Nashville Recap: A Dog Named Sue

CHARLES ESTENDeacon spends part of this week’s Nashville at the veterinarian’s office, but it’s Gunnar who acts like a dirty old egg-sucking dog. (Boy, you are lucky that Scarlett seems to have a soft spot for strays.) Meanwhile, Juliette’s impulsive nature causes an actual panic, which triggers one of the greatest Barnes-James interactions we’ve seen so far. And Avery watches his career go down in flames – literally. Let’s review the major developments of “When You’re Tired of Breaking Other Hearts.”

RELATED | Nashville Hot Shots: Rayna and Juliette Hit the Big Apple, Peggy Is Hit by Lamar’s Unwelcome Wagon

A FINE THANK-YOU | Long ago and far away, the previous episode ended with Scarlett and Gunnar getting grief-groiny on the couch. At some point they moved into her bedroom, because that’s where we find them the morning after. She tentatively asks if he wants breakfast or for her to reschedule their showcase for Rayna later that day, and he uses it as an opening to make her feel terrible. “Look, Scarlett, we slept together. It doesn’t mean, it doesn’t have to mean anything,” he says coldly.

Way to go, Gunnar. I’d like to attribute your insufferable ways in this episode to your grief, but it just seems like this is your default way of relating to Scarlett when you’re not kissing her. I don’t care how mercilessly you rock a tank top; your behavior is unattractive. Lucky for Gunny, Scarlett’s feeling more magnanimous than I am, so she gives him his space. He sulks down to the police station, where a detective says Jason was likely involved in drugs – either selling or buying – and that while an investigation will take place, it won’t take precedence over innocent victims’ cases.

That sends him on a bender that causes him to miss the showcase – though blondie and her banjo kill with a solo version of “A Place to Shine.” (That’ll prove important later.) He stops by the house long enough to get into a fight with Scarlett, who is certainly mad that he messed up their biggest shot so far but is even more angry that he caused her so much worry. She calls him on treating her like dirt (atta girl!) but then apologizes (oy), so he treats her like dirt again and takes off. Guys, I can’t.

UNCLE DEKE TO THE RESCUE | Scared about what her roomie’s got planned, Scarlett runs to Deacon for help. Together, they grab Gunnar just as he’s about to enter the bar where his brother was killed. After getting Gunnar to admit that he has absolutely no plan aside from a hazy rage, Deacon uses himself as a cautionary tale by revealing what that music journalist hinted at weeks ago: He made his best friend Vince drive drunk, which killed him, and it’s been killing Deacon ever since. “You wanna hang onto something? Hang onto her,” Deke says, gesturing at his niece. Aw.

Funny thing, though. Once they’re home, Scarlett’s decided that she doesn’t want to be hung onto. “Last night was a mistake. Sorry,” she curtly says in response to Gunnar’s apology. He looks sad. I look at my watch. When, exactly, is Chris Carmack moving in next door to light a fire under this back-and-forth? It’s gotta be O.C. o’clock somewhere, no?

Later that evening, both brood in bed until they are impelled to lustily make nice in the kitchen. Next morning, though, brings a phone call for Scarlett. It’s Bucky offering her a solo recording contract with Rayna’s new label. You booze, you lose, Gunnar!

CROWDED HOUSE | Juliette doesn’t approve of the “traditional” roll-out Edgehill has planned for her new album, so she brattily tweets the details of an intimate, invite-only concert to her legion of followers. Instead of the 50 fan club members the club is expecting, a horde of teens (including Rayna’s older daughter, Maddie) swarms the venue. Moments after Juliette and Deacon take the stage, the crowd presses forward and general chaos breaks out. Security hustles Juliette out. Deacon leaps into the crowd and pulls Maddie from underneath a bookcase – a wee bit oddly placed, but whatevs – to find that she’s got a lump on her noggin. He takes her to the hospital, where Rayna thanks him for watching out for her kiddo. “Aw, c’mon. She’s like family,” he says, and YES MISS RAYNA JAYMES YOU’D BETTER AVERT YOUR EYES AT THAT.

Meanwhile, Juliette’s house is crisis central. She’s barking at everyone. Her lawyer is trying to determine liability for the fiasco. Her mother and Dante are setting up for yoga and some therapy. It’s all a little too much for Emily, who cries, “My last job was at the mall!” (ha!) and says she needs help. (Based on Juliette’s comments, anyone else think that Jolene may eventually become Em’s backup?) In the middle of everything, a very upset Rayna calls her tour partner to unleash. Juliette whines that everyone thinks the riot is completely her fault, and Rayna’s response is so awesome, here it is in full: “Because it is completely your fault! Man, girl! You don’t take responsibility for anything! I don’t even know what you’re doing, but you hurt people around you all the time. Wake up!” Why do I feel like that’s more mothering than Ju’s gotten in years?

Oh right, because it is – as we’re reminded in several interactions involving Jolene, Dante and Juliette. Upshot: Juliette apologizes for pretending not to see her mom waiting for her outside a tour date years earlier, then asks her – and Dante – to accompany her on tour for a while. Both accept. (I’m torn about how smart an idea this is. Log your vote in the comments.)

STARTING OVER | Fed up with Dominic’s “East Nashville-meets-Dubstep” take on his music, Avery steals his master tracks and sets them on fire. The producer is apoplectic when he learns what happened, but Avery merely hands him the remainder of his publishing advance ($75,000) and the keys to his car, then bids both Dom and manager Marilyn adieu. Back at zero in Nashville, he’s dealt the ignominy of being introduced as “Avery Barksdale” before singing a sad piano ballad at open-mic night.

PUPPY LOVE | At the beginning of the episode, Deacon still hasn’t named the puppy Juliette gave him for his birthday – but he has serenaded him with “Love Like Mine” (side note: awesome) in order to calm him down. When that doesn’t work, Deacon carts him to the vet and meets Nashville’s newest Dr. Doolittle, a lovely woman named Stacey (The Americans’ Susan Misner) who doesn’t know who Deacon is and admits that she hates country music. They flirt. He asks her to lunch. They sleep together, and it ends a bit awkwardly.

Coleman later ribs him about always trying to stay free for Rayna, whom Deacon watches talk about her divorce the next day on Katie. (Side note: I bet Deacon is a huge daytime TV fan. You gotta fill the time between gigs with something, right? I can totes picture him hanging out in his PJs, wondering exactly when General Hospital‘s Sabrina is going to be unveiled as beautiful-beautiful instead of dorky-beautiful and how soon after she and Patrick hook up Robin will come back from the dead and smash that business up. Nurses’ Ball forever! — right Deke?)

Anyway, Deacon returns to the office to announce that he’s given his pooch a name: Sue. Stacey doesn’t get the Johnny Cash reference – even if you’re not a country fan, that’s kinda one of those pop culture things people just know, am I wrong? – but it doesn’t matter, because she accepts Deacon’s request for an actual date in front of the entire waiting room. It’s cute. No match for the maelstrom that are his feelings for Rayna, but cute nonetheless.

Now it’s your turn. Did you think Lamar wanted to stuff a doublemeat footlong somewhere the sun don’t shine upon hearing Teddy and Coleman’s plans for “Subway Park?” How long do you think Teddy and Rayna’s house-sharing arrangement will last? Are Dante and Juliette inching toward something romantic? 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. StephP says:

    Great recap and love the GH references since ABC used the show to promote Katie!!

    Loved Avery’s storyline this week. Hopefully he’ll end up as a guitar player on Scarlett’s recording session.

    • Rara says:

      I hadn’t thought of Avery ending up being Scarlett’s guitarist and Gunnar being left out in the cold, but it seems like that is what is lining up. Scarlett will be looking for guitarist, she will feel sorry for Avery and give him the gig. Gunnar will be the boyfriend on the outside, watching the two of them making music together, just as it used to be Avery watching Gunnar and Scarlett making music and feeling those same feelings. The Scarlett/Gunner/Avery triangle is going to be in full swing again, except all the roles are changed.

      • the girl says:

        Actually I feel like we’re watching how Rayna and Deacon became who they are now, through Scarlett and Gunnar. If Scarlett takes this solo gig, I would expect her to hire Gunnar as her backup guitarist. Now with Gunnar’s brother dead, he has the motive to start an unhealthy addiction to alcohol. Plus they’re already sleeping together… the parallels are crazy.

    • Jan says:

      Absolutely agree. Dead on about Sabrina and Patrick, too!

  2. Juan says:

    Loved the whole deacon, vet and dog thing, btw still don’t understand the sue name thing. Also really liked the confrontation between Juliette and rayna. How awkward was it when deacon got Maddie and said she was like family. Also Scarlett and Gunnar are cute and she better right for both of them to get in the label together, she would be just like Avery if not, and I hate him, she’s too awesome for me to hate her, she’s my crush of the season

    • Nerwen Aldarion says:

      Ever heard of Johnny Cash’s song “A Boy Named Sue” ? It’s one of his most famous songs.

      • just saying says:

        I love it when people are on the INTERNET and say they don’t understand a reference on a message board that they could have used the same amount of time to look up in any search engine. Basic research skills, basic deductive reasoning: things that apparently people no longer have and aren’t even aware of the lack. Pathetic. And what a waste of the internet- a resource many envisioned as making the populace smarter. Instead of raising the intelligence level, we have just dumbed down to people who can’t do research unless it involves a youtube video.

