UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL, Y’KNOW, SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE: Bestselling recording artist Rayna Jaymes is proud to announce that her former labelmate Juliette Barnes has joined Highway 65 Records, following the latter’s ballsy – if inopportune – truth-telling at the Grand Ole Opry. “
Better the devil you do, you know what I mean? I am pleased to once more be making music with my friend and touring partner Juliette,” Ms. Barnes said. Ms. Barnes will –
Oh hi! After this week’s Nashville, I figured I’d go ahead and get a jump on drafting a press release for Highway 65’s inevitable acquisition of the now-label-less Juliette. There’s no way that move’s not going to happen, right?
Elsewhere in Music City, Scarlett manages to find yet another problem-in-the-making (thanks, Scarf Boy), Will’s still pretending, Rayna gets spread over the hood of a car, Lamar’s about to find out that free is the new black and Juliette puts herself – and some pink macaroni – on the table for Avery. Read on for the highlights of “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right.”
AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR A BREAKDOWN | Rayna brings Liam in to work with Scarlett, and he’s quite unimpressed with the image she’s putting forth in her newest boppy song. “I highly doubt you’re the whiskey-slammin’, dirty dancin’ kind of girl,” the producer tells her, quoting the lyrics and winning a smidge of my respect for the side-eye he gives her I-work-at-the-yarn-store-on-weekends outfit. When he can’t get her to tell him what she’s really thinking and feeling, he steals her journal and locks her in the recording booth while he reads it. And she flips out. Calm down there, SheDaisy! Also, you know things are going south when there is not one braid visible in Ms. O’Connor’s epic mane.
When Liam’s able to pull some backstory out of her, we learn that Scarlett’s mom has been unstable for a long time and has logged stints at the “horse farm” – a euphemism for the psych ward. After an all-nighter, they record a song about her mom, though Scar is so tired that she happily takes one of the stimulant pills Liam hands her. An overworked blonde popping uppers like Tic Tacs? We’re careening toward a Jessie Spano situation here, kids, and I’m so excited! I’m so excited! (You know the rest.)
DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO | Deacon’s new label wants him to ask his famous friends to record an album of duets with him. Deke doesn’t love the idea, but he gives it a shot backstage at the Ryman just before Juliette’s induction into the Grande Ole Opry. Ms. Barnes is honored, but declines nonetheless. “Folks tend to burn the things that I sing on, so I’m going to do you a favor and say no,” she says a little sadly.
Plus, Deacon probably wouldn’t benefit from the sentiment Ju engenders when, moments after Brad Paisley publicly welcomes her into the Opry family, she ditches the canned apology Jeff wants her to deliver and instead strikes out on her own. “What is she doing?” Jeff says, fuming. “Whatever she wants,” Glenn says, grinning big and making me love him even more. (Side note: Seriously, it’s so cute how proud he is of Juliette for speaking her mind.)
Juliette then kicks tush with a rocking number that ends with “Don’t put dirt on my grave just yet” – though the wary audience merely gives her polite applause. Rayna, the first person at Juliette’s dressing room door afterwards, offers this: “Well, that wasn’t very smart, but it sure was brave. Good for you.” Aww, Rayna!
Jeff is… less supportive. He drops her from Edgehill, effective immediately, and calls her “just plain stupid.” But a very self-assured Ju informs him that the term could also apply to a label head who loses his two biggest artists in his first six months on the job. OWNED, Jeff, you mean little smirky turtle (™ Matt Webb Mitovich). Juliette, I’m so proud of you that we’re not even going to discuss your questionable onstage wardrobe choices.
Free at last – and with her career seemingly crumbling around her pretty ears – Juliette gives Glenn a vacation and then whips up some pink macaroni and brings it to Avery’s. After all, he’s the best/only thing she has left, a point she makes before they kiss and he sweeps her up and heads to the bedroom.
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SHE’S A FAST ONE | Luke shows the world how much he adores Rayna by plastering her face on the hood of the #53 NASCAR car he co-owns. She is touched for all of two seconds, then she realizes that the owner of a Wal-Mart-esque chain is nearby and makes it her mission to get Highway 65 on his shelves. It’s not looking good – these things are decided a year in advance, he kindly informs her – but then he decides that he’ll bump Juliette’s CDs and stock Rayna’s artists’ discs in their place. Ray eventually says no thanks, telling Luke that she wants her label to be a “refuge” where artists can be true to themselves. (Deacon? Juliette? You hear that?)
WHO ARE YOU? (WHO WHO WHO WHO?) | Two artists who certainly are not being true to themselves at the moment: Will and Layla. Early one morning, as Gunnar eats cereal in black boxer briefs, Layla shows up at the boys’ place and asks Gunny to write with her. (Side note: It would be really OK if Gunnar and Will were in their skivvies every time a scene takes place at their apartment. It would lend an air of realism to the show. Lena Dunham says!)
When Gunnar and Layla meet, she’s got nothing: no ideas, no tunes, no clue of how to actually go about songwriting. She storms out but later apologizes; in between, we get a monologue about how she’s always done what people expect of her. Nashville, PLEASE don’t make me like Layla. It hasn’t happened yet, but you got me to let my guard down around Avery, and I wound up squeeing along with everyone else tonight when Ju hopped right into his little arms.
HE’S FREE | Rayna and the girls think Tandy is at a spa in Napa, but she is actually at a motel in Biloxi, hiding out from the U.S. Attorney’s office. When the Feds can’t get her to answer their texts (side note: the hell?), they bust in and arrest her for violating her plea deal. But she won’t testify against her father – she doesn’t want to be the target of his next hit – so she and her lawyer find some loophole that makes her evidence inadmissible/her un-indictable and she walks. Meanwhile, Teddy’s got Megan thinking maybe he’s onto something with this Lamar-shot-my-wife theory.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments.Follow @kimroots