It's been a week since we were last hanging with the Nashville crew and Lord knows we needed it. From the Rayna-Deacon-Juliette love triangle to Teddy's corruption secrets to the snooty southern moms, there has been a whole damn lot to digest. Oh, and how can I forget Deacon's stint in rehab – the "dry period," if you will – when he and RJ apparently cooled off their drunken booty-calling ways and took a totally completely fake and transparent real step back from each other. God, I can't want to dig deeper into that juicy plot! Scarlett and Gunnar are close to the spotlight and Old Man Watty is lingering around the Bluebird as per usual. The groundwork has been laid and now it's time. It's time to really see what Nashville's got, my friends. Bring on the drama, and as always, the clichés.
The Photo Shoot
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is all smiles for the camera, tossing her wavy locks from side to side in front of the photographer. Her fiery eyes reflect off the sparkles on her silver dress as she shows the world she's got this. She's got it all wrapped around her little country-singin' finger. You'd never guess all the demons crawling inside her. Dying to break free. But we sure see them. As soon as the last flash goes off, the diva comes stomping over to her whatever I don't care what your name is, but you work for me man and demands an answer as to why Deacon (Charles Esten) is not on her tour yet. "WHY, MAN, WHY? TELL ME WHY!" He looks at her with the perfect kind of grin and says that it's going to be hard, that he's touring with Rayna (Connie Britton) now. To top it off, he tells J that her drugged-up mom has been harassing her team and well, they just couldn't take it any longer so they threw $100 at her and sent her packing. Juliette is furious, because HELLO, you can't give a woman with a drug problem a dime. She leaves him with a threatening eyebrow raise and heads back to her safe place behind the camera. Rating: 8.5, because photo shoots seem glamorous from the outside, but drama is always boiling behind closed doors. Or in this case, just a few yards away.
Awkward Phone Calls
I'd like to think the stuttering on both ends fades eventually, but Deacon and RJ prove that nope, that'll just never happen. There will continue to be awkwardness on the phone. We should all just kill ourselves now. Yep. So anyway, Deacon calls Rayna and she's all like "hey" and he's all like "hey" and she's all like "hey" and then something happens where they're both fumbling and then he's all like "I'll just call you later" and that was the end. Is this what real love looks like? Rating: 9, because yes. Yes it is.
Scarlett and perfectly tanned and toned Gun-Gun are practicing a sweet little tune when Scar's raging jealous, but equally as HOT, boyfriend Avery enters. He's hurt, as he should be! Avery is also a musician, and he's pretty damn good, too! But he's not what OMW (Old Man Watty) wants. Nope, Watty wants the Gun, and so he's getting him. Rating: 7, because boys will be jealous and girls will play dumb. There's no way around that.
It looks like Rayna and Teddy need a loan. They need a loan BAD. Teddy is floundering – we're not sure why yet, but we know it is not good – and Rayna seems surprisingly calm. That is, until the lawyers suggest they just "borrow the money from daddy." Then she goes white. There is no way she's going to do that, hell-to-the-no, and right after Teddy gives her a reassuring look like "don't worry, sweetie, no way, NO WAY," he gazes into nothing and ponders the possibility of asking her father for the money himself. He doesn't actually say it out loud, but OH I can see it. I can read his mind clearly through those sexy forehead wrinkles. Welp, turns out a massive check comes floating through the mail from, you guessed it!, the oh-so-powerful Lamar Wyatt. RJ asks Teddy about it and of course he denies he had anything to do with it. But we know better by now. Not only that, but the money comes with all sorts of demands! Shockingly, it all coincides with Teddy's campaigning. Rayna is "not allowed" to leave during the times when Teddy "needs her by his side." The whole thing is absolutely demented, and it's a bit disappointing actually that RJ can't see right through it. Rating: 4, because how did Teddy become Mister Evil in 35 seconds. Does RJ not know her husband at all?? Is that what we're supposed to believe. DO YOU THINK WE'RE IDIOTS?
Rayna and Deacon are going over their upcoming tour list, which isn't sounding so glamorous now. I can almost hear RJ's insides cringe and crack when she hears "Syracuse" on the list. D senses RJ's apprehension and says he's going to leave her alone so that she can think about things, you know like how she'd totally be f**king him over if she backs out. Meanwhile, he says he's got something he needs to do, which can only mean something bad, knowing sneaky D. And lo and behold, there he goes, RUNNING, to Juliette's recording studio. Ready to make magic happen with the twentysomething. Rating: 8, because just when you think you can trust 'em, they go and do something like this.
"Whatdyou Thakin' 'bout?"
The words Juliette whispers to Deacon as they lie naked in puke-green sheets. After spilling her soul about her momma and all her childhood problems (Isn't she still a child??), J gets D in bed, again. And funny thing is, he's totally into her! He is drinking the toddler Kool-Aid, more like funneling, and it's real messy. Sooner or later, it's all coming right back out. And it won't be pretty. Rating: 10, because I I'm pretty sure borderline senile OMW saw this one coming.
An Affair to Forget
Rayna finds out from her sister that their mother was having an affair while she was performing on the road. Sound familiar? And that's the reason her father hates the industry and the fact that Rayna wants to go back on tour with Deacon. To be fair, it is clear that if Rayna goes on this tour, she and D are totally banging the whole time. And it would be fabulous, but, like, okay, the point is don't cheat. So, anyway, Lamar makes another jerk comment, which sends RJ into another one of her "I hate you, daddy!" kicks and she storms out, claiming she will never EVER EVER EVER accept a dime from him. Rating: 8.5, because even when they're being total d**ks, dads are usually still a little bit right. And that is so annoying.
Juliette is outside her house running(?) or something, while Deacon is still inside making breakfast(?) when she sees her mom embarrassingly strung out, banging on her ornate entrance gate. She needs some money. She needs money NOW. And she's pulling out all the stops this time. "I'm your momma!" she hollers. "I took care of you! I have no place left to go." Juliette can't bring herself to go an inch closer and ultimately turns her back and orders her guards to take her mother away. She walks away with real tears, or so it seems, and does an ugly-cry. I really felt like we had a breakthrough moment with J here, until she struts into her kitchen smiling wide at D wiping all of that behind her. I mean, it's been a nano second. It hasn't even been a full Friends episode, and J is already thinking about when she's getting her next lay. "Want me to order in breakfast?" she cries all Susie Homemaker-y. But D isn't having it anymore. He got what he came there for. Plus, Rayna just called so he must switch gears back to Good Guy Deacon and be there for her. GOD I wish I could figure this man out. And when I do, I will have figured all men out. Rating: 7.5, because girls never want to seem vulnerable to their older, smoldering man-lovers. This much I know to be true.
It's All Over. Maybe. Sort of. No?