        • EF says:

          Yeah, because knowing a reference on a scripted TV show is THAT important that you are required to go google it up to prove something about the populace. Relax, it’s just entertainment, it’s just a song, and it’s just a TV recap with comments.

      • steven says:

        MY NAME IS SUE! HOW DO YOU DO?!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • big cheddar says:

      It’s a great Johnny Cash song. You should check it out – I guarantee you’ll love it.

  3. Leah says:

    I wasn’t nearly as gracious as Scarlett, either. Grief or no grief, I just wanted so slap that dumb hair-do off his head.

  4. forwarddad says:

    Me too. Gunnar is making me like Avery!!

  5. Mick says:

    I am guessing Avery will end up signed to Rayna’s label because this episode led to some great character development with him. And Gunnar may end up like Deacon career wise in producing and writing for people but never making it big himself.

    • rowan77 says:

      Agreed. He’s been very written one-dimensional up until now. He didn’t throw a tantrum like you’d expect, he decided that success with music he hates isn’t worth it and he’d rather start over with integrity. He’s not out of the woods with his label (frankly that guy’s a real a$$hole with zero respect for musicians. Ugh!) but I like Avery more now. Let’s hope they don’t have him revert back to a one-note jerk. This new depth is nice to see.

    • big cheddar says:

      Can’t Deacon just tell Rayna what happened to Gunner and get them another meeting? Or is that too rational?

    • GeoDiva says:

      Agree that Avery will be the second act Rayna is looking for her label. Then the dynamics between Scarlett, Avery and Gunner will begin.

  6. Kathryn says:

    I would give Gunnar some slack …he just lost his brother and feels a mixture of grief/anger. He did reverse what he said earlier to Scarlett when he originally told her that he thought hooking up was a mistake. He came to his senses and apologized shortly after. He really cares about Scarlett and just needs to get through this rough time and let Scarlett be there for/with him.

    • Shaun says:

      Also partially her fault for pulling that card out when he’s grieving/stunned.

    • rowan77 says:

      Me, too. He lost his brother less than 24 hour earlier. He’s not in his right mind. Scarlett was right to give him space. Getting annoyed at his behavior while in the depths of shock and grief for his only brother is pretty callous.

    • just saying says:

      I have little sympathy for him missing the meeting. It’s not that hard to say. Yes. Change the meeting, dammit, i just lost my brother. It’s not that hard to pick up your cell and text, “screw mtg, i’m getting drunk”. And I just don’t buy the excuse that he just “wasn’t in his right mind”. That may make you emotional, yes, but it doesn’t make you a complete idiot. (speaking from experience. i recently suffered a loss in my family and saw how different ppl processed it). And it’s not like he was all catatonic in grief. He drove, had a rational conversation with law enforcement and found his way to a liquor store/bar. The character’s been insufferable since they started this whole out of left field brother storyline. But saw the actor on The View today, where his hair was not only more attractive, but he spoke with his sexy british accent and i gotta admit: I’m sold. Oh. And Scarlett’s an idiot. Period. How hard would it have been to tell Rayna and Buckey that Gunnar’s brother was murdered. Why would you think that he’s going to just magically show up when you haven’t spoken with him all day and you know he’s upset? And, yes, she should have gone ahead and cancelled the audition in the first place. It’s pretty much a no-brainer. But Scarlett pretty much has no brain, so….

      • RaRa says:

        I think he was self-sabotaging his chance for success at that moment because he felt he had no right to succeed when he was responsible for his brother’s death. It was just grief talking, and he will obviously change his mind and realize he doesn’t actually want to throw it all away, but then it may be too late.

    • Amy says:

      Definitely “slack cut” here…
      But also important to note…it was Scarlett, after he hurt her feelings on it, that used the actual words “it was a mistake”…just protecting herself.
      if you notice Gunnar actually started to say “it didn’t” then corrected himself….”it didn’t have to mean anything.” I really think that was intended by the writers…not just a throwaway stammer of words…for him to say “it didn’t mean anything” was not Gunnar’s truth…but to say “it didn’t have to mean anything” was him protecting himself & not being sure she didn’t do it just out of pity. But then they both really snap to while tossing and turning….and admit to their real feelings.

  7. KCC says:

    I’d like to see Avery and Juliette together.

  8. Jillian says:

    are people really saying they prefer Avery over Gunnar? Did you not watch the first half of the season? Gunnar’s fault’s once to Scarlette and suddenly people are preferring Avery? Really? Avery treated everyone awful and got what was coming to him. Gunnar literally just lost his brother the day before all of this happened and now everyone is faulting him. He is not a saint. People are allowed to grieve. Judging by the end of the episode, he not only lost his brother, but he also just lost his shot at a record deal. He’s been through enough these past two episodes to last an entire season.

    • Elyse says:

      Avery is awful. I’m still crossing my fingers hoping the show will kill him off.

      • jdbasset says:

        omg I totally agree. I do other things when he is on so I don’t really have to pay attention to his sulking around my tv set alternating between surly and wounded.

        • Amy says:

          I feel differently…I’d like to see them bring out more depth to “one note” bad Avery, mostly because I know Jonathan Jackson so has that in him & is such a talented actor that will pull that off brilliantly. And I believe they might, because “one note” characters are not only boring (and the “Nashville” writers definitely have proven they do better than simplified stereotypical characters), but also they say even bad guys need layers and usually some kind of redeeming quality or moments for people to “care enough” about them to watch for any depth of storyline. I would much rather them develop Avery more. Much as they are doing beautifully with Juliette…as she learns, sometimes fails miserably or falls into old patterns, then grows a bit more and does something redeeming or shows depth.
          And as for Gunnar…I’ve not given up on him at all (though I wonder if they are going to make him struggle now and fall into a little trouble, acting out his grief for a while, and being left out of the record deal)…I hope they don’t “ruin” him for long….I still love him and with Scarlett.

  9. Maggie says:

    I loved the Coleman/Deacon conversation on Deacon’s front porch, I like that each can call the other on his crap.

    • just saying says:

      Me too. And does anyone wonder how Rayna ever fell for her husband? I get that we’re supposed to see glimpses of when they worked in their conversations but i don’t get it. I get that she wanted stability, that she was pregnant, but to end up with this douche? If I was a friend of hers it’d be very hard not to play the I told you so card on this one. It seems like anyone could have seen it a mile away …

      • RaRa says:

        Maybe at the time, she was just looking for someone as different from Deacon as possible. She just wanted someone who was dependable and would be a good father, which apparently he has been, but someone she wouldn’t risk her heart with by falling in love. She probably didn’t care that they had no chemistry, since she felt that her chance at love had sailed with Deacon and didn’t want to go down that path again and be vulnerable again. She probably told herself back then that you can’t get hurt if you don’t put yourself out there, so she purposely picked someone she would never be tempted to give her heart to. At least, that’s my own take on it.

        • the girl says:

          From what they’ve explained about the relationship, what you say here is completely correct. Rayna wasn’t looking for love, and she definitely wasn’t looking for someone like Deacon. She was looking for a husband and father figure, someone outside the music industry. Teddy agreed to take that on, so she married him. Had nothing to do with love at all.

  10. I LOOOOVED this episode and the promo for next week looks kind of amazing!

  11. Anna says:

    This episode reminded me why Deacon’ my favourite. He was so adorable in that last scene! I just want him and Rayna to be happy together. But I guess I’ll have to wait for at least another season for that to happen, no? Because I think it will happen eventually, so the question is not if, but when.
    Also, I kinda liked Avery in that episode. Good character development!

    • RaRa says:

      They will string us along with Rayna and Deacon for as long as possible, because they know that’s what everyone is tuning in to see. The “will they, won’t they” plot device to keep viewers drawn in is only effective as long as the tension is there.

  12. Morgen says:

    How is JuJu not horizontal with Dante already?

  13. Laura says:

    Can we take a moment to appreciate Lennon Stella’s acting. I mean really. So perfect.

    • Luli101 says:

      She was fantastic. Those girls are one of the best things about the show.

    • RaRa says:

      Those girls are extremely talented, too. Watch their song on youtube where they are singing in perfect harmony and doing the percussion accompaniment with cups (or something). It’s amazing.

  14. RUCookie says:

    Please don’t use “totes” again here… my skin crawls with the laziness of it. This is a much more inteligent blog than that…

    As for the show – I felt for Charolette. She wanted to respect Gunner’s privacy by not telling everyone what happened (the night before), but at the same time she needed to tell them so they did not paint him in a bad light. Tough tight rope.

    Glad to see Avery stand up for his music and like another poster says, I can see him signed on Rayna’s label. If I understand the set-up for her off-shoot, it is for the musician’s creativity and not corporate controlled music. That is why I think after more personal growth, Juliette will end up there too.

    • RUCookie says:

      Also – I have nothing good to say about the vet and Deacon. Everyone knows that she is a place holder until Rayna comes to terms with her failed marriage.

    • RaRa says:

      Thank you. “Totes” is ten times worse even than “whatevs”. I thought that was the only person who felt that way.

  15. Bjohns says:

    I was ready to dump the vet soon as she didn’t get the Sue reference. Well really I was over it as soon as I knew she was cast. LOL. She can’t last she needs to go tape Season 2 of The Americans which is awesome!!