Although, really…when does she not?
Avery tries to visit Juliette in the treatment center so they can chat about how their divorce secret is shredding his soul. But Jules is having a tough mental health day so her doctor puts him off. Pissed though he is, Avery still makes it back to Nashville in time for his first recording session with Layla.1
Recently out gay cowboy Will is excited about some open mic nights he’s played outside of Nashville, so Scarlett and Gunnar invite him to do a set during their hometown gig. Mr. Lexington accepts their invitation. But as soon as he hits the stage, some dirtbag bigots heckle him with homophobic slurs and one dude breaks his nose by hurling a bottle. The cops persuade Will to report the slurs so they can press hate crime charges, but Will seems hesitant after an encounter with alpha dirtbag at the police station.
An earnest and starstruck drifter named Vita approaches Deacon about performing at The Beverly’s (fully booked) open mic and begs for an audition. He’s so taken by her balls-out blues tone that he brings Rayna in to see her perform. An impressed Rayna asks Vita to stick around town and even offers to help her get a day job at The Beverly. Deacon’s on board with that plan, but partner Frankie is suspicious and rightly so – when they hire Vita despite her criminal record, they find the till $500 short after her first shift.
Now the world knows about Luke’s embezzlement/tax evasion scandal, the conventional wisdom is that Mr. Wheeler is an over-wealthy chump.2 Ticket sales for the tour are plummeting and soon he’s gonna need a new opening act. Worse than that, son Colt won’t answer any of his texts. Relief comes in the form of Riff, a former country star turned family man who invites his old pal Luke to hang at the ranch, drink beer and do man things.
Scarlett catches Erin kissing another dude and tells Gunnar. When angry Gunnar confronts Erin, she offers to become his monogamous sex buddy. She later admits that her usual no-strings approach is a shield to keep her feelings from getting hurt, and that she actually likes him for real. D’oh! Gunnar has figured out by this point that he’s more ego-wounded than hurt by her doing another dude, ’cause he’s not really that into her romantically. Bye, Erin!3
Confused by a suddenly distant Colt, Maddie writes another mopey love song with help from grown ass woman friend Cash. Judging by Daphne’s background scowling, this new partnership does not bode well for their sister act.
Here are the five most awesome highlights from last week’s Nashville
Tell us how you really feel about polyamory, Scarlett OMG Blondie is soooo scandalized by the sight of Erin sucking some non-Gunnar face. How many times have they told you? It’s JUST CASUAL. But Scarlett disapproves. I gotta admit, that expression she’s wearing in the above photo is golden. I love how the judgment is all crammed up inside her cardigan-wrapped shoulders.
Will Will lose his will, AGAIN?! It’s a good thing this episode didn’t end with yet another self-loathing decision on the part of Mr. Lexington, or I might have hurled a bottle at my TV. Granted, Will does not pursue a hate crime indictment. Instead, we next see his assailant revisiting the scene of the crime, and even enjoying a free beer from an admirer. ZOINKS! That admirer is Will, who gets back on stage and announces to the crowd that he’s there to finish what he started. Gunnar and Scarlett are in the audience, and they tell Mr. Dirtbag Homophobe and his buddies to make like a tree and leave (which they do). That last part makes NO sense, but it’s such a major improvement on the traditional Will story arc that I’ll gladly take it.
#Averla on deck If you were holding out hope that Juliette and Avery might reconcile after all, this episode oughta disabuse you of that desire. While I always wish the best for Jules, this belabored association with her is kicking the shit out of Avery’s heart. Following the aborted treatment center visit, he finally loses it when dopey Luke comes around the studio, asking if Juliette might be available to rejoin him on tour.4 Avery flips on Luke, Luke scurries, and Avery suddenly confides the whole truth to Layla. She gives him some good ex-beard-wife advice about the perks of letting go. And with that in mind, Avery delivers Juliette’s doctor an ultimatum – either Jules announces their divorce to the media within 24 hours or he will. Juliette opts for the former, releasing a brief and gracious statement about her ex. Avery breathes a teary sigh of relief and discusses his newfound freedom with Layla when they next meet to record. Meaningful glances are exchanged, and now we know that these two are absolutely gonna hook up. Good on them. She’s kind of a mess but way more resilient than Juliette. And Avery’s neither gay nor a scumbag, so that’s a big step up for her. Bonus for both of them – it will make Jules miserable.
I actually feel bad for Luke You know how Luke’s schtick is all “I’m a regular ass hick but I’m a good guy, too!”? Well, now that he lost 40 million bucks without noticing, his fans aren’t buying “regular ass hick” anymore. But he really is so basic! And nice, too. He’s just lived the new money dream a little too hard. So I’m glad Riff is being sweet to him. Luke repays the favor by asking his long retired friend to be his tour opener, despite management’s misgivings.5 Riff agrees on the condition that he can bring his whole family. Hey y’all, it’s a hootenanny! Now Luke can be less lonely even if his own kids still hate him.
Cash treats Maddie like a mature woman, which is her first mistake Cash wonders why Maddie holds back emotionally while writing music. (For real?) Maddie says she had sex with Colt and now he’s acting all weird. Cash suggests she stand up to him and express her own needs. Hmm, maybe it would be wiser to ask this very self-involved teenager questions like, “Is he possibly going through some other problems right now?” But that sort of practical advice doesn’t earn you Coolest Grown Up Ever status, so instead Cash helps Maddie write an angsty love song about it. Later, Maddie calls Colt and demands an apology, because she doesn’t know he’s freaked out from the whole “Jeff falling off a skyscraper/Luke covering up the real story” thing that’s made his family life a shambles. So great job, Cash! Glad to see you bringing out an even worse side of Maddie.
- Rayna has already given her second album the green light and now she gets to plot revenge on Jules, too – looks like things are finally coming up Layla! ↵
- Which is true, but he’s not evil. ↵
- Shoot, I liked her! ↵
- Mofo, you KNOW she’s in treatment, you put her there! ↵
- Ooh, an integrity move over a smart money move? Somebody’s acting very Rayna-like! ↵