Sure, you probably murdered your wife and you definitely had a hand in Peggy’s death, and you seemed able to love only one of your daughters at a time. Bygones! I (and, I’m guessing, a slew of Nashville viewers) am willing to overlook those regrettable character flaws for the miracle your death has wrought: two whole scenes in the same episode where Deacon and Rayna make an emotional connection. Hallelujah!
Now, even though those scenes may not bring about the immediate rekindling of the former lovers’ passion, they are certainly a step in the
right hot direction. Meanwhile, the rest of the very good episode finds Juliette dipping her toes in Taylor Swift’s lifestyle and Scarlett using her desperation as a come-on – and it works!
Let’s review what went down in “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore.”
LOS ANGELES CALLING | Avery plays Juliette the version of “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet” he produced, and she loves it. “It feels like you put my soul in there,” she says, happy for all of two seconds before remembering that she’s without a record company and basically screwed. But he points out that “The New York Times just called you a serious artist” in a recent piece about her Opry debut, and that’s enough to put her in the mood for some daytime lovin’.
Glenn has the misfortune of walking in on Juliette and Avery under the covers – I did love how Avery shot off the bed like a high school sophomore getting caught by his girlfriend’s dad – but his reason for barging in is good: Producer-to-the-stars Howie V got wind of Juliette’s new single, and he wants her to come to Los Angeles for a meeting. Everyone’s excited, though Avery’s a little shaken up that Glenn saw him about to make Ju’s SheDaisy bloom. “Oh, he’s seen worse,” she says, dismissing Avery’s modesty with a hilarious wave of her hand and making me long for Glenn’s eventual memoir, My Eyes, My Eyes, My Eyes Are a Telescope: What I Can’t Un-See From My Years With Juliette Barnes.
GLENN GETS THE MESSAGE | In L.A., Howie V (Orange Is the New Black‘s Michael Chernus) is the stereotypical name-dropping dude you’d expect him to be, the kind of guy who makes sure Juliette hears him say to an assistant, “Hey, make sure that Sasha and Malia got those Rihanna tickets.” He has her record “Dirt on My Grave” with a huge orchestra and dangles the idea of a Rolling Stone cover, going so far as to spring for a tryout photo shoot that has Ju trussed up like Cruella DeVil as interpreted by Lady Gaga.
It’s all very attractive to Ms. Barnes, who could use a win, but even she can’t overlook the fact that Howie wants to strip the twang out of her voice and turn her into a Los Angeles-based pop star. And her concerns only grow when Glenn decides he’s taken her as far as he can go. “I gotta get out of the way and let you be a superstar,” he says, kissing her on the forehead and nearly losing it as he resigns as her manager. (Nice work there, Ed Amatrudo.)
LATER, LAMAR | Back in Nashville, Teddy delivers the news that Lamar died in his office, and together he and Rayna tell the girls. Rayna = stoneface. When Tandy and her saucy new ‘do show up, thinking Rayna wants to make peace, she’s devastated to hear their father has gone to that Scotch distillery in the sky. Tandy sobs, despite the fact that their dad was not a great guy overall. Still, Rayna = face you make while waiting for your nails to dry at the salon.
Meanwhile, Deacon can’t find a band to back him up on a last-minute gig, so Gunnar, Zoey and Avery happily fill in. And they’re really good! (Side note: I kinda need that “I ain’t leaving without your love” song on my iPod ASAP.) The bunch of them up on stage are such a success that Deke has the three young’uns open for him at The Bluebird the next night, something that makes Scarlett feel so sad and left out that she crashes on a couch at the recording studio rather than encounter her uncle the next morning.
SLEEPING BOOTY | Instead, it’s Liam who finds Scarlett passed out at the studio. She confesses that aside from their work, she’s got nothing going on in her life. And even though it’s a bad idea, and despite the fact that he’s going off to “wherever you’re going” soon (it’s called Westeros, Scarlett), she finishes the kiss he initiated earlier in the episode. After a short break during which he establishes that her morning breath is not too heinous to proceed (I kid, but isn’t that what it looked like?), they continue making what’s likely a really bad decision.
DEACON DOES THE RIGHT THING | A text from Maddie alerts Deacon to Lamar’s passing, and before you can say “soulmate,” he’s on the phone with a stoic Rayna – who’s still insisting she’s handling everything without problems and doesn’t need help. “You’re not fine, OK? I know you’re not fine,” he says, asking if she wants him to come over. I’m guessing Deke doesn’t hear me yelling “Yes! Go! Gooooooo!” at the TV, because he abides by her wishes to stay put. But they both agree that he should be at the funeral.
And just like we knew he would, Deacon stops by Rayna’s house the night before the funeral, where she’s still putting up an unbreakable front. When she does show some emotion, it’s anger at how many lies her father and Tandy sat on for years. “Sometimes, people do the wrong things for the right reasons,” Deacon gently nudges her, getting points for not blatantly finishing that sentence with, “like the time you forgot to tell me I had a daughter for 13 years.”
And while all of this is going on, Teddy summons Megan to his office to confess that he watched Lamar die and did nothing to stop it. Interesting that Megan gets home muuuuuuch later than Deke does, isn’t it?
BLINK AND YOU MISS IT | Lamar’s actual graveside service gets about 15 seconds of screentime, but we should note that Juliette is there to support her former tour partner. Later, we see that Ju has made up her mind about Howie V’s plan: She’s turning it down. “You’re not quitting,” she happily tells Glenn – who looks just as pleased that she’s come to that decision — adding that people like Jeff and Howie keep telling her who she should be, and she thinks she’s the best judge of that.
The mood is far darker in Lamar’s study, where Rayna pours herself some booze and then smashes the decanter, the glass and everything else within reach before she collapses in sobs. Teddy and Tandy run in to find her in a pile on the ground. “All the lying,” she gulps, “has to stop!”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are we yay or nay on the Scarlett-Liam situation? Did Megan file Teddy’s legal briefs, if you know what I mean? And are you with me that Deacon and Rayna are inching back together? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots