Nashville just keep bringing the amazing episodes. Edge Hill has been sold and Marshall was fired, in favor of a new label head called Jeff. He’s a pencil pusher and isn’t too keen on Juliette, as the more mature sound on her new album isn’t selling enough records. She’s being outsold by ‘The Best of Rayna Jaymes’ seemingly exploitatively released while Rayna was in hospital. Juliette is getting irritated by the constant attention on her rival, and decides to do a CMT special to promote the album. Going back to her hometown (which is, of course, a trailer park), she seems cool and collected until she is confronted by old neighbors she grew up with, and old memories, particularly of her dad, who we find out passed away when she was a kid (drugs?). Meanwhile she and Avery are getting closer, and I really ship them as friends (with benefits?). Juliette’s plan works and her single hits #1 on iTunes, rubbing it in Jeff’s face when she goes to a party at his house. Unfortunately, she soon finds out it has been knocked straight off #1 by Layla, runner-up on American Hitmaker (like American Idol), who is younger, more impatient and bouncier than Juliette. She also performs one of Juliette’s songs at the party, which apparently was one of her most popular performances on the show. Juliette now knows what it feels like to be Rayna!
Speaking of which, Rayna is out of the hospital and a little fragile, but she meets with Jeff to discuss Highway 65, as she’s keen on keeping on top of things. He seems nice and a big fan of hers and wanting to invest in the label, but that night goes to one of Will’s shows and tries to convince him to sign with Edge Hill rather than Rayna’s label. Rayna finds out the next day and is furious, going to yell at Jeff, and war has begun. Will is conflicted on the decision he’s going to make, not wanting to abandon Rayna but tempted by the majors. He also finds out the ex-lover he ran into last episode is now working as the marketing guy with Jeff and he’ll be working closely with Will. He tells Will he’s not going to try anything or blow his cover and ultimately Will makes the decision to sign with Jeff. Sassy Rayna at Jeff’s party decides to find somebody better, and also decides it’s time to move on from Edge Hill. I have a funny feeling Juliette, unhappy with Jeff, might become the second artist on Rayna’s label going out on their own, and that would create a crazy dynamic, but that’s just a conspiracy theory!
Meanwhile Teddy has half-moved back in with Rayna, and is helping out with the housework and the girls while she gets better. She’s grateful until it gets to the point where she feels it’s undermining the divorce they’re going through, and she asks him to leave as she wants to go through with it. Maddie is furious at her mother for all the questions she’s brought up with Deacon being her father, being an alcoholic, etc. The girls, eavesdropping, find out that their parents are really going to divorce and they cutely stand together in solidarity, being there for each other.
Deacon is struggling with just about everything, and Scarlett, who’s staying with him, seems to be getting the fallout. Deacon refuses to go to the doctors but Scarlett takes him unwittingly anyway, where he finds out that he may never get his guitar skills back to where they used to be, even with lots of physio etc. He panics and demands a cast, meaning it might do even more damage and he certainly won’t play again. He also organizes to have all his guitars burned. Scarlett grows some balls and yells at him, Deacon dropping the bomb about Maddie being his daughter, but Scarlett isn’t done. She tells him to man up. Meanwhile, Deacon and Rayna meet at the scene of the crash to discuss things, but Rayna says she doesn’t think it can work, each time they try they only hurt each other. She gives back the engagement ring Deacon gave her all those years ago and leaves, followed by Deacon tossing the ring into the tributes by the side of the road. Spurred on by these occurrences, he saws off the cast on his hand and desperately tries to play guitar again, really forcing it. I have a feeling he may do more damage that way but who knows, everything is magic in TV world.
Gunnar is struggling to write songs for the publishing contract he’s still in, finding problems with the lyrics. He drops off some stuff for Scarlett, who refuses to help him write. Zoey turns up at Gunnar’s place, telling him she knows absolutely everything about him and about his and Scarlett’s relationship, and inspires him to write about the heartbreak that he’s feeling. He does, performing the song later, saying it’s about the biggest heartbreak of his life. Zoey quickly realizes that it’s not about Scarlett, but his brother Jason, and he seems a bit more healed.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVED this episode, Rayna 2.0 and Juliette are bringing the sass and the amazing lines, and really bringing this show to life. I’m also starting to like Avery, Will and Scarlett’s storylines more as they are more related to the bigger characters. And nobody cares about Gunnar.
‘Nashville’ episode 3 airs tonight at 10/9c on ABC. I hear there’s some Rayna/Liam action. See you there ;)