In this episode, _____ learns it’s better to be herself and not live up to other people’s expectations (insert name of any female character).
Rayna introduces Scarlett to producer Liam, who is immediately unimpressed with Blondie’s folksy, nice girl demeanor. Deacon bristles when Belcourt Records asks him to record an album of duets with all his famous pals. Gunnar finally meets Will’s girlfriend Layla. Before he can shake his “What is my gay friend doing?” confusion, pushy Layla coerces him into writing a song with her. Jeff gloats and Glenn grimaces as they watch disgraced star Juliette rehearse a public apology for her Grand Ole Opry induction ceremony. Luke uses his NASCAR connections to promote Rayna’s upcoming album and introduces her to Sam
Walton Boone, owner of a major retail chain. Teddy approaches the US Attorney’s office with his suspicions about Lamar’s involvement in Peggy’s murder. In the aftermath of that botched assassination attempt, star witness Tandy goes AWOL and evades the Feds in a skanky motel room. When Gunnar and Layla sit down to write a song, they hit a stumbling block – her utter lack of personality. Luke and Rayna make their first public couple’s appearance at Juliette’s Opry induction, creating quite a stir. But that’s nothing compared to Ms. Barnes’s surprise shit storm. Let’s talk about that and four other awesome things from last night’s Nashville
Juliette’s anti-apology When it’s time to accept her trophy, she thanks her few supporters, refers to the canned apology on the teleprompter, then addresses her detractors. “For all of you out there who want me to beg for forgiveness, who want to burn my records and cancel my concerts, who wanna put my career in the ground, this one’s for you.” Then she busts into a real rocker; I can’t find the name of it anywhere, but it’s basic theme is, “Screw you, I’m out.” The audience responds with tepid applause and it’s cold-shouldersville backstage. Rayna pops into her dressing room and says, “Well, that wasn’t very smart, but it sure was brave. Good for you.” Then Jeff pops in and fires her, but Juliette is unfazed. She reminds him that he’s lost his top two stars and bet it all on a second place reality show contestant. Her last words to him are, “See you on the unemployment line.” Brilliant! It’s as if all of Juliette’s bitchy guile built up to this one, glorious crash-and-burn.
Why Scarlett’s a drag Liam can spot Blondie’s demons across the room, but every time he pries into her personal life she shuts down. So he steals her diary. He’s already figured she has boy problems, but asks for clarification on one of her lyrics. “‘I can see your eyes staring into mine across the battlefield.’ Who’s that? Who hurt you? Is that the boy?” She replies, “My mother.” That’s when we learn about her uber depressoid mom. Suddenly, Scarlett is kinda likable and her speaking voice is way less annoying. You know she’s headed for her own crash-and burn-when she starts popping Liam’s speed, but at least now we’re in for the ride.
Layla and Will’s moment of realness After the songwriting disaster, a teary, frustrated Layla admits to Will that she lives to please her parents. Will confides, “I do know what it’s like to want to be the person your parents expect you to be, and the hurt in their eyes when you fall short.” Layla says, “At least you had the guts to break free, live the life you wanted.” Will sighs, then snuggles her like a teddy bear. Looks like everyone has a secret sadness on Nashville, even evil Zooey Deschanel.
For the gazillionth time, Rayna does the right thing Boone loves Rayna, but tells her flat out that his stores have no space for her new album. Then he stumbles upon a plan – throw Juliette under the bus and sell Rayna’s record instead. “Rule number six – protect your brand,” he says. She considers his offer but ultimately backs off. She later tells Luke, “Juliette Barnes can be a pain in the ass, but I will be damned if I’m gonna take part in some corporate jackass trying to squelch her voice.” Also, Maddie would have given her mom the gazillion year silent treatment.
#JulAvery is now trending Glenn informs an unusually calm Juliette that no label wants her. Standing in her luxury kitchen, she tells him to take a vacation on her dime. The entire time, she’s doing crazy antics with a ketchup bottle. It looks like she’s… cooking? We later see her at Avery’s front door, holding a hot meatloaf. “I cooked you dinner.” Aw, working class poor in love. She tells him that in spite of losing everything, there’s just one thing she must have – “You.” Then they make out as he whisks her bed-ward. Guess he cooked her a meatloaf, too. Zing! #SorryNotSorry