Nashville Recap: The Incredible Sulk
Maddie’s extended bout of the Terrible Teens comes to a finish on this week’s Nashville, and the end of that pouting, fresh-mouthed spot of bother is a true relief.
While I think Maddie’s sulkiness is understandable, considering what’s happened in her life as of late, I’m glad it’s done; few people want to relive their adolescent years, no one wants to watch them be the focus of an hour-long drama.
Elsewhere in town, Gunnar and Will yell at each other, Scarlett’s “girls” get manhandled, Deacon goes on a date and Teddy’s streak of truly bad decisions continues unabated. Here’s what happened in “You’re No Angel Yourself.”
TEENAGE NIGHTMARE | Maddie spends most of the episode either listening to Deacon’s “A Life That’s Good” on her iPod or mouthing off to her mother. Nonetheless, Rayna pastes on a smile and invites both of her daughters to the city’s annual symphony benefit, an event that was close to Rayna and Tandy’s late mother’s heart. Daphne’s all in. (And adorable.) Maddie acts uninterested, but c’mon. It’s sparkly gowns and updos, Mads – you know you wanna go.
A MODEST PROPOSAL | Peggy is still peeing on sticks, waiting to ovulate and therefore ensnare Teddy in a pregnancy that will replace the one she’s faking. Clock’s ticking, honey! But Mr. Mayor might not even notice if you walked around with a watermelon in your waistband for the next six months – he’s too busy envisioning his future senatorial run. When he whips out his mother’s ring and asks ol’ Crazy Eyes to marry him, I don’t know what’s more romantic: The fact that he’s proposing partially to avoid a scandal or his insistence that she not tell anyone about their engagement. What a charmer!
GONE GALA GIRL | Maddie is highly unimpressed by the symphony gala. (Side note: From what I know about the southern mamas I’ve encountered, Rayna is using the utmost restraint in not verbally throttling her firstborn every time she acts up in public.) When Mads sees her grandmother’s ring hanging on a chain around Peggy’s neck, she bolts. Rayna is only slightly less disturbed to learn that her ex has moved on so quickly. The way he explains it all, by saying “Peggy is pregnant” out of the corner of his mouth the way you’d say “I think someone in here smells bad,” doesn’t help matters. Tandy, who’s now pretty sure that her father killed her mother, pauses her Nancy Drew-ing to help Rayna and the police to search for Maddie, whom it appears has runaway.
HOW DEACON GOT HIS GROOVE BACK | Deacon’s public-defender lawyer Megan won’t accept his payment for her services, but she will allow him to take her out for a fancy dinner. (Well played, lawyer lady!) Over the course of the evening, he learns that her husband was killed years ago and that the way she returned to a somewhat normal life was to make peace with the murderer – and then defend people like him. (Side note: I think this is more attributable to the way the scene was cut rather than the actress’ skill, but didn’t it seem like Megan went from swallowing back tears to “Anyway, that’s why I do what I do! Any interest in desert?” awfully quickly?)
Back at Deacon’s house, the two beat-up souls make out on the couch but are interrupted by Rayna who has come to the same conclusion that I did and thinks an upset Maddie will stop by her biological dad’s place. (Spoiler alert: We’re both wrong.) It’s awkward, what with the Ghosts of Deacon’s Past and Future Hookups in the house. But what I love about this scene is that Claybourne just grabs his keys and says he’ll help look for Maddie. All Rayna and Deke’s couple drama is pushed aside, and he’s ready to go – because even before he was Daddy Deacon, he was Uncle Deacon. It’s a nice, small beat. Rayna thanks him but asks him to stay behind in case Maddie appears.
REACH OUT (I’LL BE THERE) | Let’s rewind for a second to talk about how irritated Juliette is this week. Rayna cancels the tour, leaving Ju without a vehicle to promote her new album. A solo tour – particularly of the more-substance, less-bubblegum flavor Juliette craves – won’t sell out the stadiums Red Lips White Lies has booked. Though she’s momentarily buoyed by the news that Edgehill has signed country megastar Luke Wheeler (see you soon, Will Chase!), Glenn keeps it real by reminding her that she’d be an opening act, at best, on that bill. (Side note: Hayden Panettiere, wine glass raised, is pretty great in this scene.) Oh, and Charlie “Wanna see my Tower of London?” Wentworth has sent her a sexy sportscar to “thank” her for his private(s) gig. “I guess he liked my performance,” she quips, but later returns the souped-up ride.
But when Maddie, who’s trekked a few miles from the symphony in anger, uses the number Juliette gave her in the season opener to call for help, Ju speeds down to hug the sobbing teen and reassure her that everything is OK. Then Juliette does a little PR work for Rayna as she tells Maddie that her mother definitely cares about her – she’s even canceling the tour to stay home with the family.
ALL’S WELL… | The next day, Maddie is grounded, but she and Rayna are on much better terms as they talk about the first time Deacon saw Rayna (it was at The Bluebird, and it caused him to write the song Maddie was listening to earlier). Deacon calls Rayna’s phone, which Maddie answers, and it’s cute when he haltingly tells her he was worried when she was missing. After they hang up, she calls him “Dad” out loud. The show’s precious quotient gets bumped up a bit later, when Rayna eavesdrops on her girls singing Deacon’s “A Life That’s Good” in Maddie’s bedroom – but her happy tears take a turn when she quietly tries to sing along and realizes she still can’t.
THE PRICE OF FAME | Scarlett has a rough time – which includes a stylist hastily rearranging her boobs — at an Edgehill photo shoot. But Zoey takes her out for drinks and karaoke, so it’s all good. Will and Gunnar, on the other hand, are on the outs after Gunnar refuses to let Will record the song he performed at the showcase last episode. “You’re jealous!” Will shouts. “That’s why you’re holding onto the damn song, and that’s the damn truth.” Oof. Avery, fired from Juliette’s retinue, is the new barback at The Bluebird. “Great. Now it sucks to be at home and it sucks to be at work, too,” Gunny snarks. And realizing that she needs some way to attract the fans who want to hear her old stuff, Juliette offers a grateful Layla (from whom I get stronger Jessica Day vibes each episode) an opening spot on the tour… but doesn’t let her in the house. And heck, let’s stick it here because it really doesn’t fit anywhere else: Tandy, sure of her father’s involvement in her mother’s death, hands the Department of Justice a flash drive filled with evidence of her father’s “kickbacks, payoffs, illegal contributions — it’s all here.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots