Nashville Recap: Juliette's Baby Daddy Revealed?

Nashville Season 3 Recap

Well stick a straw hat on my head and call me Minnie Pearl: It looks like Juliette’s not going to give birth to demon spawn Jeff Fordham’s child, after all.

In a surprising move for a primetime soap, this week’s Nashville indicates the drama won’t pursue a who’s-the-daddy storyline with the eminently watchable — if not unfailingly faithful — Ms. Barnes.

Hallelujah, y’all.

I’ll expound upon my relief later in this recap, which also covers Rayna’s ire about the media wanting the dirt on her relationship with Luke (guys, she’s not being evasive; he’s just not that interesting!), Deacon’s difficulties now that Maddie’s acting like her sulky self, Layla’s reversion to form and Zoey’s inability to walk and sing at the same time. Read on for the highlights of “How Far Down Can I Go?”

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UNHAPPY WIFE, UNHAPPY LIFE | Will is riding high after he learns that his album knocked Rayna’s out of the No. 1 spot after only a week. But the joy is cut short by the fact that his wife perpetually looks like she sucked on the lemons life handed her. She’s angry that he’s gay, she’s angry that she was duped into marriage, she’s angry that her career is DOA. Will pressures Jeff — who, in turn, is feeling heat from his boss to regain some of Edgehill’s success (not so smirky now, are ya, turtle?) — to help Layla get a win.

Under duress, Jeff sweet-talks the Patsy Cline biopic people into letting Layla audition, but it’s a huge joke and even she knows it. It doesn’t help that Jeff runs into possible-next-big-thing Sadie Stone (hi, Laura Benanti!) at the audition and seems determined to woo her into being an Edgehill artist.

So Mrs. Lexington turns the hatred on her husband, channeling some of the bitchiness we haven’t seen in a while when she tells him, “You owe me everything. I own you.” Her demands: He’ll take her on tour and help get her career going, or else. And just in case he’s not clear on the matter, she spits, “I do not care about you. I hate you.”AUBREY PEEPLES

COURSE CORRECTION | The news of Will’s album’s success is, understandably, met with far less enthusiasm in Rayna’s camp. To be fair, the First Lady of Country Music is already in a bad mood after a reporter cares more about the particulars of Luke’s proposal than in Highway 65’s new headquarters. (The journo dares show more interest in a major life event than in an empty office suite? What a monster.)

Ray rails against Will’s success to Bucky and Tandy, but her manager tactfully points out that Will has a reality show that keeps him in the public eye. (Is that reality show actually airing yet, though?) Rayna complains that she has never invited the public into her private life, yet she’s had just about every album go platinum. Times have changed, Bucky replies, adding, “What got you here is not gonna be enough to keep you here.”

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GRIN AND BARE IT | Luke teases Rayna that between the money from Lamar’s estate and his own earnings, “You can just sit at home all day, being Mrs. Luke Wheeler.” He’s joking-maybe-not-really, but still: ugh. After talking with her endorsement-whore of a fiancée, Rayna agrees to add more tour dates to her schedule, meaning she won’t be around for Daphne and Maddie as much as she’d planned. And when Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach presses Ray for a few engagement details during a concert appearance (oh, hi Luke Bryan! Wait, you’re not going to sing? Oh, OK…), Ms. Jaymes gives into the machine and offers a few tidbits from her life.

A moment, if you please, Rayna: As a reporter, I realize I’m biased. And I’m not suggesting you do anything that feels super weird to you. But we’re all adults here; a journalist’s job is to ask questions, yours is to answer — or not. If you don’t want to talk about your private life, don’t talk about your private life. There are ways to do it without giving the media the stink-eye (as you did in the beginning of the episode) and without sacrificing every single personal moment like a bored Kardashian tweeting from the sidelines of a runway show.

DEACON IN THE DOLDRUMS | Meanwhile, Deacon is so sad about Rayna’s rejection, he’s taken to staring out the window in baleful silence. The only thing that rouses him to any kind of action is hanging out with Maddie, who has decided to be her pissy teen self around him. Great timing, kid. She yells that he should’ve tried harder to win her mom back. He yells that he proposed and Rayna said no. Then they’re both sad — and that only deepens when Luke won’t let Deacon out of his contract, meaning that Deke still has to go on tour with his hat-tipping rival.

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JUST LIKE OLD TIMES | Gunnar’s new house and recording studio is sweet, so Zoey should be totally excited when he asks her to move in, right? But she’s too worried about Scarlett’s return to town, and that anxiety only heightens when she sees the pair working on lyrics one afternoon in the studio.

Zoey’s so shaken, she can’t even remember the back-up singer choreography she has to learn before she leaves on Juliette’s tour. (Side note: When Gunnar mentions Z’s long hours in rehearsal, Scarlett sighs knowingly and says, “Yeah, I don’t miss that part of the road.” Calm down there, Scar: You were on tour for five minutes, 90 seconds of which you spent crouched under a piano. Easy on the embittered veteran schtick, OK?)

But Zoey eventually comes around, sees that she’s being ridiculous (she’s actually not; there’s no way Gunnar and Scarlett aren’t going to have some sort of interlude sometime in the very near future) and agrees to move in. Yay?

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AVERY BARKLEY LASSOS STORK! | Juliette is very agitated about the pregnancy, and her unease manifests as her yelling at Emily and getting easily distracted by the stuff Avery left at her house. (In other words, no one can tell anything is different and/or wrong.) She reads for the Patsy Cline part and nails it — though doesn’t escape without Jeff making a crack about her weight gain — then drags Avery’s junk back to his apartment, where he catches her dumping it at his door.

Then we are treated to the most watchable few minutes of the entire hour, as the two fight about nothing because they’re so upset and hurt and angry. (One Hayden Panettiere-Jonathan Jackson scene in an episode is not enough, Nashville.) The next time we see Juliette, she’s in her doctor’s office, prepping for an abortion. But the state-mandated ultrasound indicates that she’s nearly eight weeks along, not four like she thought. And given that her terrible turtle tryst was a month earlier… “This is not Jeff’s,” she says, tears running down her face.

I’m proud of Nashville for doing the unexpected. Let’s hope it sticks. And on a related note, it’s too bad Avery is choosing that exact moment to suck face with Nadine, the Bluebird’s newest and, based on how quickly she irks me with such little dialogue, most efficient waitress!

Now it’s your turn. Do you think the show will somehow find a way to keep the baby’s true paternity up in the air? Will you miss Tandy now that she’s resigned from Highway 65? Did you revel in watching Jeff Fordham taken down a peg by Mario Van Peebles (who also directed 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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43 Comments
  1. Kate says:

    Who was the actress who was helping Juliette with her wardrobe at the beginning? It has been driving me crazy and I can’t find her listed in the cast.

  2. Jessica says:

    She only slept with Jeff and Avery in that two month time frame so I’m pretty sure they already said who the father was at the end but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong. Although I don’t think I am wrong. I got the vibe that Rayna is a private person hence why I think she wasn’t so keen to divulge her private life with Luke. Not because finds him boring. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think they are going to end up together. They are polar opposites. When Deacon looked surprised about Luke keeping on tour I was thinking that phrase keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Also I think that Luke wants to rub Deacon’s face in the fact that Rayna picked him.

  3. penbehavior says:

    Great recap!

