Wednesday night is Nashville night, so that means Thursday is your Nashville-in-a-minute recap! If you don’t watch this delicious slice of TV-melodrama pie, you’re missing out, and here’s why. If you love the show, but haven’t seen last night’s ep yet, stop reading! Spoilers ahead. I will insert a pleasing graphic to give you some space to turn away.
OK? If you’re still here, I assume that you also watched last night, and have Things To Say about it. So shall we?
So we left off last week with Rayna coming out of her coma post-car accident. Happily, this week she’s back home so we can get out of the dreary hospital; Sketchy Teddy is there too, tending to his ex-wife, with visions of his happy family dancing in his head. But Rayna has moved on, yo, and eventually shuts him down. He seems genuinely sad. Don’t worry, Sketchy Teddy, soon you’re going to be way too distracted dealing with Peggy’s fake pregnancy to actually rebuild your marriage!
Rayna’s ready to get back to business, literally, because there’s a new head of the label (I missed why the old one got fired, because my Tivo doesn’t work with HD, yada yada long story involving Time Warner Cable that no one wants to hear). New Label Guy, you’ll be unsurprised to hear, does not care about Art! He cares only about Money! The horror! And as such, he’s firing people left and right.
New Label Guy croons nice things at Rayna, since her Greatest Hits album is doing remarkably well post-car crash, and then he meets with Juliette, who expects the star treatment…but is met with less fawning than she’d like, plus the unwelcome news that her fans aren’t following her to her new “mature” sound. Her single didn’t even hit #1 on iTunes! Juliette snarkily offers to arrange her own near-death-experience, and New Label Guy seems pretty willing to take her up on it. I am really torn; on the one hand, NLG is a jerk, but on the other hand, he has a point. As someone who’s basically a low-ranking equivalent of NLG, the art/commerce discussion is, shall we say, relevant to my interests.
Juliette, in her Juliette way, decides not to crash her car, but instead, arrange an exclusive interview (with an actual Nancy O’Dell, I believe) in Trailer Park, Alabama–she’s going back to her roots. It starts out just as she plans, with sensitive questions from Nancy and Juliette sporting twin French braids to make her look more like the 15-year-old prodigy she once was…but when an actual figure from her past shows up, things go a bit pear-shaped. A weepy neighbor (who used to take care of Juliette when her mother was…shall we say indisposed?) comes up and gives her a big hug. Juliette is shocked, then a little touched, and graciously introduces the woman to the TV people. (This poor actress playing the neighbor is done up in full “she’s poor!” regalia–ill-fitting shirt, uncombed and fried hair, lined face. It’s like a trailer park caricature.) But when Miss Neighbor (who had a name, but I’ve forgotten it) whips out a quilt she’s made, full of baby photos of Juliette, and gives it to her, Juliette moves from “touched” to “freaked out.” It’s true that the level of emotion from this woman is starting to move my stalker-needle a bit. Juliette breaks off the conversation and stalks off to her tour bus. The button on the scene is when she stomps by Avery who says, “Nice quilt!”
But despite the odd turn, Juliette’s ploy seems to have worked, as she proudly marches into NLG’s office to show him that she is now once again queen of the iTunes. NLG takes the opportunity to introduce her to the new Flavor of the Month, a bubbly 19-year-old who just came in second on Not American Idol. Juliette welcomes her as warmly as you might imagine, and off they go. (Somewhere in here we also learn that NLG is trying to woo Will, Rayna’s second signed artist for her label, over to the main shop–this pisses Rayna off, and she goes to have a discussion with Will about protecting his art, etc. etc..)
Now to Deacon…oh, Deacon. He’s out of jail (since his strangely well-dressed public defender figured out that Rayna was driving that night) but he’s still determined to punish himself for–basically everything, I guess. Scarlett has picked him up, and is driving him not home, but to a doctor’s office for a consultation about his broken hand. Deacon is shouting at her to take him home and he’s not going to the doctors and wah wah wah and finally Scarlett turns and screams at him, “Shut up!” She unloads on him with both barrels and I have never liked her more. They go to the doctor in silence. At the meeting, the doc says that Deacon has a lot of physical therapy in front of him, and it’s going to be rough, but they’ll try. She can’t promise anything regarding his ability to play. Deacon, still determined to destroy his entire life, tells her to just put him in a hard cast (which will compromise his ability to recover). Scarlett scowls.
Meanwhile, there’s some stuff with Gunnar and Will and Scarlett’s mysterious “best friend” whom we never saw last season. Perhaps I’m being uncharitable, but I get the feeling Best Friend was created in response to the observations that this show was pretty monochromatic for a story set in the south. Anyway, she picks up the rest of Scarlett’s stuff and tells Gunnar something I’ve forgotten that helps him break his writer’s block and write a song about his brother. Will, hearing it, realizes that he isn’t an artist, he’s a performer. I respect him for that. (Will also has an encounter with the guy he made a move on last week, who also happens to be his A&R rep. Oops. But basically, rep says he’s not going to out Will, because Will’s worth more to the label as a hottie for the girls.)
And finally! Rayna and Deacon meet. It’s night, and he’s sitting on the corner where the accident happened, which has turned into one of those roadside altars covered in flowers and candles. He calls Rayna, who comes, and they have a lovely, sad exchange in which they realize that despite their love, they seem to do too much damage to each other when they’re together. NOOOOOOO! I want you both together! And Rayna gives back the ring we saw Deacon offer her in last week’s proposal flashback. Sneef! But it seems to have snapped Deacon out of his funk.
And now to NLG’s big party for all the artists on the label! Of course everyone’s there, but it turns out this isn’t just a party, it’s a chance for NLG to present Flavor of the Month, who has–wait for it–“just taken over the #1 spot on iTunes!” Juliette’s glare could burn a hole straight through FOTM’s head. To add insult to injury, FOTM sings “a Juliette Barnes classic,” making her feel even older. FOTM is cute and bubbly and the show is doing something right, because I find her annoying, but also love how crazy it’s making Juliette (who is the most fun to watch when she’s crazy). Rayna, meanwhile, has her beatific smile on, but leans over to her manager and suggests that maybe it’s time she got out of the business.
Cut to…Deacon, scrabbling through his basement tool drawers until he finds (you guessed it) a hacksaw. Yes, he’s sawing off his cast, because dammit, he wants to live! We end on him trying, painfully, to curl his fingers around the neck of his guitar.
Until next week! What did y’all (it’s Nashville, so we say y’all here) think of the ep? Do we like FOTM? Do we hate NLG? Do we want me to give these people names instead of coy acronyms? Let me know in the comments!