Nashville Recap: Not Quite Ready to Make Nice

Nashville Season 2 RecapBefore we get into what happened this week in Music City, I’d like to run through a short list of items that I, to use the parlance of Nashville‘s Juliette, find dirtier than a truck-stop hot dog.

First, there’s the obvious and sketchy way Megan handles her Teddy indiscretion, particularly when Deacon asks her point-blank what’s wrong. Then there’s the fact that I actually agree with Teddy at two separate occasions during the episode.

Finally, there’s Juliette’s complete inability to chill. the. heck. out. for five minutes and allow Rayna to salvage her career the way she promised she would.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s review what went down in “We’ve Got Things to Do.”

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MAD-OLESCENT DRAMA | Maddie just wants to make music and hang out with Deacon, but Teddy gently reminds her that she’s got a C in history and a project that needs completing: The guitar is going to have to wait. (He’s right.) Later, when he makes her wipe off 10 of her 12 layers of eyeliner before she can attend the Highway 65 launch party, I find myself agreeing with him again. What is happening here?

The cranky teen gives him attitude throughout, and when he reminds her that Rayna is of the same mind about school and such, Maddie declares that she wants to go live with Deacon. (Side note: That man couldn’t keep a super cute dog happy, honey. You sure you don’t wanna rethink that?)

In another act of rebellion, she uploads a video of herself singing to a YouTube-like site (nice nod to Lennon and Maisy Stella’s roots) and calls herself “Maddie Claybourne.” Mama’s not going to like that one!

HOTHEAD STRIKES AGAIN | Despite what we saw last week, Tandy is still the Highway 65 CFO, based on her presence at a label meeting with Juliette, Glenn, Bucky and Rayna. Ju’s not happy that Rayna wants to hold off on announcing their partnership – “Man, I wish I’d known that my Highway 65 signing bonus was a gag order,” she grouses —  but she agrees to keep quiet, as well as to boot Edgehill artists Will and Layla off what’s left of her tour.

Of course, this leaves Ms. Barnes a wee bit on edge and ripe for a spat, which she picks with Avery upon learning he’s thinking of producing the rest of Scarlett’s Liam-abandoned album. (In his defense, Scarlett was dressed like Galadriel when she made the request, so there may have been some mystical Middle Earth nonsense going on there.)

Juliette’s not totally wrong to be miffed – I can see how she might feel like his decision is contrary to what he did last we re: Edgehill – but she handles it in her typical firestarter manner, which does no favors for anybody. And when she carries that anger with her to the launch bash, a few music big-shots fawning over Scarlett pushes Ju into her “Screw it” zone.

She takes to the stage and, in direct opposition to everything Rayna had asked of her earlier, announces that she’s a Highway 65 artist. Rayna is unamused. Juliette later apologizes and performs a duet with Rayna at the Grand Ol’ Opry as damage control. Based on the crowd’s reaction, she’s got a ways to go to prove she’s not the next Natalie Maines.

At home, Avery tells her he’ll turn Scarlett down if she wants him to… but he’d prefer that she not make him make that choice.

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SWAGGER ATTACK! | Deacon is aware that Megan is acting weird, but he can’t figure out why. I don’t know, Deke; maybe the wooden way she and Teddy address each other might be a clue? Megan later tells Teds to scram, but he thinks he knows better: She’s running away not because she doesn’t want him, but “because you’re scared of how much you do,” he says, smoldering at her so hard that for a minute, I think Eric Close maybe accidentally read one of Charles Esten’s lines.

Maybe Deacon’s not looking closely enough at his lady’s behavior because he’s psyched about his new gig: It looks like he’s going on tour with old pal/current Rayna flame Luke Wheeler.

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SAY ‘I DON’T’! | At Layla’s request, Brent shows up to be her new manager. First order of business: He books her and Will a gig that’s a dry run for a possible small venue roadshow for them. She’s totally into it; Will knows Edgehill wants him on Luke’s tour, and he wants to be there, too.

