Nashville Recap: At Least Kelly Clarkson Didn't Sing

We’re back to Nashville after the long winter’s nap that is the midseason break. Our cliffhanger: did Will kill himself? Is Peggy dead from a gunshot wound? Do you remember or care? Let’s get to this week’s recap.


Juliette is singing with some endless greenscreen cloudscape behind her as we see a body get carted away. The song is boring. Hayden’s voice is too clean and twangy. If T-Bone was here, this would be a song like last season’s “Nothing In This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again,” which was an absolute tearjerker and stood on its own. This is just a movie montage song.

From the grieving Teddy and Rayna and kids, looks like it is Peggy that got killed off. Bye Peggy. No one will be missing you. Looks like the shooter was targeting Teddy, but after killing Peggy instead, he offed himself. Well, we’ve wrapped up that plot point nicely.

Meanwhile, Juliette is being both brittle and mopey around Avery, who she was going to declare her true love unto forever, but he had Scarlett over, so bad timing, bad plan.

Juliette’s assistant, Emily, has apparently been gone, but is now back. We had no idea she was gone, because we don’t particularly remember her in the first place.

Ooh, no one can find Will, so we’re going to drag that out a bit. For fuck’s sake, people, they wouldn’t have killed off two major characters at once, would they? Brent is sent to look for Will because he was a no-show for a radio interview. He goes to Gunnar’s house, because Will theoretically lives with Gunnar, but Gunnar seems utterly mystified as to why anyone would ask him about Will’s whereabouts.

Scarlett gets a phone call from her publisher because Kelly Clarkson wants to record one of her songs. Really? Attention whore Kelly Clarkson — who is also not a country singer but is instead a glossy pop person — is going to wander on here to belt out one of the songs that would be so much lovelier if Scarlett sang it. Man, there are so many other singers that would be a better fit for this show. How about Kacey Musgraves? Lissie? Anyone? Do you think they asked other people and only Clarkson said yes, or did they go straight to Clarkson since she’d already done “The Crazy Ones” on CBS earlier this year and everyone knew she was easy?

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Wherever Juliette goes now, she has protesters shouting at her about what a whore she is, as if she were going in for an abortion rather than just walking out of a recording studio or restaurant or something. Does this really happen to starlets?

Gunnar and Zoey decide the best way to find Will is go to right to his computer and trawl through his search history. No phone calls, no asking around with other friends. Just straight to snooping. The very first search result is some wilderness place that DUN DUN no one goes to this time of year, so Gunnar drives up there and DUN DUN there is Will’s abandoned motorcycle.

Liam is back! Yay Liam! But Rayna turns him down because she is still fucking Luke Wheeler. Boo Rayna! They read some market research. We doze off.

Lawyer girlfriend of Deacon is back! Meh Lawyer Girlfriend! We pride ourselves on still not knowing your name.

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Count on lots of shots of Teddy looking longingly at some detritus from Peggy’s life and lots of shots of Teddy hugging his children. Now the children will rewrite history and talk about how much they liked Peggy. You hated Peggy, children. Everyone hated Peggy.

The Jesus people are still following Juliette around and telling her what a whore she is. They’re like the Westboro Church of country music fans. She yells at them that there is no God that would listen to crackpots like them. Good on you, Juliette.

Gunnar has found Will. A crying disheveled self-loathing Will, who runs off into the brush. After driving all over hell and back, Gunnar doesn’t run after him into the brush — just yells after him with a steely resolve face.

Oops. The Jesus people have edited Juliette’s statement to simply have her yelling “there is no god” over and over. Big problem in country land.

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Rayna is auditioning new acts for her new label. We’re treated to The Cadillac Three, which is a real band, and who are basically early Kings of Leon. We’re meh on them, but it is a way better choice than Kelly Fucking Clarkson. Rayna and manager talk more about market research. We doze off again.

Gunnar just holed up in the woods and built a fire, and eventually Will comes wandering back. Gunnar has figured out that the root of all Will’s angst is gayness, specifically gayness with Brent, and tells him he knows how he feels. Will shuts that down right away and explains that what he feels, dummy, is that he wants to die. He’s been hiding out because he can’t bring himself to commit suicide. Gunnar shoves him over and yells at him and demands that Will promise he will call if he wants to kill himself. It’s sweet in a dude sort of way. Gunnar also tells him that it is the 21st century and it is OK to be gay. Will points out that country superstardom is probably an unlikely path for a gay dude, and sadly he’s right.

Lawyer girlfriend — oh hey, her name is Megan — has cooked something for Deacon and tries to feed him, but he is being an an immeasurable amount of dick to her, explaining that she can’t understand his creative process because it is not like writing a brief, and during the throes of his process, he should not be spoken to or offered food or help. She leaves. We’d leave too.

Teddy is trying to figure out why rando dude wanted to kill him and accidentally killed Peggy. He’s sure there is more to it. Of course there is more to it, because we’re never going to be free of the shadow of boring Peggy.

The Jesus people have escalated to throwing black ink on Scarlett. Is that a way that the unbelievers are shamed?

Will is theoretically going to go back on the tour — at least that’s what he tells Gunnar as they part ways in the wilderness. We don’t know about you but we probably wouldn’t just leave our suicidal friend alone in the wilderness but would instead adhere ourselves to him for days if not weeks.

Deacon is having trouble getting his songs done in time for some amorphous unexplained partner meeting showcase whatever, so of course he’s sitting in a liquor store parking lot.

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Seems a little early to revive the Drunk Deacon plot line but hey, why not.

Teddy has been digging into the assassination attempt and it is not adding up blah blah blah maybe the person didn’t act alone. Teddy is going to solve this by not seeing the girls because then they won’t be in danger. Does this mean Teddy will leave the show for awhile? We are probably not this lucky.

Juliette has to hit up Layla to see if she’ll back her up and go public with Juliette’s full statement to prove Juliette did not deny God’s existence. Layla is uninterested until Juliette reminds her that if this issue doesn’t go away, the tour will.

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Oh hey look everybody, it’s Kelly Clarkson. She’s here listening to Scarlett and Gunnar sing the song they wrote together that Clarkson is going to record, but playing it leads to all sorts of Meaningful Glances between Gunnar and Scarlett. Really?? That being said, this is one of the best songs all season. Gunnar and Scarlett are best when they sing together with minimal arrangements, letting Scarlett’s thin, clear voice carry the day. But oh hey wait Kelly Clarkson does not want any of the old Scarlett-Gunnar songs, although she loves them. She wants a new song, which will require Scarlett and Gunnar will have to write together again. Scarlett, god bless her, turns Kelly Clarkson down and says she is in no space to write love songs with Gunnar. Damn, Scarlett.

OK, Will did really make it back to the tour instead of having another “did he or didn’t he kill himself” moment. Layla races over to him like one of those 28 Days Later zombies to see if he is fine and if the reason he was gone was her and oh god Layla you are smothering us.

More sexxxy market research talking with Liam and Rayna. Research says the song they thought about releasing as a single isn’t really a single. Liam tells her that you have to take chances as an artist, until Rayna informs him that she kinda sorta has taken all the chances in the world, thanks to mortgaging her house, selling all her stocks, and going deeply in debt to start the label.

Scarlett-Avery fight! Does Scarlett have feelings for Gunnar? Does Avery have feelings for Juliette? Are Avery and Scarlett together only because they once used to be? Yep! Meanwhile, Zoey has declared her everlasting love for Gunnar. Does this mean there won’t be any more Kelly Clarkson? Here’s hoping.

Deacon has called Megan over to apologize in a weird roundabout way where first he blames her for making him happy, and that makes songwriting hard. This means we’re not getting rid of Megan soon.

Layla is ready to go make her statement to the press about how Juliette is not a heathen and come on do we believe for even one minute she’s not going to go out there and completely fuck Juliette over? She doesn’t! She tells the truth! Oh, Christ, but Juliette is going to be in emotional hock to Layla forever.

The Rayna-Luke Wheeler duet has made it to number one, but it is on the old label. Now we are talking about market research AGAIN and apparently the album does not have a single, so she has to write a new song. Good thing that only takes about 10 minutes on this show.

Will shakes off Brent with his patented closeted angerbear routine. Glad to see that Will’s self-loathing will have a starring role for the second half of the season.

Deacon and Maddie have written a song together, and plays over the end of the show as we see Teddy alone in his office looking at pictures of Peggy and crying, Avery taking the big plunge and calling Juliette, and Juliette watching people burn her records. The contrast to the beginning-of-show montage couldn’t be greater. Where Juliette’s opening song was all sharp edges and overproduction, Maddie and Deacon are quiet and tentative, fitting the sense of loss that ends the episode. It’s almost as if T-Bone Burnett was back at the helm. Almost.

TV Show: Nashville

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