5 Awesome Things from Nashville: Markus with a “K”

Nashville (Screen: ABC)

Markus Keen is a jackhole for so many reasons, but he’s not even the new character I love to hate most.Welcome to the high-drama social event of the week – Beverly’s funeral. Deacon breaks down while delivering the eulogy, leaving Rayna to recite the rest. He spends the remainder of the service giving Scarlett the cold shoulder (because she removed Bev from life support). Scarlett gives increasingly-less-dreamy Doctor Caleb the “chilly” shoulder. Everyone else plays nice; even jealous Gunnar tells Caleb, “If you need anything…just let me know.” Ooh and Zoey’s back, yay!!!1

Jeff informs slacker party girl Juliette that an E! Online reporter will be following her every move during a 48 hour publicity blitz. When the coffee ain’t kicking Jules’s perma-hangover, she asks new BFF Lindsay to fetch a shady doctor for some pep pills. Meanwhile, estranged husband Avery confides in super nanny Emily his hope that Juliette will get her head together and come home. Unbeknownst to them, a paparazzo is photographing their cozy public meeting.

Rayna and Bucky scramble to accommodate Markus Keen (mega-famous rocker/Highway 65’s hot new sign) when he makes a surprise visit to Nashville. They invite him to her next Opry performance — where Layla is scheduled to debut — and Markus replies, “That’s where they did Hee Haw, right?”2 Again, Layla feels sidelined. But Jeff (in an unusual fit of good-natured wisdom) reminds her that Rayna’s done right by her and an Opry debut is no small deal. Then he gifts his client/secret girlfriend a sweet new pair of boots. Ooh la la!

Edgy Deacon seeks solace at an AA Meeting but the rage is bubbling. Caleb gives Scarlett textbook advice about the stages of grief; when that backfires he asks Gunnar3 to help him finish writing a song for her.4 Avery asks Bucky and Rayna to present him to Markus as a potential producer; that meeting goes well, even though Mr. Keen is put off when Avery abruptly cuts out… to meet his infant daughter at the hospital. Yeah, Markus is a self-absorbed dick.5 But that’s not even his worst!

More about that and the other awesome things from last week’s Nashville:

Rayna Does Right By Will We don’t see much of Will, except when he drops by the funeral and the Opry. As is the new custom, everyone tells him he’s brave for coming out, yadda, yadda, yadda. Remember when elder country star Wade Cole6 said the same thing, but then refused to be photographed with him? Talk is cheap, Music City!

Then there’s Rayna, queen of all that is good and decent. While she’s giving props to Will backstage at the Opry, a random fan asks to take a selfie with her. Before Will can saunter off, Rayna pulls him into the picture. Because that’s what girlfriends do, dammit. Now duck face, everybody!7

Layla Make an Exquisite Schlimazel Layla gives a great Opry performance with “Mess Worth Making”.8 Rayna brings her on stage at the start of her own set, and just when they’re about to launch into the traditional post-debut duet, Markus runs out on stage and TOTALLY ganks Layla’s moment! While Rayna and Markus break into song, Layla storms off, throws her hissiest fit ever, and even hurls her hot new boots at Jeff. Yeah! Seriously, Layla gets screwed all the time, to the point that I’m rooting for her as an underdog.

Things sorta get better. Will drops in, offering comfort and encouragement (and for the record, Rayna privately schools Markus on Opry etiquette). Then there’s the dubious happy ending, when Jeff gives her back her boots and kisses her in public for the first time. Congrats on netting that a-hole? Damn, even when Layla wins she loses!

Juliette’s LOL Moment of the Week Juliette is becoming a functional addict. Surely this speed/sleeping pill/booze combo will soon best her but professionally, she’s on top of her game. Even when a radio interviewer catches her off guard with tabloid photos of Avery and Emily, she immediately deflects the issue. Emily is a “dear, dear friend” and this is just a big misunderstanding. It’s brilliant cuz it’s also true. Well done, Jules!

Immediate cut to Juliette screaming through her phone at Emily. “You’re just a gold-digging, back-stabbing whore, aren’t ya!” Ah, I forgot. The insecurity is strong with this one.

RIP Bev! And now, for the new Worst Person on the Show… Nah, it’s not Jeff; he’s in his own category of creepy and evil. I’m talking about that character I really love to hate, and that person is… Juliette’s dumb bestie Lindsay!! When Cadence is hospitalized with a stubborn high fever, Avery persuades Jeff to give him Jules’s new cell number. But she’s in a stupor when he calls, so Lindsay picks up. Avery’s like, “You need to tell her our daughter’s very sick,” which she doesn’t do at all. When sleepy Juliette says, “If it’s not work, I don’t care,” Lindsay just tells Avery that Juliette doesn’t care her daughter is sick. MORON. If this call were recorded for quality assurance, you’d be fired, ya half ass groupie!

Feels:1 Deacon:0 Must be tough being such a sensitive guy in a world that doesn’t train dudes on how to deal with their emotions. That’s why Deacon occasionally needs to rage-trash his house, as he does in this episode.9 He doesn’t resort to drink, which is good. But he keeps insisting a miracle could have brought Beverly back, that she could have awoken as she did from the coma. “Her whole life, my sister was a fighter…She never gave up, ever. Scarlett gave up.” Seriously, has this man’s crisis inhibited his ability to understand the difference between “coma” and “brain dead”? Hasn’t he ever watched a soap opera that made him wonder what he’d do in Blondie’s position? What a mess. He’s actually making me feel sorry for Scarlett!

  1. The sixth awesome thing – as little as the writers give Zoey, I love her still.  
  2. Hee hee  
  3. Who, like most people, had no expectation of following through on that “if you need anything” sympathy offering  
  4. p.s. It’s TERRIBLE.  
  5. Also, he addresses Avery as “Juliette Barnes’s Baby Daddy” – ouch!!  
  6. aka Broke Ass Billy Bob Thornton  
  7. JK – puke  
  8. It’s less mopey than her “serious” coffeehouse fare but more interesting than her teenybopper stuff from way back.  
  9. Which Maddie happens to witness, and finds super freaky.  

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail: tara@whatelseison.tv
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