This really will be a five-minute Nashville tonight, because we focused mostly on all the boring characters! But I liked the music a lot. Oh, Nashville, you keep sucking me back in. Anyway, let’s check on the chickens:
Gunnar is so excited about his new band with Zoe and Avery that he’s having some sort of manic episode. He’s booked studio time and a gig and written three songs. (Jeez, half a session with Scarlett and he’s all unblocked? Guess he doesn’t need her as a writing partner after all.) Avery’s pissed that Gunnar is so enthusiastic, while Zoe’s just trying to jump-start her “music career.” They squabble, and Avery gets snotty because he’d rather hang with Juliette, who’s filling his head with dreams of producerdom. But eventually, they all show up to the gig, and as they sing their song, all three are enjoying themselves. How nice for them.
Deacon is on the road and finding that it’s not quite as much fun when you’re sober. His bandmates party in the hotel room every night while Deacon ices his wrist (which isn’t doing so well) and woefully calls Lady Lawyer, who doesn’t have time for him. Among the things keeping her busy? Weepy Teddy, who apparently rummaged through Peggy’s final pocketbook and discovered a convenient bottle of pills (prostaglandin?) that reveal to him that she faked her pregnancy. He calls Megan for sympathy, tells her the whole story, and says that while he loved the woman he thought he knew, he never would have married Fake Pregnancy Peggy. Well, gee, Teddy, maybe you should practice a little more “look before you leap,” huh? Anyway, Megan takes him for a drive to some secluded spot where they commiserate about dead partners, and then fool around a little. She takes him back to the office in silence, guilt etched on her face. AWK-ward.
Rayna’s having some growing pains with her label–not only does she get scooped on that “Cadillac 3” group she was after, but suddenly she’s bouncing checks all over town. Turns out Tandy, the CFO, has fucked up because she’s still reeling from Lamar’s death. Rayna figures out (later than most of us) that family business can be risky business, and thinks she might have to fire Tandy.
Scarlett and Liam are in the studio shmooping it up (but also singing a pretty song), and apparently Scarlett thinks they’re in a relationship now. Liam is not dissuading her (which seems a bit out of character) and Scarlett credits him with “opening her up” (that’s what she said!). But when Rayna comes to check on them and finds them macking at the keyboards instead of recording, she gets pissed. She fires Liam and tells him he’s going to break up with Scarlett and get the heck out of Dodge, which he does–he seems sad, but this isn’t True Love. Rayna then gives Scarlett a little lecture/pep talk about how the power was in her all along, and Liam was basically her Dumbo feather. All’s well that ends well (except we haven’t officially dropped that stupid amphetamines storyline).
Speaking of shmooping, Layla’s back from L.A., where she was supposed to perform on Not American Idol, but they cut her and just had her wave from the audience, because her single is tanking. Evil Label Guy won’t return her calls, and it looks like I might have to start calling her Flavor of the Month again. And guess what, February’s over. She asks Will to help promote her, since Edgehill won’t, and he tries in a couple of interviews but it’s cheesy and lame and Jeff tells him to knock it off. Meanwhile, Layla and Will sleep together a couple of times, but let’s just say, it was not good for her. Or him, really. And because he still won’t tell her he’s gay, Will just lets Layla think she sucks at sex. But I still hate her, and don’t care if she’s sad, no matter how pathetic the show makes her. I can’t wait for her to fade into obscurity.
Juliette’s being wooed by labels far and wide, but they’re all pop, and won’t let her develop a new country sound. Apparently labels wooing artists send lavish gifts–shoes, diamonds, and whaddaya know…super-fancy champagne from Evil Label Guy! Yes, Jeff wants Juliette back, because Edgehill is pissed. Juliette blows him off at first, but when they offer her an imprint of her own, plus a producing deal for Avery, she gets excited. Avery, however, is less so–he doesn’t want his success to come from riding her coattails, and he doesn’t think Jeff respects her. Juliette doesn’t entirely get it, and prepares to take the deal (without the Avery portion), but at the last minute realizes that Evil Label Guys don’t change their spots, and she’d rather have Avery’s respect. But that means she needs a new label…
Which leads us, finally, to the place we’ve known was coming for weeks. Juliette comes to see Rayna, and pitches herself as a new artist for Highway 65. It’s actually a great scene, where these two frenemies grudgingly admit their mutual respect and recognize that they need one another. We end on that, but the previews suggest that it’s not going to be smooth sailing for Rayna’s newest star! Until then, y’all…