For most of Nashville‘s second season, I’ve been riding you like a PBR contender wearing pants made of Krazy Glue. Over and over, I’ve mentioned your constant whininess, your inability to put on your big-girl shoes and kick a little boot-scootin’ booty, your tendency to wilt like a daisy under the same stage lights others would kill to have turned their way.
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But in this week’s episode, I meet your mother – and suddenly, everything is clear.
The woman who brought you into this world is the dictionary definition of “hot mess.” She’s inappropriate. She sabotages. She’s an unbalanced flibbertigibbet who makes Jolene Barnes look like the very portrait of decorum.
So while you are not completely off the hook for acting like a toddler in need of a nap, the image of you cringing under the piano makes me want to cut you a little slack. This week. Don’t get used to it.
Here’s what happens in the appropriately titled “Crazy.”
MOTHER’S DAZE | Scarlett’s mom, Beverly, arrives unannounced at her daughter’s Chicago hotel room and proceeds to insinuate herself into tour life. Sure, she seems like a lot of fun, jamming with the band before Scar’s soundcheck and reminiscing about her dreams of stardom, but it soon becomes clear that Mama O’Connor is every bit as unstable as Scarlett previously led us to believe.
Take, for instance, when she learns that Maddie Claybourne is really her niece… and that Scarlett knew all about Deacon’s paternity. Beverly lights into her daughter with a nasty vengeance, shoving and pinching her (that’s what she did, right? It seemed so odd, but that’s what it looked like to me) before stalking off in unhinged fashion.
Scarlett tells Avery she has a hard time talking about anything of substance with her mom… and later, she lets her music do the talking for her. The waifish blonde dedicates the somber ballad “Black Roses” to Beverly, who then lights into Scarlett again backstage, bringing on a flashback to when she used to torment Scar as a kid.
SHOWSTOPPER | All of this is prequel for that evening’s performance, one Scarlett begs Juliette to let her out of. Ju is sympathetic to the mama drama but realistic: If Scarlett doesn’t open the show, no one else will. So Scarlett downs some liquor, which mixes messily with the pills already in her system as she stumbles toward the stage. Avery notices something’s wrong but can’t stop his ex from going out to greet the crowd – where she suddenly sees Beverly’s disapproving mug everywhere. Scar misses multiple music cues, has more flashbacks, falls apart in spectacular fashion and winds up cowered under the baby grand, where Avery rushes to pull her off stage. I think Juliette sums it up best when she says, hands holding her face, “Oh my God.”
THE BRIT IS BACK | Glenn thinks Juliette should call her old pal Charlie “My Wife Wants in Your Pants” Wentworth, who also just happens to be in Chicago, and ask him to get her more radio play on the stations he owns. But Ju is hesitant – that is, until Avery agrees that it’s a great idea.
Charlie misinterprets Juliette’s request as an excuse to see each other, so he kisses her right on the mouth and tells her he’s missed her. Juliette sets him straight right away – she even flat-out says she loves Avery — and caps everything by telling Avery about the encounter later when they’re taking a romantic candlelit bath together. One slight lie: She says Charlie “tried to kiss” her and leaves out the fact that he most definitely hit his target. Still, Avery takes it all in stride, a reaction that sits oddly with Juliette.
And when Charlie shows up backstage at the aforementioned concert date from hell and gets a little too close to Scarlett, Avery doesn’t like it one bit. Juliette wonders why her producer is so quick to defend Scarlett when he didn’t care that Charlie kissed her. “You said he tried to kiss you,” Avery says, at his limit, and, well, Juliette maybe you might wanna thank Scarlett for causing such a scene that Avery gets distracted from your relationship woes?
MY TWO DADS | Luke apologizes to Rayna for having a “sore spot when it comes to Deacon,” and it becomes clear that Luke’s always resented how much pull Mr. Claybourne has on the redhead. But their heart-to-heart is cut short by Bucky calling and telling Rayna to turn onthe TV. She flips it on and looks horrified – not just because it’s tuned to The View, though that’s a good enough reason – but because Maddie’s “Maddie Claybourne” video has gone viral and everyone now knows Teddy’s not her real dad.
Cue the paparazzi swarming outside Maddie’s school (again I ask: are there really armies of paparazzi in Nashville?) and Rayna and Teddy railing against the invasion of their family’s privacy. Not for nothing, guys, but it wasn’t like The Enquirer found out about Mads’ paternity by sifting through your garbage; the kid put it on the Internet. Let’s just calm down with the Fourth Estate hate, eh? Teddy and Rayna agree that they want to “change the conversation,” but Ray insists that Deacon be a part of he plan.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT | But where is Deke? Despite Nashville showing us his frantic, successful search for hidden booze in his home, it turns out Deacon doesn’t drink one drop in reaction to Megan’s infidelity. So when Rayna and Luke find him at the river house, he’s disheveled and pissed off but definitely sober – and refusing to work with Teddy. Fortunately, he comes around just in time for a Good Morning America live hit, in which he tells the truth and even manages to throw some kind words Teddy’s way.
However, as Deacon later informs Rayna, he’s still really mad that she kept the truth from him for so many years; she counters that she’s really mad that he put her in a situation that made her feel she had to do so. It’s a good, long-overdue conversation with no easy resolution, but it makes me optimistic for where the show is going with these two. And how interesting that Luke plays it cool with Rayna after the interview but punches the car seatback, no? What’s he hiding?
Now it’s your turn. Did you catch Juliette’s sweet “I think you’re awesome” text exchange with Maddie? Would you miss Zoey if she went to Los Angeles? Do you think maybe Gunnar should cool it with spending his second royalty check? Do you think Avery has reached a breaking point in his relationship with Juliette? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots