Nashville Recap: Life Support

Nashville Season 1 RecapRayna learns a huge secret about her parents’ marriage in this week’s Nashville, but will she be able to act on it before an ailing Lamar has harrumphed his last? Meanwhile, Juliette and Jolene duke it out over someone so not worth it and a well-worded dressing down makes me love Deacon even more (and I thought I had topped out at that dog serenade a few weeks back). Tune your six-strings and slap on your Stetsons, because it’s time to review what happened in “My Heart Would Know.”

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SAVE A HORSE, RIDE A DANTE | Dante and Juliette roll around in her bed and establish that neither one wants their hook-up to be a one-time thing. But what about Jolene? Juliette suggests keeping their relationship on the downlow for now, and though the sober companion knows it’s not a great idea, he goes along with it. (You just know that somewhere, Joan Watson is shaking her head in disgust.) A knock at the door sends Dante scurrying to a corner or a closet or something – it’s at this exact moment that I decide I don’t like him and even though it’s early in the episode, that opinion only deepens over the hour.

Ju’s midnight visitor is Rayna, who’s letting Juliette know that Lamar’s had a heart attack and she needs to take her daughters back to Nashville. Juliette offers use of her plane – rather graciously, I might add – and discerns that Rayna probably won’t be back for the next evening’s show.  That gets the blonde’s wheels turning (well, that and a little pampering – as Emily puts it, “Mani-pedis help her think.” Ha!). As Jolene angrily wonders when they’re going to have the next family therapy session, Dante’s helping his new pal figure out how she can play the evening’s concert by herself. The way Jolene’s “counselor” treats her in this scene is totally gross, just in case you were wondering. Only when Ju’s mom admits that she took (but didn’t drink) a bottle of vodka from the honor bar does he even seem to really notice her.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOSS AND BOSSY | Juliette figures she’ll use her new songs to fill the time Rayna has vacated. Problem: the band doesn’t know these 10 fresh tunes, and Deacon says that she’s asking a lot when she wants them performance-ready in a few hours’ time. Buoyed by Dante’s assertion that she’s “the boss,” Juliette fights with her bandleader during soundcheck and then stomps off to sex up her new dude in the tour bus. Poor Avery (yeah, I can’t believe I just typed that, either), who’s now a roadie tasked with finding Juliette’s missing in-ear monitors, has the misfortune of walking in on the pair doing the horizontal Boot Scootin’ Boogie in the bus’ back bedroom. Juliette doesn’t see him but Dante does, which is enough to get him sacked by the interloper later that day.

Deacon hears about Avery’s firing, reverses it and then confronts Juliette’s new boytoy, who smugly reminds Mr. Claybourne that he, too, has a morally murky past that involves bedding Juliette. Plus, “She trusts me,” he brags. “I don’t,” Deacon replies.

TITLE CHANGES | Frustrated that Dante won’t return to Nashville with her, Jolene takes another tack: She kisses him, and Juliette sees it happen. This leads to a huge argument in front of the tour crew; we later learn that this isn’t the first time Jolene’s gotten inappropriate with one of Juliette’s beaus. (Side note: I know Mama Barnes is in no way innocent, but that reveal doesn’t make Juliette and Dante’s coupling feel any less wrong to me. Jolene’s still someone in treatment who’s been very vocal about needing help, and the two people who’ve pledged to support her are instead sneaking off to Billy Ray each other’s Cyruses.)

Juliette’s already irked, so when Deacon ignores her on stage and then tells her that she should’ve cancelled the show when Rayna couldn’t make it, she explodes. “Rayna is not my family. And let me tell you something: She ain’t yours, either,” Ju shouts at Deacon. Prepare to swoon in 3… 2… “Yes, she is,” he says, softly but with conviction.

After she’s cooled down, Juliette walks her mom out to the car with Emily, who’s going to take her back home and find her a new, female sober companion. The Barnes women are going to work on boundaries, Juliette says, confirming that she’s fired Dante as Jolene’s addiction counselor… but hired him as her own manager. Oy.

CARDIAC EVENTS | Tandy and Rayna rush to the hospital, where Lamar is recovering from his heart attack. Tandy asserts that she’s going to handle all of his business until he’s healed, and he seems to be on the mend – until he gets a look at Watty, who’s there to make sure Rayna is OK. Remember how Lamar’s wife had an affair with “a musician?” Yep, it was Watty – who went on to become Rayna’s mentor. Lamar freaks out and has to be carried back to bed; he later barely survives bypass surgery. In a tumble of exposition, Watty tells Rayna that her mother was a free spirit loved by both men, and that when she got into the car accident that killed her, she was planning to leave Lamar. Oh, and by the way? Tandy totally knew all of this the whole time. Rayna’s sis posits that what Ray has read as her father’s hatred of her – for most of her life — was really hurt feelings caused by her philandering mother and dredged up by Rayna’s similarity to her.

