riley Smith, click HERE!

BONUS: Check out Will Hoge‘s version of the song from his (excellent) album, Small Town Dreams here:

Gunnar & Scarlett are on the tour bus headed to Boston after strong Chicago reviews. As they meet with a tour manager, Scarlett puts off taking a call from Dr. Caleb while judging Gunnar for occasionally looking over to see what Erin is doing. Their tour manager compliments Scarlett on her drive and how different she is from the last time he was on tour with her. Scarlett subtweets Gunnar with a comment about how this tour means a lot to her and that she hopes it means as much to everybody else.

Back at Gunnar’s house, Will is cagey about letting Avery into his room, so he’s up to something. But he agrees to listen to Cadence on the monitor while Avery goes out and records some commercial jingles for money.

Still out on the road, Luke’s taking Colt to therapy. The therapist, his 4th this week, reports that Colt is withdrawn and has trust issues (gee, I wonder why?). Luke wants Colt to come along to the show tonight and meet with Kid Rock, because good parenting means distracting your kids with shiny objects or meet & greets with high-profile names. Colt is uninterested. Luke wants to know what Colt needs (OK, i can buy that Luke is somewhat clueless, but *this* clueless?) and Colt says he needs a dad who gives a crap about telling the truth.

It’s time for school when Rayna finally returns home to Deaacon and jokes that this producing thing might kill her. She says Marcus is like a third kid and thanks Deacon for looking after the girls. Since she’s exhausted, Rayna asks Deacon if he can drop the girls off at school. But he can’t, because he has a busy day of reno planned at The Beverly and has to take off right away. Deacon leaves, and Rayna calls the girls. Maddie saunters in, chastising Rayna for “yelling.” Rayna notices her new hair color and Maddie cops an attitude about it. Rayna is not here for a fight, and Maddie walks off to get her things. Bucky calls and notes that he’s looking at 160 hours of overtime at studio because of Marcus’s quirks. Rayna says they have some amazing tracks and Bucky again emphasizes that they need to fast-track his album to make up for Layla’s not being released as planned. Speaking of Layla, she’s up in Connecticut with her family and they don’t know when she will return (in 3 episodes, per Aubrey Peeples). Rayna tries to beg off the call on account of teenager crisis. Right on cue, Bucky mentions Sony’s interest in signing Maddie as a solo artist after seeing video of her performance with Juliette. Rayna helpfully repeats the news in time for Maddie to overhear, and an argument immediately breaks out as Maddie accuses Rayna of interfering with her pursuit of her dreams.

Having arrived at the Boston hotel where they’ll be staying so that they can play two shows in the city, Scarlett returns Caleb’s call with a message. Erin and Gunnar chat, and Erin says she’s bunking with somebody else on tour. Naturally, Gunnar invites him to his room.

Back in Nashville Avery is strumming some guitar for a country-themed car salesman jingle and looks nonplussed as the producer asks him to play the chords with a smile and like he wants to play guitar. He finally gets it “right” and calls Emily to see how the handoff with Will went. All is well, and they chat about Will. Avery speculates that Will has moved on and is hiding an new love interest in his bedroom.

Meanwhile Deacon has become constructionzilla over at The Beverly. The contractors like his layout ideas and things are moving fast. Frankie doesn’t seem to mind at how efficiently things are moving under Deacon’s watch (though how did Deacon became such a lead contractor expert, exactly?), but he starts side-eying Deacon when Deacon seems more interested in moving work at the bar along than going home to be with Rayna.

Speaking of Rayna, she is pulling back into Southern Ground Studios for recording when she calls Deacon, tells him about Maddie’s dyed hair & the Sony offer. They agree they need to talk to her and he promises that he’ll back her in whatever she decides. But Rayna really wants his actual input and ideas. Deacon, though, is wrapped up in The Beverly (that sounds gross. Sorry.). As Deacon heads up to do more construction work, Marcus knocks on Rayna’s window with a latte.

What was so important to Deacon that he couldn’t focus on parenting? The Beverly sign has arrived. Frankie starts to voice some skepticism about the necessity of doing more at the bar right now. I keep thinking, this was his place & while there’s obvious deference due to Deacon due to his investment, Deacon is remaking this place completely in his own vision, without appearing to consult Frankie.

Over to Boston, where Scarlett knocks on Gunnar’s hotel room door. She is headed down to the Boston venue to say hi to some fans outside of the meet & greet setting. Gunnar is wearing only a towel, as he was about to hit the shower. Naturally, Scarlett hears Erin has she calls for Gunnar to join her there.

Gabrielle arrives as Luke is going over his setlist and asks for some time with Luke. She tells him that Juliette is still in detox and then she can begin her recovery. So Luke’s going to need to find new tour support. And a new CEO. Luke sees that a hell of a lot of pain has happened under his watch. Accurate! Not his fault per se, but his benign neglect has not been good for Juliette or Colt. Gabrielle assures him he’s doing the best he can. Luke isn’t so sure and takes the opportunity to angle for a kiss. Gabrielle pulls away because this is inappropriate. But Luke convinces her to give it a shot, because she’s the only good thing that’s come out of this tour.. She wants to keep it a secret because it’s bad for his brand. Eh? Luke thinks good parenting is being honest with Colt about the relationship. Fine but, I think we can think of other things that would do more good.

Back in Boston, Scarlett is meeting with appreciative fans. The tour manager calls her away for soundcheck and applauds her initiatve. Caleb picks just that moment to return her call, but she has to head to soundcheck and it can’t wait. Can she call him back in 20 minutes? He has an appointment then and he is frustrated. Inside at soundcheck, Gunnar has arrived, and so has Erin. Gunnar asks Erin to make sure her vocal is completely isolated in her ears, which Erin thought she had been doing. It’s not clear whether Scarlett’s laying into her a little bit or whether she’s being reasonable, and Gunnar sticks up for Erin.

Meanwhile at Southern Ground Studios, Rayna is a little distracted after Marcus’s 5th vocal on his current recording. She admits she’s preoccupied. Marcus wants to hear about it, so Rayna talks him about Maddie. Marcus gets that at Maddie’s age, all teens see is a distorted view of private jets and famous friends. He and Rayna commiserate on the realities of seeking a career in music.

Over at Gunnar’s house, Avery walks in on Will…turns out he’s been trying to write songs. Will is pretty sheepish about it, but Avery encourages him. Will thinks he’s terrible at it, because the only songs he ever wrote were with Kevin. Avery wants to hear his song.

It’s showtime in Boston, and Gunnar & Scarlett are performing “Plenty of Far To Fall,” written in real life by Sandy Chila, Alex Dezen and Garrison Starr (it’s not available at Itunes yet). Scarlett keeps signalling to Erin that she needs her ears to go up. Erin manages for a while but then shorts out the sound and panics as doesn’t know how to fix it. Gunnar calls an audible and they switch to acoustic and the crowd is immediately back on board. Lots of performance chemistry, and no shots of Erin, so we don’t know if she is just too mortified to have stuck around or jealous or whether she’s still trying to right the sound board.

Back at Gunnar’s Avery has heard Will’s song and is really moved. He thinks Will has to stop hiding out, and wants to put the song out to the public. Will says he’s not going out to perform. Avery says he doesn’t have to be the one performing his song.

At Southern Ground Studios, Marcus and Rayna are bonding/commiserating, and Marcus muses about success becoming excess. Rayna says her darkest days came early, too, when she left home at 16 due to Lamar’s objections to her career and had to make her way on her own. Rayna observes that a lot of people want to exploit you when you’re young and wants to protect her daughters from that. But she sees herself in Maddie and understands why Maddie wants to step out from her shadow. Marcus takes her hand to comfort her. I guess we’re supposed to see this as a moment, where Marcus steps up because Deacon is suddenly absent? Marcus suggests they get back to work, but Rayna thinks she needs to go home and see about her daughters. Marcus understands.

Maddie at home on Daphne’s phone, complaining to Talia about how Rayna isn’t letting her sign with Sony. Daphne overhears, and experiences a new sense of abandonment at the news as Maddie clumsily tries to explain that they’re at different places in life because Maddie is older.

Deacon is trying to do demolition on a part of the bar when Frankie reminds him that he ought to be at home and wonders what is going on. Deacon denies that there’s anything wrong, but is forced to listen when Frankie tells him that he’s going to take down a whole wall if he strikes that support beam again. Deacon mutters that he can’t seem to do anything right these days. This feels like it’s coming out of nowhere, Deacon’s sense of guilt over Beverly’s passing notwithstanding.

Back in Boston, the tour manager is telling Scarlett what went wrong with sound (Erin didn’t compensate properly as she tried to fix Scarlett’s vocal in her ear), and Scarlett is telling her tour manager that she’s going to have to handle Erin since Gunnar probably won’t. But lo, she overhears Gunnar scolding Erin, calling her out for not knowing what to do when the sound started to go south. Erin admits that she has never had primary responsibility for sound. Gunnar tells her that she needed to be up front about that and that if she’s not going to be professional about this, the gig is up.

Over at Casa Jaymes. Rayna’s waiting on Deacon. She’s worried about the girls, worried that she can’t figure out what to do. Deacon tells her he doesn’t have the answers, that while he is Maddie’s father, he hasn’t been in that position long enough to set his antennae right. Rayna tells Deacon she needs him as a partner and a co-parent and Deacon admits he’s scared of doing things wrong. As an experienced parent, Rayna says they can only do the best they can. She has an idea and wants to run it past Deacon first.

Still backstage at their Boston concert venue, Scarlett approaches Gunnar and thanks him for handling Erin. She also apologizes for being cranky – she says it’s hard being away from Caleb, and for the moment, we’re treating that as genuinely missing Caleb and not being bothered by Gunnar and Erin. Gunnar says he knows why she was worried, but his dalliance with Erin is just fun and there’s probably going to be no more of that anyway.

Luke approaches Colt in his room, where Colt is watching hockey, and reveals that he and Gabrielle are attempting a relationship. Colt guesses that’s where Luke was the night that Jeff died and Colt couldn’t find Luke. Luke admits he’s right. Colt is pretty unresponsive.

Avery has brought Will to the Bluebird, and Will bails immediately upon discovering actual songwriters are in the room, leaving Avery to perform “History Of My Heart,” written in real life by Chris Gelbuda and Kylie Sackler. It’s a pretty, moving ballad of heartache that has Avery reliving his breakup with Juliette and brings some of the Bluebird crowd to tears.

To DOWNLOAD “History Of My Heart,” cowritten by Chris Gelbuda and Kylie Sackley and performed by Jonathan Jackson, click HERE!

BONUS: Check out co-writer Chris Gelbuda performing “History Of My Heart” live at the Bluebird in 2013:

And here is Chris Gelbuda‘s studio version of “History Of My Heart”:

Check out last week’s recap for video of Jonathan Jackson performing “History of My Heart” live!

Back at Casa Jaymes, Rayna and Deacon have called a family meeting and both Daphne and Maddie are in grade-A cooperative moods (OK, not really). Deacon acknowledges that they’ve all been going through a whole lot lately. Rayna says they have to deal with what’s going on between Maddie & Daphne, with Maddie growing up into a teenager with a strong voice and Daphne feeling left out now that Teddy’s in jail and Deacon has stepped in as the man of the family. Rayna offers Maddie & Daphne a record deal with Highway 65 on condition that it’s as a duo. That’s good enough for Daphne, though Maddie’s reaction is muted.

When Avery returns, Will sheepishly asks how it went. Avery tells him it went great, that what Will wrote about was universal and really moved people. Will thanks him for doing that for him. Avery gives him a card from a publisher who was impressed by the song. New recurring character coming up?

Rayna and Deacon are in the bedroom, suitably pleased that their family talk went better than expected. Did it, though? Are we really going to get no discussion about what the record deal means about Maddie & Daphne’s schooling and how they will be developed as artists? Deacon is sorry he wasn’t there when Rayna came up with the idea.

In fact, Rayna and Deacon’s self-satisfaction turns out to have been somewhat misplaced. Daphne is excited about being a recording artist, but Maddie’s reaction is much more subdued because she thinks the only reason Rayna signed them is to maintain control over them, Maddie in particular.

Erin knocks on Gunnar’s hotel room door. After apologizing and admitting she should have been more upfront about her lack of experience, she asks for another chance at the sound board. She wants to learn and was hoping Gunnar can give her some tips. He tells her just to ask. Relieved, she thanks him and bids him good night. Of course, Gunnar invites her in.

Scarlett finally gets through to Caleb, although it’s late at night and he had already gone to bed. She tells him this separation is not easy for her. He apologizes for questioning her priorities and she thanks him for that. Scarlett says this tour is showing her how much she’s grown as an artist and person, but it’s also shown her how much she needs them as a couple. That sweet moment is followed by disappointment as Scarlett tries to share what happened that night at their concert, but Caleb asks if they can talk again the next day because he has an early morning. After they hang up, Scarlett can hear Gunnar and Erin getting it on.

Over at Casa Jaymes, Rayna and Deacon are also post-coital. There’s banter about the impact of construction work on his biceps. Rayna heads to the shower and invites Deacon to follow her there. Before he does, a text arrives on Rayna’s phone, and Deacon sees that it’s Marcus saying he hopes their talk earlier helped. And if the closing music and shot are any indication, we’re supposed to believe that Deacon will now be seized with jealousy and suspicion of Marcus’s intentions. If they say so, I guess. Nashville is back in 2 weeks with a new episode – join us then for the drama, won’t you?

Check out EMI Nashville singer/songwriter Kelleigh Bannen’s recap of what last week’s episode of Nashville got right and what it didn’t about bar crowds, getting personnel to support a tour together, private jets and how Nashville locals treat celebrities. Also check out her insightful post from today about the the record deal and what it means and what it doesn’t – it’s a great read!

About Deb B 432 Articles
Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.