Before we get into what happened this week in Music City, I’d like to run through a short list of items that I, to use the parlance of Nashville‘s Juliette, find dirtier than a truck-stop hot dog.
First, there’s the obvious and sketchy way Megan handles her Teddy indiscretion, particularly when Deacon asks her point-blank what’s wrong. Then there’s the fact that I actually agree with Teddy at two separate occasions during the episode.
Finally, there’s Juliette’s complete inability to chill. the. heck. out. for five minutes and allow Rayna to salvage her career the way she promised she would.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s review what went down in “We’ve Got Things to Do.”
MAD-OLESCENT DRAMA | Maddie just wants to make music and hang out with Deacon, but Teddy gently reminds her that she’s got a C in history and a project that needs completing: The guitar is going to have to wait. (He’s right.) Later, when he makes her wipe off 10 of her 12 layers of eyeliner before she can attend the Highway 65 launch party, I find myself agreeing with him again. What is happening here?
The cranky teen gives him attitude throughout, and when he reminds her that Rayna is of the same mind about school and such, Maddie declares that she wants to go live with Deacon. (Side note: That man couldn’t keep a super cute dog happy, honey. You sure you don’t wanna rethink that?)
In another act of rebellion, she uploads a video of herself singing to a YouTube-like site (nice nod to Lennon and Maisy Stella’s roots) and calls herself “Maddie Claybourne.” Mama’s not going to like that one!
HOTHEAD STRIKES AGAIN | Despite what we saw last week, Tandy is still the Highway 65 CFO, based on her presence at a label meeting with Juliette, Glenn, Bucky and Rayna. Ju’s not happy that Rayna wants to hold off on announcing their partnership – “Man, I wish I’d known that my Highway 65 signing bonus was a gag order,” she grouses — but she agrees to keep quiet, as well as to boot Edgehill artists Will and Layla off what’s left of her tour.
Of course, this leaves Ms. Barnes a wee bit on edge and ripe for a spat, which she picks with Avery upon learning he’s thinking of producing the rest of Scarlett’s Liam-abandoned album. (In his defense, Scarlett was dressed like Galadriel when she made the request, so there may have been some mystical Middle Earth nonsense going on there.)
Juliette’s not totally wrong to be miffed – I can see how she might feel like his decision is contrary to what he did last we re: Edgehill – but she handles it in her typical firestarter manner, which does no favors for anybody. And when she carries that anger with her to the launch bash, a few music big-shots fawning over Scarlett pushes Ju into her “Screw it” zone.
She takes to the stage and, in direct opposition to everything Rayna had asked of her earlier, announces that she’s a Highway 65 artist. Rayna is unamused. Juliette later apologizes and performs a duet with Rayna at the Grand Ol’ Opry as damage control. Based on the crowd’s reaction, she’s got a ways to go to prove she’s not the next Natalie Maines.
At home, Avery tells her he’ll turn Scarlett down if she wants him to… but he’d prefer that she not make him make that choice.
SWAGGER ATTACK! | Deacon is aware that Megan is acting weird, but he can’t figure out why. I don’t know, Deke; maybe the wooden way she and Teddy address each other might be a clue? Megan later tells Teds to scram, but he thinks he knows better: She’s running away not because she doesn’t want him, but “because you’re scared of how much you do,” he says, smoldering at her so hard that for a minute, I think Eric Close maybe accidentally read one of Charles Esten’s lines.
Maybe Deacon’s not looking closely enough at his lady’s behavior because he’s psyched about his new gig: It looks like he’s going on tour with old pal/current Rayna flame Luke Wheeler.
SAY ‘I DON’T’! | At Layla’s request, Brent shows up to be her new manager. First order of business: He books her and Will a gig that’s a dry run for a possible small venue roadshow for them. She’s totally into it; Will knows Edgehill wants him on Luke’s tour, and he wants to be there, too.
After sending Layla some very mixed signals – and that’s saying something, for Will – Brent sets him straight (so to speak): People are starting to talk about Will getting Brent fired, and can he really be sure that other dudes from his hook-up past aren’t going to come forward? (Based on the number of times that Will’s old “bandmate” from high school was mentioned in the episode, I’m thinking we’ll meet him real soon.)
But we must remember one thing: Will is from Texas, and everything – including the life-altering mistakes – is bigger in Texas. So him trying to make things right takes the form of him proposing… to Layla… who excitedly says yes as I repeatedly groan, “Nooooooo.” You’re so right, Juliette and Rayna, he ain’t never gonna change.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? How invested are you in Zoey’s dreams of being a back-up singer? If Gunnar wants to perform more, shouldn’t he, y’know, perform more? And did I accidentally swallow one of Scarlett’s pills, or was Teddy kind of hot in that whispery scene with Megan? Sound off in the comments!