Nashville Recap: Record (Deal) Breaker

Nashville Season 2 RecapIn Scarlett we trust.

The faith is well placed. No one proves a sassier, more accurate truth-teller than Ms. O’Connor in this week’s Nashville. It’s as if she traded her Bluebird apron for a Microphone of Realness, which she drops with authority several times during this week’s episode. Meanwhile, Will screws Rayna (with everything you know about this show, you should know it’s not like that) and Juliette meets the enemy. Read on as we review what went down in the Callie Khouri-directed “Never No More.”

VIDEONashville‘s Connie Britton Previews ‘Rayna 2.0′ and Her Multiple ‘Fellas’

ON THE MEND | Rayna comes home after four weeks in the hospital to find Teddy once more ensconced in their home, happily helping out with the girls. Don’t look so conflicted, Ray – when you’re feeling poorly, bland things are best for you. Daphne’s thrilled to have her mom back, but Maddie gives Rayna a frosty reception and major attitude. During a quiet moment with Tandy, Rayna reflects that she nearly left her children motherless “because of him.” We learn Ray hasn’t talked to the-personal-pronoun-who-shall-not-be-named since the accident, and “I may never speak to him again.” Suuuuuure, Rayna.

Soon, another matter arises to occupy the convalescing crooner’s thoughts: Edgehill  Records’ new chief (adios, Marshall!) is a business-minded “bean counter” – a development that Rayna knows may not bode well for her Highway 65 label. Though Bucky thinks it’s too soon for her to return back to work, Rayna insists upon meeting this Jeff Fordham in person – and on bringing Will and Scarlett with her.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS | Juliette is the first to encounter the new boss (played by Rules of Engagement’s Oliver Hudson), and she doesn’t like the way he dismisses her new, less-Bubblicious sound. When she runs into Rayna in the Edgehill lobby, Ju offers this succinct sum-up: “He’s an ass.”

But Jeff couldn’t be more charming when Rayna & Co. sit down in his office. He calls them “the future of Edgehill” and vows, “I got your back.” It’s all smiles and laughter and I’m sure they’ll have absolutely no problems because there’s no way a music-business executive would ever lie, right?

SNEAKY! | Later on, Will kills it during a gig at The Stage on Broadway (I love the glee with which Chris Carmack infuses Will’s performance) and then is honored to find Jeff in the audience, wanting a word. But the new boss reveals himself a poacher when he offers to sign Will to Edgehill, despite the singer’s verbal agreement with Highway 65. “Rayna’s label is like the farm team, and I’m inviting you to the majors,” Jeff smarms. “Wanna play?”

Will mulls the idea but gets unhappily distracted when he sees Brent – his laundry-room near-hook-up from last episode – waiting outside the club. Turns out, Brent works for the revamped Edgehill (which explains this) and just moved to town from Los Angeles. “Y’all are gonna make a great team,” Jeff says, not noticing Will’s consternation.

The next morning, Will tries to unburden himself to his roomie. Will gets as far as saying that Brent is a guy he knew in Austin, but Gunnar’s frustration over not being able to come up with song lyrics, post-Scarlett, shuts down the conversation quickly. (Side note: I actually have a bit of sympathy for Gunny this week. Though Scarlett’s blank stare when he admits to torching her couch is hilarious, her “Thank you and have a lovely day” sign-off is something you say to the nice bank teller who gives you quarters for laundry, not to someone who plucked your lady banjo on the regular for the better part of last season.)

HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A REDHEAD SCORNED | In a moment I can only chalk up to Rayna’s pain meds, she clasps Teddy’s hand meaningfully as he promises always to be there for her and the kids. Ray-Ray’s starting to look a little gooey-eyed, so I thank the heavens when Bucky interrupts with news of Will’s poaching. Before you can say “Oh hell no,” Rayna interrupts a meeting in Jeff’s office to call him out. “Is this really how you wanna start with me?” she demands. Fordham doesn’t deny the underhanded move – in fact, he says, her back catalogue and Will’s music are Edgehill’s most promising money-makers. Rayna picks up on the fact that he didn’t mention her new stuff or Scarlett, then vows to be successful on her own terms. He patronizingly wishes her luck, to which she replies, “I make my own luck.”

But Rayna’s not done telling people how things are gonna be. She comes when Deacon calls her from the scene of their accident (so much for never talking to him again), but tells him, “I don’t think we can save each other,” and hands him back the ring he gave her when he drunkenly proposed years ago. (Side note: Sniff.) After she leaves, Deacon heaves the piece of jewelry onto the heap of flowers, pictures and such that fans have left to mark the spot.

And when Rayna returns home, she gently makes it clear to Teddy that they can’t play house anymore: He’s going to move out, and their divorce is going to move ahead as planned.

FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES | Let’s rewind a bit on Deacon: He’s sober again, which means he’s refusing any medication for his painfully busted hand. He’s still feeling guilty, upset and sad about everything that’s gone down, and he’s taking it out on new housemate Scarlett – though he softens a bit when she calmly makes note of his boorish behavior. Chip Esten and Clare Bowen share more screen time in this episode than they did last season combined, and I love it; moving her into his house was a very smart move, Nashville.

Here’s a list, in order of occurrence, of the things Scarlett does or says to Deacon in this episode that I adore: She picks up and puts down the cereal box (aka “dinner”) without making eye contact, she tricks him into seeing the doctor; when he notes that he already said he wasn’t going to his appointment, she blithely replies, “Yeah, but you were wrong” … and later reminds him that things could be much worse,then orders him to “Man up! Don’t be a coward.” (Woo!) She also gets him to admit, as he’s in the process of selling all of his guitars and writing off his hand as useless, exactly what made him relapse: He confesses that he’s Maddie’s dad, and he concurs with Rayna’s decision not to tell him because he’s a drunk. “Now I don’t have Rayna, I don’t have my music. I got nothin’ and I am nothin’,” he says fatalistically.

Later, though, Deacon saws off his cast (himself!) and tries to play the guitar. It doesn’t go well – he’s definitely hurting – but perhaps this is a tiny spark of hope in his very dark time? Or maybe it’ll just send him back to the bottle? (Make sure to log your take in the comments.)

HOMECOMING | In a bid for album sales, Juliette takes CMT to Alabama to tape a special about her upbringing. She says she’s doing it all to compete with the business boost Rayna got from her accident, but when the camera crew catches some painful moments – like when Ju encounters a neighbor who showed her kindness years ago, or when she visits the yellow trailer where she lived – she’s reduced to tears. Avery, who seems to be turning into a real friend for the country princess, tries to comfort her, but she shrugs him off. Later, she gloats as her single rises to iTunes’ No. 1.

PARTY IN THE USA | Jeff throws a party to celebrate the new Edgehill, and that’s where Rayna learns that Will has cast his lot with the parent company rather than with Highway 65. (Side note: Letting Rayna know about the deal after the fact, Will? Not classy. I get that you’re afraid of exploring who you really are – a theme Rayna hit hard during her pitch to you – but you crashed your way into an audition for her, and she’s been nothing but supportive. Have a little respect.)

Another surprise at the bash: Jeff doesn’t care much about Juliette’s iTunes victory, because he’s just signed Layla, a 19-year-old brunette who came in second on a reality show called American Hitmakers. “From nothin’ to Nashville in 12 weeks,” says Juliette in a tone that tells you exactly what she thinks of that.

JuJuBee is less than thrilled when Layla takes the stage and sings one of Juliette’s hits, “Gonna Get Even.” The newbie is great – that’s probably one reason why, as Jeff notes, the “tweens love her” and she has just now nabbed the No. 1 spot on iTunes. Juliette spittake! Know what I love? The line readings on this exchange between Rayna and Juliette as they stand in the audience: RAYNA: Is that that girl that won that singing TV show thingy? JULIETTE: She– No. She did not win. She came in second. (Ha!)

Now it’s your turn. How many episodes do you predict will go by before Zoey and Gunnar get a little something going on? How involved do you suspect Will and Brent were? Does Jeff have an aversion to buttoning his shirt? Do you think Rayna will really leave the label that made her famous? And wasn’t the Conan bit kind of silly? 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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35 Comments
  1. Mick says:

    This show has gotten infinitely better in its second season in part because all the characters are interacting much more and their stories are intertwined in each other. I think the end result of Oliver Hudson’s character is Juliette and Rayna forming a record label together. (which I would love to see) Also they have set the stage for Scarlett simply not working as a solo artist and ultimately her and Gunnar becoming an act again.

  2. Don’t know if Scarlett is hte next big thing in country music but she is sure the next Dr.Phil! loved her and Deacon together. This epidoe felt like the true begining of the season. I loved last week episode but couldn’t handle another heartbreaking hour like that so thank go it was a little bit lighter.
    Think Deacon is not gonna drink anytime soon but he is still gonna struggle quite a bit.

    Liking the new and improved Rayna. Telling things like they are although that scene with Deacon just sent me to cry again (damm you Nashville)

    But the best moment of the evening goes to Rayna/Juliette during Layla performing Juliette classic…that cosmic justice moment is priceless (and so funny)

  3. Anon says:

    “Rayna comes home after four weeks in the hospital to find Teddy once more ensconced in their home, happily helping out with the girls. Don’t look so conflicted, Ray – when you’re feeling poorly, bland things are best for you.”

    Brilliance

  4. Jill says:

    I was absolutely shocked that my favorite characters in tonight’s episode were Scarlett and Avery. Way to go with telling it like it is. Definitely an improvement over last week’s depressing episode, though my heart still broke when Rayna gave Deacon’s ring back.

  5. the girl says:

    Best moment was seeing the looks on Avery and Juliette’s faces when that girl said she was going to sing a “Juliette Barnes classic”. I almost rolled. off. the. couch. Hayden Panettiere nailed that look. I also greatly enjoyed Scarlett’s moxie this episode. She was amazing.

  6. Tori says:

    I have a feeling before the season is over Will is going to be outed and kicked to the curve by Jeff.When Will is revealed to be gay, Rayna will be the only one willing to help him his music career.

  7. Jillian says:

    I have an inkling that Rayna will leave the label and bring Juliette with her (eventually). I love that those two are interacting more. Hayden and Connie are great together and it shows on screen. This show just keeps getting better with age.

    • Maggie says:

      I was thinking the same thing! The look they exchanged after Layla starting singing? Amazing! It’s still a little tenuous, but I like the interactions between Rayna and Juliette, they both now have chips on their shoulders, and banding together could be cool

  8. Saabgirlatx says:

    Will decided to go with Edgehill after he heard Gunnar’s lyrics and realized he’s not an artist but a performer and needed to get what he can now. I can totally see Scarlett and Gunnar back as a duo, but I have to say I’m kind of on team Avery for the romance piece for her. Even though I loathed him last season he has really grown. I could also see Will outed by Jeff either b/c Jeff shows interest or Will and the other guy get caught together. He either gets dropped, blackmailed or both! Love Scarlett, she rocks and I want all of her outfits. Bummed about rayna and deke, but I get where Rayna is coming from sigh/.

  9. Tara J. says:

    One of my fav episodes, ever! Mainly b/c Scarlett came roaring out with both barrels blazing! And yes, I’m also glad that she & Deacon are roomies now. Can’t wait for next week!

  10. Jenny says:

    Did anyone else think that, when Juliette started talking about her Dad, that down the line they’re going to come up with some storyline about her Dad not really being dead, but just left them and now he’s back to make amends? It’s very soap opera-y, but I just have this feeling. . .

    • GeoDiva says:

      Agree! Its a classic twist we’ve can see miles ahead.

      • ShiraG says:

        Don’t know if Juliette Dad will come to make amends so soon but even without that there are way too many daddy issues in the series right now. I mean, we have our hands full with all the Maddie/Deacon thing and now adding Peggy lying to Teddy, Deacon and his own Drunk father, the always so lovely and possibly mommy killer Lamar and now this. I say: Rayna, Juliette pack your bags go on the road in an all girls show and leave all your messed up men behind. Thelma and Louis will be so proud!

