Rayna and Her Beaus
It’s everyone’s favorite Deacon: smashin’ Deacon! The man has never met a home he couldn’t immediately smash to bits with his fists of middle-aged rage. He’s tearing up the kitchen, and finds a bottle of booze hidden in the roasting pan atop the fridge. That’s actually a pretty good hiding place, because you really only use roasting pans for family holidays, and is there ever a time or place when booze is needed the most?
Meanwhile, Luke has gone to Rayna’s house because he immediately changed his mind about taking a relationship break. It’s been like 12 hours and he couldn’t live without her. He tells her about his sore spot with Deacon that’s gone on for decades: remember the ’92 Oklahoma State Fair, he asks? “You know I do,” she replies, which is more than any actual Oklahoman could likely say. Turns out all three of them were there, Deacon went on the lam, and Luke got stuck in the ferris wheel with Rayna. Turns out he’s had a crush on her for more than 20 years. Okay. But no time to reminisce, there’s bad news: the coven of The View are discussing Maddie’s “Claybourne” video, which is now super-viral.
Teddy and Rayna pick up the kids from private school and are swarmed by dozens of paparazzi. According to this show, Nashville paparazzi outnumber dentists 3-to-1. One of the paps yoinks on Maddie’s backpack which seems like a misdemeanor at the very least, and the family is at last hustled away.
Because Rayna is completely ignorant about how the Internet works, she thought because Maddie took her video down that it was gone forever. Rayna wants to put out a press release, on paper, the way God meant. Teddy knows that the story is not going to disappear that way, not with “The Internet and this 24-hour news cycle.” Rayna thinks it would be best, then, just to come clean on their whole sordid story. She and Luke head out to find Deacon and fill him in on their decision.
The villainous News 2 crew is camped outside his house so they can’t get in, and besides, his car’s not there. Uh oh. Deacon smash! Rayna and Luke quickly assume that Deacon is on some sort of pathetic bender, and drive out to their old love shack cabin to find him. There’s an empty bottle of liquor on the lawn and the interior is, of course, all smashed up to bits. Deacon is very distressed, because he now has flat emo hair and is wearing a necklace. He insists he didn’t drink, though, and is just smashing out some feelings he has. She tells him that the secret about Maddie is out. He says he will not help them because if he is in the same room with Teddy, he will murder Teddy (get in line). Deacon tells Rayna to find out from Teddy hisself what he’s so mad about.
And so Rayna learns of Teddy’s “shenanigans” with Deacon’s girlfriend. She asks if he did it because Deacon is Maddie’s father, which is such gross and convoluted reasoning that I don’t even want to try and untangle why she would even think such a thing. “How can I possibly understand what it’s like in y’all’s world!” Teddy bellows, you see, because Rayna, Maddie, and Deacon all have music, and all he has is being the mayor.
“Maybe becoming a father would have been the thing to finally get rid of his demons,” Rayna very stupidly says about alcoholism. She is so sad about all of the troubles with men and children and sex and things. “What’s so special about this life?” she asks. What, like life in general? Nothing. Her life, specifically? She’s not poor, that’s pretty special.
So she and Teddy are on GMA, ready to come clean to the vampiric American public about their personal affairs involving a child. And hey, Deacon decides to show up! Robin Roberts asks Rayna about the sitch, and she tries to diplomatically answer before being cut off by Deacon: he’s the biological father and is an alcoholic. Everyone knew about the baby, including Teddy, who has been a good father to her. And then they awkwardly segue into what an amazing talented human being Maddie supposedly is, and the question asked of every Davidson County infant at birth: “Is there a record for her?”
Teddy is the mayor. I just want to remind everyone of that once again.
Back at the country home of resentment and hurt feelings, Rayna thanks Deacon for his participation. He is sad he didn’t get more time to be Maddie’s father. That is fair. She is mad that he is a drunk. That is also fair. Can we never discuss this again?
“Looks like the tabloids have something other than you to talk about,” Glenn says to Juliette. She’d rather them not pounce on a child, but my thought is this is a particularly stupid child, so it’s kind of funny. (Juliette is a much nicer person than I am.) She’s still having trouble getting radio play, if only she knew someone in the radio business ... why, Charlie Wentworth is a person in the radio business! His whereabouts in the city she’s currently stationed in are conveniently delivered to her via newspaper. America’s Newspapers: keeping the public updated on the whereabouts of billionaires since 1865.
Juliette tells Avery about Glenn’s idea to contact Charlie Wentworth, sex billionaire, for radio help. Avery tells her to go for it! Charlie agrees to help her, and lip-kisses her in public. She says she doesn’t want to start up with the sex, but would definitely like his help, please. He still agrees, calls Avery “the roadie,” and hops upon his polo mallet like a broomstick and flies off into the night, humming “Land of Hope and Glory.” I like Charlie.
Juliette and Avery have candle-strewn bathtub times, like people on television constantly do. She tells him that Charlie “tried” to kiss her, and Avery says he “figured he would.” She’s upset about Avery’s nonchalance, but fairly quickly reassesses the situation and decides to make out with him instead of actually saying something.
Avery finds Charlie at the show and tells him that Juliette deserves better and cannot be bought. “Look, mate, you’re out of your league,” the billionaire informs the music person. There are a handful more highlights involving our friends Juliette, Avery and Charlie, and they can be found along with:
Hoo-boy. You know how Juliette’s mom, even though she was a drug addict whose problems gave Juliette a fucked-up childhood of Behind the Music proportions, was still a sweet beautiful angel sent from heaven to grace our lives with kind smiles? Scarlett’s mom is the exact opposite of that. Scarlett’s momma, a hellish combination of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford with a little bit of Carrie White’s mother thrown in as well, is clearly here to fuck. shit. up. the moment she walks in the door.
