Nashville Recap: Contract Balks

Nashville Season 3 Recap

Ever think that Taylor Swift looks at Nashville‘s Maddie Conrad and thinks, “You lucky twerp?”

After all, while a pre-teen Tay-Tay had to hoof it all over Music City, begging label execs to listen to her demo, Rayna’s older daughter spends most of this week’s episode being pursued by an aggressive studio head with a penchant for expensive welcome gifts.

Don’t worry, Taylor: By the end of the episode, Rayna puts the kibosh on her kid’s career (for now) and inadvertently brings about the downfall of her biggest enemy — and, might I add, she does it in some impressively high heels.

Meanwhile, Sadie’s ex is still a threatening jerk, Deacon is still dying (sniff!) and Juliette is still immobilized by the impending arrival of the Averyspawn. Read on for the details from “I’m Lost Between Right and Wrong.”

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DIAMONDS AREN’T A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND | Rayna has just finished dispatching Bucky to check in on Avery’s first studio session with Sadie when a box arrives: It’s a diamond necklace for Maddie, welcoming her to the Edgehill family. (Side note: Does Jeff’s handwriting look like a fifth-grade girl’s, or is it just me?)

Over in his office at the record label, Jeff is playing indoor golf, using “winning” like he’s 2011 Charlie Sheen, berating his assistant and basically being the biggest asshat that ever lived. Rayna marches in and is shocked when she sees Teddy’s signature on the contract Jeff proudly produces.

There are meetings, there are lawyers, there’s Rayna threatening to strip Teddy of his parental rights “seeing as how Deacon is Maddie’s biological father.” Paternity burn! Finally, Teddy admits that the Smirky Turtle is blackmailing him with his nights with Ol’ Leopard Panties-for-Hire, and I think what I adore most about this scene is that Rayna doesn’t seem surprised in the slightest that her ex has been paying for sex. Teddy Conrad: The Constant Disappointment. (I think that may have been his campaign slogan.)

LIKE A BOSS | So Big Red puts her no-eff-you pumps on and commandeers a Board of Directors meeting at Edgehill, outing Jeff’s involvement in Layla’s overdose and getting Maddie’s contract voided in the process. (Side note: Can’t wait until the always rational Ms. Conrad finds out that she had — and lost — her ticket to the big time.) But Rayna’s not done: She wants sole custody of the girls. “Get yourself some help,” she sniffs, just before kicking her former life partner out of her office.

In the Edgehill waiting area, Layla — whom Jeff invited to play for some VIPs — finds out the hard way that her appointment has been cancelled. So she’s understandably peeved when the Turtle shows up at her door later on. “Your meeting was cancelled because I got fired,” he blurts, indicating that he wants to come in. And she lets him. And I just don’t know how to feel about this development.

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RAY OF LIGHT | When Hot Doc won’t give Deacon an answer re: how much time he has left, Deke does an Internet search and learns he’ll probably be dead in six months. Oh DEACON, go far enough down the WebMD rabbit hole and anyone can get that answer. Deke writes a will, fights with an overly positive Scarlett and tries to hide his condition from Maddie. Good luck with that one, dude, especially because you can’t stop crying in front of her and it’s starting to weird her out. But by the end of the hour, father and daughter have resumed their guitar lessons, Deacon has found a renewed hope, and those of us in the Save the Scruffy One Society can breathe a tiny sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, Hot Doc wants to talk to Scarlett in private and oh my goodness all of you people in the comments last week were right he’s going to tell her she’s adopted because her blood type doesn’t match her mom’s and… oh wait, nope. He’s just flirting with her. And, when she brings him a proper latte so he doesn’t have to endure the hospital’s terrible coffee, she’s totally flirting back.

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AVERY IN HIS ELEMENT | The Pregnant Island Formerly Known as Juliette moves for no man. So she bids Avery do everything for her (my favorite visual of the night was poor little Hayden Panettiere using her bump as a shelf for a fountain soda), which makes him late for his first recording session with Sadie.

