I’m really going to try to bring in this week’s 5-minute Nashville in something close to 5 minutes, because I’m exhausted and it’s too cold and I have officially hit Threat Level Fed Up With Winter. So hang on and let’s go!

I could just give you the 1-minute Nashville thusly: Shut up, Scarlett! She mopes around for the whole hour, because she’s exhausted from touring and media and dealing with the agony of having her ex-boyfriend move on while she dated her ex-ex-boyfriend. I swear, the prettier she gets styled (she’s looking much less like a bag lady or an Olsen twin this season), the more I want to smack her in the face with a CD. Anyway, she tries to balk at going to Gunnar’s celebration for his #1 single (“Ball and Chain,” which he wrote with Scarlett and gave to Evil Label Guy in exchange for his current career), but Bucky the Manager basically tells her, “Um, yeah, your boss SANG that song, and you have to go, so sack up, girlie.” He’s much nicer than I am, though. (Also, apparently Scarlett is now a media expert, despite the fact that she has a constant pout on her face except when she’s onstage with the smile and wide eyes of a crazy person.) Scarlett goes to the party, mopes at Deacon and then mopes at Gunnar, who blithely says that he didn’t feel any connection to Scarlett when they sang for Kelly Clarkson–just the music. Scarlett runs off in a fit and then is nasty to Rayna in the ladies’ room, which seems exceptionally stupid when she’s writing your paycheck. Scarlett comes to Rayna’s place the next day to apologize, and Rayna tells her it’s not enough to be talented, she has to want the career enough to put up with all the other stuff. Scarlett maintains she does, even though I do not believe her. But that’s enough of Sir Mopes-a-Lot.

Rayna and Deacon get together to write a single, and it’s easy and perfect and GOD GET BACK TOGETHER ALREADY YOU TWO. But no, they’re determined not to “repeat old patterns” after they get their “just one” hit song together, and agree not to work together anymore. Boooo! Song is cute, though. And Deacon gets a record deal! It’s a lot smaller than he used to get, but it’s solo, and he’s in it for the music. Across town, Rayna tells Luke Wheeler she’s ready to go public with their relationship, which will put them in the public eye in a big way. I love how she was all, “I need to take it slow, for my girls” and then decides that the best time to announce this relationship is two weeks after their stepmother was murdered.

Meanwhile, Juliette is still being tortured by the writers of this show. Layla’s statement that Juliette was being misquoted doesn’t seem to have helped, and venues all up and down the Eastern Seaboard are cancelling her gigs. Juliette’s manager and assistant are scrambling, but the writing on the wall says it’s time to lay low. People are burning her albums, sending her horrible tweets and emails, and generally threatening to end her career…as is Evil Label Guy, who comes to Juliette’s house loaded for bear. He screams her head off, calls her mediocre trailer trash, and demands that she publicly apologize to her fans and to God (Do we think He really needs the apology?) and basically eat shit to win back her listeners. Juliette doesn’t agree, but she’s cowed and lets a single tear fall once ELG leaves.

Good thing Avery’s officially broken up with Scarlett and on his way to see Juliette! When he arrives and knocks on her bedroom door, Juliette’s unresponsive. (This was teased in the previews as looking like she killed herself, but come on.) They burst into the room, only to find her passed out in her undies, an empty bottle of vodka lying nearby. They frantically shake her awake, and it turns out she’s not dead, just drunk…and now puking. Good times. But Avery talks her out of her misery by making her dress up in a wig and glasses and a knitted snood hat thing, and they busk on the street. Of course she is restored by the joy of music and the simple appreciation of the crowd. And, um, Avery, who sounds lovely on this song and looks super-cute. These two have great chemistry.

Finally, two characters we don’t care about will be sharing a story, oh goody. Lawyer Megan (I think Megan?) has just taken the case of the guy who shot Fake Pregnancy Peggy, and Sketchy Teddy is furious about it. How dare she, yada yada, he’s a monster… She tells him that she took the case because she knows how his wife feels, looking over and missing him every day, and also because she doesn’t think the guy killed himself. (I don’t actually remember learning that he killed himself, but whatever.) Apparently he was working for a company that (you guessed it) has shadowy ties to Lamar–and Teddy’s gone a-hunting. Still don’t care.

And that’s really it! Oh, there’s some Gunnar/Zoe stuff, but I also don’t care about that. He’s insensitive, she calls him on it, he apologizes. Plus, guest stars tonight were from Rascal Flatts and the Zac Brown Band. We were blessedly free of Will and Layla, too…thanks to the Nashville writers for giving me a night off.

Until next week, y’all!