Nashville Recap: Wedding-Bell Blues

CONNIE BRITTON, HAYDEN PANETTIERELadies and gentlemen, Nashville‘s Rayna-Juliette tour is on. But before the two country gals can hit the road, there are just a few little details to wrap up. Like Juliette yoking herself to one man for the rest of her life. And the paternity of Rayna’s elder daughter. Y’know, miniscule stuff. Elsewhere, Deacon’s in a weird place, and Scarlett vacillates between a very poor decision and a very good one. Turn your amplifiers up to 11, and let’s review the major developments of “Be Careful of Stones That You Throw.”

MRS. SEAN BUTLER? | As the episode opens, Juliette is running quite late for a session to record “Wrong Song” vocals with Rayna. Turns out, it’s because Sean apparently agreed to her candlelit proposal; they’ve wed, and she’s making short work of his chastity vow in the back of a limo. When she finally does arrive at the studio, she proudly flashes her diamond around. Glenn is shocked. “Y’all should communicate better,” Rayna drawls. (Ha!) The ladies have a moment alone, and Juliette asks Rayna why she’s agreed to go on tour when she hates her. “I only hate sunburns and hangovers. This is business,” Ms. Jaymes replies. When they’re done, Juju goes home… where she finds Sean and his highly ticked-off parents.

The Butlers have to accept their son’s choice, they realize, but they want a big church wedding in the very near future as a means of puting a patina of respectability on the whole ridiculous affair. Juliette acts like they’re trying to schedule brunch. “I have to go on tour on Sunday,” she says, earning even more of Mama Butler’s ire. They all agree on Saturday, but Sean’s still not happy that he and his wife will spend exactly two days together in the next few months. Juliette assures him all will be well: “We’re just gonna hook up when we can and sext in between, and we’ll be fine.” (If you guys are writing your own vows, Juliette, you might want to jot that down. It’s gold.)

Meanwhile, Sean’s mom is still giving Juju the stinkeye. I love when Juliette tries to claim victory by asserting her place in the Butler family, despite his mother saying it would never happen. “Oh honey, eloping with my son is not the same thing,” her mother-in-law replies. Were Ju not holding a super cute studded clutch, she’d probably need both hands to pick her jaw up off the floor. She’s kicked again when – at Sean’s urging (and isn’t it cute how he wants to go with her?) — she visits Jolene in rehab. Juliette’s mom is looking markedly better than the last time we saw her, but with sobriety comes a clarity that Juliette doesn’t want focused on her. Too bad, lady. Jolene remarks that no marriage is going to be able to fill the sucking void in Juliette’s heart, and Juliette bitterly shoots back that her mom can’t stand to see her happy. “And are you?” Jolene replies. Ouch.

The morning of the wedding, Juliette’s all dressed and just about ready to go to the church. Her assistant Emily is her maid of honor, and Glenn is going to walk her down the aisle. (P.S.: That is super sad, y’all.) Sean messengers over a cameo that his grandmother wore; he wants his bride to feel welcomed into the family by wearing it at the ceremony. As the church fills and Sean and his groomsmen file in, we see Juliette in the back of a limo by herself. And when the driver says, “We’re here,” she takes off the necklace, exits the car… and walks toward the jet that’s waiting for her. I know we’ve known Sean for all of five minutes, and nothing about him is all that compelling, but is it weird that I felt really bad for him when I realized where she was?

DADDY ISSUES | Rayna’s not doing much better than her hubby-dumping duet partner. Teddy fights his wife’s desire to take the girls with her on tour, a move she says will get them away from their lying, stealing, possibly-cheating-even-though-he-denies-it-well-we’ll-just-see-about-that father. And when she decrees that Maddie and Daphne will accompany her, Lamar steps in with a big, ugly threat: “It’d be a shame if Maddie would learn the truth about her real paternity.” There you have it, folks: The subtle hint that was raised in the pilot, now out in the open for everyone to see. Nicely played, Nashville. The threat backfires, though; when Teddy finds out that his father-in-law used his daughter’s emotional well-being as a poker chip, he goes off. (By the by, Teddy’s outburst about how he’s Maddie’s dad, no matter what, is pretty much the first time I’ve been able to stand him all season.) Rayna must be feeling me, because she and Teddy later talk about how they’re still in love but deeply unhappy, and she then agrees to leave the girls at home.

BREAKING UP THE BAND | At producer Dominic’s request, Avery splits from his band. It doesn’t go well. He then swings by the old place to give Scarlett his keys. He doesn’t know the awkwardness between her and Gunnar is killing their songwriting productivity, and she doesn’t know about his latest selfish act. He asks her for a hug, which leads to a kiss, and pretty soon they’re afterglowing on the couch. But when she finds out what he did to JT and the guys, she kicks him out all over again. Later on, after a little meet-up with JT, Scarlett sits in as lead singer so Avery’s former band doesn’t have to cancel its gig. She’s great, a fact her ex – now in the studio, where Dominic is dissecting his song — realizes while watching video of the event. The time on stage also helps Scarlett get her mojo back; she makes up with Gunnar and together they croon a new song.

IT GETS LONELY ON THE ROAD | While on tour with the Revel Kings, Deacon encounters a female music reporter with whom he used to be close. How close? She greets him with a kiss on the mouth, and they’re in the sack before you can say “journalism ethics.” He’s on edge throughout the episode, and she calls him on it, but he refuses to engage. She also does us a great service by giving us a teeny piece of Deke’s backstory: Twice, she refers to “Vince” and an “accident,” making it sound like Deacon’s drinking was involved (and maybe to blame?). It’s interesting to note that Deacon’s hilarious reaction to the news that the Barnes/Jaymes tour is, indeed, happening (“Are you kidding me!?”) is quickly followed by an inquiry about who’s playing lead guitar in the band.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think about the fact that Peggy’s storyline – such a big deal in the previous episode — was all but nonexistent this week? Were you well aware that Juliette wasn’t headed to the house of worship? And what are your theories on Deacon’s Vince and what happened to him? Sound off in the comments!