Nashville Recap: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues — Plus: Guess Who's Back?


“Every time I’ve looked in my future, you’ve always been in it. And I don’t know what I’m gonna do without you.”

It’s hard to hear Rayna utter those words in this week’s Nashville, partly due to the gut-wrenching nature of her grief and partly due to the fact that she’s sobbing so hard the sentence ends in a pitch only hyenas can hear.

But let’s keep in mind that the past few years have seen our girl end a marriage, hook up with a hipster, launch a record label, battle her sulky teen daughter on multiple occasions, walk out on a wedding to Luke “I’ll endorse roach bait if the price is right” Wheeler and reunite with the dying love of her life. Heavens to Patsy Cline, hasn’t she earned the right to a few black mascara tears of her own?

The moment is a very sad one in an hour that doesn’t dole out the hope until its final moments. And, as usual, Connie Britton and Charles Esten kill it. (Oops. Sorry, Deacon. Figure of speech.) Without further ado, let’s review what happens in “Is the Better Part Over.”

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RAYNA’S BAD DAY | Someone leaked the news of Deacon’s illness, and everyone around town is talking about him like he’s already gone. If that weren’t bad enough, Beverly rips up Rayna’s $1 million check and express-mails it to Highway 65 just in time to make Rayna not care one scooch about a meeting with Juliette. She’s supposed to be reprimanding Ms. Barnes for her series of illegal rooftop concerts — and the fines they’ve accrued — but Ray gives absolutely zero figs about that right now. She mumbles something about not being able to deal, then goes home to play her and Deacon’s old recordings and cry. (Side note: I might’ve liked to see Rayna mention the illness to Juliette before she took off. No matter how insane Ju is acting right now, Ray gets that she and Deacon have a friendship, right? It might’ve deflated Juliette’s bitchery in an instant.)

Deke finds her there and tries to buck her up, towing the positive line, but can’t you see it won’t work, Deacon? Even her hair is sad right now. She confesses that she was really lobbying Beverly when she told him she was in New York, and he pulls her to him, and pretty soon she’s sobbing that she can’t envision her life without him. Then Deacon’s face is crumpling like a shirt pulled from the bottom of the hamper, he and Rayna cling to each other, and things get soggy quickly.

Deacon is so bummed, he calls Scarlett and asks her and Deacon to perform at The Bluebird that night in his stead. But he eventually changes his mind, and he and Rayna wind up taking the stage and performing one of their old, sweet, quiet ballads called “Surrender.” Afterward, they hold hands and kiss and celebrate some good news: Scarlett and Gunnar have quit bickering long enough to accept Highway 65’s insanely good record deal. (And in case you’re wondering, here’s your two-second recap of Gunnar and Scarlett’s drama this week: SHUT UP AND BONE ALREADY, would you? Oh, and Kiley and Gunnar kiss.)

But wait, who’s that who just walked into The Bluebird? It’s Deacon’s terrible sister/Scarlett’s atrocious mom Beverly. “I wanna do it. I want to help you live,” she tells Deacon, who wraps her in a huge hug while Bev throws some oddly placed bitchface at Rayna over her brother’s shoulder. (Side note: I didn’t imagine that, did I?)

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A DIAPER DOWNER | Juliette’s so pumped about the success of her rogue concert series, she invites a willing Avery to join the Mile High Club in her private jet…. while Emily, Glenn and Cadence are a flimsy, faux-wood-paneled wall away. Nice. After the aborted meeting with Rayna, Juliette promises Bucky that she’ll deliver her new album in two days — then lies and tells Avery that Rayna demanded that she finish the tracks by that deadline.

They agree that Avery will go to The Bluebird to support Deacon while Ju stays home, watches the baby and works on her music. Except a manic Ju basically ignores Cadence, calls Emily and skips out to the studio the first chance she gets. Em’s frantic call alerts Avery to the problem, so he summons Glenn and Ju’s OB-GYN for an intervention. (Side note: Hey, baby doc, we get it. You’re the hoohah doctor to the stars. You’re a big deal. You don’t have to wear a leather jacket.)

As you might guess, Ju is less than receptive to the meeting, particularly when Avery notes that he’s never heard her say Cadence’s name. (Sniff.) She takes off, and things are very bad in Casa Barkley-Barnes.

RELATED Nashville‘s Charles Esten on the Line in Deacon’s Cancer Arc That Nearly Did Him in (Hint: Rayna Said It)

R&R: RISK & RECRIMINATION | No sooner are Will and Kevin back from vacation than Will’s dad makes a surprise appearance at one of his son’s performances. Will is initially angry but eventually softens when Papa Lexington — who is proud of his successful, seemingly straight son — says he loves him. Kevin, though, isn’t down with the family reunion. “We wrote a song about how he threw you away like trash,” the songwriter argues, earning himself an empty bed for the evening. Sorry to break the news, boys, but you’ve got far worse things coming: Luke’s manager is contacted by a tabloid reporter who has photos from Kevin and Will’s vacation and is going to run a story outing Will. Does that reporter work for the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog? Those photos are so shirtless and casually erotic, Bruce Weber could’ve shot them.

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ACT NOW, THINK LATER | Layla thinks her extreme inebriation at Jade’s party led to the tweet that got her dropped from Ms. St. John’s tour, and Jeff doesn’t tell her that he was the missive’s actual author. Instead, he eggs her into picking a Twitter fight with Jade, which leads to 1 million followers and attention from the press (as well as irritation from Highway 65). Buoyed by that success, he hands her a contract to formally make him her manager. “Oh, cool. I’ll just run this by a lawyer and make sure that I’m not getting completely hosed,” she says. Ha ha just kidding she totally just grabs it and signs it without reading past the part that says the arrangement will last for her entire lifetime. Oy.

Speaking of people I want to dip in honey and roll in fire ants, Teddy agrees to wear a wire for the Feds and meet with a dirty state senator in order to escape prison time. The senator brings up Tandy’s name. Not good.

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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  1. Margaret says:

    While nothing can top coach & Tammy Taylor for me, the chemistry, both emotionally & vocally that chip & Connie have is insane. Gosh, that scene where she broke down just about gutted me.

    • sunflower says:

      Exactly. Their chemistry gives me the shivers. So beautiful.

    • murn says:

      It was so heartbreaking. Almost too painful to watch. Chip and Connie have such amazing chemistry. Hard to believe the show wasted that for so long trying to pretend Connie had chemistry with Will Chase/Luke.

  2. opus says:

    No question. That was one evil look that Beverly threw at Rayna over Deacon’s shoulder. I don’t know what she’s up to but, whatever it is, my guess is that it is what will keep Rayna and Deacon apart next season (if there is a next season).

    • abz says:

      My first thought was that she might try to force Rayna to give her a record deal at her label or that she’d tell Rayna that she has to convince Deacon to restart their brother/sister duo post-surgery.

    • Isobel says:

      There will be a season four for syndication, but it’ll be the last season

      • izzieb says:

        Is this something that’s a known fact yet or is it speculation? Thanks.

      • RUCookie says:

        And this is a response to that post how?

        • izzieb says:

          ‘RUCookie’, are you asking about my inquiry of ‘Isolbel’? I was asking if she KNOWS that an unknown-to-the-public Season 4 is actually for a fact going to happen and be the last season. Not trying to stir anything up, I just want to know! Thanks.

          • izzieb says:

            ’cause I’d really like to see a S4 and many seasons beyond that even!

          • RUCookie says:

            Nope – it was a rhetorical question to Isobel…

          • RUCookie says:

            And I too would love to see this show go on… all the fans would. That is why these constant renewal comments in threads about the show content strike a chord. I am so tired of the negative. There was so much in last night’s episode to talk about.

  3. abz says:

    Rayna/Deacon was heartbreaking. Connie was so great in that scene when she broke down. Plus, after seeing that face and stare she was giving Rayna, I think she’s going to try to extort a recording contract from Rayna’s lave…I hope they don’t breakup Will and Kevin. They’re great together and it finally feels like there’s been a bit of progress between them. I hope Kevin stays on for next season (they really need to renew this show!) especially because Will is gonna need a lot of support if the tabloid story comes out and when his father inevitably finds out…The Scarlett/Gunnar stuff is boring and annoying? He’s jealous and childish. Can’t they just get along for one episode?…Poor Layla. Things just can’t go right for that girl. It’s really tragic. She keeps making stupid decisions and sticking with that creep, Jeff. …Teddy’s storyline is still out of place on the show and in its own world. But it looks like Tandy will probably return at some point….Finally, they are at least addressing Juliet’s post-partum.

    • Normandy says:

      Well if Universal Republic has showed us anything, it’s that recording contracts don’t mean crap. They record the album, release it without any publicity or fanfare, it sells a measly 25,000 records and then the artist is never heard from again.

      As for Teddy, his storyline would make more sense if the show had never gotten rid of the Lamar dirty politics/shady business half of the show. Once they eliminated that, they had no idea what to do with Teddy. I thought by making him buddies with Jeff, they were trying to bring him into the music fold, but then it ended a couple episodes later.

  4. westwingwolf says:

    I believe Beverly is the one who leaked Deacon’s illness to the press. She’ll get her name out there by being Deacon’s “savior” and use it to jumpstart her career she feels she is owed. Maybe even guilt Deacon into playing with her like they had originally planned.

    Before the season started, I was hoping someone would shoot Jeff and it would lead to a WhoDunIt? style mystery. When so many key players were against him this season, I was sure that was where it was headed. Now, I think it will just be Layla who kills him because he is going to get her fired and she is locked into this contract. Whatever happens, I just want Jeff is gone for good. Oliver Hudson got a new show, right? So Jeff has to go.

    I am so annoyed by Scarlett & Gunnar these last few episodes, I just want them to go on tour but we don’t see any of their drama. Just the music which is the only thing making them interesting.

    • Lucie says:

      Great theory about Beverly. I can see her craving that attention. I thought the evil look was a completely pervy “I’m gonna make him love me more than he loves you” kind of look.

  5. Dan says:

    I love that when I read “The senator brings up Tandy’s name,” the first thing I thought of was Phil Miller.

  6. Tarajifan says:

    Hopefully if Nashville renewed we can drop the dead weights known as Teddy, Laila and Jeff. Add back in Sadie and more singing and new singers.

  7. Anna says:

    You didn’t imagine that look, looks like Beverly has her own terms and conditions to donating part of liver and surely keeping Ray away from Deke might be a starting point. Say it ain’t so.

    Ah, the promo for next week … please don’t end with them trying to resuscitate Deke and then us having to go through the torture of waiting 4 months to know if he makes it, although I’m not watching if either of Chip or Connie are not on! The crying/bluebird scenes were so real, these two are such phenomenal actors. So glad to finally see them perform at the bluebird again.

    Gunnar said it right – Focus on what you’re good at, not the personal life. If they could keep their personal life totally out, would be fine too.

    And that radio station was so callous, talking about last time performing and all. Who are these people?

  8. Sharon says:

    I think Beverly leaked it so she can be the savior, get lots of attention and press. After she saves deacon she will paint rayna as bad for trying to buy her when she would of course help her brother out of love. Deacon won’t be able to criticize the one who saved him without looking unappreciative. Ugly predicament built on lies

  9. Catherine says:

    I would love to hear from Hayden what it has been like filming this story line as a new mother. I can imagine how difficult it must be to go to that place as a brand new mom.

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  11. Azu says:

    Not a fan of deacon and rayna no matter how I try. The other storylines especially ju and Avery are my faves

  12. Lucie says:

    Great recap!

  13. Alicia says:

    You didn’t imagine Bevs bitch face totally giving Rayna the evils. What is up with that? Your so spot on as always totally emotional #Deyna ep loved the comment of even Rayna’s hair being sad 😂 Acting masterclass from Charles Esten and Connie Britton they were so awesome 2night 💜😪. The #Surrender song was so beautiful. #RenewNashvilleS4

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  16. “Even her hair is sad” Omg too funny!!! Obviously Beverly is going to stir up some trouble – but Rayna and Deacon CANNOT break up again though!!! In the promo for next week he proposes…surely that means that we finally get to see them happy & together next season, right?!!! I can’t take it if they break up again!!

  17. Cobra says:

    The look that Beverly gave Rayna? I interpreted that as “Rewrite that $1M dollar check.”

  18. Lauren says:

    I don’t get how Avery can say Juliette has ‘never’ said Cadence’s name since she was the one who picked the name, at least if that cut-off line when she says she knows what to call her is anything to go by. I really hope they get Juliette help. And Rayna/Deacon are breaking my heart. God Scarlett and Gunner are such a hot mess, but then they get on stage and sing and I can’t help but ship them.

  19. Jill says:

    All the Rayna/Deacon scenes were outstanding. Chip and Connie really brought it this episode. You did not imagine that super soapy look from Beverly. I thought I may have imagined it too because it totally didn’t fit with the rest of the really realistic D/R storyline. I hope they don’t take this to a really soapy place next season. Please let them be a normal couple. This show desperately needs one because no one else is. The Juliette stuff was not fun or interesting. Is that really what PPD is like? You just get bitchy and insensitive? Her lack of sympathy for Deacon was weird considering she cried over him last episode. Please keep Kevin, he’s the best storyline Will has had since he’s been on the show. I used to like Scarlett and Gunnar, but now they just make me uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as Jeff and Layla who are the worst characters on the planet. There is nothing about them that I find interesting. They are super dysfunctional, and not in a fun way. Why are Luke and Teddy even still on this show? It’s almost as if the writers are like, oh yeah, we have to write something for Rayna’s leftovers that should have left the show ages ago so we’ll just shove them in some inconsequential scenes. No one cares about the Teddy wire storyline! Please let the talented Eric Close find a more deserving show!

