Deacon turns into a living, breathing country song in this week’s Nashville: He gets the girl, he kinda loses the girl, he definitely loses another girl, and he’s out a dog and a job. Take it to the bridge! Meanwhile, Juliette tries to drown her sorrows re: Dante, but they just strap on swimmies and float to the top of her list of stuff to ugly cry about. On a related note, Gunnar needs therapy. There, I said it. Let’s review the big stuff that happened in “Why Don’t You Love Me?”
IT’S AN HONOR JUST TO BE… | The episode opens on Rayna and Deacon at his place, happily spooning and kissing and generally acting quite satisfied with themselves. “I do not ever want to leave this bed,” she says. “Feels like you didn’t,” he replies. (If you’ve already reached your limit for schmoopiness, you might want to look away; we’re just getting started.) They’re interrupted by a call from Maddie, informing her mother that she (“awesome!”) – and Juliette (“… awesome.” Heh.) – have been nominated in the same Country Music Association Award category.
Juliette gets the news while in a meeting with the private security firm she’s hired to quietly make her Dante problem go away. “He means nothing to me” and the cash and credit cards he’s stolen “means even less,” she insists – but she can’t have the press getting its hands on details about the swindle. Her image just won’t withstand another titillating blow. Ju then hightails it to Edgehill, where Marshall congratulates her but won’t get on board with her plan for the record label to support her – someone who’s never taken home a CMA trophy – more than it’s supporting Rayna – who’s won four out of the nine times she was nominated. He does, however, want her to perform at a celebratory bash he’s throwing for all of Edgehill’s honored artists.
ALL KISS, NO TELL | Will nurses his hangover in Scarlett’s kitchen the morning after The Kiss That Dare Not Speak Its Name. “So, uh, did Gunnar tell you about our night?” he asks, a Stetsoned bundle of nervous energy that explodes when Gunny stumbles out of his bedroom. “We got SO drunk, I didn’t know WHAT I was doin’!” Will says loudly, and it’s painful to see him trying so hard to act like he’s shucking off what happened on that couch. (P.S. If anything truly is foggy, ol’ Wilburino, I’ve got your play-by-play right here.)
After Will leaves, Scarlett knows something is up. “Am I witnessing the death of a bromance?” she teases Gunnar, but he gets all defensive and doesn’t really want to talk about anything, including the demo recording he’s got lined up. How unlike him… except for all of the episodes in which he demonstrates that that’s totally like him. When Gunnar meets with the producer who approached him in the previous episode, the guy dismisses his ballads as OK but really wants to hear his “dark” stuff – aka the songs from Jason’s diary that Gunnar is passing off as his own.
Later, when Gunnar’s demo recording session conflicts with the Edgehill party, Will volunteers to squire Scarlett to the shindig. She returns home and forces Gunnar to play his “Gun for a Mouth” demo for her; after noting how different the tune is from his other work, she realizes it’s Jason’s song and things get tense between the two of them.
IF I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER | I can’t blame Rayna and Deacon for wanting to burrow into that bed forever, because the moment they come out, everyone has an opinion about their reunion. You know what they say, haters gonna… make some really valid points, actually. Tandy’s not sure Rayna (or Deke, for that matter) really wants the “all-or-nothing” type of relationship to which they tend to gravitate. Teddy seriously doubts that Rayna will be able to keep the promise she made him the day Maddie was born: never to tell Deacon that he’s actually the father of Rayna’s older daughter. Coleman is staunchly anti-hook-up, and he approves this message: Rayna is like a drug to an addict like Deacon. Plus, the sponsor adds, what about Stacey?
As it turns out, she’s at Deacon’s place, playing with his pup, cleaning up the joint and apologizing for overreacting where Rayna is concerned. He’s all, no, you were pretty much on the money the first time. She does a U-turn from conciliatory to angry and takes off, and when Sue the dog follows her to the door, Deacon tells her to take the pooch because he’ll be better with her. “You’re damn right he will!” she shoots back. Aw, despite the thankless nature of her role in Deacon’s life and the zero percent probability that he can have a successful romance with anyone who’s not the divine Ms. Jaymes, Stacey was pretty rad. We’ll miss you, Susan Misner.
At the Edgehill party, Deacon can tell Rayna’s hiding something from him (not sure I buy the fact that her deception would suddenly become so apparent – I mean, it’s not like they haven’t seen each other a whole lot throughout the years) and he’s angry that she won’t spill. His frustrations pile up until he unloads on Juliette and quits for real five minutes before she’s scheduled to perform. But after some manly horn-pounding and screaming in his car, Deacon slips into Rayna’s departing limo and earnestly tells her that whatever her secret is, it doesn’t matter. She can tell him everything or nothing, he says – bringing her to tears – “But you can’t tell me you don’t love me, because that’s the one thing I’ll never believe.” Goodness gracious, can Charles Esten sell a line or what? Rayna tells him she loves him and they kiss. Despite my general affection for this pairing – and all of its imperfections – anyone else getting a Buffy-and-Riley-boinking-while-chaos-reigns-around-them vibe? Passion is amazing and all, but I really don’t want to see these two characters I’ve grown to love do stupid things because they’re so focused on each other. Most importantly… oh wait, now they’re singing to each other and she’s wearing his shirt and he’s simultaneously playing the guitar, harmonizing and staring at her like she’s strawberry shortcake on a sultry summer afternoon. What was my point again?
POUR, BABY | Juliette starts drinking right after she’s nominated, and she doesn’t stop for the rest of the episode. She sips champagne amid bobbleheads of herself (all part of her CMA campaign), quaffs mimosas while looking at dresses, imbibes more booze in the limo on the way to the party and is still knocking ’em back as she looks for a last-minute replacement for Deacon. As she picks Avery to back her up on stage, the inebriated Ms. Barnes assumes a contorted posture I reserve only for that most dire of circumstances: when your Spanx shift with such alarming swiftness that you’re sure they’re going to shear off one of your lower ribs, so you try to maneuver them back into place with a shimmy and a smile. She makes it through her song – which she sarcastically dedicates to Dante, who’s bought a $17,000 diamond ring with one of her credit cards – then ends the evening by making a (failed) pass at Avery and crying on the couch while Jolene tends to her. “Why doesn’t anybody care?” Ju sobs. Just then, Dante calls, and though we can’t hear what he says, by the way Ju snarls, “What kind of tape?” I’m guessing it’s nothing good. Cheer up, lady. It worked for Kim Kardashian…
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Do you agree with Coleman’s plan to distance himself from both Teddy and Tandy? Did you love Teddy’s geeky little dance at the father-daughter event? Are Rayna and Deacon destined for doom? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots