Teddy and his missus finally end their marriage in this week’s Nashville, and… oh hey there, Liam. What an opportune time for you to show your Brooklyn-bearded face again!
Meanwhile, Deacon starts to pull himself together, trouble follows Juliette to Maryland and Scarlett turns into Honkytonk Barbie. Let’s review the major developments of “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It Now.”
ON THE DOTTED LINE | Teddy and Rayna meet to sign the papers, and boom! Their marriage is done. They part after agreeing that they both love their daughters and want each other to be happy, but I can’t speak to the particulars: I was in the kitchen, baking celebratory chocolate-chip cookies to enjoy with the milky blandness of this scene.
Teddy spends the rest of the episode deciding what kind of relationship he wants to have with Peggy’s kid. A visit from Deacon (which we will deconstruct in great detail later) makes Teddy reconsider his plan to be just the monthly check-deliverer, and Peggy uses his waffling to her great advantage. They end the episode in a liplock, but the fact that she caresses her (vacant) abdomen and makes crazy eyes as she talks about naming the baby Theodore means this will not end well. Oh Pegs, don’t you watch Glee? Or any daytime soap?
TROUBLE IS… | While Juliette waits for a meeting with Jeff, Layla runs up and fangirls all over her. Ju’s face says, “Look upon my diva hair and fear me,” but she contents herself with rolling her eyes and likening Layla’s performance at the Edgehill party to karaoke. The wide-eyed (or is she?) reality-show runner-up scurries off, and Juliette meets with new boss Jeff. He wants to make nice by inviting Juliette to perform at a bash for the company’s stockholders, but she smugly tells him she can’t: She’s got a private gig for multimedia mogul Charlie Wentworth and his wife in Maryland that night. “I’ll send ya some crabs,” she cracks as she leaves. (Side note: With those hipster frames, isn’t Glenn a little “I was into making stars of promising pre-teens before it was cool”? Discuss.)
Avery and the band accompany Juliette to the Wentworth’s lavish estate, where even Ms. Barnes can’t hide her awe at the palatial home. I really dig the dorked-out vibe Avery and Juliette share as they walk around the grounds, particularly when she teases him, “I’m glad you’re here – maybe they’ll be so busy paying attention to your bad manners, they won’t notice mine.” That genuine smile looks good on you, Juliette. You should wear it more often.
‘ELLO ‘ELLO ‘ELLO! | Avery and Julia meet Charlie Wentworth, a young, hot, rich Brit who’s brought in Ju as a birthday present for his superfan wife, Olivia. Charlie is cool and fun and has more money than God, evidenced by the fact that he collects Hank Williams’ guitars. Avery nearly passes out in joy when Charlie hands him one to prep for that evening’s performance. “Aww, you gonna tune it or breastfeed it, baby?” Juliette gently mocks Avery after her host departs.
That night, Ju performs a fun tune called “Trouble Is” for Olivia, Charlie and their guests. Charlie even sits in with the band and later nuzzles his perfectly lovely little wife – what a good husband he is! There’s no way he’d ever… oh wait, he’s totally going to mack on JuJu, isn’t he?
She and Avery have a falling out (he’s upset she referred to him as just someone “on the payroll,” she’s displeased that he gets a little too truthful about her inability to trust people – and fires him because of it), then Juliette gets tipsy on champagne and winds up running into Charlie, who leads her to her room. He makes it clear he wants to stage a British invasion of her panties, and she resists for all of 10 seconds before her inhibitions drop like your iPhone the minute the AppleCare warranty runs out.
VOICE YOUR CONCERNS | Rayna wants to finish the album she started with Liam, but he’s ice cold to her at a meeting. “I’m booked, pretty solidly in fact. Sorry,” he says, walking away. But when she gets home, he’s already there, and he’s brought the hard drives containing her tracks. (Wait, did he transport them in a leather satchel? Baller! If I return something of yours, it’s going to arrive in a pseudo-disposable Lululemon bag – and that’s if I like you.)
Bucky leaves the room so the pair can flirt even more egregiously than they already are; during the drive between the meeting and Casa Rayna, Liam has apparently gotten over her choosing Deacon instead of him last season. “I’m very sorry that I did not go with you to St. Lucia,” she purrs, re-establishing their musical partnership – and then some.
Later, after Jeff has asked her to perform at a concert for Edgehill stockholders, Rayna confesses something potentially career-ending to Liam: “I can’t sing.” I’m momentarily distracted by the fabulous vintage Britton shot we get on the Home album cover hanging behind Rayna, but then I’m back for the important stuff: Her post-accident intubation did her vocal chords no favors, hence her warbling woes. (Side note: Rather than just have her tell Liam this huge news, Nashville, it might’ve been cool to see her try a tune and realize she was in trouble.)
Liam promises to delay the album as long as possible, all the better to hide the fact that the First Lady of Country Music can’t string together a do-re-mi right now. A kiss on the couch leads to them in bed, afterglowing it up in the next scene. “I told you I’m a great producer,” he tells her. And apparently quick, too! (Might not wanna include that one in the liner notes, Ray.)
THE CHANGE-UP | Will and Scarlett are both attending Edgehill concert, wearing looks designed by stylists hired by the label. Will’s “makeover” is what he normally wears, just in black. Edgy! Scarlett, however, is outfitted in a bustier, heels and a flouncy, short skirt. As much as I don’t love her Lisa Loebish regular duds, this ensemble is so not what Scar’s all about. (And that’s the point, I realize.) Gunnar, however, seems to love the fact that his ex’s Conway Twitties are being served on a neck-high platter for everyone at the show to see.
Will is once more asserting his absolutely unassailable straightness by squiring Zoey to the concert. “Eyes off, man. She’s my date!” he jokes to his roommate. Gunnar Is. Not. Worried. At the show, Will performs one of Gunnar’s new songs and gives him a massive shout-out beforehand. “Best songwriter in Nashville” is probably a stretch, but it’s a kind gesture, nonetheless. In the crowd, Gunny’s not happy – part of me understands that he wanted to perform the song for the first time himself, but most of me knows that Will did him a huge favor, so stop doing that lame headshake of lameness, dude. Gunnar and Zoey later take off together.
Meanwhile, via a secret switch with Rayna, Scarlett performs in her mentor’s place. Jeff? Not happy at all. Hence this mustache-twirling exchange: JEFF: “Who does this woman think she is?” BRENT: “Someone who clearly doesn’t know who you are.” Anyone else want to see Liam slap Jeff with his man scarf (oh yeah, it’s back) and challenge him to a duel?
MAKING AMENDS | Deacon is having trouble sleeping. Deacon is going to meetings. Deacon is accepting help for his hand from his doctor. But all of that doesn’t mean Deacon is being much nicer to the people who love him — such as Coleman, who finds Deke to tell him he’s moving out of town. Deacon’s sponsor also dogs him to make peace with his memories of childhood abuse, so he can heal himself on the inside. And though Claybourne growls and grimaces a lot, he eventually gets up at his substance-abuse meeting and cries as he relates a time his father physically and emotionally abused his mother and sister. “I’m a drunk, just like him. And I hurt people, just like him,” Deacon says, thumbing away tears. But Deke has never hurt a child, and he vows he never will. Poor Deacon. Progress hurts.
I’m betting, though, that nothing smarts as much as what Teddy says to his rival at another point in the episode. Deacon comes to Tedster’s office and wants to talk about Maddie. “I’m here to tell you that you’re her father,” Deacon says, apologizing for what he’s done. Teddy scoffs at the peace offering, calling it just one of the 12 steps (real nice, Teds), but he does have a point when he says that Deacon can’t just fade out of Maddie’s life: Now that she knows that “Uncle Deacon” is really her dad, she’s going to watch what he does forever.
Deacon tries to end the conversation with class, saying, “I appreciate the choices you made back then. A lesser man might’ve done things differently.” Teddy sneers, “A lesser man did.” Burn! Also, Teddy? This is why I hate you.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots