Nashville Season 4 Episode 13 Recap

Nashville Recap: In Vita Veritas

Welp, they can’t all be Jewel, am I right, Rayna?

When Vita, a down-on-her-luck car-dweller with a celestial voice showed up in last week’s Nashville, she seemed like Highway 65’s next big thing: a rough piece of rock just needing the some time at Rayna Jaymes’ Home for Emotionally Needy Female Artists to polish her into the label’s next gem. But in this week’s installment, she’s revealed as a thief (!), a liar (!!) and someone whose enemies think arson is the best way to send a miffed message.

Meanwhile, Riff is so rusty after decades out of the spotlight, he lashes out at Luke rather than admit that his skillz may no longer pay the billz; Maddie’s infatuation with Cash is getting a little weird; Avery goes on a date; and Deacon literally drives his business partner to drink. Read on for the highlights of “If I Could Do It All Again.”

METHINKS HE DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH | Riff joining Luke’s tour has the intended effect: All of the tickets sell out, and Mr. Global Brand himself can’t wait to go wheels-up. Two problems quickly arise, though. 1) Riff is really out of practice at performing. 2) Riff is a really big jerk about it, blaming Luke’s band for his shortcomings and getting personal when his old friend tries to address the situation. He sniffs that he’s not going to practice with the guys for an upcoming show at The Beverly because he’s expected at his kid’s soccer game and “Unlike your kids, mine like having me around.” Wheelin’-dealin’ burn!

Nashville Season 4 Episode 13 RecapWhen Riff’s ego calms down, he admits to Luke that he still wants to go on the road, but he needs a lot of help getting back to the level of performance he was at when he retired. I hope Luke is paying his musicians top dollar, because they spiff Riff up until he’s in top form for his first comeback appearance at The Beverly. (Side note: When two reporters in the audience nod approvingly at each other as they scribble in their notebooks, so you know you’ve made it!)

Deacon also gets up on stage and loves his role as emcee during Riff’s Beverly show, and when people talk about him as though he’s the sole owner of the venue, he doesn’t do a lot to correct them — which will be a problem later. But first, let’s talk about Vita.

THE DEAL WITH THE STEAL | Rayna knows an easy way to determine whether the singer-songwriter took $500 from The Beverly’s till: She asks her, point-blank. And Vita looks Big Red straight in the eye and says no. Then she performs a tune she wrote, blowing Rayna and Bucky away with her soulfulness and the way she seems so much older than her years. Later, Vita tells Rayna that she and her sister were in the foster-care system for a really long time, and music was the only thing that saved her. The way Rayna’s eyes are saying, “Same girl, same” is a little ridiculous — yeah, you had a strict jerk for a dad, Ray; but this girl has basically had to fen for herself since she was Daphne’s age — but given what happens later, I’ll allow it.

Vita shows up for her shift at The Beverly, where Deacon greets her warmly and Frank gives her the stinkeye. It eventually gets to the point where Vita and Deke’s sponsor are yelling at each other about the missing $500, and she finally admits that she nipped it but was planning to pay it back. Upon learning the truth, Rayna visits Vita’s studio apartment on wheels for an explanation. Vita tells her she needed the cash to pay off some guys whom her sister owed or something, but it’s too late: Rayna sadly informs her that the Highway 65 contract isn’t going to happen. And later, when Rayna swings by the parking lot again, Vita is gone, her guitar is smashed into molecules on the pavement, and her car is torched.

Oh, and Frank lemonpusses his way all over The Beverly during Riff’s show — and especially when it seems like everyone thinks Deacon is God’s gift to bar-and-grill ownership — until his emotions get the better of him and he runs to the storeroom and has a drink.

TEENAGE DREAM | Elsewhere, Frank’s daughter Cash — who until recently seemed like a good-if-momentarily delusional (remember that comment about maturity?) influence on Maddie — suddenly seems way more into her friendship with a teenage girl than a well-adjusted young woman should be. One night at The Bluebird, she performs a song she wrote with Rayna’s older daughter, and though it’s really good and very catchy, it’s just racy enough to make Cole clutch his teenage pearls. (Side note: Though that phrase sounds vaguely dirty, it’s not.) He confronts Maddie about it, which turns into them arguing over whether or not music is a worthwhile endeavor, and they break up. Maddie laments this turn of events in teary conversations with Cash, leaving Daphne to feel very left out of her sister’s life.

A note on this storyline: As someone who was once an annoying teenage girl, I fully understand how someone like Maddie would become infatuated with someone like Cash. She’s cool. She’s slightly older but not old. She’s pretty. She has a career that Maddie wants to pursue, and — most importantly — she makes Maddie feel like what she says and thinks matters. To cranky adolescent ladies, there is no greater currency. So that part of the storyline rings really true to me (holler if you hear me, fellow 30-somethings), but because this is Nashville, I keep thinking that something horrible/outlandish is going to happen. Like Cash is going to pull an Emily Valentine and torch the homecoming float or something. SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME, CALLIE KHOURI?