  4. I am SOOOOOO glad they ruled Jeff out as BabyDaddy so quickly. However, I’m not celebrating a Javery victory just yet. When was the last time Juliette was with Charlie? Or any other man (besides Avery) for that matter. I forsee an episode of Maury building.
    The fight between Juliette and Avery was amazing. Kudos to Jonathan and Hayden. Their scenes simply sizzle. And I agree, one scene an episode is not enough for these two.
    I like seeing Gunner pulling Scarlet back towards music, even if she’s kicking and screaming. I’m really not sure what Zoey’s role on this show is supposed to be. The actress has a beautiful voice. But Zoey is just always kinda of…. hanging around…. looking wounded.
    Will and Layla… To be honest I’m getting bored with this. He went from “I’m not gay” to suicidal because “I think I’m gay” to “no one can know I’m gay” to “let me marry this idiot girl so people don’t think I’m gay”. It’s dragged on long enough. And now it’s being used as a form of blackmail, first by Jeff, now by Layla. Oh yes, it didn’t take long for her to return to true form, did it?
    The scenes between Deacon and Maddie were so good. She has gone through a lot, and she’s right at that age where she’s struggling to find her identity. I love that Deacon encourages her to talk to him, and that Maddie feels comfortable enough to share her thoughts, whether good or bad, with him. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but they’re building such a wonderful relationship. I love these scenes.
    Rayna and Luke. Please….. just keep them off my screen. I’m sorry, I can’t feel any sympathy for Rayna. You chose your bed, now sleep in it. Luke is showing himself to being a controlling sell out. I’ve been a fan of Connie Britton’s for a long time and I’ve never seen her have zero onscreen chemistry with an actor…. until now. There scenes are just so dull and lifeless. It’s making it VERY hard to watch. This would be a more believable storyline if there was an onscreen spark, like with Liam. But… there’s just NOTHING. The more they try to jam them down my throat the more I’m going to resist. Hopefully this isn’t dragged out all season.

    • Bobi says:

      Yea baby daddy Avery! Ok- we can hold out for a couple of weeks- but that’s it! It’s only fair- and those two love each other so much- they can get over it as long as they want. But the ping-pong game will be fun to watch. He is no way going to NOT be there for Juliette. Give the girl a damn break this season- she had to go cold turkey sober! :)
      Reyna will end up with Deacon, hello. She doesnt need a man with a barbe-que sauce label- she needs a man to grill some ribs with that sauce! (Then of course lick the mess from his fingers- not a Luke scene- totally a Deacon one with a cold glass of sweet tea!)
      Maddie needs a whippin. She Is so blessed and needs to stop dissing her father that raised her. She can love Deacon all day long- but honor the sacrifice and lovE of the man who raised her- and is mourning the loss of his wife!
      Zoey is a sweet girl. Bring Scarlet a new man and leave the past where it belongs. Scarlet needs a new start with a great looking and strong spirited, good man- give her Derek Hughes. They would be the prettiest couple on t.v. ! Get his paws off of Avery’s baby mamma!!!

    • Amy in KC says:

      ~Deb~ I completely agree with your entire comment! :)

    • Klementine says:

      I’d like to think that that the actors who play Rayna and Luke are purposely showing no chemistry, just to emphasize what a bad decision this is. I say, kudos to them, if that’s what’s actually happening.

  5. Juan says:

    I love Juliette and Avery so much, I’m so happy it’s hers. Also happy Scarlett and gunner had a great duet not on iTunes yet, I miss those two together.

  6. Jill says:

    I’m glad Jeff is not the father of Juliette’s baby, but I don’t think Avery is father material either. Too bad it couldn’t be Charlie’s,, he at least cared about Juliette. Avery needs to grow up and get over himself. He needs to lay off the booze and get his life together. I don’t see where he has ever done anything for Juliette except co-write a couple of songs. Rayna will likely want Deacon once he finds someone else. That is the way she has been since the beginning of the show. Thank god Daphne has Teddy, since Rayna plans to be on the road so much. Maddie is a really good singer, actually better than Rayna, imho.

  7. MP says:

    I loved Gunnar and Scarlett writing and singing together again. They’ve always been the strongest vocally for me, when they sing a duet together. I’ve never felt Gunnar has any chemistry with Zoey and hope that storyline will play itself out sooner rather than later. As for Rayna and Deacon and Luke, same ish, different week. Rayna and Luke have no chemistry while Rayna and Deacon have chemistry that is palpable and jumps off the screen. I hate when they don’t have one scene together in a show. And I still think Rayna’s phone call last week was to Deacon and not to Luke.

  8. Rosy says:

    Reading this recap I’m so glad I gave up on this disaster of a show…

  9. Ram510 says:

    Luke wheeler gets on my nerves.

  10. Dian says:

    I am so glad that Jeff is not the dad. I would really like to see Avery and Juliette together. When Rayna was at her dad’s house, I was hoping that she would run across something to help her understand her dad better, and maybe even find out something about her mom’s death.

  11. Blah says:

    Watching Luke makes me really miss Peggy. I mean yes she was horrible, and snooty and crazy enough to fake a miscarriage with a pig fetus. But once Nashville got to the happly married(ish) Peggy and teddy. Watching her run into rayna at events was comedy and bitchy social interaction gold.

  12. JJ says:

    I can’t even imagine watching one more episode of Luke with Rayna. Please get that guy off of my TV screen!!! The gross song, the gross Mrs. Wheeler comment, the smug way he treated Deacon! This is just an even worse repeat of last season. Rayna breaks Deacon’s heart, Deacon finds some new chick a couple of episodes in, and there’s no interaction between the characters that I watch this show for all season. No thank you. Officially deleted from the DVR.

  13. MA says:

    I don’t even know what to say about Rayna at this point. If she wants a different man than Deacon, OK, but does she need to choose such a shallow, condescending fame whore? I mean, I get it. He’s definitely different from Deacon, but dang.
    Maddie and Deacon were great. The Juliette/Avery fight was great. Five seconds of Laura Benanti was great. Crazy Layla? Ok.The Scarlett/ Gunnar song was beautiful.

  14. PTF says:

    Separate to my feelings as to whether Rayna and Deacon should be together is the overwhelming feeling of Get Luke the Hell Off My Screen Right Now! He sucks on so many levels, and his scenes with Rayna are painful. They’re making me want to fast-forward Connie Britton which is very much not ok. I cannot sit through a whole season of watching Rayna, who used to be my favorite character, flounder around pretending she wants this and not Deacon. It’s so boring. Deacon and Rayna together could be a compelling story if written properly. This is just a mess.
    Thank goodness for Hayden Panetierre being amazing, she owns the show at the moment: Connie Britton needs something proper to do!

  15. Sweetpea says:

    I can’t lie. I gave up on Nashville. The only good thing left was Avery and Juliette and they threw them under the bus when she slept with Jeff. Rayna and Luke are so dull, I’d rather watch paint dry than see them on screen. The whole gay storyline with Will has been completed mishandled and twisted beyond redemption. Zoey and Layla are useless. Maddie is annoying as crap. Yes teenagers have moments of attitude as my teenage son does, but she lives in a constant state of pouty drama and I hate it! I did really love Nashville but they totally ruined it. Should have put it out of its misery last season instead of continuing with the lame storylines they’ve written themselves into.

  16. Abby says:

    I can’t help but feel like this is a trick and they can’t possibly be ending the baby daddy drama this soon….

    • Amy says:

      I didn’t think so until you just made me think, along with what others said here…yes…they did make it too literal with her saying “It’s Avery’s!” right away…obviously too because that is what she would want so bad now that she’s missing him. But if Charlie was actually in that 8 week time frame (I thought they’d been over longer but maybe not), then that could be the surprise. Then again…it always depends…sometimes these writers are so lame, that that is the only reason it’s all too obvious and literal. So I guess we’ll see. I didn’t think it’d be Jeff’s…because really to what end?..couldn’t imagine where they’d take a storyline with her carrying Jeff’s baby. And glad they didn’t opt for the tedious “who’s the daddy” drag out. But we still may get a twist if Charlie gets added back to the mix.

    • beechnut says:

      It’ll be Avery’s baby, but they’ll probably add another baby….from the tryst with the waitress last night. Juliette won’t like having to share

  17. Isobel says:

    I presume if Juliette’s tour goes off Zoey will be away and Gunnar/Scarlett will happen

  18. Sarah T. says:

    Nashville has gotten so boring I literally nodded off last night watching it. Yes, there are still some good parts (I love watching Gunnar and Scarlett together, Juliette can usually liven up just about any scene) but the rest was just so overwhelmingly annoying I had a hard time not changing the channel. I’ll stick around for a bit but I feel like the writers don’t really have a clear idea for where the season is going to go. I think this might be the last season for it.

  19. Amy says:

    Though I do wish it’d be written smarter, especially with acting gold they have with Chip, Hayden, Jonathan Jackson, Connie Britton and the actors too that play Gunnar, Maddie, even Jeff. I do wish they’d make it less relationship drama and more Nashville music biz stuff, with a mix of life/business/romantic drama. All that said….I can’t quit Nashville. I do love the idea of the show and the characters. But if for no other reason….every week there is at least one emotional close-up of Chip Easton, where he makes me feel exactly what he’s feeling deep inside, with a subtle look on his face….and it makes watching that show worth it to me.

    Also, re watching it this morning my mind wandered about where they might take Rayna…she obviously has daddy stuff she hasn’t worked out, and in many ways may not have “it as all together” as she thinks. So when it comes between her and Deacon, who she still fears having a “healthy” lifestyle with….maybe it’s going to be Connie’s “journey” to being able to do that now and that realization. Same deal with Luke. (though for a nano-second when Luke talked about his “healthy, happy” upbringing I thought he might even be part of the scenario that gets her to that place…though it might be a bone of contention between them eventually…he seems to be noticing her unresolved issues. That and their differences about “fame-whoring” it seems will bring them conflict.) But between Rayna’s unresolved daddy-issues informing her actions, and Luke’s polar-opposite fame-whore personality, Deacon might just be the healthy, stable one now! And it may be Rayna who needs to work it out this year. That may be the path back to Deke. Or at least to herself and healthy interaction between them. Even if not a relationship at first, would love to see Nashville explore those two within the business, and artistically.

    • Amy says:

      ps. meant to say too about the scenes each week with Chip…loving them developing his relationship with Maddie. Yes, hopefully they just don’t have her bratty 24/7, and I think she needs to respect the guy who raised her too (hey, Teddy was likeable last week!…after all “he DOESN’T HATE MUSIC y’all?!” :)
      But I love the scenes between her and Deac are great. And musically…yay. :))

    • Amy says:

      oops, I mean “Rayna’s journey” not Connie’s, obviously.

    • Jill says:

      The music industry has changed a lot since Itunes and youtube seem to be determining what songs “make the charts”. It’s not like it was when Rayna had her number one hits back in the day. She either has to adjust to the way things are done now, or just stay true to the way she thinks it should be. Even her manager told her that. I agree that Luke seemed to be noticing her unresolved issues. Her mother had a years long affair with Watty White, her father was absent a lot from the home after that. Rayna has a lot of issues to work out. Does she really want to leave the girls for a year? Did she talk it over with Teddy, who will be in charge of taking care of the girls while she’s gone? She should stay single until she figures out what she really wants. Will Deacon hang around forever waiting to see if she breaks up with Luke? This will be interesting to watch.

  20. Rach says:

    Is it awful that I am really hoping the baby is Charlie’s?! I loved him with Juliette!

  21. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    They may find a way to drag out the baby-daddy drama by having Avery not believe that it’s his. Loved seeing Jeff getting chewed out in front of his colleagues. Juliette is going to nail it as Patsy. Not sure what will happen with her tour though if she’s preggers and also doing the Patsy thing. Deacon – wow. Chip Esten does an awesome job!

    And maybe we’ve finally found the crack that will bring the Luke and Rayna thing down – he is a publicity freak and she is clearly not comfortable sharing private items. Can’t you just see her selling herself out like he does, only to realize what she’s done and then dump him to return to her true self (and her true love, of course!).

  22. Brigid says:

    Luke has got to go, that guy wigs me out and I’m pretty sure it stems from his character on the show Smash. I still feel like he has something going on with Jeff, such as a plan to bring down Rayna. I can’t tell you how much I love hearing Gunner and Scarlett sing together. It’s just so amazingly beautiful. Those 2 should do an album together, talk about going platinum. Hayden and Jonathan have intense chemistry and that scene was excellent. The baby is definitely Avery’s because she hadn’t been with Charlie in months. I kept waiting for Layla to blackmail Will, hopefully that will bring some life into that story as it has turned very stale. Looking forward to hearing Laura Benanti singing some songs. I truly watch this show for the music with the storylines coming in a very far off second.

    I’m sorry but you’re not a journalist if you have to ask about a celebrities personal life. That’s what a tabloid writer wants to know. These people get into the business to promote their work (ie. Albums, movies, tv shows) not their love life. Do any of us think that Walter Croncite would ask someone about who they are dating? No, he asked questions that pertained to the story at hand. Today people try to pass themselves off as journalists saying it’s what the public wants to know. I am a member of the public and I really don’t care about what a celebrity does on their day off but only what they think about their work. I was embarrased by that scene last night with the so called “Journalist” as he looked like a fool trying to delve into her love life. It’s creepy and stalkerish. I know people will say that that is the price you pay for being in that business but should someone give up their talents and dreams because you are so swept up in building celebrties up and tearing them down? Would you give up on your dreams and goals if you knew that papparazzi would follow your every move? I think not and I think it’s wrong to expect them to.

  23. kt5 says:

    The fight scene between Avery and Juliette is one of the best acted that I’ve ever seen between a couple. They have amazing chemistry even when they are on the outs. May they have many more scenes together.

  24. Iakovos says:

    The more interesting Juliette plot line is how she deals with impending motherhood. Paternity mysteries, thanks to science, are easily solved and well, lack interest. Juliette had issues with her mother. She is poised for the career breakthrough that is the Cline biopic and a baby may prevent that. How will she deal? Mom Rayna may be a frenemy here. Need more of them together!

    NASHVILLE season 3 could be best yet.

    Know she was a supporting player but I really liked Tandy. Will miss her.

  25. Whatevah says:

    I am SHOCKED I tell you, SHOCKED that Nashville didn’t do a WTD storyline. Happy but shocked!

  26. marc says:

    What a silly show! Cancel it already!!

  27. CJ says:

    I liked this episode overall, but it’s a shame to see Tandy go. Rayna really needs a friend in her life, and her sister was the closest thing to it. I’m really glad that they aren’t going with the Who’s the Daddy? storyline that we were all expecting. Such a relief. And as good as that fight was between Juliet and Avery, the scene was SO poorly directed it distracted me enough that I had to rewind it and watch the scene again because I was so focused on the awful directing that I missed half the dialogue.

  28. Lynne Young says:

    Juliette and Avery just light up the screen and the magnetic force between them is strong. I’m hoping they get back together – baby or not. Now that she thinks the baby is Avery’s I don’t think Juliette will go through with the abortion – but might the writers make her have a miscarriage? I hope not. Juliette as a mother would be something to see.

    As for Scarlett. If they don’t give her a good story line soon the character will soon be following Tandy out the door – and that would be a shame. I’m glad Tandy is leaving. She had somewhat of a good storyline when Lamar was alive but it fizzled – just like his.

    Luke and Rayna together turn my stomach. I so hope she realizes what she has done before it is too late. As for Layla oh boy look out below! It will be interesting to she what she has planned!

  29. leo21 says:

    The Layla thing needs to end. If she can’t grow a backbone and take care of herself, then she needs to go away.

  30. Jill says:

    Is Rayna going to inherit money from her Dad’s estate? She has always screamed at her Father that she would never, ever take a dime from him, no matter what. She also has always said her girls come first, yet she is planning on touring for a year. Luke has helped her with her career, so she shouldn’t be surprised that she is being asked about Luke all the time. Is she that out of touch with the way the “reporters” work? Maybe it isn’t right, but it’s the way it is now. Deacon will likely find a woman “friend”, and Rayna will become jealous and want him back. It happened all the times before. Rayna should just be single for a while until she works out what she really wants. As for Juliette and Avery, having a child isn’t enough of a reason to get back together. They either need to work out what their relationship is, or just “co-parent”. Juliette has worked hard and long for her career, and Avery needs to respect that, Maybe he should have worked harder on his career instead of giving up so soon. Hopefully he will get his act together. All he ever preached was “getting respect”… That’s something that has to be earned.