Nashville Recap: Just Horsin' Around
Juliette puts the “low” in polo during this week’s Nashville, when the fickle little filly attends a match and can’t keep her hooves off another woman’s stallion. Elsewhere, Zoey reaps the rewards of being very direct, Scarlett’s future is sealed with a kiss and Rayna wears a really big hat. Let’s review what happened in “It Must Be You.”
KEYED UP | Megan rolls out of Deacon’s bedroom to find him, tousled but focused, plunking away at the piano and singing. Guys, Deacon is writing songs again! Yay! She interrupts to invite him a work event: the Belle Meade Invitational Polo Match, which her firm sponsors. He makes a joke about preferring to undergo a root canal rather than hobnob with the city’s old-money set, she teases that he’s a “reverse snob,” and then they both act like they wouldn’t be bothered if she went with someone else.
Meanwhile, at Casa Jaymes, Rayna wraps an interview with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, then alerts Scarlett that she’ll be singing for critics and other influential people that night at The Bluebird. I think Scarlett is, true to character, nervous about all of the attention, but I’m distracted by her pigtails. Did howler monkeys with ADD braid them? I know I comment on the beautiful Clare Bowen’s even more beautiful tresses every. single. week., but I mean, am I just supposed to ignore the way the blonde bounty is coming at me from four different angles? Between Greasy Gunnar from last season and Braids-a-million Scarlett this season, I’m starting to think that everyone in the Nashville hair trailer is messing with me.
THE MANE EVENT | Little does Deacon know, pretty much everyone he’s ever met in his career is also in attendance at the match. Rayna and Tandy go to chat up potential investors in Highway 65, but it turns out that no one wants to associate themselves with the daughters of Lamar Wyatt – and, by proxy, his illegal activities. Tandy has some sharp words for one detractor, then has the temerity to act offended when Rayna very subtly asks for confirmation that Tandy wasn’t involved in anything related to their father’s arrest. (Good lord, when has anyone in that family ever kept a secret that didn’t come out? Get ahead of the curve and come clean, Tandy!)
Deacon, of course, shows up – and he’s pleased to see that Megan is also flying solo. “I figured you figured I’d show,” he says. Luke Wheeler is there, too; he’s got horses in the match. He and Deacon go way back, as is evidenced by some good-natured teasing. Luke’s mustering up the courage to ask Deke about whether he and Rayna are still a thing, but then Megan interrupts and the conversation ends. It’s a trick she repeats later, when the two seconds that Rayna and Deacon are together in this episode come to an awkward halt as she approaches. Geez, lawyer lady, learn to read a moment. Later, Megan announces, “I’m not threatened by her, Deacon,” which is enough of a turn-on that they engage in straddle-y grointimes on his couch.
FASCINATOR, I BARELY KNOW ‘ER! | Juliette arrives at the polo match wearing a yellow fascinator and a confused look: She’s not sure who invited her, seeing as how Nashville’s old guard doesn’t tend to like her kind of rich. Everything becomes clear when Charlie Wentworth, her rich, married hook-up from Maryland, sees her. He invited her – he’s riding in the match, and oh heeeeeeeeey there his pretty young wife Olivia! Liv grabs Juliette and marches her away for some girl talk and, awesome-wise, the look on Ju’s face as she retreats is second only to what she yells at him as she later shuts down his advances. (“According to Wikipedia, that horn means the game’s about to start!” Ha!)
But Charlie’s a relentless bugger. He strongarms Teddy into asking Juliette to be the face of the city’s upcoming music festival. He swears that although he’s rich, he’s not happy – and implies that Olivia is a shrew. And he turns on the charm by having Ju hang out with him and his crew in the stables, where they swig beer and break into an impromptu rendition of her song, “Hypnotizing.”
While the paddock hootenanny is going on, Charlie’s not around to pick up his team’s trophy – and Olivia certainly notices. Juliette inadvertently spies on the Wentworths just in time to see Mrs. slap Mr. and say she’s leaving town with the jet.
THE INEVITABLE | Rayna happens to witness Charlie and Juliette walking together, and in yet another instance of Rayna-as-Juliette’s-surrogate-mom, she calls her former tour mate out on hanging around with a married man. Her reason behind the concern is valid but preachy: Women make up the bulk of country music fans, and they don’t really like it when women they admire shag other women’s husbands. Juliette spits back that Rayna can forget about having Scarlett join her tour as an opening act. Oops.
That evening, Juliette shows up at Charlie’s hotel and suggests that they work together on the music festival. He counter-suggests a planning meeting in his suite, and slips her a key. So of course she slinks up there, shimmies out of her clothes and tosses her head back in ecstasy as Charlie gives her the ol’ London Eye, if you know what I mean. They’re both so into it that they don’t realize Olivia, who didn’t leave after all, let herself into the room just long enough to realize what’s up, then sneak out. Not good, Ju. Not good at all.
MIXED DOUBLES | Gunnar and Avery listen to their song, mixed in Juliette’s state-of-the-art studio, and they’re happy with how it came out. Aw, Avery and Gunnar are totally my favorite couple on this show at the moment. Elsewhere, Zoey is being weird about having broken the girl code and slept with Gunnar, even though he insists that he really likes her. And Scarlett, yet again freaked by the idea that being a performer means that people are going to watch her/have opinions about her, winds up sleeping with Avery at his place. For comfort? Old times? A rekindling of their relationship? It’s unclear. (I want to hate this development, guys, but Nashville has done such a thorough character rehab on Avery that I just can’t. Nice job, writers.)
Later that night, Scarlett kills it at her Bluebird show. She closes with the delicate, moony ballad “Every Time I Fall in Love,” then accepts accolades from the crowd – which includes Luke Wheeler. Outside, Luke walks Rayna to her car, kisses her and says he’ll take Scarlett on as an opening act… only partly because he wants to see Ray out on the road.
Back inside, Avery and Scarlett agree to take it slowly, while Zoey and Gunnar… do the opposite. Having realized that her bestie might be getting back together with Avery, Zoey flings off the constraints of the girl code and alerts Gunnar to the fact that she wants to get with him. He’s confused by what she means. “It means you should kiss me now, you idiot,” she replies, and he does as he’s told.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!