That’s the lesson this week’s Nashville wants us to take home, seeing as how it spends so much time showing us Scarlett once more buckling under the demands of a heavy tour-and-press schedule.
I suppose we’re supposed to feel sympathy for a fully grown adult capable of making her own decisions someone thrust into the spotlight and given plenty of opportunities to bail out, but the way she talks to Rayna later in the episode kills it for me. No one addresses Her Glorious Redheadedness that way, little girl.
On the upside, Rayna and Deacon get back in their groove during the hour, and it doesn’t end up with him in the bag or her in silent tears, which is promising. So let’s take a look at what happens in “Just For What I Am.”
THE PRICE OF LAME, ER, FAME | As a favor to Rayna, The Zac Brown Band brings Scarlett out on stage to sing along on “Free.” The footage looks like it was actually shot at a Zac Brown concert; if so, pretty cool. (If you were at that show and have YouTube video, link it up in the comments!) Scarlett kills and is happy for .2 nanoseconds afterwards, until Bucky informs her about her packed schedule for the next few days, culminating in the party celebrating the success of Rayna and Luke’s Gunnar-penned “Ball and Chain” single. She tells him she absolutely, positively cannot attend.
And yet, after a few days of radio interviews and such, she shows up at the fete. She talks with Rayna and Deacon for a minute but skedaddles like the 5-year-old whose barrettes she stole the moment that Gunnar enters the room. When he eventually catches up to her, she mumbles out something about not being able to write for Kelly Clarkson because of the thing that happens when they sing together… and he’s totally clueless as to what she means. “All I felt was the music,” he says, which sends her sobbing into the ladies’ room. I’ll grant that he’s unwittingly harsh there – what lady out there escaped her teens and 20s without some stupid boy’s unwittingly cutting comment sending her into a public crying jag? – but it doesn’t forgive what happens next.
When Rayna happens upon her protégé bent over the sink, she innocently asks what’s wrong… and gets this scathing judgment in return: “You might have weird, codependent relationships with your ex-boyfriends, but I do not.” Whoa there, blondie – that’s your boss… who is far, far more forgiving that I would’ve been when they meet the next day. Rayna gives Scarlett yet another out, saying that she’d understand if the younger woman wanted to give up on the business. But Scarlett talks about the “magic” of being on stage and vows, “I do want it. I love it more than I hate” all the things she’s been complaining about nonstop since the beginning of the episode.
By the way, Scar? While you were moaning about sleep deprivation, Gunnar snapped up an opportunity to write with Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, had a fight with Zoey, had his success toasted by some of the industry’s biggest names, made up with Zoey and found time to be a quarter-way decent boyfriend. And when I am praising that long, tall tube of hairgel over you, you know something’s off-key in Music City.
“IT COULD ALL GO AWAY” | Meanwhile, Juliette’s current scandal (#godlessbitch lacks a bit of specificity, no?) is still causing her a lot of trouble, a point driven home when her next few tour dates are cancelled and Edgehill boss Jeff shows up at her house with a scowl. The company’s stock has taken a hit and radio programmers won’t play her music, situations that make him even more of a nasty jerk than normal. He calls her “trailer trash hiding under a pile of sequins” and “a lie,” then says she needs to beg for forgiveness. Ick. Can’t Ju’s muscley bodyguard just pop him one and be done with it?
After he leaves, Juliette takes off her pants and drinks a bottle of vodka, then quietly passes out in bed… where Avery and the bodyguard find her the next morning. Bonus points to Hayden Panettiere for doing the full-on, open-mouthed face-plant into the mattress. (Oh tricky ABC promo gods, you wanted us to think Juliette was pulling a Jolene there, didn’t you?)
She pukes, she cleans up, she confesses to Avery that she’s worried that what Jeff prophesied will come true: She’ll lose everyone and everything she’s worked for throughout her career. So Avery brings an Orphan Black‘d version of Juliette (dark wig, glasses, hat) out onto the city streets to sing for the sheer joy of it. The crowd reacts well, and she is momentarily lifted out of her funk, but she still bids him goodbye at the end of the night.
The next day (I think?), we see her praying in church, then she arrives at Avery’s declaring, “I made my decision. I need you to write a song with me.”
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES | Speaking of attractive people making music together, Rayna and Deacon eat pizza on his floor and co-write a kickass single for her new record and OH MY GOODNESS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE GET BACK TOGETHER AGAIN YOU TWO. He also signs a small record deal and she and Luke agree to go public with their relationship, but really, can anyone focus on anything other than Rayna and Deke’s arm-clasp at the end of the party?
MURDER WAS THE CASE THAT THEY GAVE ME | Deacon’s girlfriend, Megan, is representing the family of the man who murdered Peggy. (Side note: Of course.) Teddy is unhappy about that fact, but when he hears where the man worked – an off-the-books subsidiary of Teddy’s former father-in-law’s company – he visits Megan and states he knows who put the hit on him: “It was Lamar Wyatt.”
Now it’s your turn. Did the Rayna-Deacon scenes make you yearn for the good ol’ days? Is anyone ‘shipping Rayna-Luke? Where were Will and Layla and Brent? And in the previews for next week, did we get a glimpse of Avery and Juliette kissing? Sound off in the comments!