Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 5 Love Hurts

Nashville Recap: Was That Guy Rayna's Stalker?

Need to catch up? Check out the previous Nashville recap here. 


Damien —

Great to have you in Nashville this week, love your work, happy to see you directing Scarlett and Gunnar’s new video. One thing: Rayna and I were talking, and I just wanted to touch base about a couple of line items in this bill your people submitted to Highway 65 for The Exes music video.

While I’m sure that “man-bun specialist” and “smeared lipstick remover” are perfectly respectful jobs, some of these peoples’ rates are a bit higher than what we’re comfortable with. This “wind stylist,” for instance. Yes, I know she’s good. I know she’s Beyoncé’s preferred fan-holder (if that other guy is already booked). I know you waxed poetic for 15 minutes at craft services about how she elevated Scarlett’s performance to a “crazy new level” by aiming a fan at her face for hours at a time. I’m just saying, $250 an hour?

Speaking of Scarlett, she’s still rather unsettled by your pretty ridiculous — I mean, artistically constructive — comments about her clothes, looks, relationship and sexuality. She’s also not jazzed about crawling down a dinner table in a $4,000 dress that barely covered her… talents. What was going on there? And Gunnar’s not happy that you got him drunk and unearthed his relationship secrets, but I’ve been at a bar with that guy: Buy him a Bud Light and he’ll start spilling details after the second sip.

Anyway, we’d appreciate it if your people could review the charges and see whether there is any way to reduce them; those handcuffs that held Gunnar to the bed, for instance, can probably be returned for a full refund to the Luv Boutique or wherever you got them. If you need any assistance, you can get in touch with our numbers guy.

I’ve gotta go — there’s this whole other issue I’m handling with Rayna and some letters, and it’s becoming a thing.

Looking forward to your reply,


Read on as we recap the highlights of “Love Hurts.”

WELL, NOT ALL OF ME | We open mid-shoot for The Exes’ “All of Me” video, which is taking place in historic Riverwood Mansion. Scarlett comes out in a really gorgeous white dress that looks like a nightgown — but the director, Damien, wants a lower neckline. He also seems to want to know how Scarlett’s collarbones feel, given the way he’s suddenly got his hands on her.

Gunnar, in case you were wondering, is wearing a tuxedo, guyliner and all of the hair goop in Davidson County. Pretty soon, the pair is enveloped in Damien’s vision for the song, which seems like The Great Gatsby meets Mad Love. During taping, Scarlett crawls down a fully set dinner table like a housecat on Thanksgiving evening. Scarlett hurls glassware at Gunnar’s greased head. (Guys, I can’t get over Gunnar’s look for this video. It makes me giddy.) Eventually, Scarlett gets so mad, she “acts” slapping Gunnar in the face… by actually slapping Gunnar in the face.

After they wrap for the day, Gunnar agrees to go out for a drink with Damien, “as long as it’s cool with Scarlett?” he asks, shooting a look at her. Duuuude, you should know the answer to this one by now! She basically tells him to do whatever he wants (which of course means the exact opposite), and he takes off to drunkenly tell Damien all about their on-again, off-again romance. “She never thinks about herself,” Gunny says. “And that gives you license to be selfish?” Damien prods. “Sometimes,” Gunnar admits.

Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 5TRUST THE PROCESS? | The following day’s shoot goes even worse, starting when Scarlett flits around a ballroom dancing scene. Damien calls “Cut!,” and I desperately hope it’s because he’s going to lob a man-bun off one of the extras, but nope. She says she can’t move the way that he wants her to. He advises her, a little roughly, to own her sensual side. And while I do think Scarlett is being a little hide-under-the-piano about all of this, I love when she shoots back, “You’re not a shrink. You’re just some dude with screwed-up views about women all being secret sexpots and it’s your spiritual journey to awaken all of us.”

Things get uglier — when Scarlett refuses to shoot any more, Damien has his camera guy destroy the footage they’ve already got — and then she stomps off, with Gunnar in tow. “Maybe it’s OK to push the envelope,” Gunny says gently. “There’s no harm in cutting loose.” GUYS, GUNNAR AND I AGREE ON SOMETHING. I HAVE TO GO LAY DOWN. But he affirms that he’ll walk away from the shoot if she does… though I think Rayna might have something to $ay about that?

Scarlett eventually goes back to the shoot, after Damien promises “there’s a method to my madness.” Rayna and Zach show up to watch, but when Rayna notes that Scarlett isn’t having a good time, Zach dismisses her concerns and tells her to trust the process. Hmm, might this be a taste of their working relationship moving forward?

