The Exes join Autumn Chase on tour. Fangirl Scarlett’s still in awe of her idol, until Autumn abruptly fires a guitar tech in front of everyone at the their first tour meeting. Then, Autumn invites Gunnar and Scarlett to dine with her before the show, and interpersonal dynamics get really weird, really fast.
Juliette’s dying to get back to work but doesn’t know how to negotiate deals without her former manager Glenn. In her “new Jules” style, she politely and professionally asks him to work for her again1 and he refuses. When ex-husband Avery hears about this, he encourages her to be a little more like hotheaded “old Jules” and try harder to win her manager back.
Since Autumn snubbed Layla in favor of the Exes, Highway 65 can’t find a tour for Ms. Grant to join. Rayna decides she should bust out a ten date tour just to showcase her new artist. This is really Ray’s “I don’t wanna be just a business woman” identity crisis at work. And before she even talks to her young starlet about it, Layla cooks up a scheme of her own.
Typical Maddie isn’t even upset that her recent ex Colt joined the Army without telling her; she’s more jealous that he gets to do WHATEVER HE WANTS while she has to suffer as a teenage artist on her mom’s badass record label. Time to go write another angsty song with (supposed) grown-up friend, Cash! When Cash mentions having snuck out to play clubs when she was a teen, Maddie gets a dumb idea… and naturally, Cash supports it.
Luke wants Will to open for him and Riff2, but his staff thinks he’s a dope for rehiring the out gay guy. Will catches wind of this weirdness but is immediately distracted by a more awkward kind of weirdness – meeting again with his ex Kevin so they can fine tune the songs they wrote together. Kevin has a new BF; Will is sad. Hopefully more about them later. But for now, here are 5 awesome things from last week’s Nashville
Daphne sells out Maddie Maddie is now so oblivious to her younger sister’s existence, she doesn’t notice Daphne totally overheard her scheming with Cash to perform at a “super underground” club called Skull’s Rainbow Room. Later, Daphne watches Maddie lie to Deacon about going to see Cash perform at a “coffeehouse” – which does not serve alcohol, she promises. Daphne’s all, “Coffeehouse?” Maddie gets nervous and says, ” Yes, it’s a coffeehouse. I told you I’d tell you all about it when we go shopping tomorrow,” and Daphne’s response is, “Yeah… You said you’d buy me something.” YEEEEES. Black-mail, black-mail. Time to get what’s yours, little sister!!
Too bad Daphne blows her cool scheme by accidentally spilling the beans to Deacon in a classic “Why does Maddie get away with EVERYTHING?” fit. But this revelation leads to an amazing Cash/Deacon showdown (more about that later), so I’m still grateful to her.
Autumn is a sociopath Gunnar and Scarlett go into their dinner with Autumn knowing they just need to stay on her good side. Naturally, she begins the meal by grilling them about the nature of their relationship – how long were they together, who dumped who and why? Scarlett gets super defensive and uncomfortable, but later promises to Gunnar that she’ll just let the incident go. Fast forward to the end of the night – Autumn is loudly telling everyone at the concert after-party all about Gunnar and Scarlett’s mucky past. To Blondie’s credit, she calmly pulls Autumn aside and politely asks her to not discuss The Exes’ relationship. This would be a fine strategy if she were dealing with a mature adult who has feelings, but that’s not Autumn. Of course Autumn pretends to respect Scarlett’s forthrightness. But as soon as Blondie walks away, she’s sidling up to Gunnar all like, “Your songs are better than Scarlett’s. You’re the fun one!” And he’s dopey enough that this will work, for a little while.
Layla is Daphne + experience Layla surprise visits Luke at his office to “thank” him for everything he did for her right after Jeff died. He’s very sympathetic and kind, until she abruptly asks him to let her join his tour.3 He says he needs to choose an artist from his label and she responds, “I’m asking you to step up for me, put business aside… You were in Atlanta when Jeff died. I mean, you know what happened in a way that nobody else does.” Oh, you mean how he covered up the fact that your boyfriend fell off a roof trying to rescue drunk, suicidal Juliette? Luke squirms and agrees to put her on tour, of course. Well played, Layla! EVIL ZOOEY DESCHANEL BACK IN THE HOUUUUSE!
Glenn Appreciation Day 2016 Before Avery came along, Glenn was the only consistently available male figure in Juliette’s life who wasn’t a total effing creep. She needs him – not just because he’s the best in the business, but also because he’s the closest thing she has to a dad. Aw, Glenn! With a little help from Avery and Emily — and a lot of “old Jules” pushiness — she stages a Grand Old Opry performance in his honor, then asks him after the show to be her friend, if not her manager. And because he’s a mensch, he offers to do both (which will not sit well with his other client, Layla – but she’s turning shady again, anyway).
Cash cracks Deacon shows up at Skull’s Rainbow Room just in time to see Maddie performing a sultry ditty with lyrics like “I’m a bad girl.”4 He holds it together for a minute, but loses his mind when a grody dude in the audience starts pawing at Maddie’s leg. Commence bar fight! Somebody got this on their phone, right?
We next see Deacon confronting Cash outside while Maddie weeps in the car. Instead of APOLOGIZING HER ASS OFF, Cash is all, “I was just supporting my friend.” Things escalate quickly, and then this exchange happens –
Deacon: You got no right to take her anywhere, least of all some bar where she’s up on stage so she can-
Cash: What? So she can THRIVE?! So she can BLOOM?!?!
Spare us your early Mariah Carey song lyrics, Cash.
In short, Deacon tells Cash to back off, but she refuses to “abandon” Maddie, because being the beloved daughter of country music royalty is apparently a miserable lot? Sheesh. And Rayna thought Juliette was a bad influence…5