Nashville Recap: Fall In Love With Juliette All Over Again For The Very First Time

Oh god this week’s Nashville opens with Luke-Rayna kissyface. We had blocked out all such things since last week. Blah. Thankfully, Liam shows up quickly because he’s there to work with Scarlett on her new recordings. Small blessings.

Deacon has an implausible record deal, remember? The suggestion out the gate is that he should hit up his famous friends and do an album of duets. He does not want to tarnish his songwriting goodness with this, but you know it will happen because it will spice up the show towards the end of the season and we can have a number of sexy/tense/difficult/exciting recording sessions with various characters.

Will is back at home with Gunnar. We totally forgot he lived with Gunnar. And even though the last time Will and Gunnar saw each other was when Gunnar basically convinced Will not to kill himself over being gay, Will has already gone back to bad old self-loathing Will and brought Layla home with him.

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In a veritable biathlon of good news, she is going to live there while they sort out what is happening with Juliette’s crumbling tour AND she’s going to bully Gunnar into songwriting with her, even though she has never written a song. Gunnar shoots Will a Meaningful Glare about the whole thing but Will just looks away, mentally whistling.

Oh for fuck’s sake. Luke Wilson owns a race car team, because of course he does, and he decided that Rayna’s label would be the sponsor of one of the cars, complete with giant painted picture of Rayna on said car.

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He’s also lined up a bunch of other promotional stuff for her and is going to do a concert for some of the race sponsors to push her album. No one is explaining how he is able to do this given that he is the major star on the label she just kicked in the teeth.

Poor Juliette is practicing the apology that Evil Jeff is making her do. Looks like she has to throw herself on the mercy of the Grand Ol’ Opry during her induction ceremony. “At last, the filly is broken,” he gloats. He actually says this. Who on earth talks like that? Was he wishing he had a mustache to twirl when he said it?

Meanwhile, Teddy is bothering the DA or US Attorney or some prosecuting attorney or eff bee eye type of person about how he knows Lamar is behind the hit on him because Lamar thought Teddy was the cooperating witness that got him sent down the river. Teddy knows full well he isn’t the cooperating witness, though, and has figured out it is probably Tandy.

Speaking of Tandy, she’s feigning to Rayna that she’s away on some spa retreat, but instead she’s hiding out somewhere in violation of her plea agreement because she’s not showing up to testify. She’s getting texts from the US Attorney’s Office to turn herself in. Yes, texts, because that is totally how major federal criminal prosecutions are handled.

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Layla and Gunnar are settling in to write a song, but Layla has never written a song. Gunnar tries to explain to her that typically songs are about, you know, things, experiences, people, something. She tells him she wants her song to be fun and that she has just the one boyfriend, Will, and Will is awesome, and therefore she cannot write Taylor Swift-style songs of despair. Gunnar notes that having one awesome boyfriend doesn’t usually a song make, so she tells him he’s being a jerk and stomps off. Clearly Layla thought “write a song together” meant “Gunnar writes a song for Layla because Layla gets whatever she wants.” She is, as my mother would say, a piece of work.

Opry induction time! Deacon has come to wish Juliette well and ask if she’ll sing a duet with him, but given that right now people are burning her shit down, literally, she says no.

Haha did we say Opry induction time? Of course we were lying, because that will be dragged out. Now we’ve cut back to Scarlett, who is demoing a song for Liam that is all about how she is a whiskey-slamming dirty-dancing kinda gal. Liam being Liam being awesome, he tosses the band out of the room and tells her that she is not that kinda gal at all. Scarlett won’t tell him anything about herself, so he steals her songbook diary journal whatever and reads all her secret thoughts and hopes and dreams. He’s basically trying to bully her into being an actual person that sings actual things and thinks actual things, rather than nice simpering Scarlett. Please let this work. Please. It might be the only way to salvage Scarlett, song-wise and character-wise.

This week, the random big-name country star that Nashville has dragged unto itself to prop up ratings is Brad Paisley. You know what this means, right? It means everyone has to go listen to the worst duet of the century thus far, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s “Accidental Racist.” Them’s the rules.

Paisley is inducting Juliette into the Opry, and now it’s time for the big apology and YASSSSSSSS SHE IS NOT APOLOGIZING AND SHE IS CALLING HER LABEL OUT FOR TRYING TO MAKE HER DO IT. YASSSS JULIETTE. She launches into some new song that sounds generic but who cares because it is a big Strong Woman Country Song and it is exactly the song that Juliette should be singing in this circumstances. Can’t even hate.

Is Jeff man? Jeff is so mad. SO MAD! He tosses her from the label, and she reminds him that he now lost his two biggest stars within 6 months and his label now rests on Layla, who does not know how to write songs.

Scarlett and Liam do know how to write songs, and they’ve been writing songs all night. Scarlett’s origin story, which has never come up before, is that her mom was aggressively mentally ill and that’s the underpinnings of her real-deal songs. Please just let them do this without it turning into Liam having to sleep with Scarlett to coax the magic out of her. Please.

NASCAR time! Get excited! Or don’t. One of Luke’s major race sponsors is Mr. Boone, a thinly veiled Sam Walton, and Rayna is courting him HARD because that is how she is going to manage to get her CDs sold in a physical location somewhere since she no longer has major studio backing. Problem is, of course, that what Boone really wants to talk about is how much he doesn’t like newfangled country stars like Juliette, who is no Barbara Mandrell. Let’s go watch some Barbara Mandrell, as a reward for having had to sit through Brad Paisley earlier.

Seriously, that song never ever ever gets old. Where were we? Oh, yeah, Boone is useless, because Boonemart or whatever his store is called makes CD shelf decisions a year in advance. Good. Glad she won’t have to suck up to oldster anymore.

Will wants to pick a fight with Gunnar about how he didn’t write Layla a song, but Gunnar wants to remind Will that he does not actually like girls. The conversation doesn’t go particularly well.

Deacon girlfriend lawyer Megan is having a privileged conversation with Teddy, which is a little weird given that she represents the family of the man that tried to murder Teddy and it seems unlikely that she could be lawyerin’ for both of them. But hey — this is a world where the US Attorney sends texts, so anything goes. He tells her all about how Lamar was behind the hit on him that hit Teddy instead. He’s hellbent on revenge, but she suggests he should see a grief counselor instead. This does not satisfy his bloodlust.

Special private Luke Wheeler concert with special guest Rayna James! Jeff skulks around the back of the room seething and glowering, which is what Jeff does best. She announces the drop date for her record, and Jeff promptly calls one of his henchmen to make sure an Edgehill record gets the same release date and all possible shelf space. Jeff, you are the worst.

You guys know what time it is? It’s time for Scarlett to get a drug habit! Yay Scarlett! She’s tired from pulling all night songwriting sessions, so Liam helpfully offers her a pill bottle full of some uppers, telling her she can keep the bottle.

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Thanks for that clunky foreshadowing, show.

Tandy just got herself arrested like she is Justin Bieber, yo. Her refusal to testify puts her in violation of her plea deal. She tries to explain to the dudes busting down her door that Daddy will have her killed if she testifies, but they remain unmoved.

Layla has had a Big Awakening because she spent the whole day trying to write a song and realized that there is no there there, where she is concerned. All she’s ever done is what other people, like her parents, want her to do. She looks up to Will for breaking free of other people’s expectations and he does not disabuse her of this notion. Will, you are sad.

Jeff tries to yell at Luke for the secret Rayna concert, but Luke reminds Jeff that his artists are dropping like flies. Nice giant label conglomerate you got there, Jeff. Shame if anything should happen to it.

Boone Superstores just made room for Rayna by tossing Juliette off their shelves because Mr. Boone does not like that cheap filly Juliette. How quickly will this get super awkward and turn Rayna and Juliette, who have actually been friendly or at least not fighting for a while now, into super enemies? We’re going to go with “immediately.”

Juliette’s manager is trying to scare up another label for her, but no label will touch her. GO TO RAYNA’S LABEL DO IT DOOOO ITTTTTTT.

Tandy isn’t going to testify. That means Tandy loses immunity, but she’s trying to outsmart the DOJ with some complicated thing about how she stole the documents that she gave them that implicated Lamar and therefore they can’t use it against Tandy and it is cool if Lamar goes free because Tandy would rather not get dead.

Scarlett’s recording the result of her all-night songwriting. It’s the song that Scarlett should have been writing and singing all along. Her voice is fuller, edgier than it has been in all the bluegrass-type things she did with Gunnar. More of this, please.

Deacon is not going to do the duets record. He’s going to do a live at the Bluebird record instead. On vinyl. Deacon is so old he’s new again.

Ooooh, Rayna turned down the deal with Boone to sell her stuff in place of Juliette’s, because she isn’t going t be part of some corporate titan’s marketing scheme at the expense of an artist. Man, Juliette is so totally joining her label. I can feel it.

Since Tandy won’t testify, all charges against Lamar have been dropped, and he’s getting out of jail free. We weren’t really missing the Lamar storyline, but maybe it will be sinister and exciting to have him back.

Scarlett is already gobbling uppers like candy to keep recording. See? World’s fastest drug habit.

Juliette shows up at Avery’s house with some sort of hamburger helper sloppy joe nightmare and also too to declare her undying love. Kickass label-free Juliette is going to be awesome.

Nashville, you done good this week. Please don’t fuck it up next week.

TV Show: Nashville

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