This is my angry face.
Good news if you thought they were bound for a long, twisty-turny path to the altar – it’s already time for Deacon and Rayna’s wedding! The nuptials are scheduled take place at the lakeside property where the late Mrs. Wyatt used to vacation with wee Rayna and Tandy. But then the tabloids catch wind of their plan, requiring a last-minute venue change and top secret guest-herding maneuvers. All that would be good and fine, but then a paparazzo harasses Maddie as they’re leaving the Bluebird rehearsal dinner, prompting Deacon to shove the dude and break his camera. Maddie gets cold feet about her mom marrying her very temperamental biological dad. Daphne feels left out because Deacon isn’t her biological dad. Tandy’s still pissed that Rayna and Deacon are back together. And Deacon can’t even with all these kooky chicks.
Turns out, the other guests have weird feels about this wedding, too. Avery memorizes a long list of detailed lies about his MIA “bride” Juliette, because he can’t reveal that they’ve split. Will learns his publisher is releasing him because Wade “Closet Case” Cole said he’s “difficult”,1 so he bails from the reception out of busted career shame. Scarlett’s still reeling from her break-up with Caleb, so Gunnar gets it in his head that he should help her hook up with a wedding guest. Guess what? Gunnar sucks at this, either because he’s a dimwit or he’s passive-aggressively trying to keep Scarlett to himself.2
In more sizzling awkward wedding guest news – Layla’s back, and still hard-core bereaving dead Jeff the skeevy exec (RIP). Maddie’s boyfriend Colt is also in attendance, and he’s itching to tell Layla what he saw the night Jeff died. But more of that in a minute. Here are five awesome things from last week’s Nashville
Deacon’s tabloid face Okay, so this isn’t a great look for a famous recovering addict on the eve of his wedding, but the photographer did holler at Maddie, “Which dad’s worse – the criminal or the drunk?”3 So no one feels sorry for him. Plus, it turns out Deacon only broke the dude’s camera? WHATEVS. I love that Rayna has the same reaction; even after Maddie tells her about witnessing Deacon’s house-trashing (which happened after his sister Bev died), she’s just like, “Eh, I freaked out like that when Grandpa kicked it.” If only Maddie could have seen that.
Avery’s Brave Face Breakdown According to super nanny Emily, Juliette’s supervised visits with Baby Cadence have been going very well. But that just puts more pressure on Avery to keep this whole rehab/divorce/weird custody situation private. And naturally every guest at the wedding wants to know, where’s Juliette? Are they gonna write another song together? How’s family life? Poor Avery! He almost makes it through the night without cracking, until Rayna asks after her former colleague. And since Rayna knows full well how nuts Jules is, he can’t keep up the stream of bullshit any longer. That’s when Avery stumbles out the door and has a panic attack. Not an awesome thing in itself, but Jonathan Jackson’s sweaty, anxious face is so well done here. I WANT GOOD THINGS FOR AVERY.
Tandy is still the worst She was always shady, bland and annoying. But as the disapproving sister of the bride, Tandy has graduated to a new level of WORST. First she’s making jokes about getting drunk at the reception, just to spite recovering alcoholic Deacon. Then she’s barely concealing her contempt for him when she “comforts” nervous Maddie and Daphne. And when she barely manages to drag the latter to the ceremony, she hands her off to Rayna with a snide warning – “The rest is on you.” Yeah, no shit, Tandy. Rayna will fix everyone else’s problems LIKE ALWAYS, but not before she calls out your naysaying nonsense. After explaining to Tandy that Deacon’s her man and nothing will prevent their marriage, Rayna says, “If you can’t be here without your heart 100% invested in this, then you should just go on.” Yeah, go away, Tandy! Don’t let the door smack your weird perm on the way out! JK, of course she sucks up her judgment and stays cuz it’s not like she has anyone else in this world.
…and then Rayna fixes everyone else’s problem After ALL Maddie’s bitching about wanting her mom to marry Deacon, I’m pretty unmoved by her sudden concern about his anger management issues. But I do feel for Daphne, and not just because she’s the more likable child – it’s sad to see her feel left out of the cool illegitimate family circle that is Deacon, Rayna and Maddie. Of course, Rayna handles both concerns with compassion and efficiency. She simply explains to Maddie that Deacon of the Infinite Feels does overreact at times, but he will never intentionally hurt her. And to Daphne she says, “You’re not the outsider here. Deacon is. We’re the family… Deacon’s gonna be joining us.” OMG Mother of the Year. This is a perfect response, except I’d honestly be happier if they all decided to ostracize Maddie instead.
Oh, there’s also a bit where it seems Deacon is gonna leave Rayna at the altar. Fortunately he figures out his own silly self so she doesn’t have to do ALL the emotional heavy lifting on her own damn wedding day, for christ’s sake! And marry they do. Mazel tov!
Bad Layla’s Back! So Colt just moseys up to Layla at the wedding like, “Hey, I know it’s weird to bring this up now, but..” Then he reveals Jeff died in the process of rescuing drugged-out, suicidal Juliette. This news causes Layla to promptly puke her guts out in the loo. But soon she’s back in fine, conniving form, not so subtly grilling Avery on Jules’s whereabouts; she doesn’t appear to be buying his scripted answers. THEN, in the last scene of the episode, we see Layla meeting with new manager Glen. 4 Not only is she wanting to scrap the tracks Highway 65 recorded to do some new material, she has her eye on a new producer – Avery. Hooray! Can’t wait to see what Evil Zooey Deschanel has planned.