Nashville Recap: Sisters, Doin' It For Themselves

Rayna, Juliette and Scarlett each took a definitive step toward securing their futures in this week’s episode of Nashville, regardless of how their decisions affected some of their closest loved ones. Hey, a country girl’s gotta do what a country girl’s gotta do, right? Let’s review the major developments of “Move It On Over.”

MAMA DRAMA | The episode opens at the recording studio, where Juliette has kept her band laying down tracks all night long. Makena meets up with Deacon and Glenn in the hallway and offers them some much-needed coffee. Deacon must’ve ordered his latte with extra exposition, because we quickly (and clunkily) learn that Juju is avoiding her trainwreck of a mother, who has to stay at Juliette’s house – or go to rehab – until her sentencing hearing. And then, just in case we didn’t get it, Deacon intones, “The problem is, she doesn’t wanna go home.” Eesh. He offers to help Juliette get Jolene into rehab, but she refuses and says she’s just going to run out the clock on her mother’s stay. “That’s your big plan?” he asks dubiously. She answers in the affirmative but then reconsiders after finding her mom passed out in bed, amid empty pill and booze bottles, with some random greasy guy. Juliette tosses the dude from her house and then engages in a fight with her mom – who’s wearing a tank top and undies — on the front lawn for all the neighbors to see. (Side note: Do you think Jolene’s little half-trip on the way back into the house was planned? I hope so. It’s like she can’t even get in a good dig at her kid without somehow screwing it up.)

When Juliette laments that she’s tried to get her mom clean umpteen times, bodyguard Bo offers, “Maybe she can’t hear it from you anymore,” then promptly skedaddles right out of the scene. OK, time out: I’m fine with bodyguards offering important context and/or perspective for their rich pinhead employers, such as The Newsroom‘s Lonny does for Will, but have we even heard this Bo talk before? It would’ve been nice to see a little more interaction between Ju and her hired gun before now is all I’m saying. Time in! At Ju’s call, Deacon swings by to coax Jolene into going to rehab. It takes, like, five minutes. Maybe Intervention should start adding country stars to their counseling staff. In all honesty, if Deacon showed up in my living room all southern earnestness and warm, gravelly voice, I’d probably go anywhere he asked, too. Mama Barnes tweaks a bit upon arrival at the facility – she slaps Juliette, and Deke has to take some pills away from her – but she’s successfully checked in. Juliette tries to “thank” Deacon by kissing him, but he pulls away and advises her to spend some time alone putting all of her troubles “in the rearview mirror” – advice he might wanna follow himself later in the hour. By the end of the ep, she tells her assistant she wants to start fresh in a new house and… totally moves into Nolan’s old place from Revenge! (Yes? No? Tell me if I’m right in the comments.)

SELL OUT WITH ME TONIGHT | Rayna’s got a list of things she will not do, and a tour with Deacon and a greatest hits album are No. 1 and 2. But taking part in commercials apparently is no longer verboten, mainly because her family is broke. So we watch Rayna twirl in a very pretty crimson dress as she sings about American beauty, and the commercial’s going along swimmingly until she gets word that Deacon’s not cool with the lyrical tweak necessary to hawk a line of beauty products. She tries to change his mind but he sticks firm, so she retaliates by bringing up his recent time spent in Ms. Barnes’ presence. Their exchange isn’t exactly a rehash of the break-up conversation we’ve seen a bunch of times already, but it’s close enough. Fish or cut bait, kids! Rayna then decides that she doesn’t need a new writing partner, because she’s going to compose some tunes all on her own. I certainly hope the one she writes by the end of the episode is as good as Watty thinks it is, because the Jaymes/Conrad household may have some gigantic legal bills to pay in the near future. Teddy, who’s still not doing well in the polls, confesses to Lamar that he embezzled $2 million from the credit union – via Peggy – to cover debts on the busted Cumberland Project. Though they paid the money back, the credit union’s audit has Pegs wanting to go to the feds before the feds find out on their own. And for the record, Teddy tells Lamar, he and Peggy didn’t sleep together. Rayna’s pop says he’ll take care of it all… and later, we see a photographer surreptitiously shooting pics of Peggy and Teddy’s affectionate-yet-platonic meeting. (Side note: They were literally under a street lamp. What, all the shady back alleys were full up?) In the meantime, Deacon gives the pills he confiscated from Jolene to his sponsor Coleman. “There’s seven in there. I counted them all night,” he says, agitated. (Also of note: We learn that though Rayna put Deacon into rehab years ago, it was Coleman who actually brought him to the center.) Later at The Bluebird, after singing a song that is totally not about Rayna y’all, he and a heckler get into parking lot fisticuffs that land Deacon in the clink. (I loved that moment when he’s on the ground and makes the conscious decision to slug it out.) Rayna declines his one phone call (ouch) but Juliette posts bail, because that’s what friends with benefits do. During a break at a 12-step meeting, Deacon gets past his anger and calls his lawyer: He’s granting Rayna permission to use their song to hawk wrinkle cream or whatever.

NEED YOU NOW (TO STOP SCREWING THINGS UP FOR ME) | Jeanne gets Gunnar and Scarlett the opportunity to perform one of their songs for Lady Antebellum’s producer, provided they can get another guitarist to “round out” their sound. Avery volunteers and acts like he’s doing Scarlett a huge favor, then totally pulls focus by going rogue and turning their simple love ballad into a vehicle for his guitar solo. He all but does the Chuck Berry duck walk, and no one’s happy afterward. Gunnar confronts him post-performance – and Scarlett overhears – but she makes it clear to her writing partner that she’s with Avery. After Lady A’s producer passes on the song though, mainly because of Avery’s showboating, Scarlett (finally!) lays into her insecure boyfriend. Clare Bowen does a nice job of mixing Scar’s anger, disappointment and sadness with a very welcome dose of you-will-not-ruin-my-fledgling-career. “I don’t want to be this couple that fights all the time,” Avery tells her, and for once, he and I agree: I don’t want you two to be a couple, period. Elsewhere, Gunnar tells Hailey the “uncomplicated” hook-up they’ve got going won’t work, because he really likes her. Hmm. Any of that devotion fueled by Scarlett’s line in the sand, Gunny?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of this week’s episode? What’s your speculation about Teddy’s dad? Do you have any hope that Jolene will actually get clean? And does Avery have any redeeming qualities? Sound off in the comments!