When Gunnar and Scarlett get to the video’s sex scene — which features Gunnar chained to a bed — Scar balks at the scene. Then Damien starts yelling at her about why she’s not famous and how she still folds Gunnar’s socks, even though he’s screwed around with half of Music City, and she gets super worked up — apparently, that was Damien’s plan the whole time. The cameras roll and Scarlett unleashes her newly found she-beast, which looks a lot like fogging up a mirror with her breath and doing perfume-ad poses. Whatever floats yer boat, honey.

The video shoot ends. Damien says Scarlett will thank him when she sees the finished product. At home, Scarlett says she doesn’t want Gunnar to tell randos about their romantic history, because she doesn’t want people to think she’s weak for taking him back.

CLAY’S SECRET | Maddie’s flirtation with Clay continues, and he seems like her back. He takes her to a little club where he’s called up on stage and performs a song called “Before You” that he essentially sings right to Maddie, and her face all but turns into the heart-eyes emoji.

Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 5

But every time she kisses him, he pulls away, citing the difference in their ages and in the colors of their skin. “People do it everyday,” she says, referring to interracial dating, and with the naivete only a white teen girl can bring to this particular party, she adds, “It’s not that hard.” He immediately calls her on that, saying, “You grew up in your big house, and you’re gonna tell me how the world works?”

Maddie seeks out Juliette’s advice, and she gets some wise counsel from the Queen of Bad Decisions herself: “Screwed-up men are sexy, don’t ask me why, until they’re not.” PREACH. Meanwhile, two jerks pick a fight with Clay, who’s performing on the street, and they beat the bejesus out of him. Maddie eventually goes to his place, where he collapses. She waits for him in the emergency room, only to have him be standoffish upon being released from the hospital.

Later, Maddie correctly surmises that her new guy is bipolar. Clay confirms, then adds that he doesn’t take his meds, because he can’t write music while he’s on them. She’s undaunted by this new information, God bless her and her passionate, stupid adolescent self. But Clay says there’s no future for them.

The next morning, no sooner has Maddie filled her parents in on her brief romance than there’s a visitor at the door: It’s Clay, in a sportscoat (aww), there to introduce himself to her parents and do things properly. Maddie is overjoyed, and Rayna and Deacon look impressed.

IS THIS THE GUY? | When Rayna realizes that her little box is missing from her desk, she and Bucky find it among Randall’s things. He immediately confesses, crying to Rayna that he only took the memento because he wanted his mom to think that he and Ray were pals. He’s very pathetic, but he’s not her stalker: When Bucky asks him to write some sentences on a pad, the handwriting doesn’t match the letters — now there are four or five of them — that Rayna’s received.

But the mystery seemingly ends in the episode’s final moments, when a loud and kinda unhinged-sounding guy shows up at Highway 65, brandishing more letters for Big Red and shouting that he was afraid she hadn’t gotten his other ones. Just before we cut to credits, a freaked-out Rayna yells for someone to call the cops.

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. lisa says:

    I am really enjoying the more music the show has going on! Stalker thing is creeping me out. Is this how they are SPOILER ALERT …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. write out Rayna?

    I With Maddie and her new dude, there are for sure still (in this day and age) issues that come along with interracial and intercultural (a bigger hurdle) dating. But I hope the show does not go overboard like they did with Luke being gay. By overboar dI mean the show depicting the public reacting like it is 1970s.

  2. Jason says:

    Really liking Clay and Maddie so far but that poor girl is gonna get herself hurt so bad

  3. Frances says:

    Where was Avery and why was Juliette on screen for 45 seconds. Why are they focusing so much on Maddie instead. I thought Hayden was one of the two leading actresses in this show yet she’s barely been in it. I’m not enjoying this new format at all.

    • Nick says:

      Ditto: I thought the new showrunners got the message from fans that they were sick of the Maddie story lines. Enough of the teenage angst. I would much rather see them expand the Avery/Juliette story and please give Deacon something to do other than pout about being Rayna’s invisible man. Give some of these complex characters story lines to match and please just get back to the Stella sisters making music together. I much prefer their singing to their acting.

  4. Timothy Thompson says:

    Come on writers, how many social issues can you cram down our throats in one hour!!! I mean, interracial marriage, mental illness, homosexual relations, sexual hangups, whites beating up blacks,etc. All important issues but waàay too much for one episode.

    • Jason says:

      sounds like you’re uncomfortable hearing about those things. which is pretty telling about yourself

      • E. D. Boddy says:

        He said nothing even close to that. It sounds like you just want to preen about how wonderful you are. And you failed miserably.

  5. Ally says:

    “Oh Lordy!” (quoting Rayna) I love this show and loved the start of this new season but I didn’t like this episode at all. First, I don’t understand why so much time was spent focusing on filming Scarlett and Gunnar’s awfully fake music video. Half of those scenes would have been more than enough to get the message across.
    The rest of this precious screen time could have been devoted to Rayna and Deacon because we have hardly seen these two together for the past three (!) episodes. Dear CMT, Nashville writers and producers, Rayna and Deacon are PURE GOLD and they deserve more screen time. Please give them more than a split second scene together! We want to see more of them and we’d happily watch them being all cuddly and domestic at home, doing mundane things or writing new music. On that note, what’s happening with their concept album? Are they still thinking about that or have they started writing? We’d love to know and see more of their creative process.
    Also, this new Maddie storyline makes me cringe. We’ve all had to stomach enough spoiled-brat-Maddie-teenage-angst last season, and to be honest it still hurts, so please CMT don’t make us go down that road again. Once but never again. Having said that, we love to hear Maddie (and Daphne) sing. So, to end on a positive note: Maddie’s song was beautiful.

    • Sally says:

      This. All of this.

    • Bonnie W says:

      Agree totally!

    • M says:

      Yup!!! What was the whole point to the Scarlett and Gunnar plot?? Don’t care to watch Maddie and her issues. I thought that was established last year when viewers rebuffed the Maddie emancipation story line!!! Deacon and Rayna and Juliettte is where the focus should be!!!

    • Jim says:

      Because Clare Bowen and that dress. Hot damn.

    • Amy says:

      I wrote a whole response to the above and the site crashed (argh…happens a lot here, is it because I’m on my iPad?)…anyway…Everything Ally said. I’ve been a huge supporter of Nashville CMT, but I hated this episode. I came here immediately after to see if it was just me, and apparently it’s not. Ugh. Didn’t feel like “our Nashville”…Hated the video thing, which seemed like “what? Whyy?”…which dominated the show and turned Scar & Gunnar into something else…it had no point to me. And yes, to someone below who says it lost Scarlett’s charm. The quirky wisdom (all her old scenees setting Uncle Deacon straight with humor)…
      I don’t know how to put into words, and want to post before page crashes again…but this episode sucked for many reasons. The stereotypical characters like the racist jerks…that was like old-school ABC shallow “types” making some point. On the other hand, I also don’t want Nashville becoming “Nashville-something”…too “arty”, cerebral ugh. This episode just seemed disjointed and foreign. posting before this crashes…

      • Amy says:

        site crashed right after I posted again fyi…?
        Too bad, too hard to comment here..
        Anyway, something felt empty and not Nashville…so sufficed to say it missed the mark all over the place for me…and not enough follow-through to storylines, not enough main characters “in character”…I don’t know why but all of the writing and characters are feeling kind of shallow compared to before…I’m sorry CMT…not sure why…just not feeling it..still supporting and hoping it hits it’s stride again. Don’t make Scar bitchy, whiny again. ..and pleasssse don’t let her turn all “edgey” and have some kinky fling with that idiot video director. ugh.

        • S says:

          I agree with you Amy (and everyone else in this sub-thread), I wasn’t feeling it either. This is not the Nashville that we know and love. I share your hope (below) that the new show runners will respect the integrity of the characters we all have taken to our hearts. No need to reinvent them. We love them as they are.
          The Scarlett-Gunnar music video was a complete waste of time. Such a disappointment. I agree with Ally that the focus should be more on Deacon and Rayna together because they’re the heart of the story and we haven’t seen much of them (together) for the past few episodes. Juliette also deserves to be in that the focus but at least her storyline was central in the previous two episodes.
          And also, why is Rayna so passive when it comes to Zach’s crazy ideas? Where’s her strong sassy side? We love and miss the ‘you can kiss my decision as it’s walking out the door’ Rayna!

      • Amy says:

        Site crashed 3 more times…I give up.

  6. steven says:

    Are they ever going to get back to that storyline involving Deacon’s bar?

  7. Iakovos says:

    Loving the NASHVILLE reboot. The stalker storyline is taking some time which is good. Part of the excitement in the telling of the tale are the red herrings and suspense. I am guessing the loud man at the need of the episode is not the stalker. The story would only work if Rayna finds herself in danger. We are not there yet. More and more, please!

