Need to catch up? Check out last week’s Nashville recap here.
Here’s a short list of things I’d endure, rather than have Rayna Jaymes ominously warn me — as she does master-Maddie-manipulator Cash in this week’s Nashville — that “I’ve got my eye on you”:
I’d sit, eyes propped open with that Clockwork Orange contraption, through the entire depressing run of Will and Layla’s reality series. I’d pretend to care while Luke Wheeler waxed rhapsodic about his “brand.” I’d give Glenn’s toupee its nightly combing. I’d serve as Gunnar and Scarlett’s couples’ counselor. I’d even trim Layla’s bangs (but I’d probably roll my eyes a lot while doing so).
In short, I’d do pretty much anything not to be on the receiving end of Rayna’s mama-bear anger, buttressed by her frustration with Deacon and exacerbated by the knowledge that Maddie is treading the exact same trouble-laden path Rayna herself forged as an emancipated teen. Big Red is an intimidating presence when she wants to be, y’all.
Elsewhere in the episode, Will suffers a terrible loss, Juliette has sex with a Shenandoah guy, and Deacon gets fatalistic real fast. Oh, and Kesha! Read on for the highlights of “After You’ve Gone.”
INTRODUCING MADDIE JAYMES | In the week since Maddie won her freedom, Deacon’s been scrubbing walls in a reflective orange vest, Rayna’s been singing on her tour (remember that? Because I sure didn’t) and crying on her jet, and Daphne’s been ignoring her sister’s apologetic texts. Over at Camp Maddie, the teen worries that it’s too soon to play a showcase for record-label executives, but Cash — as always — steamrolls her, insisting that they strike while the emancipated iron is hot.
When Rayna gets word of the showcase, thanks to Bucky, she works overtime to make sure that the New York-based Lennox Hill doesn’t get its hooks into her daughter. She even shows up at the event — restraining order be damned! — just in time to see Maddie JAYMES (“I wonder whose idea that was?” Rayna snarks to Cash, who seeks her out in the wings) take the stage in a leather miniskirt. As Mads sings “Wild Card,” her mom makes the aforementioned veiled threat to the blonde interloper… who seems nonplussed. “She’s not your daughter anymore,” Cash notes. The nerve!
Elsewhere in town, Deacon gets some straight talk in a phone call from Scarlett (“You have some fault in this”), tries to make things right with Frankie (who informs Deke he’s going to buy him out of The Beverly or else), and winds up telling the attendees of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, “I have tried like hell to be a good man, to walk the straight and the narrow, and none of it mattered. Because I lost it all.” Deacon, honey: IT’S BEEN ONE WEEK.
HISTORY REPEATING | Thanks to a brief meeting with Juliette, who advises Maddie to go back to the family that loves her, the young artist at least has Glenn on her side when the offers start coming in. (And having him around ticks Cash off, so I approve.) Glenn advises Maddie to take an offer from the Nashville-based Tupelo Hill, but Cash says the label head is a good friend of Rayna’s, so it’s no dice. Maddie winds up going with Lennox Hill — a “clean break,” as Cash puts it — and Rayna tearfully laments to Tandy that her daughter is lost.
Over at his place, where he’s been sleeping, Deacon fondles a bottle of booze and is about to open it when he gets a call from Rayna, which staves off some major drama… at least for now. I am aware that relapses happen, and that they are a big/awful part of what it means to be in recovery, but please don’t make me watch Deacon and Rayna go through that again, Nashville. My achy breaky heart can only ache and break so much in a season, you dig?
A TOUGH GOODBYE MADE HARDER | Will’s bad week following Luke’s botched Cynthia Davis interview gets way worse when his Aunt Betty calls: Will’s mom has died. He drives all night to reach his childhood home, where his ogre of a father hasn’t achieved much in the way of personal growth since the last time we saw him. Mr. Lexington Sr. wastes no time telling his son that they’ve burned all the photos of him, and he’s not welcome at his mother’s service the next day. But Will shows up anyway, gives a brief speech, then later confronts his dad about being a homophobic jerk and bad husband. Apparently, something gets through Papa Lexington’s bigoted skull, because he intercedes when someone casually calls Will a “homo” outside the wake. I suppose even the most infinitesimal of baby steps still counts as progress, right?
IN WHICH NOAH RESURFACES | Avery plays a pretty awesome new song called “Kinda Dig the Feeling” at an intimate venue, and afterwards, he and Layla are all over each other outside the club. A photographer snaps a few shots, which soon wind up on a gossip site’s homepage (along with a photo in which Juliette I think is supposed to look angry/upset but instead just appears to be mid-sneeze).
Reactions to the photos are mixed. Layla is over the moon… until she realizes that Avery isn’t jazzed to be part of another tabloid-fodder couple. Juliette, meanwhile, completely freaks out, demanding that Emily help her find someone hot to accompany her to all the pre-Oscar events for Shenandoah Girl.
The guy who gets the gig is a lunk, but it doesn’t matter, because Noah’s at one of the parties with Kesha (excuse me, Ke$ha) on his arm. But they’re just friends, and he’s really into Juliette, and the pair wind up sharing a dance and then a bed. And he wants to make this a thing, which surprises and — I think? — delights her. (Side note: Juliette dejectedly snacking out of the bar’s garnish box and Hayden Panettiere’s bit with that toothpick might be the best thing I’ll see on TV all week.)
Oh, and that photographer? Layla totally hired him. And it worked, because once Avery calms down, she’s still got the guy. And now she’s got a whole bunch of interview requests, too. But Glenn’s onto you, lady!
BREAKING UP THE BAND? | The Rolling Stone article on The Exes comes out, but it makes it seem like Scarlett’s the frontwoman. This irks Gunnar, who later writes a song with Autumn. I’ll say it again: That lady is so damn squirrely, I half expect her to bound across my front yard with a cheekful of acorns. Scarlett gets an offer to do a photo shoot for some headphones, but they just want “female artists,” and though Gunnar is, on so many levels, more of a girl than most women I know — the attention to hair product alone! — he doesn’t count. Still, taking part in something like that without the other half of her band gives her pause. But after learning about Gunnar’s extracurricular activities, Scar signs on for the shoot. As she bitterly notes, “Whatever’s best for the band, right?”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!