Nashville Recap: A Total Score and a Minor Snore

Rayna gets wasted in this week’s episode of Nashville, and yet hers is still the storyline you could nap through and not miss a thing. (How is that even possible?) Meanwhile, Juliette courts a squeaky-clean QB, and the mayor’s race is about to get ugly. Let’s review the major developments in “You’re Gonna Change (or I’m Gonna Leave).”

COUGAR TOWN | When you’ve got a bad boyfriend, you’re always very aware of his mood – so when Avery’s feeling good about his band’s chances of opening for The Lumineers during their Nashville tour stop, Scarlett’s happy. And though Avery and his band’s Five Spot set includes a Doors-y song that (despite my hatred for his slick-headed self) is actually pretty awesome, they don’t get the gig. Avery is, however, approached by Marilyn Rhodes, an aggressive manager who claims she can hook him up with the right people to launch his career. She makes it clear, right from the get-go, that’s she’s a total cougar – though Scarlett seems shocked when Deacon has to spell it out for her: Marilyn likes her artists male, under 30, hot and willing to put in a little time in the sack. (Scar, honey? Please use your first royalty check to buy a clue.) Knowing full well what’s going to go down, Avery meets with Marilyn one night and macks a bit before pulling away and heading home to his lady… who’s packing her suitcase. She demands to know if he let Marilyn manage him, if you catch my drift. Avery’s protest is loud and long, and it makes Scarlett’s mind up for her. “When you tell the truth, I can’t get two words out of you,” she tells him angrily. “When you’re lyin’, you can’t shut up.” Ha!

Avery cops to going over to Marilyn’s with full knowledge of what she expected, but then tries to curry favor by pointing out that he bolted before the randy manager could unbuckle his belt. Yeah, we know you want credit, Avery, but the Bank of Scarlett is closed for the evening. The next morning, she shows up at Uncle Deacon’s with her bag and puffy eyes and asks if she can stay there for a while. My favorite part of this scene? The way Deacon just picks at his guitar and acts like this was a foregone conclusion the whole time. Because it was.

TEBOW MY GOODNESS | Juliette spends most of the episode bitching about all the things she has to do to boost her image – whatever happened to her promise to Glenn that she’d do anything it took to salvage the tour? Anyway, I don’t really care as long as Nashville keeps giving us moments like the one where a lemur dives into Hayden Panettiere’s hair like it’s a fluffy feather mattress. The animal photo op takes place at a zoo charity event hosted by a clean-livin’ NFL quarterback named Sean Butler, and soon Makena sets up a little date for the pair in the hopes that Sean’s saintly aura will rub off on her devilish client. (A moment, please, for a meeting of the Makena Admiration Society. She is awesome – possibly my favorite character in this whole shebang – because she brooks none of Juliette’s ridiculousness and returns her sass in equal measure. Let’s hope her client is taking a note or two.) Juliette and Tim Tebow Sean share a meal, during which she reams the Number 1 draft pick about his crappy record for the season. Then all of a sudden, she decides she likes him and they hop on her private jet for a jaunt to South Beach. (You might think that I condensed that for recap purposes, but no. The entire process takes about as long to happen as it did for you to just read that sentence.)

On the plane, Sean surprises JuJu (and me) by picking up her guitar and performing a few bars of her hit, “Love Like Mine.” She joins in with the harmonies and OK, it’s a little cute, though I was secretly hoping he’d come out with something supremely awful like Jerry O’Connell’s “Cush-lash” ditty from Jerry Maguire. They go to a Miami club that even my Nana would call totally average, but Sean thinks it’s a crazy scene. He’s wholesome, y’all! On the way out, though, a paparazzo appears and Juliette freaks out. Um, isn’t this situation the entire reason they’re hanging out? Sean pushes the guy, who falls but still manages to snap a few shots of the football player looking totally wasted (though he wasn’t). Juliette later buys the pics from the guy for $25,000, which stops them from hitting the media and earns her a proper ask-out from the earnest young athlete.

DRIVING WHILE COLEMAN | Lamar pulls a few strings to get Coleman pulled over for a traffic violation while on the way to a publicity event related to the mayoral campaign. But Teddy’s campaign gets an unexpected windfall of luck when the cops conduct a routine search of the car and find Jolene’s pills, which Deacon handed off to his sponsor in the previous episode. (Side note: Why didn’t Coleman flush those suckers right away? Seems odd.) Long story short: Teddy’s now got a much greater chance at winning the election… but he doesn’t know what we do: that the photographer that caught him and Peggy together was working for Coleman, who’s convinced that the two are carrying on an affair. Coleman doesn’t want to ruin Rayna and Teddy’s marriage, but his wife points out that he doesn’t owe that backstabbing family a darn thing.

WILD TURKEYS COULDN’T DRAG HER AWAY | Rayna and Bucky love her new jam, but Marshall at the record label does not. And after winning over a reluctant rock producer who initially calls her sound “moms and SUVs,” she shoots whiskey with him and records a track that… Marshall still hates. Anyone else feel like Connie Britton – who still manages to kill it as hungover Rayna realizes that she hasn’t made cupcakes for the “friggin’ fall festival” (ha!) at school – doesn’t have all that much to do in the show she headlines?

Now it’s your turn. Do you think Scarlett and Avery are done for good? Is another Deacon/Rayna break-up talk preferable to watching him clean out his gutters and sit on his porch?  And couldn’t the episode have used a smidge more Gunnar? Hit the comments and sound off!