Rayna visits her father, who wants to know where Tandy is. Ouch. He thought Rayna was on the road, but she came back because the girls were worried. And so she was worried. Note that the children were not actually there even though they are old enough for hospital visits, but child labor laws, I get it. Rayna says Lamar is “full of piss and vinegar” so he must be feeling better. She is (secretly) hurt by his dickishness towards her.
Lamar, a hero amongst mortals, a god amongst men, a Powers Boothe amongst Avery Barkleys, is angry that hospital staff are doing their jobs and not letting him walk out the door. He wants the stadium built on HIS LAND and Tandy tells him to cool his jets, that she’ll take care of it. He still tries to bust out of the hospital though, wheeling his little bag of fluids around, when he spots Watty in the hallway. “GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE” he screams, and we know this is because Watty had an affair with his wife because they teased that plot thread in the “previously on.”
Rayna did not know Watty was the other man, but he confesses straight away. They both loved her, he said, but she was young and impulsive and beautiful and trying to hold on to her was like holding on to a butterfly and frankly she sounds exhausting and maybe a little terrible. When she crashed her car and died her bags were packed, Watty says, and she was desperate to break free. Sounds to me like she was desperate to be annoying, but different strokes. Rayna tries to tell Tandy what she’s just learned but oh shit, Lamar’s having a thing again, v-fib crash cart code blue Dr. House medical drama!
The surgeon comes out and lets the sisters know that there was hemorrhaging during Lamar’s procedure, and that he’ll be out for a while. They should go and get some rest, he suggests. Rayna offers to stay while Tandy heads home. But before she does, Rayna asks her why she didn’t tell her about Watty. Because Rayna doesn’t remember much about their mom, she was too young (12, not that young) when she died. Their father worshipped their mom, too. And then his kid went and got into a business relationship/father figure relationship with the man his wife had cheated with. This whole thing is gross.
But Rayna sees her mother differently now, she can see why her father kicked her out of the house at 16, and why Watty gave her a chance. No wonder her dad was so mad about all that teen behavior. She holds his hand while he’s in the hospital bed, and says she doesn’t blame him for being mad, and that she wishes they had more of a father/daughter relationship. Lamar wakes up, ta-da.
Also. Teddy was at home with the girls waiting for Rayna to call, but Peggy calls. Peggy, in real life, is married to Brad Paisley of “Accidental Racist” fame. I just wanted to point that out. Moving on! Tandy has found out that it was Peggy who leaked all the divorce details to the tabloids, and confronts Teddy with the phone records. It is anti-climactic.
Juliette and Jolene
Handsome control-freak sober companion of questionable credentials Dante has moved from the living room to the bedroom with a naked Juliette, and they are having intimate adult times. “We should probably talk about your mother,” he says, while Juliette is on top of him. He would like this relationship to be more than a one-night-stand, and they agree to keep it quiet from her mom. “Not the healthiest way,” Dante says. Turns out Dante kind of doesn’t know a single thing about healthy relationships!
Juliette is angry that someone (Rayna? God? The sponsors?) want to cancel the concert even though they are in “the biggest country music market” (New York? Really?) and she’s got product to move. ABC, Always Be Concert-ing. Jolene, that Southern Venus, comes in and is like “soooo is the therapy session cancelled?” Dante says that it can wait, Juliette is having a Career Crisis. Yeah, well, Jolene took (but did not drink) a bottle of vodka from the honor bar. She tried to call Dante but he was too busy having sex with her daughter to answer the phone. She wants to go home, and I want her to put the unopened single-serving Smirnoff airplane bottle back in the fridge so she doesn’t get nailed for $20.
And Juliette wants Dante to attend rehearsal with her. She’s adding 10 new songs to her set, and who cares if the band is having problems, She Is the Boss. Her front monitors are buzzing (that’s what she said) and she throws a fit. Deacon tries to calm her down, but she’s not having it, the show must go on, on the advice of Dante. “What, your mother’s sober companion, Dante?” Deacon snaps and oooh she must not be a Targaryen because that one burned! Dante is a yes man, a boner face, errbody hates him. Juliette says Dante is the only one who has her back. This hurts Deacon, since he is far less of a terrible person than Dante but also I think Dante is right in that the show should not be canceled? Anyway.
