Um, spoiler alert? But maybe not, since last week’s previews promised us that Someone. Will. Die! Alas, there are now so many characters on this show who could use a little killing, it’s hard to be overly concerned about it. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Today I think we’ll move from Small Drama to Big Drama. Complete with ratings a la Jezebel.com’s “Midweek Madness” feature!
Smallest Drama (ant with stubbed toe):
Scarlett has Teh Sadz because she found out Gunnar and Zoe were in lurrrrrve and didn’t tell her. She feels betrayed and is cutting them both off with much righteous indignation. This is nonsense on so many levels that even the other characters are telling her off. I was stunned to find myself agreeing with Avery (who’s really turned it around this season in the sensibility stakes), who says, “Why do you even care?” Yeah, Scarlett, in case you hadn’t noticed, you’re sleeping with someone else now. So why shouldn’t two people you care about, neither of whom YOU want to sleep with, get together? It’s actually not your business. Mind your knitting, grandma.
Almost-as-Small Drama (mouse with head cold):
Sketchy Teddy pulled Deacon off the list of the Super! Special! Music! Fest! (and didn’t have a minion tell him? lame) and so Deacon arrives to discover he has no badge, no spot, and ostensibly no hope of playing that weekend. Gunnar’s there, too, and while he does have a spot, it’s on “Stage 8,” which is so far away from the main stage as to be behind a wall of porta-potties. But never fear! Deacon is a plucky lad when he’s sober, and he has a plan: with the help of an obliging friend who owns a vacant lot near the festival grounds, Deacon sets up a flatbed truck-as-stage and parks it just where people will see it as they walk back to their cars. Word gets out somehow–Twitter? The Bluebird’s PA system? Nashville’s legendary network of message-toting bats?–and everyone who’s anyone (including Maddie, of course) wants to come hear Deacon play.
This is mostly satisfying because it sets up our first “You’re not my mom!” scene between Maddie and FPPeggy, who foolishly tries to deny permission to go hear Deacon play. Teddy gets wind of the plan and tries to get Deacon banned for lack of permits, but Deacon says “Nyah nyah private property” and SketchTed more or less gives up. In the end, Gunnar opens for Deacon on Club Flatbed, and then Deacon wows the crowd (playing guitar, by the way, so I guess his hand is fine now?). In the afterglow, some record guy sidles up to Deacon, who praises Gunnar, but the dude’s all, “Yeah, whatever, I want to sign YOU.” Poor Gunnar–even fictional Nashville doesn’t want him to perform.
Medium Drama (non-colorfast chameleon):
Jeff has issued an ultimatum to Rayna–$20 million by Monday, or he’s releasing her album. Her single with Luke Wheeler was nice, but it didn’t make him enough to fulfill his quarterly budget, so he wants to release. And oh, by the way, he’ll be dumping some of the tracks that didn’t seem to be testing well and replacing them with her new hit download. Rayna hits the roof, because Art, and basically laughs in the face of iTunes as she says that she still believes in albums. Well, that’s sweet. Better find that cash, then. And she does! By mortgaging herself to the hilt–Tandy helps her out by throwing in $5 million, too. (Oh, to live the kind of life where you can toss a sister in need $5 million!) I’m sure this will in no way become a problem later on.
Large Drama (stampeding buffalo):
Juliette is reaping what she sowed (with the help of that snake in the nest, Layla): TMZ is making hay out of the accusations that she’s a homewrecker, and her fans are turning against her. (By attending her concert in droves, but bringing a carefully hand-lettered and surprisingly sturdy “Home Wrecker” banner that they unfurl in the middle of her show.) She’s freaking out and screaming at her manager to find someone to blame so the press can tear them apart instead of her. She’s particularly angry because for once, she actually did the right thing (well, eventually) and she’s still getting shit for it. Avery’s the only one who can talk her down, and she eventually faces the press and says, “No comment, and that’s all you’re getting.” I can’t imagine this will work.
But before she washes her hands of it all, she’s on a total witch hunt, and she pretty much finds the witch! Yes, it’s Layla, and Juliette knows it but can’t prove it. However, she CAN drop a word in Jeff the Evil Label Guy’s ear about how pissed she is. She bitches at Layla too, but Layla gives it right back to her with her best cat that ate the canary smirk. I want to beat this girl with her own cowboy boot. But up is down, black is white, and suddenly I’m siding with Jeff when he pulls Layla aside to scare the bejesus out of her. He reminds her that Juliette brings in scads of $$$ for Edgehill, and “there’ll be another runner up on American Hitmaker next year.” That tears it, I’m bouncing her name back down to Flavor of the Month. FOTM discovers that getting between a music exec and his money is a losing proposition, and skitters off on the verge of tears.
Juliette winds up having a sad heart-to-heart with, first Rich Guy Charlie (who shows up to “help” but I guess mostly to put a cap on this story), who tells her he’s much happier divorced from Olivia, and Juliette deserves someone who loves her and makes her feel like her best self, and he’s sorry he couldn’t be that person, blah blah. But this triggers something in Juliette (who is showing her sincerity by not having her hair or makeup done), who races off to Avery preparing her version of the Notting Hill “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy” speech. But when he answers his door, she doesn’t get to “…asking him to love her” before Scarlett pops out of the bedroom and Juliette has to do the “Oh! Of course I came here as a friend to talk about friend things and wowlookatthetimeIgottago” pivot. She heads off in tears.
Supersized Drama (earthquake releases genetically modified T-rex):
But wait! you say. Wasn’t someone supposed. To. Die?
Oh yes, my friends, and die they do. It’s night, and we’re following two of our cast in two different directions. First is Will. After ignoring his beard Layla and then grudgingly sleeping with her, he has a successful set at the S!S!M!F! in which he sings a song about a love triangle while staring at Brent the A&R guy while FOTM stares at him. Subtle, show. Even subtler when we cut to Will and Brent, post-coitally. Brent gets a text (presumably from his actual boyfriend) and scurries off guiltily. Will looks miserable. So miserable, in fact, that we next see him standing on a set of railroad tracks and weeping while a train blows its horn and comes straight at him.
So Will is the Someone. Who. Dies. Right? Well, maybe not…we cut away from Will, still weeping, still un-smushed, to a hilltop parking lot outside the S!S!M!F!, where Rayna runs into Sketchy Teddy and FPPeggy. The mood is reflective, and Teddy graciously thanks Rayna for giving up her usual time with the girls so that they could spend the weekend with Dad at his big event. (Nice touch: we hear the train whistle from Will’s scene in the distance.) Rayna pulls him aside to tell him about her new move to buy herself out of her contract, and to let him know that the girls may be living on a shoestring with her for a while. Teddy’s OK with it and wishes her well, then turns to go. At that point, a random extra clad in a security jacket brushes by Teddy in a too-close manner while greeting “Mr. Mayor.” Teddy gives him the side-eye, just in time to see the guy pull a gun and try to fire! ST grapples with the man, pointing the gun in the air and all around, and a shot rings out! The man cuts and runs, and ST turns to Rayna: “You OK?” Yes, Rayna’s fine. (C’mon, we knew the star of the show wasn’t getting shot!) And ST himself seems fine. So who’s left? Oh, yes…FPPeggy is down! I repeat, FPPeggy has been shot!
High drama, in that Someone. Did. Die. Less dramatic, in that nobody liked Peggy or cared about her. So long for now, Nashville! Love y’all like a sister (who’s just found out that she’s actually a half-sister because her dad was actually her mom’s recording partner).