Welcome to this week’s Nashville, where everything is so upside-down bananapants, even Rayna has a semi-bad hair day. That said, the episode was a very strong lead-in to the show’s upcoming break. So let’s review the major developments of “Too Far Gone.”
HIDE AND BLEAK | A buzzing iPhone opens the episode, which finds Juliette and Avery in bed at his place. Ju’s got tons of missed calls and texts, but she doesn’t care: Overnight, she seems to have resigned herself to being Avery’s live-in lover/interior decorator for the rest of her life. Sounding a bell he’ll chime several times during the hour, Avery tells her she can’t hide from the world forever – but she’s sure gonna try, diving under the covers and slithering off the bed when Deacon knocks at the door. (Note to Nashville: Please give Hayden Panettiere more opportunities for physical comedy. She’s good at it.)
Deke, who doesn’t realize Juliette’s there, asks Avery to engineer his Live From the Bluebird EP, which he’s set to record later that week. Avery happily says yes, and – after Deacon leaves — Juliette joins in the celebration… until she realizes that Avery’s album duties mean he’ll have to leave the apartment.
So bored housewife Juliette spends her time watching Fellini films and, after Emily tracks her down, swapping out Avery’s bachelor furniture for some sleek, white pieces. (Does the girl never drink red wine?) Her new boyfriend is less than pleased with the upgraded couch, bed, chairs and “foofy pillows.” “Those. Pillows. Are. UNISEX!” she growls as she rips off her apron (ha!), but he cuts her tantrum short with a gentle reminder that only she can “change the conversation” about her image.
DADDY DID IT | Rayna rocks a red leather-and-lace dress (pretty awesome) and a seriously misguided updo (what is that piece falling down on the side? It’s like 3 a.m. afterprom all up in here) at the shoot for the “This Time” video. Tandy shows up but is twitchy when her sis mentions a welcome home party for Lamar, and when their dad finally makes it home from the clink, Tandy can barely look at him. She’s all, “Oh hey, I have that thing at that place very busy yes bye” and skedaddles; later, she confesses to Rayna that she was the government’s star witness and that she helped Lamar’s prosecution in part because she’d learned he was involved in their mother’s death.
Rayna doesn’t believe her at first, but Tandy (on her way to move out) leaves the private eye’s file with the redhead… who beats it to Lamar’s house and demands he cough up the truth. (It doesn’t help that earlier, Teddy dropped by his old house and told Ray that her dad was behind the shooting that killed Peggy.)
Lamar tearfully relates that the night Rayna and Tandy’s mom was going to leave him for Watty, he got in the car and chased her down the road. She drove too fast because he was on her tail, then crashed and flipped over the embankment. When he got to her, she was already dead, and he panicked and went to Louisville as planned. He wants a fresh start with everything in the open; Rayna wants to know if he “try to murder the father of my children?” Lamar doesn’t deny it, and she leaves him with a warning never to approach her or the kids again.
BUH-BYE, BRENT | Will’s having trouble picking songs to record on his album, which is going to drop the same day as Rayna’s. Really, Edgehill? Your big strategy to unseat the First Lady of Country Music is the first disc from a relatively unknown talent who’s opened for a couple of big names? Has anyone checked to make sure Jeff isn’t really an escapee from a mental institution for really, really smug crazy people?
Gunnar has what he thinks is the perfect ballad for his roomie to record, but the lyrics hit a little too close to home for the still conflicted Will, and he refuses. Later, after Gunnar witnesses the iciness between Brent and Will, he notes that “Anybody in a 10-ft. radius can tell there’s something going on between you two.” Will, honey? If ever there were a wake-up call that you’re not being slick, it’s that Gunnar noticed how awkwardly/hostilely you handled a two-second conversation with your ex/current/whatever.
Poor Will knows he’s got to do something, so he asks Jeff if he can be assigned to another Edgehill rep. Jeff says he’ll become Will’s new liaison (danger, Will Lexington!) and consequently fires Brent. Gunnar gets wind of this and can’t believe his pal thinks getting rid of “one guy” will solve his problems. “Dude, you tried to kiss me!” he sputters. (Funny and true, coming from Gunnar? The only way I know I’m not dreaming this is that neither of the boys are in their undies.)
Though Will later sings Gunnar’s soul-laid-bare song in the dark in his room – and Chris Carmack absolutely slays it – he warns his friend not to get too excited: “You’re the only one who’s ever gonna hear me sing it.”
HIGH THERE | Scarlett is in about five minutes total of the episode. (Not a complaint.) She’s high for 4:30 of those minutes. (Also not a complaint.) She nearly sleeps through an appearance in Rayna’s video – I loved Bucky’s disturbed double-take when he gets a look at her red eyes and general state of dishevel – but pops a pill and winds up nailing the cameo. And though several characters remark on how oddly she’s acting – including when she’s ultra-nice to Zoey at The Bluebird – I say let’s just enjoy this pleasant hanglide ride until its inevitable crash, shall we?
BLUEBIRD BLUES | Deacon’s pumped for his Bluebird show… until he surprises Megan at her office and sees her holding hands with Teddy. There is some context – he’s mad that Lamar’s free, she’s got a soft spot for victims of tragedy – but Deacon’s not wrong when he feels like there’s something more going on there. Still, it doesn’t mean he has to act like such a Season 1 Avery about it. He gets nasty real fast, the term “savior complex” is tossed off, and she (rightfully) asks him to leave. I don’t care how hot you are, Deke – that’s the second time you’ve turned mean with little provocation, and I wouldn’t blame Megan if she leaves for good.
Of course, though, she doesn’t. Deacon makes an apologetic phone call, and she shows up at his Bluebird show in time to tell him she’s dropped the Teddy-related case and to hear him dedicate “Keep Coming Back” to her. Also in attendance: Juliette, who hangs out in the mix with Avery and later muses that she wants to record with him again.
JUST DESSERTS? | Our answer to the “Who’ll die?” tease may be answered when Lamar visits Teddy’s office, and the younger man reveals that Tandy – and not himself – was the secret star witness helping the feds. The news literally breaks Lamar, who grabs at his chest and collapses, begging Teddy, “Help me.” Sorry, Lamar, Teddy would prefer not to. So instead, he watches his daughters’ grandfather pass out (and die?) on his expensive office rug.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think about the episode? Do you care about Zoey straightening her hair and wanting to be a backup singer? Can you believe we’ve gone for two weeks without Scarlett wearing any type of braid? Now that you’ve witnessed it, are you, too, shocked by how much you love Juliette and Avery as a couple? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots