Juliette got caught, Deacon got dumped (again? probably?) and Gunnar got some in this week’s Nashville. Let’s review the sweet harmonies and dissonant chords of “We Live in Two Different Worlds.”
THE RIGHT CHOICE | The episode opens with Rayna and Deacon in bed, but it’s just Rayna dreaming: In her waking life, she’s still the vow-keeping, guitar-player-lusting-after politician’s wife we’ve come to know. When Rayna asks Tandy for an accurate assessment of Teddy’s mayoral campaign, her sister tells her what her husband won’t: He’s down 12 points in the polls, and things aren’t looking good. But maybe if Rayna would play his country club fundraiser… She agrees, even though that rarefied crowd is basically the mean girls she knew in high school, only now with Pilates bodies and more expensive shoes. Deacon agrees to do the gig with her, even though he’s supporting Teddy’s opponent, Coleman – who also happens to be his substance-abuse sponsor. (Side note: Did that blip of a revelation moment feel shoehorned in to you, too?)
ANOTHER WOMAN? | At a planning meeting before the event, Rayna comes face-to-face with Peggy, a former paramour of Teddy’s. (Bonus points to guest-star Kimberly Williams-Paisley for Peggy’s near-turnaround when she realized the famous redhead was in the room and for the least convincing casual “Heeeeeey!” to Teddy when he approached. Heh.) The seemingly polite way Peggy and Rayna interact, even though it’s clear they have no desire to breathe the same air, supports my belief that I wouldn’t last a minute in Nashville’s upper social circle. Those women would eat me alive, saying “Bless her heart” all the while. Know who else isn’t cut out for that company? Deacon, who shows up late-ish for the $1,400-a-plate fundraiser (watching Rayna’s nervous skittering around the dressing room, however, was worth it) and then gets into a pissing match with Teddy. Deacon (kinda creepily) stares at Teddy throughout the first song, but he’s not the only one: Peggy’s trying to catch the candidate’s eye from across the room. He shakes his head at her – perhaps to indicate that now is not the time? – but we’ll deal with that in a minute. After the performance, Rayna and Deacon have another one of their incredibly vague, double-meaning-stuffed conversations. She says she can’t believe he “put us in this position,” to which he responds, “Which ‘us’?” Time out for a minute: I get that now Teddy and Deacon are hating each other out in the open rather than behind each other’s backs, but that doesn’t feel like enough of a change in the status quo to warrant the break-up scene that follows. (Also, Rayna and Deacon had a similar scene in last week’s episode and they still performed together in this week’s, so…) I come close to forgiving any discrepancies, though, when Rayna insists to Deacon, “I do need you,” and Connie Britton’s throat closes on the words. It’s heartbreaking, y’all. Later, Raya tells an angry Teddy she’s going to fire Deacon. She doesn’t know, though, about her hubby’s secret meeting with Peggy. During the exchange, they both vaguely refer to their predicament as “this,” which might mean an affair or their mutual involvement in his shady financial deal or a little of both. She suggests coming clean, he says no. Dollars to doughnuts, Lamar already knows everything and is waiting for the right moment to crack that illicit little egg wide open.
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING | The smartphone video of Juliette pilfering a bottle of nail polish has gone viral, leading the Nashville police to put out a warrant for her arrest (which she laughs off as she shuts the door in the officers’ faces) and her publicist to swoop in for some damage control. Ms. Barnes, however, doesn’t think she needs any help. “I have a tour to prepare for, and that’s exactly what I’mma do,” she brattily informs her entourage as she engages in some yoga poses on her patio. “Namaste.” (Heh.) But when the CMA Awards boot her from the presenters’ list, she starts to realize that stuff is getting real. So she agrees to a satellite interview with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts (aw, hi Robin! Get well soon!). The opportunity to salvage her image turns into a publicist’s nightmare when a prim and de-cleavaged Juliette refuses to admit any wrongdoing during the piece. “Actually, there’s a very simple explanation for it. Everybody wants to be young and famous and rich, and I am. And people are very jealous,” she tells Roberts, who’s taken aback and then goes for the big guns: a question about Juliette’s mom Jolene and her arrest for drug possession. “This interview is over,” Juju says, ripping the microphone off and getting up from the chair. Not smart, little blonde one: Glenn informs her that her sponsors are dropping her left and right, and that the tour probably won’t happen. Jolene tries to perk up her daughter with some “pink macaroni” as she sadly scrolls through her Twitter feed. (Side note: I love that her account is @JulietteBarnes2. In real life, the @JulietteBarnes account is a parody feed; on the show, though, I like to imagine that Juju threw a chair-tossing fit when she realized her people hadn’t acted fast enough to secure the handle.) (Another side note: I, like Juliette, want to pretend that I’d never eat macaroni mixed with cream cheese and ketchup. And I, like Juliette, would probably plow through that casserole dish during a low moment.) Juliette unleashes on her mother, accusing her of casing the house for stuff she can sell. She even dumps the contents of Jolene’s backpack on the floor, where she finds a crumpled old photo of the two of them, taken when Juliette was a baby. It reduces both of them to angry sobs. Later, Glenn tries to disengage himself from Juliette’s employ, but she promises to be a good girl if he’ll stay. He agrees, and she calls Deacon to see if he wants to have sad sex hang out.
IN WHICH AVERY CONTINUES TO MAKE ME HATE HIM | Scarlett and Gunnar get a music-writing deal – yay! – and start their job at the publishing house, where they meet Hailey, assistant to their boss Jeanne. Gunnar and Hailey flirt it up, and at a group dinner that night – are music industry assistants routinely invited out to fancy dinners? – everyone pays close attention to Scarlett as she talks about her lyric-writing process. Everyone, that is, except for her boyfriend. Noticing that Avery’s chafing at the lack of attention, Scar generously throws a few bouquets at his feet by mentioning his band’s regular gig at The Five Spot. He then picks up those bouquets and verbally thrashes her with them, shrugging off the kudos and then exploding at her in the parking lot. There are few things more agonizing/angering than listening to Scarlett call him “baby” in that situation: Half of me wants to hug her, half of me wants to tell her to man up and kick him to the Music City curb. Also, I covet her pretty, lacy dress. Gunnar and Hailey skip the drama and go get a drink, ending the evening (and next morning) in his bed. She tells him that it’s a one-time thing and he replies, “If I didn’t have firsthand proof to the contrary, I’d accuse you of being a dude.” Oof – Sam Palladio is pretty and talented, but even he couldn’t save that clunky line. Outside, Scarlett pulls up in front of the apartment just in time to see him and Hailey walk out together. Ouch. It’s okay, honey. Go write a song about it.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? How about “Changing Ground,” the song Rayna and Deacon performed at the country club? And what are your theories on Teddy’s involvement with Peggy? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots