Nashville Recap: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

CHARLES ESTEN, HAYDEN PANETTIEREDeacon is another year older, but it’s Juliette who comes across as much wiser in this week’s Nashville. When things don’t go exactly her way, the drama queen (surprisingly) takes it in stride and even shows evidence of growing as a human. It’s a Deacon-birthday miracle! Meanwhile, Music City turns out for Deke’s surprise party, Rayna hides from paparazzi and Gunnar gets some supremely bad news.

Let’s review the big developments in “Dear Brother.”

RELATED | Exclusive: Nashville Casts a Person of Interest as Deacon’s Enlightening Love Interest

TENNESEE-MZ | Teddy has moved out of the house, and Rayna swings by his office to inform him that — thanks to Maddie — she knows about his canoodling with Peggy. As she later tells Tandy, they filed for divorce in a different county to try to delay the media’s finding out, but the magazine rack at the grocery store proves the folly of that belief: It’s filled with tabloid rags casting adulterous aspersions on both Rayna and Teddy. (Side note: Does that supermarket exist in some weird pocket in the space-time continuum where it’s constantly 1998? In this day and age, I can’t imagine the story wouldn’t break online first and that someone wouldn’t have alerted Rayna or her camp.) The paparazzi stalk RayRay, casual acquaintances make catty comments about her fidelity and not even the girls’ ballet class is safe from the press’ hounding ways. (Side note: Anyone else notice the cold shoulder Maddie gave her mom after rehearsal? Some kind of blame-assignation is brewing there, methinks – though little Daphne’s delivery of the “Teenagers!” comment made me laugh out loud).

Rayna holes up in her house and writes music, hoping that everything will just blow over. But a visit from Lamar boosts her spirits and her self-confidence (I know – a first for everything, eh?); he tells her she should fight back, because she’s done nothing wrong. “You may use your mother’s maiden name, but you’re still a Wyatt,” he reassures her, advising her to hold her head high. (Very nice work from Connie Britton and Powers Boothe in this scene.) Bolstered, she writes a new song and decides to debut it at the surprise birthday bash Juliette’s planned for Deacon.

THAT NOBODY CAN DENY | Even though Deacon’s preferred method of celebrating his birthday involves watching Old Yeller on VHS at home, Juliette decides that he needs a big blowout at the Bluebird. She enlists Scarlett’s help to lure him there (the scene where Ju rolls up in the SUV, along with Emily’s “Don’t be afraid,” was pretty great) and gives Deke’s niece and Gunnar the opening slot on the bill, albeit in her typical, self-aggrandizing way: “You can say you opened up for Juliette Barnes.”

On the big day, Scarlett greets Deacon with a cupcake; he thinks it’s pretty cool when she shows him how to turn it into a sandwich. (Deke, if you liked that, I’ve got a Buzzfeed post that’s gonna blow your mind.) He says he’ll come see her and Gunnar play at the café’s open-mic that evening – of course, when he gets there, the place is packed with a ton of his pals wearing masks of his face. Nice touch, Ju. A bunch of famous folk (Vince Gill and Pam Tillis among them) are there, and when Scarlett and Gunnar perform “I Will Fall,” the room takes notice. Rayna, you’d better jump on signing those kids before one of your contemporaries does.

Despite his hatred for social gatherings, Juliette’s enthusiasm and his friends’ goodwill seem to help Deacon settle into the evening. So by the time Rayna shows up with Watty – in such a better mood that she even sasses one of the photographers on her way into the venue – he’s just happy to see her. If you’ve DVR’d the episode, re-watch their hug hello; I’m continually wowed at Britton and Charles Esten’s ability to pack so much history and feeling into such commonplace gestures. She performs a new song, “Stronger Than Me,” that is not exactly a party anthem but which speaks to their complicated history; to paraphrase (and clean up) a term from Wedding Crashers, they eye-shag the socks off each other the entire time she’s on stage. Afterward, she apologizes for his finding out about the divorce from the press. “I wanna do right by you,” she says, holding his hand for a moment before she leaves.

LATER, WAGON | Jolene’s home from rehab and working with an addiction counselor, but aside from footing the bill, Juliette doesn’t want to have much of a role in her mom’s continuing journey. Still, things seem to be slightly better between the Barnes women; the party is actually Jolene’s idea, and Juliette brings her to the celebration. But when champagne is passed around for a toast, it’s all over.

Emily alerts Juliette to her mom’s inebriated state, and the young singer decides to bring her home herself, forfeiting a turn to sing for Deacon. What’s more, she doesn’t even unload on her poor, slipped-up mom who tearfully apologizes for ruining not only that evening but Juliette’s ninth birthday, too. By the time the counselor arrives, Jolene’s asleep, but Juliette agrees to chat. She tells him what he already knows: Juliette’s ninth birthday party went kaput when her mom spent the budget on drugs and then nearly torched the house after falling asleep with a lit cigarette in her hand. “I put it out, but the truth is, I wanted her to die,” she says softly. “You really think you can help us?” The counselor responds, “I do.”

OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? | Early in the episode, Gunnar and Scarlett discover Jason’s gun. Gunnar runs off to confront his brother, who insists he needs the weapon to protect himself from his enemies. Gunny flings the sidearm into the river and swears he’s done with his sibling. Cut to much later, when two cops show up at Deacon’s party and ask Gunnar to come with them to ID a body: It’s Jason, who was beaten to death and found in an alley. Gunnar sobs. I want to feel bad for him, but much like Juliette’s ex-hubby, Jason was around for such a short time that I barely feel like I knew him – and what I did know, I didn’t love — so it’s hard to feel much of anything about his absence. Gunnar, of course, is feeling a lot… of Scarlett, that is. When he comes home after being gone all night, his news impels her to kiss him, then straddle him, then grief-sex him with abandon. At least you died for a good cause, Jase.

POLITICS, A PUTZ AND A POOCH | Teddy’s people are telling him to stay away from Peggy because it just doesn’t look good, so he does the exact opposite and holds a press conference to announce she’s joining his office as a financial consultant. I’ll go with Rayna on this one: “Unbelievable.” Heady with power, Teddy turns down Lamar’s suggestions for mayoral appointments and instead invites Coleman – who’s still solidly “Team Rayna,” ha! – to be his deputy mayor. Though I am shouting “Flee, Coleman, flee!” at the TV, he agrees.

Avery gets an expensive guitar, gets nonsense advice from Watty, gets shut out of Deacon’s party, gets a shock at seeing Scarlett and Gunnar perform from outside and eventually gets some sense – or so his returning of  the pricey instrument would seem to imply.

The day after his bash, Deacon comes home to find Emily sitting on his front steps with a big box: his gift from Juliette. Inspired by his description of Old Yeller as a tale of devotion between a boy and his dog, she’s gotten him a Young Yeller of his own. Emily hustles the canine into its new owner’s arms and takes off and… I’m sorry, but Deacon is holding a puppy and I am dying of the cuteness. Can’t function. Good thing the recap’s done, eh?

Now it’s your turn. What do you think of Rayna’s new song? Do you think Deacon will keep his pup? And can anything good come from Teddy crossing his soon-to-be-former father-in-law? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. nashville says:

    I was really happy to finally see some scenes with Juliette and Scarlett together. I think it’s the first time they’ve been on screen together! Every duet that Scarlett and Gunner perform is awesome. They just light up the room. I think you’re on to something when you hint at competition signing them. Perhaps Juliette will want to have them open up for them on tour just as Rayna signs them to her record? Avery’s story line is a bit boring. I don’t think his character adds much to the show.

  2. forwarddad says:

    Great recap. Good episode. Moved quick. Assume all this media following is going to reveal Deacon is father of Maddie?

    • the girl says:

      I have been wondering when that’s going to come out. Rayna can’t say she’s trying to do right by Deacon and still not tell him the truth about Maddie.

  3. jaclynkate says:

    Can we get a performer of the week nod to Sam Palladio? Strong stuff in this episode. Well done!

    • bryceradick says:

      Good point! He very well might win it with so little going on on TV this week. I did hear Castle was amazing though (I don’t watch), but we’ll see!

      • drhenning says:

        Castle was great!!!! There’s a reason why it gets strong ratings and this week’s episode was one of the best ever..

  4. Shaun says:

    Wow,Scarlett acting way out of character.

    • bryceradick says:

      That ending scene would have been 100 times better if Gunnar would have kissed Scarlett first instead!

    • Fiona says:

      I really, really hope she doesn’t regret her actions in the cold light of day. While she’s kinda blown hot and cold where she and Gunnar are concerned, I do think she cares about him. I just don’t want to see him get hurt.

      • bjohns says:

        Looking at scenes from the next episode, seems that Scarlett and Gunnar are still going hot and heavy.
        I don’t think she is too out of character, she is finally getting some backbone and confidence and fell for someone who truly cares about her and her career. Avery was holding her back is pretty much what the show was saying. Remember when she first performed, scared to death. Now she is so much more confident with a real guy by her side. Team Scarlett and Gunnar. I will leave it to the professionals to mix their names together. LOL

  5. Harmony says:

    I think it’s important to mention that Juliette had never had a birthday party so she was extra excited about her ninth birthday, and extra upset when it fell through.

  6. TV Gord says:

    I just realized in this episode that Watty is played by the great singer-songwriter, J.D. Souther!!! Something in his eye at the music store made me think…I know this guy! That’s very cool casting.