AVERY ON THE MEND | Avery goes on a date with a single mom he meets at the playground. It makes him happier for a short while, but his inability to talk about anything other than Juliette makes her pump the brakes (kindly) on their hookup. Layla takes the news of Avery’s back-on-the-marketness badly, bitching at the staff during a photo shoot. Glenn sits her down, and I love the weariness in his voice as he uses all of the lessons learned while handling Juliette to calm this wannabe diva. “Let’s find out what you’re actually worried about, and we can nip this thing in the bud,” he tells her… and I also love the surprise on his face when she actually does what he says.

Being compared to Juliette — her sworn enemy — brings Ms. Grant up short, and she’s immediately contrite as she confesses that she’s kind of got feelings for Avery. Glenn advises her to recognize those feelings as griefy reboundish emotions and to ignore them. And while Glenn is awesome, I can’t help but feel as though Ju would’ve made far more low-level assistants cry before receiving his message. Layla, you can’t even bitch right.

MUSIC CITY GOINGS-ON | Gunnar and Scarlett decide to put both of their names on all of their songs, regardless of which of them actually wrote the song… Colt may enlist in the Army… Will is courted by a gay record label that wants him mainly because he’s hot and likes kissing boys. “Who I am is not a gay country singer,” he informs the label head. “I’m a country singer who happens to be gay.” Could’ve fooled me…

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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42 Comments
  1. angie says:

    Ugh to many newbies. I would have loved to see more scenes from our core characters. No offences but i hope they cut back on all these newbies. The episode was ok but not my fave.

    • Summer says:

      Agree! I love Nashville and I believe in this show but it needs to shift its focus to the core characters. Nashville’s got a stellar core cast but the show always manages to focus on new nine-day (or less) wonders that the viewers don’t care about, often because they don’t stay around long enough (or they are called ‘Riff’). Focus on the gold, Nashville. All that glitters is not gold!

  2. Jake L. says:

    Instead of producing his own album out of pocket, why doesn’t Will ask for a meeting with Rayna? He does remember that she wanted to sign him once upon a time before he went with big Edgehill instead, right? Since Edgehill no longer exists and the architect of that whole thing is dead and buried, I doubt very much that Rayna would care, I’m sure she would sign him and be supportive of him. I’m not sure why he didn’t do this immediately. He is certainly more trustworthy than Vita, and Rayna took a chance on her.

  3. Lauren says:

    Urgh, I am so sick of Maddies story lines. Until the last few weeks I havn’t minded, but it’s just terrible. On the bright side, if the show continues to waste so much time on her, I won’t be so disappointed if it does get cancelled.

  4. NM says:

    A nod to you Kimberly for the Beverley Hills, 90210 reference. 😉

  5. Larc says:

    Can’t help but wonder if Frank’s big swig from the bottle could have started an arc that ended with Vita’s torched car.

  6. Rob says:

    Whomever in the writer’s room that said, “You know what ‘Nashville’ needs more of? Poorly acted teenage angst!” needs to be fired from the staff and banned from writing television forever.

  7. Megan Brown says:

    Loooooved it, back on track, not soapy, more prime time tv!! More Deyna singing please. 5 more seasons at least please. Nashville country singing all the wayyyyy!!

  8. Jill says:

    I’m with the person who said too many newbies. Also, as much sense as it makes for Maddie to be infatuated with Cash, it makes absolutely no sense why a twenty-something would be hanging out with a 16 year old. I’ve been a 25 year old woman and believe me, the last thing I ever wanted to do at that point was hang out with a winey teenager. More Rayna/Deacon and once again, please get Will a better non-gay related storyline. Also, I can’t even with Layla, she just needs to go.

    • Velocisexual says:

      Well, regarding Maddie and Cash, I can think of a number of possible reasons why a Cash would want to hang out with Maddie:
      1. She likes being a mentor in someone’s life. I wouldn’t want that for myself, but I do know people in my life who take a degree of satisfaction from taking a mentor or older brother/sister role in a teenagers life.
      2. Maddie is the daughter of Raina James and Deacon Clayborn, being her best friend might have advantages for your own musical career.
      3. Maybe she thinks or recognizes Maddie is vastly more talented than she is and she’s trying to use her in the end.
      or even 4. She could be sexually/romantically interested? I highly doubt it and the show hasn’t yet shown me any inclination, but it could be possible?

      Of course there’s also the possibility they simply don’t have a reason and the writers are clueless ;)

      • I was wondering about your options 2 & 4. She is up to something. They whole “I am trusted to drive Maddie home” message was very territorial. Rayna and Deacon know Colt, so that really wasn’t the issue; it was more about driving a wedge. That same wedge is being used between the sisters – Cash is isolating Maddie. This is not mentorship, its something else entirely.

      • drhenning says:

        She’s played by Jessie Schram who always seems to be bad in the end..

  9. Claire says:

    I usually love Rayna, but I couldn’t help but feel like she came off as super out of touch with Vita’s situation. The girl said her sister’s life was in danger and she claimed she couldn’t take the risk, when we’ve seen her do a lot more for people who were deserving of less. Helping her into a shelter is the least she could do for someone she seemed to believe in.

    Looking forward to Juliet’s return next week, and along with it, hopefully the end of some of these boring filler arcs.

    • Megan Brown says:

      She will help her, but she’s had a rough trot with singers n their egos but our Rayna will shine thru

  10. SaraPo says:

    The Emily Valentine reference is the best thing I’ve seen so far today.

  11. steven says:

    Poor Daphne, always getting left out.

  12. Last week I didn’t think Frank was honest… so I have to eat crow there BUT I still don’t like what I am seeing. He is acting jealous, nasty and very teenagery (and we have enough of that with Maddie for 10 shows). I agree with everyone that said that they feel that Frank maybe torched that car. He is a sponsor for Cripesakes and he went off drinking cuz he had his feeling hurt for a few days…

    I loved that the Scarlett/Gunner thing was resolved easily and without drama. The more they sing together the better and drama with them always leads to less singing.

    I was happy that the Luke/Riff situation was resolved with minimal drama. That was an adult resolution.

    Maddie Maddie Maddie… UGH. This situation is nuts. Cash wants something out of this. Their friendship makes me uncomfortable. She is not a mentor… remember Juliette? She was a good mentor – for all her faults, she guided, spoke to Rayna, helped but was NEVER possessive. I don’t like what I think is gonna happen.

    Colt – he needed discipline and a routine and purpose. Looks like he found that at his grandpa’s. And joining the Army doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

    Luke needs to start singing again – I don’t care how… he just does AND Rayna is just there Luke – just look up. You lost that reminder when you didn’t go to the wedding.

    And Lalya – that was a great reminder on why I hated your character. Thank goodness Glenn stopped that in its tracks.

  13. wrstlgirl says:

    I don’t blame Frank for being pissed. Deacon is/was being a total arse. His drinking has me curious, hope they don’t just gloss over it as they do many other stories that never go anywhere. I could care less about anything having to do with Maddie, she’s just annoying. Poor Avery, Layla is totally playing him and I hate to see that, guy needs a break.

  14. e says:

    Can the writer please give Maddie a friend or two? She’s one of my favorite characters on this show. I hate seeing annoying self centered Maddie constantly making her cry. She makes the show unbearable at times.

  15. When the show runners decided that Maddie and Daphne needed to do more than sing their occasional and awesome duets, that is when Nashville started wasting ten minutes an episode on teenage angst. And few people, if any, are interested in that kind of story line, except maybe teenage girls. I think it is a show’s attempt to pull in a younger demographic but it mostly backfires, and turns off people who don’t want to watch such drivel. I call it the Dana Brody syndrome.

  16. shar says:

    These writers have ruined Nashville. Too many new characters. There needs to be more music. I am really up they are pulling Avery and Juliette apart. Not happy at all.

  17. iakovos says:

    Yes, lots of new NASHVILLE characters we have not been given time to invest in. That is likely because of Juliette’s absence. There is a need to keep the show moving without her. The Vita character is perplexing as we have no idea her connections to the core characters. And that Frank may be the one who is after her does not help. Who is Frank really? I miss the time it took on 1980s shows like DALLAS and KNOTS LANDING to develop characters — even minor ones — and storylines to a place where we were surprised, moved, or outraged! We could understand shifts in behavior or attitude. I still believe in NASHVILLE. If renewed, get Rayna and Juliette front and center as frenemies as they were in the earlier episodes. Rayna has lost her edge. Juliette has been MIA all season even when she was present. And round up the characters in tightly integrated story threads. Am tired of Luke and Will off in left field. And keep that fine music playing!

  18. Katy says:

    Maddie should lay off the spray tan.

  19. RichieS says:

    Who played Sienna, the girl Avery had the date with? She is really pretty and would make a good love interest for him.

  20. lorna says:

    Really? Blaming Deacon for Frank drinking? Smh. What a crap reviewer. Not saying Deacon and his glory were not a factor, but way to irresponsibly place the blame.

  21. Mrs Miller says:

    Okay, I have to say it: Between the massive ego, the jealous hissy fits, the violent tantrums, the pouting jags, the quivery need for constant reassurance from Mommy Rayna, steamrolling over his “partner” Frank at every turn, and so on… Can someone please remind me exactly WHY we’re supposed to like/root for Deacon? I swear he can be one of the most dislikeable “hero” characters to come along since Rachel Berry!

    • Megan Brown says:

      Ummmmmm, I like Deacon and Rayna heaps and like them together. I think Nashville mayb just isn’t a show 4 u?

  22. Shawn says:

    Wondering if Vita even has a “real” sister….split personality, maybe?