Nashville Recap: The Incredible Sulk

Nashville Season 2 RecapMaddie’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.”

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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!

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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30 Comments
  1. Jill says:

    Did you think those were happy tears Rayna was crying? I thought those were sad tears missing Deacon when she hears their daughter sing the song that he wrote about her when she first fell in love with him…but maybe I’m projecting.

    • Thought it was EVERYTHING tears. It covered the whole spectrum. Looks like Rayna’s emotions are finally catching up with her. Now, when she is more in touch with those emotions I wonder how she will move forward in every aspect. She can’t be that Queen of Country any more like Juliette can’t be a tween queen any more. They are both changing and I have a feeling that in Rayna’s case it will take her much more deeper to herself and even though she wants to move forward, in order to do so she will get back to her roots as an artist..

  2. Adam Lenhardt says:

    Those tears covered the spectrum. Happiness, sadness, loss, possibility. She was getting a glimpse of Maddie as Deacon’s daughter, of the life that they might have had as a family. And that alone makes her happy and sad and wistful all at once. So much going on in that scene.

  3. amelia rose says:

    Is it just me or does Rayna look orange in that picture? I think she was hit with DWTS’ spray tan craze.

  4. Chablis says:

    Thanks for the recap. Thought Maddie and Daphne were so sweet.

  5. Tran says:

    I felt SO MUCH for Rayna in that episode..espacially at the end.

    • I felt that too. So far it seemed like she was trying to run from her problems and feelings but this episode it was different and I loved it. That scene at the end was so beautiful and intimate. Think its also the moments when Connie Britton is at her best-in the small subtle moments.

  6. Saabgirlatx says:

    I thought Deke and the lawyer had NO chemistry, although happy to see Deacon moving on and finding someone to talk to. Aside: I liked the vet lady from last season better with him. The whole ring around the neck thing was so lame, but that’s Peggy. I thought Teddy said he was looking in to gubernatorial opportunities not Senate? Rayna obviously needs therapy for her vocal chords, it seems weird shes not adressing that at all. Loved the song at the end and v. happy there is some family harmony for now anyway.

  7. Finally Rayna showed some emotions! I’ve been waiting for it since she got out of that comma. I also loved that small moment between Rayna/Deacon. Since the accident they don’t share too much screen time and that just demonstrated why I love watching them together. Besides being great actors with great chemistry the depth of their relationship makes every kind of interaction between these two a joy because they can be lovers, friends, parents, colleagues and well, everything and its always interesting and beautiful. Can’t wait to see how that will unfold.

    • Jill says:

      I totally agree. It was just so great to see them in a scene together again, and I’m sure Christina Chang is a lovely person, but she and Chip Esten have zero chemistry. I wanted to like her but I cringed through that kissing scene.

  8. Can we please refer to that fact that Rayna walked half the episode in an evening gown? Not exactly the most sensible piece of a clothing for a night like this..But she did look great (as usual)

  9. Kimberly, LOVE your recaps!
    Those it was a good emotional episode and it would have been GREAT if it wasn’t for the Peggy/Teddy thing and the murder issue. These are soapy storylines and if Nashville was a regular soap like Revenge or something that would have been fine, but its not. In its core Nashville is a drama (and a dam good one) so these storylines seem like some kind of a foreign object in the show. So for me it was an episode of ups and lows. I mean, after watching Rayna watching the girls and showing all kind of emotions (that only Connie Britton can show in one close-up), Deacon slowly coming back to life, Juliette reaching out to Maddie and confessing that she can’t be a tween, Gunner finally putting his foot down, Zoe singing acapella at a church, Scarlett channeling her inner supreme, I really don’t have any desire to be invested in fake pregnancies and whatever it is that Lamar was doing. It just takes away precious screen time from the other stuff which is SO good and much more coherent story wise this season.

  10. meah says:

    Liked the episode,am loving juliette way too much..I don’t care about rayna’s sister and the fathers ish,hope we can move from that storyline
    The only thing I didn’t like was that there was no Avery/juliette scenes!love both of them together..I hope she Re-hires him.
    Still don’t care about gunnar/will/zoe/scarlett.

  11. Ava says:

    Season 2 of Nashville is incredible. I look forward to it every week!

  12. Dear Nashville, More Chaley Rose please. OF course, Mr Carmack, too. Lose the fake pregnancy, please. You are better than that. More music like last night, please.

  13. Chablis says:

    Powers Boothe has a limited run this season so hopefully they’ll tie this storyline up. If Peggy doesn’t get pregnant soon I imagine they’ll get married and then she’ll miscarry IMHO.

    • Shanag says:

      They should kill the Lamar and the Peggy storylines and that the show will be perfect. Nashville is so good this season now that the characters are developing and they got back to the behind-the-scenes-stories that this kind of stories are even more foreign to the show than ever.

  14. mel says:

    love this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Davii S says:

    How sweet was the scene with Maddie and her Daddy on the phone. And how great that Deke was instinctively ready to go find his Daughter.
    I would love to have lots more scenes with Deacon and his Daughter getting to know each other, and Deacon and Rayna bonding as Parents, which, hopefully, will lead to more, ahhhhh, intimated bonding :-)

  16. Vanessa says:

    Am loving the Juliette scenes. She makes me laugh (when she was yelling at Rayna and telling her that she didn’t have a “near death experience” to sell albums) and made me feel all warm and fuzzy when she was so lovely to Maddi! She is an awesome actress.

    And how amazing are the Stella sisters? I hope they have more songs this season, truly amazing!

    All in all- LOVE Nashville! x

  17. Lee says:

    It’s good that Deacon and Rayna are working to solve their personal problems, however, I think the two of them can be stronger together if they can solve all their demons. Also, I think they are best when they are together. It would be nice to see all the baggage be left behind and the two be able to final reach a place where they can rely on one another both as friends and as romantic partners. Deacon is the best guy for Rayna and vice versa. It would be nice to see them finally have the life they wanted at the beginning of their careers and lives together.

  18. mel says:

    love this show….I hate watching one episode at a time because it always leaves me wanting more. I have to Binge watch 2 or 3!! Now I am caught and can’t wait until Wednesday!!!!!! Rayna better be able to sing on that stage in the preview – would make a nice time for it to come back. How about Juliette or deacon coming out to support her!!!!!!!!!!!

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