Avery proves himself a master producer when he meticulously examines every aspect of the process, costing the label money but resulting in an awesome sound. And when Sadie’s ex, Pete, violates her restraining order and then has her served with papers — he’s suing for half of basically everything — Avery also stands in as psychologist and bodyguard. Full service!

Nashville Season 3 RecapBROS BEFORE… | Now, I don’t want to suggest that Gunnar is slow, but he’s just now getting around to feeling bad that Kiley cheated on him with his brother. And Luke, who shows up to write a song with him, thinks that a boys’ night out will make them both feel better about being jilted. So they grab Will and hit a bar, scoring hook-ups and hangovers for Luke and Gunnar and a freakout for Will (following a blonde putting his paw up her skirt). The next morning, Luke realizes that he’s just as “sensitive” as Will is (heh) and together they write a power ballad called “Can’t Help My Heart.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of 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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47 Comments
  1. Riana says:

    Despite the lack of Juliette for most of it, it was a pretty good episode.

  2. sarah says:

    “Does Jeff’s handwriting look like a fifth-grade girl’” I missed the start of the episode, but the handwriting probably belongs to the assistant ‘turtle’ has been berating… wouldn’t he have someone else do the tasks like actually writing a note ;)

  3. abz says:

    Badass Rayna destroying Smirky Turtle in that meeting was so much fun to watch. I enjoyed seeing her in a tough, take charge position once again since she’s been very mopey at many points this season so far.
    Definitely thought the doc was going to tell Scarlett about something medical but of course this is still a soap, so inappropriate relationships like this are a must. Then again I’m glad to see Scarlett with someone knew rather than them eventually dredging up the relationship with Gunnar again once he moves on from his pity party over Kiley.
    Deacon’s still making me emotional each episode. Charles Esten has been doing a great job with this arc.
    I’ve been growing very tired of Will’s arc. It’s all been there done that. Did we really need to see another fake hangout with the guys finding girls to hook-up with? I know they need to spread things over 22 episodes, but come on! This storyline started in the first season and more than halfway through the third season, it feels like his story has barely made any progress. With Hayden working less during her pregnancy there should be more than enough time to devote to progressing his storyline instead of spending it on the MUCH less interesting Luke.

  4. RUCookie says:

    The look on Gunner’s face while Luke claimed he was “just like [Will]” was simply perfect- equal parts disgust, disgrace and smirk…. He has to be thinking ‘how stupid is everyone?’ It’s so obvious… Yep, Will is sensitive!

    Keeping on with the Luke eye rolling- his whole line about “true love” with Rayna is funny- photo-ops and appearances were more important. Plus I will never forgive him for that award show tyraid.

  5. CR says:

    Solid episode, but I have one complaint: we’ve been patiently waiting to watch Jeff fall and I feel like they really could have given us more of that boardroom drama. I would have loved to see Rayna knock him off his pedestal in front of all those execs.

  6. Velocisexual says:

    Good episode, but I really hate when Raina uses the kids as a discipline tool for whenever Teddy has been bad. It just doesn’t sit right with me.

    • Isobel says:

      Agree he has a right to see the girls, no matter how much of a loser he is

      • Lucie Loing says:

        He just sacrificed his daughter to keep his sorry hindquarters out of trouble! I’m with Rayna on this one. Teddy needs to get his cow dung together and she is forcing his hand.

        • Jill says:

          Me too, totally with Rayna. If it was just about his bad decision affecting him that’s one thing, but he totally threw his own daughter under the bus, and it’s not like she was legally excluding him from their lives. Rayna just wants them to live with her full time while he “gets help.” Kind of like telling an alcoholic go get help, then you can see your kids. Teedy is a total mess right now.

    • azu says:

      Rayna behaves as if she’s the most perfect

    • Teddy used his children as “tools”. Rayna, on the other hand, put her girls first. Any sane parent would have done the same and demanded that someone like Teddy get his sh1t together.

    • RUCookie says:

      They are not a disciplinary tool I so much as she is looking out for their safety and security. He put his livelihood over the safety of his daughter – and yes,in said safety! He saw what Rayna went through with Jeff and he willingly signed his daughter up for the same pain!

      • smartysenior says:

        Not to mention Layla is underage and he’s doing her, giving her drugs, and she almost died at his house. Nope, there’s no way Teddy can explain turning his kid over to this guy. And no way Rayna is letting him anywhere near the kids while he is so craven about using his daughter. “Get help” is a nice way of saying “get away from them”.

    • leo21 says:

      Sorry but I am with Raina here. It’s more about protecting them from his bad judgement than punishing him. They will see him but she is taking primary custody away. And hasn’t Teddy been using the kids to manipulate Rayna since the divorce? At least she is doing it for the best interest of the kids.

  7. azu says:

    Too little Juliette!! My reason for watching!!! But just looking at the promo for next week, things are going to heat up. Luke is going to set up his own record label that will compete with rayna’s I’m sure dun dun dun!! Drama express and it looks like will and gunner will be his first sign ins. Recall that Layla and Jeff both know that will is gay might lead to more blackmail

  8. Jill says:

    Really good episode. Enjoyed almost all of it. I love feisty Rayna! Glad she’s finally back after a half season or more of Luke sucking all the life out of her. The Deacon/Maddie/Scarlett scenes were all really wonderful. Chip Esten is killing it with this storyline. The three mopey dudes was my least favorite of the storylines this episode, but they didn’t particularly annoy me either.

  9. The Kaibosh says:

    Umm…did I miss the part where its revealed that Tennessee has laws allowing indentured servitude of children? Maddie doesn’t know about the contract so how is it that Jeff can be all bwa ha ha Maddie’s mine, she has to perform and all of the lawyers are all: oh no, he’s right. Umm…. doesn’t she have the right to say I don’t want to do this?

    • Cass says:

      I think the show did a pretty weak job with the way they portrayed it, because it does make it seem like Maddie wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. From my understanding, Maddie would have to sign the contract as well. However, once Teddy signed, he was bound to the contract(basically consenting to the arrangement). Maddie would have the ability to take it to court and a judge would most likely go along with the minor’s wishes. But if Maddie found out she had a record deal, I don’t think she would ever challenge it, and Teddy would be unable to challenge it.

    • This…how is it legal to sign someone to a contract without their permission…

      • Jennifer says:

        I think it’s because Maddie is a minor. Minors cannot legally sign contracts; their parents/guardians have to. The minors can have a say, but they are not a party to the contract. parents can say yea or nay.

  10. I cannot believe Teddy…the whole episode I was like…OMG…WTF…he signed Maddie without her knowledge, lied to Rayna, and then went to see Jeff why??? Did he really think the person that blackmailed him would care about his family. I don’t know about Teddy at this point. He is just really stupid.

    This show needs to stop namedropping Harvard???? Because both Jeff and Layla are idiots.

    I cannot believe Jeff’s business plan is to make more profit was sign Maddie without her knowledge (also wouldn’t her generating profit take awhile and opposed to the people signed that could be bringing in profit NOW) and have Layla play for the chairman. Jeff deserves to be fired, this is a terrible business plan. The only plot that would make Jeff make sense at this point is drug use.

    Okay I love Avery and love having him work with Sadie. I agree with Rayna he is great with artists.

    I am liking Luke more and more. I think they just needed to get him away from Rayna.

    Also love that Rayna is back in action as well.

    Ehh to Scarlett and the doctor. I think Scarlett needs someone more her opposite to drown her Disney princess a bit.

    Layla…this character really annoys me. All she does is make bad choices and feel bad for herself. First she decides to leave Nashville which I knew we weren’t lucky enough to see that happen. Then she decides to stay and play because Jeff believes in her music even though he blew off her music all last season…and treated horribly. I mean get it together girl. You jumped into a relationship with Will and now you are doing the same crap. My new nickname for her special victim’s unit.

  11. Solid episode even with less Juliette (hurry back from maternity leave!). I like the upcoming storyline for Luke and his new song. Is anyone else worried that Sadie and Avery are getting too close? I hope nothing happens!

  12. Barbara Germany says:

    No one under the age of 18 can enter into a legal contract. Teddy would be the one in breach of contract, not Maddy. The whole plot was ridiculous.

  13. Shira says:

    Really loved this episode! Love Rayna taking charge and protecting her kids but also female artists everywhere. Loved the Deacon/Maddie/Scarlett scenes – the core relationships on this show feels so organic and natural at this point that they all really look like a family.
    By thr way, These Deacon close ups and the thing he does with his face before he cries- I can’t. Sniff.
    Avery finally did something other than worry about his love life or other people’s love life and it made me happy. I don’t miss him as a jerk likein season 1 but I did miss his ambition and determination…and that song is gorgeous! I usually prefer their acoustic versions but here, the studio version did sound close- nice job!!!
    Surprisingly liked the boys night out andespecially the morning after. Love how they take a stereotypical male scenario and turn it into a sensitive in-depth conversation and eventually a song.
    Last thing, loved the CREMA name drop. That coffee house is really not that far from the hospital the hot doctor is supposidly in (and it’s also the best coffee in Nashville) :)

  14. ellieca says:

    Loved the episode except for the three amigos. Will and Gunner story lines are really dragging and feel like filler. I was digging the intensity of the Luke scenes from winter finale and felt like that momentum was lost in this epi. His ‘I thought it was real’ comment fell flat -belonged in a different scene with someone else and with more intensity.

    Loved Avery –Jonathan Jackson continues his mastery of the subtle, Esten and Stella and Bowen were so touching as usual (Esten is killin it no pun intended) and we got the Rayna/Britton that we all love back!

  15. izzieb says:

    Luke is showing more emotion now without Rayna than he ever did with her. I just never got how he was supposedly in love with her (and vice versa). Loved his ‘if I drink this beer” song last week – it really had some depth of emotion in it, and you could see him going through some stages singing it – anger, despair, anger again, and grief. The actor is doing a great job conveying emotions in his music finally! The song with Gunnar/Will this week was good too.

    Poor Layla – bad s*** keeps happening to her….. married a gay man, dumped by her label (Edgehill), was publicly ridiculed during her reality show run, got into a bad one-night stand, tried to commit suicide….and once again she was left ignored when the meeting was cancelled due to Jeff’s firing – which she didn’t know about at the time. I hope they let her character find some success one of these days. I loved to hate her for a long time, but for the past few tv months, she’s been growing on me!

  16. Lola says:

    How is it that Layla is underage? She’s married, she deferred Harvard … isn’t she at least 18?

  17. sherry says:

    Please don’t let deacon die. Don’t know if I can watch without him. Hope they have his sister come back and save his life.

    • Bluedogs says:

      Don’t you think it’s going to come down to Maddie being a match and wanting to donate but Rayna is really hesitant because of the risk? I can see a whole season-ending drama unfolding around that. Then again, maybe Deacon will refuse to let Maddie take the risk?

      I thought this was a great episode as well. There was a lot going on and it was good to see Rayna bulldoze that Directors’ meeting and take back the power from Jeff.

  18. steve z says:

    Luke & Jeff will team up with the sole purpose of toppling Rayna’s new empire

  19. mel says:

    Love this show!!!

  20. Stevie says:

    This show is awesome…I hope it renews…music and tv all in one! So much better than most “sure bets”

  21. I love this show and all the wonderful music ..and what a love story!!!!

  22. Linda says:

    I love the show Nashville it’s different and great music

  23. Robbie says:

    I liked this episode and faithfully follow the series. The story line may not be spectacular, but it is interesting…and the music is often fabulous. This show appeals on several levels, but I really like that it isn’t hip hop or a dreary “reality”/”talent” show, and finally proves that American life really does exist outside of the Los Angeles or New York City bubbles.

  24. S.P. Wilson says:

    I love this show and the music…

  25. Grayce Klass says:

    Don’t EVEN THINK OF TAKING NASHVILLE OFF THE AIR. Love it!

  26. Linda Adkins says:

    Love this show. Please don’t cancel. Best show on TV. Would love to find the soundtrack where they all sang.