Sep 30, 2019
Nashville Recap: Secrets And Lies And Not Enough Songs
Nashville recap time! Let’s do the damn thing.
Oh, Deacon is fucking the lawyer on the regular now, apparently. She might be the most one-dimensional character on this show, which is saying something. Her job right now is clearly to Build Deacon Up. Let’s hope she does something evil soon and gets less boring. Thankfully, she disappears for the rest of the show.
Juliette is press conferencing about her new tour and the show makes sure we know that in real life Hayden Panettiere has an enormous Neutrogena endorsement deal.
In what seems like an awesome contrast, but is probably just by accident because this show utterly lacks narrative planning, we go from extremely self-assured young Juliette at her press conference to the record label prepping extremely not self-assured young Scarlett to walk a press line. She shouldn’t stammer, because that sounds “folksy.” Do we not like when country stars sound folksy? I kinda thought that was the whole point of country-ness.
New girl Layla is verrrrryyyy excited about touring with Juliette and apparently has a movie crew from the label following her every move as she gets ready for the tour. Juliette is, shall we say, less than thrilled to hear this.
Everything is crashing down around Rayna and the whole “hiding that you can’t sing” thing. Her label head, the incomparably dickish Jeff, wants the masters for her record so he can release her final album because of what how he knows she’s never going to sing again. Rayna is, shall we say, less than thrilled to hear this. It is a festival of not-thrilledness right now.
There’s a new superstar in town this season, Luke Wheeler, played by Broadway star/”Smash” alum Will Chase.
Luke Wheeler, please be a fantastic singer and be operatically evil, OK, because this show needs you. But Luke Wheeler is whisked away from us, sans song, so that we can have some boring thing where it is clear that Layla likes Will, but thinks Will is going to date Scarlett, while Will is sad that One Gay Dude He Ever Slept With Who Of Course Works For Will’s Record Label actually has to talk to him sometimes. Now I just lost like 10 minutes on the internet trying to figure out what the name of the actor OR the character of One Gay Dude is and I still do not know. I think I do not care.
INTRIGUE!! Tandy is getting her deal with the AG for ratting out Daddy, and she gets immunity, but only if she doesn’t talk to Rayna about it because she might tip off dear old dad.
Speak of the devil. Cut to Rayna talking to the dadman hisself about how she wants to leave her record label by buying out her contract, and it won’t be cheap. In fact, it is going to be $20 million. Daddy doesn’t blink an eye, because he sleeps on piles of gold and diamonds, I guess. He simply says he’ll have the paperwork drawn up. Do you hear the clomp clomp clomp of foreshadowy hooves bringing you news of a future Rayna-Tandy-Daddy conflict?? Of course you do!
Avery and Gunnar are now, improbably, not trying to kill each other and are best buds who sing music together. Do you need me to tell you the song is unremarkable? Naw, you sure don’t. The best thing about the scene is that Gunnar has gone back to making his hair tall again.
Avery thinks they need to ask a lady with a ladyvoice to sing with them, and the only person in the whole wide world he can think of is Zoey aka Scarlett’s best friend. GENIUS PLAN AVERY. Gunnar behaves like an actual human and points out that will be weird and awkward since Scarlett is his ex and Scarlett is Avery’s ex and Zoey probably maybe sorta knows stuff about them that isn’t necessarily the best. Avery machos up, slaps Gunnar on the back, and tells him “that’s just how chicks are, man.” Bitches be trippin’.
Deacon’s going to buy into some dude’s guitar store since he can’t play guitar anymore and then he can just hang about selling beautiful guitars to other people all day long because that won’t make him sad at all. Good life choices, Nashville characters. Good life choices.
Juliette is blackmailing Evil Jeff into giving her tons of money to take one of his dude acts out on tour. If this means a Will Lexington tour I will be so unhappy, but I really can’t figure out who else they could possibly send, because New Guy Luke Wheeler is already an enormous star with his own tour.
Daddy-Teddy standoff because Daddy wants back in to getting Nashville business and (in case you forgot. I mean, I forgot) Teddy is the mayor. Teddy is not even a little bit interested, and Daddy tells him that he will regret this. Man, we really got the old cliche-o-meter out for this episode, didn’t we writers? There’s even dun DUN dun DUN DUN music as Daddy walks off.
Oh hey guess what looks like Will is auditioning to go on tour with Juliette. WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN? Apparently Brett…Brett? Brent? the One Gay Dude convinced Jeff that Will deserves a shot because he is either a much better person than Will or is playing a really impressive long game.
Speaking of long game, new girl Layla may be playing one too. She’s being super-friendly to Scarlett and helping her get over her nervousness before the press line…helping her by tearing up the notecards Scarlett is using to prep answers and telling her not to worry about what the publicist wants. Charming and genuine bit of help or way to fuck over another up-and-coming young lady singer type. When will we find out if Layla is evil or just naive?
Juliette wants Deacon to go on tour with her, showing the most inexplicable unawareness of the fact that he actually can’t play guitar, what with the mangled hand. She offers him a non-guitar playing spot, but he is too sad panda and says it hurts too much to be around music, so he’s getting out of the business. EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE YOU GO WORK IN A GUITAR STORE YOU DUMMY. As she regretfully takes her leave, Juliette lets slip that the accident ruined two careers and oh, hold up, of course Deacon doesn’t know Rayna can’t sing anymore, because this Nashville is simultaneously the most secretive and the most gossipy place in the known universe. Also, too, only about 35 people live there.
Will is auditioning to an empty theater and he looks exactly the same as every other time we’ve seen him perform.
Listen, Nashville writers. Will is indeed pleasing to look at. He’s a gorgeous slab of a man. He is also impossibly boring to watch perform. Does he get the tour slot. Oh, for fuck’s sake, of course he does. At least he thanks Brett/Brent for the help, so maybe Will can stop being the worst closeted person on Earth.
Gunnar and Avery are singing the same song they sang at the beginning of the episode WHICH DOES NOT COUNT AS ANOTHER MUSICAL PERFORMANCE DAMMIT. They’ve brought Zoey over to sing, but everyone is keeping this a secret from Scarlett, because that’s a great idea. The song is actually growing on me, as Avery and Gunnar have good, albeit a little thin, harmonies. Zoey is supposed to be singing along, I guess, but you don’t hear her AT ALL save for one sad little ooh-ooh-ooh-oooh-ooh-oooh at the end of the song. Needless to say, it doesn’t add much.
Scarlett fucks up the press line, of course, because she can’t “control the conversation” per Jeff, because she has the temerity to actually answer a question rather than spewing out some fixed banter like Layla does. She gets sent…home? away? somewhere, while Layla looks on smiling. OK, so Evil Layla, not Naive Layla. Sort of a Juliette-in-training.
Deacon goes over to confront Rayna about how she can’t sing. He just pretty much yells at her over and over until she admits it…and he admits he can’t play guitar anymore. This scene actually manages to be touching, and it is only because Connie Britton is a really good actress, a fact that keeps getting lost in this season. She hits the voice catch, the hint of tears, just right when she tells Deacon that even if he doesn’t play guitar, he should never give up on music.
Ooooh, New Girl Layla, Will is NOT HAVING ANY OF YOUR SHIT. He knows she fucked with Scarlett on the press line and does a menacing stomp off…which kinda can’t last since they’re both going out on tour together with Juliette.
Update: Deacon is not done with music. He is now going to play the piano. That is all.
OK, wait, that is not all. That is a legit good choice. Deacon, you love music, and if you can’t play guitar, you should still play. You know what is not a good choice? Fucking your ex’s best friend, which is what Gunnar is about to do with Zoey. Oh, Gunnar.
Juliette’s playing at the Luke Wheeler benefit show thing, which has either been in rehearsal or actually going on this entire episode. Rayna wanders on stage, and you can see Juliette start to seethe except that Rayna is there to invite her to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which you have to earn. (No, I didn’t know that either. Google is your friend.) This is a good moment that the show has to then turn into a terrible moment because Luke Wheeler is going to push Rayna to sing at this enormous country superstar benefit. OK, show, you are not being terrible, because when her voice breaks down, the entire audience sings for her until she can sing again. Rayna is back, y’all. Now just give us T-Bone back, pleeeeaaasssseee.
Oh wait, show, you are terrible because you break into to Rayna being able to sing again to cut to Daddy getting arrested for racketeering. In a bar. While watching Rayna sing. Remember last season when people just played entire songs? Those were the days.
The label is going to make Will date Layla, because they are already trending on Twitter. I’d like to think this isn’t how real pop music decisions get made, but they probably do.
Rayna clearly doesn’t know Daddy has been arrested and tells Jeff to go fuck himself and that she’s quitting the label…exactly 5 seconds before she hears that Daddy has been arrested.
Oh hey, musical performance that is quite lovely, with Scarlett on banjo and Deacon on plaintive plinky piano! How you doin’? The show has done itself such a disservice by not giving Scarlett more music airtime this season. She’s got that beautiful Dolly Parton range going on, and she’s delightfully guileless. If we can’t have T-Bone back, give us more Scarlett.
Juliette is behaving in a vaguely human fashion again after overhearing giant superstar Luke Wheeler complain about having to give stage time to a flash-in-the-pan like her getting invited to the Opry. This diss burrows down through her brain and hits that tiny little center of self-awareness that lives somewhere inside her and reminds her that she did exactly this sort of thing to Avery, so she sacks up and apologizes. She asks him to go on tour, but he says naw mang, he’s going to stay at home and do his own music. Still behaving remarkably well, she takes the news nicely and gives him a key to her studio.
Ready for more Wyatt family secrets and lies? Sure you are, because you’ve stuck it out this long. Daddy thinks that Teddy is the one who ratted him out and assures Tandy that Teddy will pay for this. Who wrote this week’s dialogue? The Scooby-Doo writers? Just throw in a “meddling kids” and we’ve got the same level of discourse here. At least Rayna’s children were entirely not around for this episode. Small blessings.
Predictions for next week: Everyone behaves terribly and often does not even act in their own self interest and we hear some songs that are NOT songs that have been touched by the hand of T-Bone Burnett because nothing good can ever last.