After sending Layla some very mixed signals – and that’s saying something, for Will – Brent sets him straight (so to speak): People are starting to talk about Will getting Brent fired, and can he really be sure that other dudes from his hook-up past aren’t going to come forward? (Based on the number of times that Will’s old “bandmate” from high school was mentioned in the episode, I’m thinking we’ll meet him real soon.)

But we must remember one thing: Will is from Texas, and everything – including the life-altering mistakes – is bigger in Texas. So him trying to make things right takes the form of him proposing… to Layla… who excitedly says yes as I repeatedly groan, “Nooooooo.” You’re so right, Juliette and Rayna, he ain’t never gonna change.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? How invested are you in Zoey’s dreams of being a back-up singer? If Gunnar wants to perform more, shouldn’t he, y’know, perform more? And did I accidentally swallow one of Scarlett’s pills, or was Teddy kind of hot in that whispery scene with Megan? 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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  1. Michael says:

    Kim Roots writes the best recaps on TV Line: funny, friendly, and insightful. I’m on the west coast and I have to refrain from reading them before shows here air.

  2. Riana says:

    I don’t think anyone is invested in Zoey. Gunnar’s barely invested in her.

  3. Jillian says:

    I had an awkward feeling of embarrassment watching Juliette get on stage and announce her signing. It was hard to watch. I was stoked last week when Juliette signed with Highway 65 but the honeymoon is surely over and she screwed it up immediately by the stunt she pulled.

    • MtKat says:

      yes I was deeply disappointed that Juliette ruined everything so quickly. I thought she was changing. Dont the script writers know that you can retain your character, but still grow and change? that is what we all look for. Her relationship with Gunner is the best thing on the show. He stands up for what he is, wants to get ahead on his own, etc. (Although, give me a break, let her buy a meal now and then).

  4. Kelly says:

    Zoey, Zoey, Zoey. For a while, I was convinced she was THE KEY, created by the monks to save the world, because she appeared from nowhere and everyone just seemed to accept her presence. Now I just want to know why, if she and Scarlett grew up together, she doesn’t have a Southern accent AT ALL.

  5. Dina says:

    I SO hope we don’t have to endure a ‘Who’s the Daddy…Deacon or Teddy’ storyline! YUCK!!
    I do love the show, and am SO hoping for S3.

  6. JMS says:

    I’ve never flip-flopped on the way I feel about characters like I do with the ones on Nashville. How is it that I now like Layla? And just when I start liking Juliette she does something stupid again. Last season Scarlett was my favorite and now I cringe when she’s on screen. I think both Scarlett and Gunnar’s story lines worked better when they were a couple. Now they are just whiny and annoying.

    • Guest says:

      The problem is the writing. The characters always say and do stupid things to cause conflict and tension and allow the scene to end with them walking away from the other person, but it’s not natural. They’re doing it for the sake of conflict, it’s not conflict that developed organically. It’s like when Deacon went off on Megan for being a sob story groupie who gets off on it, that was extremely mean, out of nowhere and she should’ve dropped him right then and there. Or last week when Avery suddenly realized that Juliette has a ton of money after all these months and was acting all uppity about her being his sugar mommy.

      • JJ says:

        I totally agree. The characters on this show are super inconsistent. I love the actors, and the idea behind the show is great, but they seem to continually build what you know about a character and then have them do something totally against their nature just because the writers can’t seem to be able to come up with interesting realistic drama. So in the end, they keep falling back on cliche.

        • GeoDiva says:

          Could not agree with JJ more. I have never flipped-flopped more between the characters than I have with this show. I hate that as soon as they gave us Juliette signing at H65, they pull the rug out from under us.

      • Love Me Some Deacon! says:

        Disagree! They’re people – they’re going to do stupid things and flip-flop and have conflicts. Recovering alcholics and many others “who’ve been done wrong” (i.e. unknown 13 year old daughter) have been known to have some underlying anger and have a sudden outburst – I was totally happy he went off on Megan, because he kind of hit the nail on the head with the sob story groupie comment.

        I have been frustrated with the flip-flopping of the characters, but don’t blame it on BAD writing – it’s just tv writing. They’ve got us worked up and talking about the show and the characters and never knowing what’s next, and I think that’s probably the goal of tv writers everywhere.

        • MiaB says:

          This! I think Juliette’s storyline in particular was pretty consistent this week. She’s a recovering dramaholic. She was “being good” for a while, but being out of the spotlight for so long and seeing Scarlett getting all the attention made her drama flare up. Now she’s regretting it and getting back on the bandwagon.

    • Whatevah says:

      ^this^ it’s not compelling it’s annoying. And are Juliette and Avery going to fight about something every week?

    • Shira says:

      I must say that I really don’t see it as a problem but as one of the things I love most about the show. The character react differently in different situations and they have moods and they have up and downs and they change their minds and even when they try to learn from their mistakes they don’t always succeed. It’s not bad writing…it’s life.

    • Steve says:

      I am right there with you JMS…Just when I think things are going to go well for certain characters/couples/collaborators I end up feeling like the whole show is off its bipolar medication. I get it that there has to be conflict and turmoil but can we have some sustained victories for anyone on this show?

      I have to admit that the incredible music is what drew me to this show in the first place (Lennon and Maisy originally but I really like most of the songs on the show) and it is still the main reason I watch this show, but if I can’t invest in the characters from episode to episode I might as well just watch the music clips on Youtube and stop torturing myself.

      Perhaps the shelf life of most TV shows is so short that it forces them to really cram too much drama into too short a timeframe for my liking. I suppose if Season 3 gets the green light they may be able to slow down the pace of the conflicts and a more natural rhythm might emerge.

      • JJ says:

        I hope so too, but I doubt it. That’s what they were supposed to do with season 2, clean it up, get rid of the extra characters and boring political plot lines that were weighing down the show, but honestly I think season 2 is a much bigger mess than season 1. They threw their central relationship which a huge percentage of fans tuned in for (Rayna/Deacon) to the curb in favor of really boring relationships with inconsequential characters (Rayna Luke, Megan/Deacon, Zoey/Gunnar, Will/Layla) and added a bunch of other characters/storylines that no one cares about. I really think the only thing that would fix this at this point is a new showrunner who can clean house and whip it into shape.

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  8. Claire says:

    Cancel the show and free the talent. Yep…. I am at that point now.

  9. I think the characters are just like people in real life – inconsistent – sometimes doing the right, nice things, sometimes doing the wrong, obnoxious things. They are not stereotyped at all, just real and relatable. I’ve actually always liked Teddy, although he sometimes say horrible things. Really liked him in this ep! And Maddie, just love her, putting Claybourne as her last name… Haha!

    • Totally agree! None of us are consistent on a daily basis. The inconsistency of these characters is precisely what makes them real. Keep them acting just as they do and give us a Season Three!

    • steven says:

      I hope Maddie doesn’t lose her guitar over that.

    • Shira says:

      You are so right and I love the characters on this show for the same reasons! The only consistent people in the world are TV characters and it’s just not real.

      That’s why I love how the deal with the Maddie story. At the begining of the season wht we saw was the immidiate reaction that came from shock and hurt. Then everybody tried to move on, but now in the last couple of episodes we come back to it, in a different way-where Deacon can understand Rayna better, Maddie got used to the change and has a strong connection with Deacon and Rayna is no longer in control of the situation…but much sadder. Can’t wait to see how it will all play out.

      Just if ABC will renew the show already for another season – all will be well!

      • I really love the Maddie story too, they way it is all coming back now, through her. I loved the whole episode, it wasn’t breath-taking but just very good story evolvement. And how the song in the end suddenly was about Will. Brilliant!

        • Shira says:

          Exactly. I was a build-up episode before they hit the fan in the next few episodes.
          Above anything else, I thought it was a smart episode. They really laid down very well the foundations for the last part of the season. The editing during the duet was really smart. It was about Will but not just about him. If you listen to the lyrics it hinted also about Deacon/Megan, Gunner/Zoe and actually it related to the line Teddy said earlier that “musicians are not regular people”…they ain’t gonna change. So it’s sexuality that ain’t gonna change, and restless nature (like Zoey and Gunner) or Deacon and Megan where each really want the other to be someone else but when it becomes real…one is running away cause they are different.

          Also, the last shot. Rayna and Juliette behind the scenes. Brilliant. For many reason. One shot that tells us so much

    • Ro says:

      Agreed. But also – they’re musicians on top of that which just accelerates the inconsistency factor. Creatives aren’t predictable, usually, else they wouldn’t be creative.

    • uh huh says:

      Oh, ugh, I hate Maddie. Her teen drama is neither interesting nor entertaining. If I want to watch moody, obnoxious, entitled teenagers, I can watch my own.

  10. steven says:

    I hope this means that the kids actually start to get storylines from now on. They’re supposed to be regulars on the show, but they’ve been still in the background.

  11. Helen says:

    Kim, Hayden always hits it out of the park on the show and you do it also with your recaps! Love them! And yeah, that whispery Eric Close voice always does it for me…makes me yearn for the good old ‘Without a Trace’ days with Martin and Sam. Really not sure about Teddy though, I have a feeling he’s playing Megan to get back at Deacon. Will and Layla is so not going to end well.

  12. wrstlgirl says:

    Other than Will this episode was a snoozefest.

  13. fangirl says:

    Still think that Zoey is a terrible waste of screentime and only there to sell her music. Dito Maddie.

    I’m really getting annoyed at how the show treats the Avery/Juliette story. They get a minimal amount of time together. We hardly saw them happy, now they’re seriously arguing already? This feels rushed and forced and as if the writers have some sort of problem with this couple.

    Could Juliette really be this dumb after all she’s been through in the industry and go against Rayna’s wishes just because she envies some Newcomer?

    I expected Will to make nice with Layla, but the proposal was just idiotic. I understand that Megan feels guilty and that Teddy is the last person she wants to see, but does she have to be that rude to him?

    • MtKat says:

      yea, that’s a mouthful — it seems like all of a sudden everybody is in a big mess, and doing things we, the audience dont like. What were the writers thinking? Trying to make a big splash finale? No thanks. Zooey and Mattie seemed to kill the energy of the show when they appear and sing; dont we have enough singers stars. people like the lady attorney Megan bring something fresh to the show. The writers need to tie up some loose ends, like drop Layla and Zooey, and write some (believable) happy endings. Deacon is the most likeable person on the show, so keep him out in the front to contrast against all the moaners.(& keep him likeable, Please!)

  14. bobbie says:

    Well, I don’t know how Rayna didn’t inform Juliette of the ‘gag order’ last week. And think about it, Edgehill Records was begging her to come back last week. And a lot of other studios wanted her. Rayna is becoming the person she tried to get away from by creating her own record label. All in fear of opinions and popularity rather than doing what’s right and in her heart. Sure, she doesn’t want to lose her house, but otoh, is their audience so stupid that they can’t be told that Juliette never said that god doesn’t exist? And if she did, doesn’t she have a right to say it? She didn’t, but there should be some amount of truth in Rayna’s actions and a good mouthful of ‘get over it’. She’s on the slippery slope of Record Producery. Maybe next she can chase down people who ‘illegally’ download her songs.

    • chester says:

      Juliette also thought that Rayna’s label would be a great place to launch the song she made with Avery. Now, Rayna has killed that. Juliette should just leave, if she can.

  15. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    I thought that they are expecting a lot for us to believe that the audiences are really that rude as to how they are to Juliette – even when being championed by Rayna. Yes, country music fans are proud of God and Country and all that’s good, but there have to be more than a few people out there who are polite enough to applaud a preformance, More than a few that can put up with crap from the Miley’s of this world (who, although she is not country, “country fans” are capable of liking more than one genre). I mean really – look back on the shocking things Madonna has done. Britney’s meltdown, Katy kissing a girl, Gaga’s general weirdness, Miley having sex on stage. All way out of line in so many ways – and yet there are still fans that accept them. Why are country music fans so different that they can’t accept that one of their stars would say something/do something wrong? Even after her statement was edited to make her look bad (really bad!), Layla later verified the full statement and what was actually said.

    • Love Me Some Deacon! says:

      Oops, quick edit: I should have said that country fans are not so different – why are the writers expecting us to believe it still?

  16. Iakovos says:

    NASHVILLE is positioning itself nicely for Season 3 should there be such. Rayna and her Highway 65 are David to Jeff and Edgehill’s Goliath, and that shoudl be a foundation for the music business-shenanigans upon this series needs to be based. Rayna and Juliette are classic frenemies. They may appear to aloath and suffer each other but when chips are done, it is each the other looks to or is surprised by. Rayna and Deacon are forever linked by daughter Maddie but roadblocks must remain as their reconciliation is the endgame. Avery and Juliette are difficult as his pride is wounded by her success coupled with immaturity. I am ready for Juliette to make some right moves. Her career shutdown does not ring so true to me. Scarlett, Gunnar, and Zoey all have parts ot play in their rondelay of pairings. They are also professionally coupled with others so there are other dynamics in play. Will’s storyline can go far and I like his bromance with Gunnar. Sadly, I think Teddy and Megan must go, along with all the backwater from the plots related to Nashville politics and Rayna’s father. I do like Tandy as Rayna needs someone on her side and sister can be a good and challenging bestie. Maddie and her sister can provide all kinds of interest, too.

  17. Emgee says:

    While you’re correct about Teddy being right in both of those instances about Maddie last night, as a whole, he is as much of a d*bag as Eric Close’s Travis Tanner character on “Suits.”

  18. Lisa says:

    Does anyone else think there is something that doesn’t ring true with Luke? I am bothered by the attention he pays to Daphne.

    I am loving we are moving the Maddie story forward. It keeps Rayna and Deacon linked.

  19. Lorilei says:

    I’m new to this site and I love the recap. Rayna should be getting a big inheritance from Daddy’s estate to ease her financial woes. I would think that one of the girls would be on his bank accounts too. How did Rayna sign Juliette, or will sign anyone else, with no money?

  20. Lorilei says:

    Oh, and I was hoping the whole Scarlett drug thing was in the past when Liam left. She can’t be abusing them much if she still has half a bottle left!

  21. Amy says:

    Love your recaps of Nashville, Kimberly~very witty take on it all.
    I found myself thinking Teddy was right also this week…and also that he was hotter because I actually feel the chemistry (twisted or not) with Megan. I thought he was right about that too; she does want him. And real-life-like or not, regarding the “ups and downs” of peeps on this show, I too was bummed Juliette wreaked havoc already on her opportunity with Rayna to resurrect her career. Not only because it’s what she always does, but it robbed us of the opportunity for some other kind of drama between those two instead of the same old story. The two “enemies” joining forces and all the working that out that could have been, instead resorted to the same old thing. Oh well, we’ll have to see where it goes. The fact that Juliette didn’t miss a beat before sabotaging this, had me finally thinking to, is she maybe just so steeped in & damaged by her upbringing and past that she’s never going to be able to evolve, no matter what lessons she learns along the way or what relationships she has?
    Avery/Scarlett….something seemed to go off in him, in the subtlety of JJ’s change of expression in his eyes when she said “I really need you”….I’m wondering what will develop there. I’m glad if he’ll produce for her; I think that could be interesting for the characters and for the music that will come of it. I know people love the Juliette/Avery pairing, and I wasn’t against it (love how he challenges her), but am not opposed to more growth between he and Scarlett and anything that comes with it. I just wish writers or show ptb would let certain s/l’s play out and not be so A.D.D. in their approach to it all.
    It’s not perfect…but I still love the show, the characters and look fwd to it each week.
    I also look fwd to these recaps! Tks again!

    • MtKat says:

      I didnt like Avery when he was with Scarlett. He has grown and become a better person and I kind of like him now, espec. when he challenges Juliette. I hope he stays with her bec. he makes her more likeable. I never thought I’d see Juliette truly in love, and with a good person.