Are y’all still hanging on with me to Nashville? I watch faithfully, and this week that’s about the only faithfulness that comes anywhere near this show! Everyone is sexing someone else, and ain’t nobody happy about it. Oh, also, there’s singing. (Really, isn’t that Nashville in a nutshell?) So, our couples of the hour:
Will & Layna (& kinda Gunnar)
Dear Callie Khouri: We hate Layna. She is a waste of space, and the recent 180 you seem to be doing on her character doesn’t help matters. She is also making us care less about Will, which I did not think was possible. Anyway, the deal is that as Will’s star rises, so do rumors that he’s gay. Layla’s presence isn’t helping much, because even on the show, no one cares about her, so her Beard Powers are fading. Will decides that it’s time to up the ante, so he proposes. Oh, Will, you sad lummox. Layla accepts gleefully, even though she kind of gets the feeling that this relationship is not how it should go.
They trot home to Gunnar to show off the ring and ask him to be the best man, and Gunnar is polite but quickly grabs Will to be all, “WTF is wrong with you, and how could you drag this poor girl down with you?” Turns out Layla’s parents aren’t so psyched about it either, and threaten to disown her if she doesn’t break the engagement. (I think this may be part of the retconning of Layla–instead of cunning nasty Harvard almost-student, she’s becoming Christian homeschooled daughter of overbearing parents?) Later in the show, Jeff the Evil New Label Guy is also feeling a little “ping” from his gaydar, and asks Will point-blank if he’s gay. He goes on to say that NLG doesn’t care either way, but it will hurt his brand, so…don’t be. Will dutifully insists he’s straight as an arrow, but NLG’s not convinced. Later, he sidles up to Gunnar and tries to get the scoop, but Gunnar won’t squeal. He will, however, show up at the 24-hour chapel just in time to see Will and Layla tie the knot (note: without witnesses? Is it legal?). Um, congratulations, you two idiots.
Juliette & Avery & Scarlett
Juliette’s getting a little anxious about all the time Avery’s spending producing Scarlett’s album, especially now when Juliette is working her butt off on tour with Scarlett as her opener. (Done because Rayna’s still pissed that Juliette’s ill-timed announcement is hurting sales of Rayna’s single by association. Never mind that Rayna was already cooling on the charts when this show opened, which is why Rayna and Juliette even know each other.) Juliette’s crowds are smaller than they once were–those arenas are half-full, but she’s a pro and rocks the hell out of her show in Seattle, much to the approbation of the crowd and her manager…but Avery is nowhere to be found. Turns out he didn’t watch her set, because he and Scarlett were working on a new emo ballad backstage, and oh hey! Scarlett’s going to open with it.
Juliette is really pissed about Avery’s lack of attention, not the song, but she rightly orders Juliette that opening with a downbeat ballad is stupid, to stick to the set list, work the crowd, and bring some goddamn spark to the tour, which is her job. The next night, Scarlett finds a little courage in pill form (ugh, are we really going through with this stupid Saved by the Bell plotline?) and OPENS WITH HER BALLAD ANYWAY, including a little pass-agg dig at Juliette to open with. Of course the crowd is entranced, because Scarlett is fucking Snow White on this show, and the song is pretty. Afterward, Scarlett tells Avery that she hopes Juliette fires her, because she hates touring and just wants to go home and make music and wah wah wah. I just want to strangle Scarlett with one of her own grandma sweaters.
Juliette has a little talk with Avery–like grownups in a functional relationship!–and explains that she’s getting clingy because she’s fallen for him and is afraid he’ll hurt her. He repledges himself to her, but reminds her that he still has to be free to pursue his work. They’re OK for the moment…but Juliette points out that Scarlett seems off, and asks if she was high for her set. Avery denies it, but Juliette recognizes a bit of her mom’s behavior and has her doubts. Also, earlier in this plot, Juliette asks “Is she always that squirrelly?” and then does the BEST imitation, which the great minds of the internet have created in GIF form. Enjoy.
Juliette has a face-off in the dressing rooms with Scarlett, who’s all, “I suppose you’re going to fire me now?” But Juliette puts on her savvy businesswoman hat and tells her no, she’s going to keep her on the tour, because even though she’s annoying as crap, she has “It,” and should be performing. So sack up, Scarlett!
Deacon & Megan & Teddy
Deacon’s out on tour with Luke (or going out? I guess they’re all still in town for now) and he’s playing a show with him…somewhere. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention to the set list. Point is, Rayna and Luke are performing, and so is Deacon, and Megan is being extra-super-supportive and sweet because Guilt Over Sleazy Car Antics. Maddie is grounded because Teenager but has special dispensation to go to the show, but only because she’s going to meet Luke’s son today. Teddy’s arranged to pick her up the very second Luke and Rayna are done singing, because he hates music and freedom.
Of course Megan and Teddy run into each other at the show, and Megan’s all, “We can’t keep meeting! IT MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN” loud enough for Deacon to come along and be all, “What can’t happen? Hey wait a minute…” Cue fireworks, fury and recrimination. Back at Chez Deacon, he’s packing a bag and yelling and she’s weeping and trying to keep him from going on another bender. (For which we are all grateful, probably including Chip Esten, who has to be sick of the AA story by now.) Deacon doesn’t give us any indication of whether he’s going drinking or thinking, but either way, he’s done with Megan. Thanks, Lady Lawyer–off you go. Oh, and I think he punches Teddy, but I could be confusing that with Fitz punching Andrew on this week’s Scandal.
Rayna & Luke & Maddie & Colt (& kinda Deacon)
Rayna and Luke are finally ready for their children to meet, and it turns out that Luke’s insufferable son Colt is a bit of a YouTube celeb, but eschews his dad’s music for “good stuff with sick beats.” The actor playing Colt is dressed like a Bieber wannabe (new gross Bieber, not old lady’s-haircut Bieber) and could not be less convincing on this line, though maybe it’s not his fault. By the way, Rayna has laid down the law and told Luke and the girls NO SOCIAL MEDIA on this visit. The parents leave the kids in the green room, but Colt’s not interested in meeting the kids of his dad’s latest fling, it seems. Maddie (and Daphne) are unimpressed with Colt’s snottiness and give him a taste of his own medicine…by singing one of their songs while clapping along for percussion. He is instantly entranced by their Sick Beats and videos it, uploading it in a jiffy to YouTube or Snapchat or Yik Yak or whatever the hell the kids are using these days.
Somewhere in here, Maddie also tells Colt in so many words that Deacon’s her real father. Wow, girl, sharing is caring, but dial it back a notch! He is never going to ask you out on Date #2 if you spill all your secrets up front. Anyway, boring shenanigans later, Rayna has been shown Maddie’s “Maddie Claybourne” vid from earlier, and Luke has found out that Maddie is Deacon’s kid. (Which is exactly NONE of his business, but whatever.) Luke needs some time apart to process all this (the fact that a girl you barely know was fathered 14 years ago by a different man from the man you thought, even though in neither case was Rayna cheating on people?) and Rayna needs to get Maddie’s mind right w/r/t the evils of SOCIAL MEDIA. All of you should probably get off the blog right now because it’s so dangerous! (But no, stay here. I need your clicks and affirmation for my self-esteem.) Rayna and Maddie have a heart-to-heart that’s very weepy and moving even though the subject is dumb. And of course, Rayna doesn’t seem to understand that The Internet Is Forever, so even though they pulled down the video, I’m sure this will come back again.