    What this show may lack in storytelling, it compensates with sheer talent. I’m sticking with it as long as T-Bone Burnett is behind the music.

  7. Beth says:

    Perhaps I’ve been especially thick this whole time, but it just dawned on me that Lamar is a Wyatt and Watty is a Wyatt. Are they related?!? Did I miss that???

  8. sa says:

    Loved Rayna’s song. And I really like Deacon and Juliette as friends. Never cared for them as a romantic couple but like them as friends that look out for each other.

  9. Frances says:

    I recently discovered Nashville and I’ve found myself rooting for Juliette since the first episode. I love how her character has developed each week and last nights episode, the way she looked after her mom rather than throwing her out of the house and how she opened up to the counselor guy (he’s cute btw) just about broke my heart. Hayden knocks it out of the ball park every week. I never, ever thought I’d say this, but I’m totally over the Deacon/Rayna thing. I’ve started to dislike Deacon, especially after how he manipulated Juliette the last couple of episodes. It’s getting tiresome and I just can’t bring myself to feel sorry for either of them. We all know what was going to happen with her and Deacon if her husband hadn’t turned up that night at her hotel, so she should just accept her share of the blame in her marriage breakdown and not try to put it all on Teddy. I’ll miss the little family scenes of Teddy with his daughters. He’s been a good father and while I don’t get all the hate directed at him, where Peggy is concerned however, he’s thinking with a certain part of his anatomy and it’s not his brain. Put your daughters first!!! And something about Peggy seems really ‘off’ to me. I did like how he stood up to Lamar though and appointed Coleman as his deputy, but I think he’s naive if he thinks Lamar won’t fight back at him. Whoa! Gunnar and Scarlett!! Maybe this was the push they needed to realise how they feel about each other? I really like them together and I hope it lasts. Damn you ABC!!! Why oh why do we have to wait a whole month for the next episode??? From the preview, it looks like a good one too!! (BTW, is it just me or does anyone else see Maddie in the crowd at the upcoming concert fracas?)

  10. Michelle says:

    I’m just going to have to consider this an alternate universe. I live in Nashville and there is NO WAY paps would be following Rayna around. Why? Because we DON’T HAVE THEM. I laughed every time it happened. It just shows that while the show may be shot in Music City, it’s written in LA.

    • bryceradick says:

      I also thought that was way too gimmicky to be real. But hey, in this universe the only real country singers are Rayna and Juliette, so I guess we have to take what we can get.

  11. That song was so beautiful….I can’t handle it.

  12. Brandy says:

    I loved Raynas song,Scarlett and Gunnar finally going somewhere, Scarletts cupcake sandwich and Deacon with the puppy was cute-“What do I do with it?” was cute/funny.Felt bad for Gunnar loosing his brother but I didn’t expect Jason to be around long and I knew he’d bring trouble.

  13. Lisambri says:

    Looking forward to seeing Lamar destroy Teddy – you don’t cheat on his baby girl and get away with it!

  14. zoot says:

    Why would Juliette have so much alcohol at a party for a sober Deacon and her druggie mother there? Shouldn’t she have called the counselor BEFORE the party so he could be there to support her mother? That girl is clueless and selfish

    • Fiona says:

      Oh come on!! Her mother had been doing so well and she didn’t drink at that other party a couple of weeks ago. Juliette can’t be around 24/7 and her mother has to take responsibility for herself. Deacon is a big boy now and Juliette (or even Rayna) is not his keeper. If Juliette really was ‘clueless and selfish’, her mother would have been out on the street after this relapse. Sheesh, give the girl a break.

    • the girl says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Deacon is an addict. It would have been different if it were her party and he was one of the guests, but it was HIS party. You don’t serve alcohol at a party when the guest of honor is an alcoholic and drug addict. That drives in the point that Juliette wasn’t really throwing this for Deacon after all.

      • Beth says:

        “That drives in the point that Juliette wasn’t really throwing this for Deacon after all.” Bingo. She’s never sung at the Bluebird. That party was going to be her chance. Did you catch her comment about missing out on singing there? Of course, having said that, if she was completely selfish, she’d have sent “Momma” home with Emily and sung there to have her moment in the spotlight. As another poster mentioned, she did have a little bit of growth last night (but she’s still got a ways to go!).

  15. Fiona says:

    Two things. (1) Why did Rayna refuse to answer the question from her publicist about whether she’d cheated with Deacon or Liam during her marriage? I thought that was a bit strange. Would she have answered the question if say Bucky had asked her? Maybe she’s hiding something. I mean, I don’t think anyone would disagree that she’s been having an emotional affair with Deacon for years, but wouldn’t it be awesome drama if it turned out that she actually HAD physically cheated? (2) Puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JustJoan123 says:

      Um. She has cheated. Her daughter Maddie is Deacon’s child.

      • JKR says:

        Maddie was conceived before Rayna sent Deacon to rehab (for the 5th time). She knew she was pregnant and might be why she agreed to marry Teddy so quickly. A few episodes ago, Teddy and Lamar had a confrontation where Teddy specifically told Lamar to stop threatening Rayna about Maddie, and that he knew she wasn’t biologically his child, but was still his daughter.

    • the girl says:

      Didn’t she sleep with Deacon earlier this season? Either way, I think it’s clear she has cheated with Deacon DURING the marriage. She was pregnant with Maddie before she got married so that technically doesn’t count.

      • Kerrie Elizabeth says:

        Rayna and Deacon have not been “together” since before he went to Rehab. Teddy was not Rayna’s 1st choice to marry – but with Deacon in rehab, she probably was trying to save face and keep her career on the up and up.

        And — for some reason Teddy seems to think he is all that because he was married to Rayna and won the election. SAY WHAT!?!?! When I saw Teddy appoint Coleman as Deputy Mayor, it seemed like it was just setting Coleman up to be Mayor (as he should have been) when Teddy goes down hard. Teddy was nothing and he is headed back home.

        I was tiring of Juliette’s disdain for the world and happy she is making an albeit slow turn around. There are so many other stories to tackle than the spoiled, shat upon star. I am wondering if romance (real, for a change) might spark between Juliette and the counselor – after a few episodes of learning how to trust.

        Michelle (from above): even us folks not from Nashville thought the paparazzi were odd – All the times that were set at the Bluebird it’s been a local hangout – now all of a sudden it’s Sardi’s?

        I love Gunnar and Scarlett. Their music is so lovely. I also love how Scarlett’s character is so strong. Avery never was a likable character and the sooner he disappears the better. And, I really like the relationship between Scarlett and Deacon. Just nice.

      • No. That was a dream Rayna was having while sleeping. She got pregnant with Maddie AFTER she sent him to rehab & broke up with him. Teddy agreed to raise the kid as his own. He knew about her being pregnant with Deacon’s child. She only kissed him the night Teddy slept with Peggy.

  16. Last night’s episode of NASHVILLE was really good. I think the pace is picking up and we’re seeing less of the cheesy soap opera stuff. I like the show, I just wish it would concentrate more of the musical lives of the people and less on brothers with guns who die.

  17. Ana says:

    The poor ratings of this show hardly do it justice. This is one of the most mature, well-written, exceptionally acted and most compelling shows on tv but people don’t seem to know it exists. Maybe it’s the country theme? The Oscar exposure had no impact, obviously. Although I think that having Juliette singing ‘Fame’ for two minutes was a waste of time and did nothing to convey the captivating nature of the show. Still hoping that ABC gives it a second season. Love the music, especially Gunner and Scarlett. Definitely my favorite duo. Love and download all their songs. Can’t wait to see them enter Rayna’s universe and get some of the fame and spotlight. When Gunnar and Scarlett sang, I Will Fall, it was so emotional my eyes got watery, but when Gunnar had to identify his brother the dam broke. Excellent job. Avery seems to just be taking up screentime although I do hope that he had his ‘aha’ moment and decided to be true to himself when it comes to his music.

  18. mel says:

    Love this show but ABC is hurting it by preempting it all the time!!! give us more to love not less.

  19. Can someone explain to me what this song (Stronger than Me) meant… Was she telling Deacon to move on from her and get over her bc their relationship is too painful or was she saying she’s still in love with him?? I’m confused.

    • Kelzbot says:

      I think that she was singing that to him because she’s saying she is broken right now, just because of everything going on. Maybe a way of apologizing to him for them not really speaking since the kiss? That’s the way I took it. Their discussion afterward seemed too positive for it to be a “forget about me” song. Don’t really know though!

    • I thought it was as close to a love confession as it can get, but she’s also saying “give me more time, I have to do this the right way” IMO at least

  20. Amy says:

    Does anyone else think it’s sudden to just kill off Gunnar’s brother?
    I wish Rayna and Deacon would just get together already. It just feels like she’s leading him on, and I’m losing sympathy for her. Decide already!

  21. Lisa says:

    I was so excited to see Kip Moore among the country celebrities at the party!

    I’m in love with Reyna’s new song, that’s how I found this thread, by googling it to find out the name.

    I do think Deacon will keep the pup. He says he didn’t want it, but he’s such a mush, he’s just going to fall in love with the dog

    In response to the last comment, I do think it was sudden that they killed off Gunnar’s brother. Actually, I wish it never happened at all, I was looking forward to see how their relationship would unfold as well as hearing more of the character’s musical talent. It was heartbreaking how it all went down too :,(