While Rayna’s processing this news by an unconscious Lamar’s bedside, Deacon shows up. He wakes her as she dozes, and she goes right into his embrace. It’s lovely. During their warm, too-short conversation, we learn that Rayna was 12 when her mother passed away and 16 when her father kicked her out of the house, the same time Watty got her her first paying gig. Deacon admits that he’s there because something in a voicemail she left him earlier “Sounded like you needed… me,” but the moment is a little too emotionally naked, so he leaves rather abruptly. Stacey’s surprised and delighted to see him back sooner than anticipated – at the beginning of the episode, he gave her the key to his place – but his grimace as she assumes that he came to Nashville because he missed her makes me pretty sure he’s still got the redhead on his mind.

Later, as Rayna’s tearfully lamenting the time she and her dad have wasted arguing, he opens his eyes. Meanwhile, Tandy’s learned a thing or two from having full access to her father’s files. She meets with Teddy to inform him that his girlfriend Peggy – who during the episode tells him she loves him in a very unhinged manner – was the one who leaked his divorce story to the tabloids.

SCARLETT’S CELEBRATION | With her Edgehill contract returned to the record company, Gunnar declares the day a “24-hour Scarlett O’Connor party” that starts with mimosas, moves on to some mid-morning sex and includes an evening at the bar. Also important, because I like to keep you all apprised of these things, Gunnar is wearing little black boxer briefs for his first few scenes. That’s all you really need to know, aside from the fact that Gunnar isn’t sleeping well and has no interest in writing music since his brother died.

That night, Will joins them at the honkytonk. Scarlett’s soused when he pulls her up on stage to sing the Ashley Monroe/Blake Shelton tune “You Ain’t Dolly (and You Ain’t Porter).” Gunnar looks on with an expression that’s tough to read; though he’s quite sweet to Scar in this episode, I fear his old ways may return in the not-so-distant future. She gets a call that Edgehill wants to meet with her the next morning, so the boys get her home to sleep it off. Gunnar admits that he feels pretty “empty” since Jason’s murder, so Will takes him out for a little distraction — if you can call totally psychotic behavior a distraction. As a train approaches, Will guns his pickup into the locomotive’s path, and they only clear the tracks by inches before it speeds by. Gunnar’s furious as Will whoops and hollers, but then asks if they can do it again. (Side note: Why do I feel like a whole new fan fiction ‘ship was launched tonight?)

The evening seems to have helped Gunnar at least a little; the next morning, a hungover Scarlett (wearing… what is that? A big-necked robe? An artfully draped sheet? The tablecloth?) finds him messing around on the guitar. He continues writing later at South Circle, which pleases his boss Jeanne. And Scarlett pulls herself together enough to enjoy the champagne toast with which Marshall, Bucky and the Edgehill staff greet her.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? 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. “YES, SHE IS!” …… that line killed me! Deacon <3

  2. Rayna & Deacon at the hospital. KILLER! Those 2 <3

  3. Does anyone else notice the sneakier dante becomes, the greasier and dirtier they make his hair?

  4. Juan says:

    I agree with the sentiment of Deacon and Rayna, they are just too amazing together. Hate Dante and like always I still love Gunnar and Scarlett, though the addition of will is interesting

  5. Luli101 says:

    Loved the Rayna and Deacon connections this episode. However, I felt a lot if the hospital scenes dealing with Watty, Rayna, and the mom story seemed a little forced. The scene with Rayna talking to her Dad really made up for it though. I thought that was beautifully done. Starting to like Avery a little…yikes! And, finally, has anyone ever used the name Billy Ray Cyrus in that way before?!?

  6. RUCookie says:

    I was expecting Juliette to be mad when she learned Dante fired someone…she is the boss.

    And yes, the deacon/ranya scenes stole this show, with a great assist by Gunnar’s beautiful ditty at the end.

    • hanne says:

      i’m not sure she really cares who does the roadie work as long as someone does it. not really liking Juliette in this episode, this awful Dante guy is surely bringing the worst out of her. love Deacon even more because of the interactions with her. love love loved the scene where he just ignores her on stage, ha! that’s what happens if you treat people like that.

      and then deacon and rayna, awwww.
      such a complex relationship, but so beautiful

  7. Maggie says:

    I like happy Gunnar, and I really liked the song he was playing at the end. Rayna and Deacon are just beyond, the chemistry that Chip and Connie have is just ridiculous. Juliette was a major witch more than once in this episode, but I actually kinda dug the song she sang in the concert scene, it was fun.

  8. Firstly – Kimberly Roots, this was a fantastic recap. You had me at Juliette and Dante Billy Raying each other’s Cyruses… I can never look at the Cyrus family patriarch the same way again.

    I believe Jay Hernandez has cemented his role as serial seducer of vulnerable young blonde women on the ABC network with this role as Dante. First he get’s all up in Jessy Schram’s business in “Last Resort”, now he’s getting it on with Hayden Panettiere in “Nashville”… watch out, young blondes! ABC’s got a lothario on contract.

    It’s amazing how far the episode went in HUMANIZING Avery. Who knew that could be done?

  9. Babygate says:

    Best scene: when Deacon showed up at the hospital. I literally squealed. These two are electric. Honestly, my favorite non-couple couple on TV right now. I just noticed tonight that Jay Hernandez was listed as a regular? Does that mean we’re going to have to put up with Dante and his scheming? He is a greasy opportunist with ulterior motives. He sure warmed up to the role of Juliette’s main man real quick. How long did it take him to worm his way into the business manager position? He’s a snake! I hope Deacon quits working with Juliette. I loved that he stood up for Avery. Funny thing, I hated Avery when he was with Scarlett but he’s redeemed himself. BTW, how long do we have to wait for Reyna and Scarlett to meet?? Twice Rayna has cancelled. It was good to have some music back to the show, especially Gunnar’s number. I actually found myself upset the episode was over. It is becoming seriously addictive. I wish more people would find this little gem and hope it gets renewed…

    • Joanne says:

      I am also addicted to this show, I wait patiently for Wednesday evenings. So many great scenes in this episode. I can’t wait for the next new episode. Hopefully, they will renew this show for season 2.

    • shmrck14 says:

      Rayna and Scarlett have met. That’s how Scarlett got the contract. Scarlett sung for her and Marshall when Gunnar didn’t show because of his grieving.

      • Joanne says:

        Yes that is correct. I can’t wait to find out who she will sign as second recording star. Avery or Gunner?

        • Grace says:

          I hope Gunner gets signed next. Then he can go on tour with Scarlett (not to mention a few duets!). My guess is that Avery will become the new guitar player for Juliette when Deacon quits.

          • Joanne says:

            I thought of that also. I can’t wait for it to get back on the air we have to wait too long for next episodes. What do you think is going to happened to the Maddie finding out who her father is?

  10. Rachel says:

    I feel like they can’t have us like both Juliette and Rayna at the same time. First we had bad Juliette/good Rayna, then Rayna met the new producer and Juliette had Shawn and they started switching roles. Even after Juliette let Shawn go she was still good. But now Rayna is good so we have to have bad Juliette back again. It’s like character assassination in 1 season. Too much roller coaster for freshman year. And this new sober coach/sex partner/manager is a joke. Might have to erase my series pass.

  11. K. says:

    Great episode, even starting to like Avery a little and not liking Dante at all he’s to slick! Love Deacon and Rayna together but they’ll ruin that great romance when she tells him about his daugther…

  12. Jay says:

    I didn’t see a promo for the next new episode. Is ABC not spending as much to promote the show? Is this a sign of no season 2?

  13. scandalhooked says:

    Love Nashville. Gunners in those boxers and those legs Wow. Rayna and Deacon so natural. Great acting. I agree when he finds out about his daughter Rayna is gonna have hell to pay. I never like story line when you keep kids from their parents deliberately. Love Gunner and Scarlette together and love ho he supports her unlike Avery. I do agree though Avery did come off sympathetic which is unbelievable as we know he can be an ass but I guess we are suckers for down on their luck musicians.:) Rayna’s Dad is an ass thought he was gonna kick the bucket but I guess I still have something to look forward to. There is something wrong with Peggy and thats all gonna say about that. Well no, she is probably gonna kill herself when Teddy dumps her.

    I have to say that I miss the dynamic between Sean and Juliette I thought they had great chemistry. She and Dante no chemistry but he is oily and Juliette is gonna pay when he leaves her broke or worse because she doesn’t listen. I’m done

  14. wrstlgirl says:

    Am I the only one who sees this. Avery is working for Juliette, I’m guessing at some point he’s gonna get his big break and become part of her band, or her lover, or both. Scarlett is Rayna’s new protege, will probably end up on tour with her, sans Gunnar since he didn’t get signed. Scarlett and Avery on the road together

    • tvaddict says:

      Yes, I think Decon will leave and Avery will take his place. And I’m pretty sure Dante will mess up and be back on drugs or alcohol or whatever soon enough, but first he will mess Juliette up more too.
      I hope Scarlett and Gunnar manage to stay together – they are good together, but Will has to go – he’s a downer. I thought he was trying to pick up Scarlett in the bar, and Gunnar didn’t seem to notice or care, what is the point of that? It took them long enough to get together and now they are going to make their relationship have problems? Seems silly. I’d like to see Rayna and Decon get together and finally acknowledge that Decon is is Rayna’s daughters father, what is up with that? Looking forward to a second season, this show is fun.

      • jay says:

        Dante is bound to have a deal go bad quickly and become a moneysuck on juliet quickly.

        Avery will absolutely be part of the band soon. Its good the show has found a direction that is pulling the cast together even more.
        As soon as we can drop raynas family it will be even better.

      • Joanne says:

        I agree I would love to see a second season. With the start and stopping of this show how can they possibly hold a great rating. I want Rayna and Deacon to hook up again. I’m some what confused as to Deacon’s reaction when he went home and Stacy was there, someone said he looked like he was thinking of Rayna, but I’m not so sure.

  15. Mignon says:

    Loved: scarlett and gunnar, rayna and deacon. Started liking Avery when he stood up for his music a few episodes back. Juliette? Self-entitled wench that needs someone to validate her to make her feel better about herself. Dante fills that position but he is much smarter and more devious than Juliette. I feel like the Will addition is a throw-away. He doesn’t do it for me. Scarlett should man up and tell Rayna it was supposed to be she and Gunnar. Rayna will understand. Question: Is Watty Rayna’s real father? Hmmmmmmmm.

    • Linda F. says:

      Ooh, wouldn’t that be a fantastic echo of Deacon/Maddie? That would explain a lot about Lamar’s thorny relationship with Rayna.

  16. mike says:

    I think that Juliette fall from grace is just the beginning by hiring Dante has her manager I get will bad vibe from him

  17. Jason Mann says:

    I loved the Deacon/Rayna moments even them, when they’re not together, her leaving the message him hearing it then jumping on a plane b/c he thought she needed him. They are end game but I know as soon as they are both on the same page Maddie’s paturnity will come out.
    Juliette has proved time and time again that she is a 15 yr old girl in the body of an adult.
    Avery has been looking very sympathic recently, I guess poverty is humbling.

  18. dinosaur! says:

    I was starting to lose interest in the show, but they managed to hook me again. Really enjoying the addition of Will (so far) and the Avery-as-roadie storyline. Dante is going to lead to nothing but trouble – and an epic smackdown by Juliette, which should be spectacular.

  19. Lisa says:

    Agree with most of the posters, – love Rayna & Deacon scenes – can’t believe I’m caring about Avery – disgusted by Dante ………..

    Here’s one thing I hadn’t seen mentioned yet – Scarlett & Gunnar’s neighbor – WIll – he’s from Texas just like Gunnar’s brother – could he have been the one who killed him? He showed up right after that – I see tragedy down the road when Scarlett is on the road and Gunnar finds out that his new best friend is responsible for his brother’s murder ……
    (just my theory)

    • Kathryn says:

      Oh… very interesting theory about Will, Lisa! Will is clearly an adrenaline junkie.. .maybe he has a drug problem that creates that rush and he somehow got wrapped up with Gunnar’s brother. That would be quite the twist!

    • Amy in KC says:

      I could get behind that theory about Will. It’s a little out there, but it IS a soap, after all! Something is definitely off about Will.

  20. forwarddad says:

    Kimberly kudos for a great recap. Nice to have a recapper who likes this show. I think it’s despicable Dante turned his back on Jolene. And just as despicable that Juliette did as well. She deserves to get screwed by Dante – literally.

  21. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on Watty – JD Souther. I know there are lots of fine actors/actresses on this show, and Nashville really does shine – very well produced series. I know we all have our favorites – there are so many on this show. However, after seeing this episode, I wanted to ensure that (particularly those of us who may be a bit younger) we all know what a tremendous talent JD Souther [Watty] is. His resume as an actor is solid, but his resume as a musician is almost second to none. His work in the 1970’s is a sound-track for the decade, a who’s-who of pop-country.
    There are so many songs he’s collaborated on with the Eagles, Linda Rhonstadt, Roy Orbison, Larry Knechtel [Bread], Jackson Browne, Christopher Cross, Dan Fogelberg, you name it. However, my personal favorite song was a collaboration with James Taylor – “Her Town Too.” It is a beautiful song that is haunting and shimmering. My hope is that sometime down the road on this series, we’ll have a chance to hear JD at the mic and perhaps perform “Her Town Too” [maybe a guest arc for James Taylor?]. It is a song that could very well be used in a montage of Rayna or Juliette.

    • shmrck14 says:

      Great comment! I’m old enough to know exactly what you are talking about. I was so excited to see him last night, and with that bombshell dropped, hope we’ll now see him some more.

  22. Kippy12345 says:

    Maybe I wasn’t paying that much attention to the show last night, but did we actually see that it was Juliette in the bus with Dante? I thought for sure that it was Jolene with him and that is why he freaked out and fired Avery.

    • linda2009 says:

      Funny, Kippy, I wondered the same thing too. My initial thought was that the hair was a little too long for Jolene, but now I can’t remember for sure. Yet they were so careful not to show the woman’s face. I can’t remember if they definitively said that Juliette was the one with Dante or not. Hmm…

      • Lisa says:

        I thought they showed Juliette coming out of the trailer before Dante did – Avery gave her the ear piece she had lost and she said he looked familiar ……..

        • Joanne says:

          I was pretty sure it was Juliette since she told Deacon and the band she would take a break and to let her know when they had it together. Of course we always know how Juliette relaxes.

  23. Lisa says:

    I believe Rayna will decide to sign Maddy to her new label. Rayna mentioned she began recording at 16. Her Dad didn’t want her to but no one could have stopped her.
    Will she decide if Maddy is going to record at least she will have control.

    • Joanne says:

      I agree, but Maddie is only 13. I think Rayna will wait until she’s as close as she can get to 16 When do you think Maddie will find out who her real father is?

  24. Guest says:

    Can I say I looove Lamarr. He may be a lot of things but phony is not one of them “all piss and vinegar.”

  25. mel says:

    love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. onlyakb says:

    loved the Deacon and Rayna sweet moment at the hospital!! now can we pls get rid of Dante, already? seriously the guy is up to no good and I can’t believe Juliette is falling for that!!

    • Joanne says:

      Yes I loved the scene at the hospital it showed two really good friends counting on each other. Juliette couldn’t make a good decision without a map. She never has, she definitely needs someone to lead her in decision making. I loved Deacon telling her off after all Deacon has done for her, she seems to forget too easily.

  27. Alex says:

    Crazy how fast Dante turned evil. Writers did a good job with that one. Wasn’t his addiction money and power? Looks like he fell off the wagon and changed into a different person, like some one on drugs.

    I think what’s making Avery so likable is that he swallowed his pride and took a roadie job with no other motives. You see him simply working, gets harrassed by bossesand not even trying to suck up tp somone hoping for more.

  28. hege88 says:

    I do not like the new cowboy, Will, at all! Now that Gunnar and Scarlett FINALLY has become an item, this crazy person comes along. Oh, but I guess that”s what TV is all about.. And another thing.. Yes, Scarlett has gotten a contract, but why isn’t she suggesting that Gunnar can do some songs on her album?…

  29. Amy says:

    Really?…Another “Repeat” tonight on Nashville?! Arggggghh. No wonder this show is struggling…what is up with that?! Darn. 1/2 this whole season has been repeats! Not enough consistency with this show. Other than that, though, I love it. :-/

    • Lisa says:

      Amy, Are you in my head? I said those words verbatim about half an hour ago. Nashville is my households favorite new show. ABC is trying to kill all of it’s dramas. OUAT is doing the same thing and we have stopped watching Revenge. We just didn’t care after the last hiatus. I don’t want to get the same apathetic feeling for Nashville.

    • Joanne says:

      Maybe if enough of us complain about all the breaks (hiatus) of this show how can they possibly expect to get good ratings. It’s distracting. I love this show also.

  30. Chris says:

    After waiting all week for the new episode of Nashville, a storm made the satellite go out! This recap saved the day…thanks! Love the show!!