  8. Susie Shelton says:

    Scarlet is being asked to perform in a way that goes against her personal character and I am fearful it will change her and take away that pure innocent character. It will attract a certain group of people to this wild and edgy script, but it will lose many people because their attraction to scarlet and gunnar was their purity not the edgy version. They are the xxx’s not the xxx-rated version.

    • Amy says:

      I agree 100%! Please don’t make Scarlett “edgy” or also don’t go back to her ‘fragile artist” miserable self…
      Please keep the integrity of the characters we all came to love and the reason we wanted Nashville to continue and go back to Season 1 things that made it so good and rebuild on THAT. The MUSIC, the depth of characters, the HEART, the human drama.
      Please don’t “reinvent” it changing the characters to fit some demo you are chasing CMT..also don’t preach to me with social issues each show (no I don’t have a problem facing social ills, I just don’t want it in my escape/entertainment…there’s enough CNN/Fox 24/7 for that.) Besides…a show like Nashville cannot give enough to these issues, so it just comes off as it did this show…shallow stereotypical.
      I’m still going to support this CMT reboot…but I sure hope it hits it’s old stride of Season 1 soon and doesn’t become a vehicle for the new show-runners to get too edgy, arty, I mean 30-something was ground-breaking then…but it’s a new day…and Nashville is a completely different show…they need to build on the elements that made Nashville different and awesome.

    • Amy says:

      oops, forgot to say…whatever they do, I hope they are not angling toward a “she doth protest too much” fling for Scar with this scheevy video director as he tries to “dig out her deep sexual self” for her. ugh. Please…just NO.

    • Naisu says:

      I’m so angry with Scarlett in this episode . Her whole “victim” complex with Gunnar is so getting out of hand. He’s never cheated he’s always been there for her even when she’s been pretty horrible to him. Ugh they ruined her character for me. She’s just becoming her mother.

      • Finally ! I was starting to think I missed something. Gunner has NEVER cheated on Scarlett. I don’t understand where that comment about her being weak for taking him back came from. Far as I know Gunner is the one who endures the most when it comes to Scarlet. I wish he’d call her out every once in a while. As its going now I think I’m starting to like her character less and less. Kind of hoping she does cheat with that director guy at least then she can finally come down off her moral high horse !

  9. K.D.S. says:

    I can’t believe i’m saying that, but i actually enjoy Maddie and her storyline this season.

    • Susan says:

      I AGREE and can’t believe I’m saying it either. It seems they write the same drama for Juliette and why does ‘wimpy Avery’ take her back she does NOT deserve him.

  10. Debby says:

    Let’s finish up some of those old storylines. What happened with Deacon’s bar? More focus on Deacon and Rayna. You’re losing us on all these storylines that you’re throwing at us. It’s like the writers don’t know which way they’re going and they’re running in circles. The old show was so good please don’t ruin it by going off in all different directions. Tell good stories.

  11. I say it every week. I’m loving Nashville on CMT. Great episode. I haven’t found Scarlett this interesting since she had a meltdown on stage. I’m loving Rayna, her honeymoon-at-home with Deacon and her stalker story.
    One problem in this episode was the lack of Juliette. Maddie’s screentime should have been cut in half (at least) and Juliette’s should have been doubled (at least).
    Clay is really cute but I’m scared of where this storyline’s going. It’s too much too soon with him. I can’t believe we’re being thrust into another intense storyline with Maddie. I wish she stayed in the background picking up the phone, fetching lattes and writing songs in her room. The actress is lovely but after last season, we need to ease into any Maddie-related drama, not smacked in the face with it.

  12. mswildy says:

    Enjoyed Maddie with Juliette, Maddie with Clay, Deacon-Rayna as parents- BUT: This is the first time I’ve felt “yucky” after watching Nashville. Watching S&G have their song turning into a mean-nasty fantasy was just crazy. Did Rayna not see the script? I’ve heard that song, and it’s lovely and lilting — it’s not about tying someone to a bed to seduce him! Yuck! What a nutty situation… and I agree, so much time was spent to make the same point… were the writers as much in thrall with Damien as the characters seem to be?

    Little side notes (since there was a little on the side, after all) – loved Juliette’s advice, how could you not? I like the thread of Clay and Maddie, it allows a lot to be said …but oh dear, why did they make him so much older than she is? 24 year olds should simply not find 17 year olds that interesting. :)