  20. Nancy says:

    That stinkeye Bec threw Rayna while Bec is embracing Deacon really means: I still want Deacon and I to perform as a duo, so if you want me to save his life, you have to split with him.
    Gosh, could that blackmail really be on Bev’s agenda? I hope a truck flattens her, all the parts except her liver.

  21. Cheryl says:

    With Juliette losing it, Layla getting screwed over both figuratively and literally, and now Beverly who is plotting for a bigger pay day or to make the condition that Rayna has to sign her or she can’t be with Deacon, the final show will be packed full of revelations. I am also sure that Rayna’s sister will be back for more than one episode since Teddy will rope her into the mix. Here is hoping we have a next season, or at least a shortened season.

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  23. Anya says:

    Just when you think Beverly has finally put her own issues aside to save her brother, she will give this bitch look towards Rayna and you just know somethings up her sleeve. I think she’s totally gonna blackmail Rayna to make her do a lot of things for her. First things come to mind are a record deal and wanting to have Deacon for her self. She will own his life so there’s nothing she can’t demands I guess. She’s definitely gonna try. But nothing can break Deacon & Rayna up this time right. Right?!
    Oh and I know Juliette is not her usual self but “that bitch gets 5 minutes” or whatever about Rayna kinda hurt my feelings haha. Still love you Ju!

  24. Tracy84 says:

    I have a pretty crazy theory for the Deacon resolution. I think that Teddy is going to end up getting killed and he will be Deacon’s donor at the last minute. This will add an extra layer of drama for all involved, especially Maddie knowing that one father died to save another. I think there really is no where else to go with Teddy and he’s mixed p with some questionable people at this point. Being killed during an FBI op and having his liver become available just as Deacon flat lines seems like the perfect dramatic resolution to this storyline.

  25. RUCookie says:

    1) Definitely a shady look by Beverly. My first thought was that she wanted more $$$. Then I thought she was gonna try to break them up. Then I thought she wanted a record deal. And then I realized, she wants whatever mess she can make of the situation. She is an evil, selfish, vile human… and that is saying something on this show.

    2) because everyone that became Team Jeff over the last few weeks got a crazy dose of reality. He was horrible. Layla was her typical idiotic self. And they are both set on a path of mutual self destruction.

    3) Speak of self-destruction Teddy? How are you a mayor of a major city and this much of a fool. You should be kissing the feet of your friend that is trying to help you out of that self-made mess you made. Wear that wire and don’t be so obvious. You made that bed, now lie in it! You belong in jail.

    4) If Jules isn’t careful, child neglect charges could come her way depending on who happening upon her Postpartum depression/ career driven super hyper focus. She has never been good at looking in the mirror, but that “me me me” attitude when she was at that Rayna meeting annoyed the heck out of me – Deacon just told her last week (the other day in Nashville time).

    5) And Will’s new boyfriend will get to tell him the “I told you so” dance next week because we all know where this dad story line is going….

    6) Scarlett/Gunner – we all told you so!!!! But I did like the rational she had for initially not wanting to sign with Rayna – she is at least self aware.

    PS – Beverly is horrible – did I mention that?

  26. monica4185 says:

    What can Beverly do to Rayna? Blackmail with the million dollar thing? Deacon knows about that. Make Rayna give her an record deal? So freaking what a record deal don’t mean jack. The only thing I can see Beverly doing is hurt Rayna’s imagine in the press by divulging the fact that Rayna tried to buy her with a million dollars. In the end of the day Deacon is still going to be in a relationship with Rayna because he loves her. Beverly ain’t going to change that no matter what Beverly does.

    • Elissa says:

      I agree with you and I hope you are right because they definitely should not break up again!! Enough is enough.

      • Monica4185 says:

        I find Beverly’s hate for Rayna over Deacon kind of creepy too. You would think Rayna stole Berverly’s boyfriend,with the way Beverly hates on Rayna.

    • Brian says:

      What can Beverly do to Rayna? She could shoot her. That tends to happen a lot in this show. Hell, a few episodes back I half expected Deacon’s surgeon to reveal that the bad news was that someone had shot the donor organ.