  11. Hannahhearts says:

    plucked her lady banjo! hahahaha best line ever. and i agree with some of the comments about Juliettes dad, i feel like that was brought up for a reason. and it would be great to see rayna and ju start a new record label, but they need to still maintain the drama and conflict between the two, the history can’t all be swept under the rug, the anamosity between them is the base of the whole show! i love gunnar, and feel he deserves a chance soon!

  12. Krissi says:

    I’m wondering if Will wasn’t already blackmailed by the record label (and that’s why that man just happened to show up) into signing the deal and we’ll just find out about it in a few episodes.

  13. Justin says:

    What was the name of the song that played in the background when Will and Gunnar were talking in the bar? It sounded like a woman singing over an acoustic guitar- I tried to shazamm it but it didn’t show up

  14. Tammy says:

    I love how Juliette is getting a taste of her own medicine with a young up and comer hot on her heels. Not sure I want Juliette and Rayna forming a label together (like another commenter suggested) but I would like to see them fight back against the new guy together. Also it’s good to get rid of some of the crappy story lines and move forward with more music industry story lines. So will Rayna now sign Gunner?

  15. K. says:

    Hope Rayna just starts her own record label and keeps herself and Scarlett on it, also get Gunner and Juliette to join them!

  16. October says:

    I Loved Avery

    • cjinsd says:

      Me too. I’m so glad where they’ve taken the character. Not sure I want him to be a love interest of Juliette’s, but I love that he’s her friend.

    • Tahonia says:

      I want Avery on Rayna’s label. He’s too talented just to be Juliette’s Deacon,

  17. Magically Suspicious says:

    I totally called that Rayna wouldn’t be able to sing after the accident. I adore Miss Britton, but she’s just not a good singer. The show would be far better if they move her into the business side of the business so she can battle with the boys and take care of her artists.

    Scarlett and Deacon living together is lovely. I really liked her sassiness. They need to keep that side of her.

  18. Anna says:

    Was I the only one who thought that Deacon was gonna cut off his arm when he went and got the saw just after Scarlett said he didn’t lose a limb? Yes? Okay, well, that’s just me then.

  19. RichieS says:

    My thoughts on the Highway 65 roster…agree that Rayna’s strained vocal chords means no recording in the forseeable future. Also agree that Gunnar and Scarlett will re-team because the’re just too good together not to. Will being outed also may allow him to switch back to 65, but I think the real surprise and Rayna’s way back to Maddy’s good graces will be her letting Maddy and her (now half) sister record on her label. And then down the road she may even sign Deacon !

  20. Chablis says:

    I love your recap . I like Avery but please do something aBout his hairstyle. It looks like a stringy, greasy mop.

  21. tnsmoke says:

    Starting your own label isn’t a big deal, it’s getting your cd’s IN stores that is the problem, the distribution aspect. Most major stores don’t have room for “independant” music, so if Rayna stays with her label it is part of Edgehill and they still hold the purse strings and can get her distribution. But is she truly walks away and starts her own label away from Edgehill she might have trouble getting the music to the public.

  22. Tessa says:

    Is anyone else annoyed, or at least slightly annoyed, by all the newbies Nashville’s been adding? I honestly don’t care about Will/Zoey/Jeff/Brent/Layla etc. because all they do is take time away from characters I want to see interact. Didn’t Rayna/Deacon and Scarlett/Gunnar only get one scene together this week? That’s crazy to me. I’m not saying to inundate the show with Rayna/Deacon or Scarlett/Gunnar, but for an hour long show, the amount of scenes they get is not nearly enough.

  23. Lauren says:

    Zoey and Gunnar should be a no go— girl code, Zoey… girl code.

  24. SJ says:

    Fantastic episode. Loved Scarlett’s new ‘tude.

  25. “Is anyone else annoyed, or at least slightly annoyed, by all the newbies Nashville’s been adding? I honestly don’t care about Will/Zoey/Jeff/Brent/Layla etc. because all they do is take time away from characters I want to see interact.” NO I AM NOT. Life isn’t lived in a vacuum, especially in the a fast-aced industry like entertainment. What would feel totally fake is if this sort of stuff (takeovers, friends moving in and away, new execs, new artists) DIDN’T happen! Look at it as a way for your favorite characters to grow and start new relationships … you know, like in real life.

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