“Here’s an airport snow-globe, daughter,” Beverly presents to Scarlett (an airport snow-globe if ever there was one) as she busts up into the hotel room. Avery arrives and momma is like “I’m back!” and Avery is like “Uh, great,” and she invites herself along for whatever hijinks the two kids get up to.
Scarlett’s mom is taking in the studio when Juliette arrives. Bev gives her a great big old hug, and talks about how they practically feel like family! Well, Juliette did sleep with her brother once upon a time ago, so that makes them basically sisters! Speaking of Deacon, did you know that the two of them used to write and sing all the time until her pregnancy with Scarlett ruined absolutely everything? What a fun lady Bev is.
Speaking of Deacon some more, Scarlett’s momma sees the news about him being Maddie’s father. She’s furious that Scarlett knew but didn’t tell her. “Betrayed by my own daughter!” cries Beverly, and begins a round of pinching abuse that will continue throughout the episode. The lighting in the scene is very red, and Beverly is so mad that she’s not famous and on tour, while Scarlett whimpers and cowers in fear.
Scarlett’s mom is rehearsing with Scarlett’s band. This drives Scarlett to take three pills of indeterminate dosage. The show is taking an interesting route with Scarlett’s pill-taking, because she becomes immediately more awesome every time she pops a few. “This is for you, Momma,” says Scarlett as she sings her sad piano song about what an abusive piece of shit her mom is, right to her mom’s face.
“Is that really how you think of me, like I’m some kind of monster?” Bev guilt-trips. She’s grabby and pinchy again, and Scarlett has FLASHBACKS OF BEING LOCKED IN THE CELLAR and it’s like, what happens to a dream deferred? Well, for Bev, it explodes into an abusive rage that is none too attractive.
Scarlett asks Juliette if she can have the night off. “This isn’t Dairy Queen,” Juliette deliciously retorts. She figures out pretty quickly though that it’s about her piece of garbage mother, because Juliette knows from how mothers can bring you down. She tells Scarlett to find a way to get out there and make pretty for all the radio people. You know what is a good way, Scarlett decides? A glass of straight booze. Pills and booze? Not clever.
Charlie is found next to Scarlett backstage. He’s not, like, macking on her or anything, but he is trying to carry on a conversation while she is blasted out of her mind. Avery, however, knows him to be a letch and separates the two but quick. Juliette is pissed, because “It’s okay for him to kiss me but be nowhere near your ex,” and in all the hubbub of jealousy, Scarlett stumbles on stage.
She is woozy drunk. She sees her Momma’s abusive face everywhere. She starts crying. “Why are you doing this to me?” she cries. She screams and drops to the floor and crawls under the piano. I know I give Scarlett a hard time, but no one deserves this. Avery runs on stage to pull her off.
The next thing we know, Scarlett is sitting on the floor of her family’s home, snow-globe in hand. “I don’t understand this autism thing, Deacon,” her mother says, crouching down next to her. “She’s my daughter, I talk to her. I don’t even know if she can hear me. She sits there all day long, in her own world, staring at that toy. What’s she thinking about?” Deacon and her mother lead Scarlett away, setting the snow-globe down on a side table. We zoom slowly into the snow globe and find ... it is the city of Nashville. We all exist inside of Scarlett’s imagination.
Gunnar and Zoey
Zoey is looking over her new head shots (that we don’t actually see) and asks her boyfriend Gunnar if they are too slutty. Gunnar informs her that, as a guy, “there’s no such thing as too slutty.” Quick reminder: Gunnar is one of the show’s romantic male leads, and not a 15-year-old boy who stumbled onto set and saw a pretty girl. But who cares that he’s a boorish moron now that he’s $400,000 richer! He just got a royalty check for his hit songs, and it’s making me realize that I definitely need to write a hit song. How hard could it be, if Gunnar can do it?
Gunnar immediately wants to blow his money on television sets and overseas trips and motorcycles and hair gel and leather necklaces and tickets to see Daniel Tosh and maybe invest in a start-up app where, like, you take pictures of boobs and then send those pixxx to third-world countries that aren’t as rich in boobs. Zoey pulls him back to reality, and he decides to spend some of his money on a professional demo for her.
Zoey’s recording a song in the studio and Gunnar receives a call from “Mark Rutman” from the Mercy Lounge. He asks Gunnar if he’d like to play a set “next week” (no date specified) and Gunnar immediately confirms, so desperate. He starts talking about his new music, but Mark says he meant the band — so many people have been asking about them! Just tons of people contacting a music venue to find out about this local band that played one show. Whoops, the band broke up, and Mercy Lounge DOES NOT want solo Gunnar. “Call me if the band gets back together,” says steely Mercy Lounge businessman Mark Rutman. Gunnar is now sad Gunnar. Who wants 400K when you can’t get booked at the Mercy Lounge?
Zoey plays her new demo for ... some lady. There’s nothing on the horizon for Zoey here in town, the lady says, but she could try a different market like in Los Angeles: pop, rap, and R&B performers always need backup, too. She’ll give Zoey some contact deets for people to get started and suggests she get a’movin to make things happen.
And get this — shockingly, Gunnar doesn’t want attractive and talented Zoey to go to L.A. She should just move in with him and quit her job and focus on music in Nashville, full-time! He’s got almost half a million dollars — why, that kind of money will last forever! “I don’t need a sugar daddy,” she says, and Gunnar is very wounded by these words even though he literally just made a sugar daddy offer. He wants her to achieve her dreams (as long as they do not include moving to a bigger city). But what about his dreams?
Well, Gunnar drives by a house that is for sale and is like “Hm,” and that’s the story of how East Nashville gentrification began a decade ago.