Junkie Mom Jolene wants to go ASAP but Dante is pretty “eh” about it since he is screwing Juliette on the reg now for like 12 whole hours. He says that she is jealous of her daughter (what) and that she needs to work through her own shit (WHAT). Where did this guy come from, anyway, Hollywood Upstairs Therapy College? Then he tells her that she is important, too, and she kisses him, just as Juliette walks in. Yoops. Jolene has feelings for him (oh no this is all so unprofessional) and yells that Juliette stole him away. “He was never yours!” Juliette says, holding hands with Dante. He is still on the payroll, let’s not forget, and also this entire scene plays out backstage in front of the crew.
A vinyl-pants-wearing Juliette puts on her little show. She tries to stage-act with Deacon, but he is having None of It. After the concert, they have the most boring fight in the world. “You’re mad because you’re not my go-to guy,” “Yeah well you should cancel a show when there’s an illness in the family,” “Yeah well Rayna is not my family or your family,” “Yeah well she is my family.” At least one of her kids is, Deacon.
Dante comes back to her room; Jolene is not talking to either of them, it seems. He says he never meant to drive a wedge betwixt the two, he was just trying to do his job as a sober companion by blowing off therapy and sleeping with his client’s daughter. Juliette says it’s no biggie, though, he is not the first guy Jolene has tried this with. What, kissing men she did not know her daughter was sleeping with against any sense of ethical or professional obligation? Jolene is put into the care of Juliette’s assistant and shipped off back to Nashville. She has to find an apartment and a new (female) sober companion because Dante is FIRED. But now hired as Juliette’s manager. Coooool idea, this’ll end well.
Deacon and Avery, I Guess
Deacon is saying goodbye to Dr. Doolittle, the lady vet he likes so much he decides to give her a key to his house. Just then, he spies Avery walking by and asks if he’s opening the show. I laugh and laugh. “I thought you had a deal, song on the radio.” “Not anymore.” I laugh again. The Roadie Boss puts Avery to work and lets Deacon know about Lamar’s heart attack. Deacon conveys feelings with his rugged face.
And it turns out Avery, like, wasn’t a terrible person in this episode? It was weird. I felt unmoored. Now that he is #humbled and working as a roadie, he is being sent on errands like looking for Juliette’s “ears” (which I assume are ear-piece headset thingies, stage production is not my world). He looks for them in Juliette’s fancy tour bus (thought she had a jet) and walks in on her and Dante in the throes of tour bus sex.
But hey, he managed to do his job for once and found her ear thingies. Juliette vaguely recognizes him from somewhere, and Dante definitely recognizes him as the guy who just saw him having sex with Juliette. “We’re gonna have to let you go.” I laugh some more. As he’s moping his way out of the arena, he runs into Deacon. He tells Deacon he got “the boot” for seeing Juliette and Dante. Ooh Deacon is pissed. Get back to work, Deacon says! Avery has taken orders from three different people in like an hour, it’s great.
Deacon lays down the law on Dante with a mad Deacon rage. “Who gave you the authority to fire roadies?” which is a great question. The men back-and-forth about delegation and job responsibilities, and Dante throws it out that it was weird he slept with a vulnerable Juliette and still took her expensive guitar as a gift. Dante says she trusts him, which she obviously shouldn’t, if he’s going around talking about what was said in therapy sessions. Is therapy covered by HIPAA? Is Dante even accredited? We should all quit our jobs and find rich people to pay us to be sober companions, there appear to be literally zero qualifications required (beyond hotness). Anyway Deacon got Avery his job back and I suggest he choose his battles more wisely in the future, because who cares about Avery?
Rayna has left a meandering voice message for Deacon about her father and life or whatever. Because he is over 40, he actually listens to the voice message. He flies back to Nashville and gives Rayna little creeper strokes while she’s asleep in Lamar’s hospital room. He should probably call his girlfriend. But he doesn’t. He shows up at her (his?) house as a surprise, lying that they had a “travel day” and he just missed her so goshdarn much. Nice knowing you, Dr. Doolittle!
Scarlett and Gunnar
It’s the morning time, and Scarlett’s already up and about because she had to answer the door to send/receive some kind of package relating to her record contract? I was not paying 100 percent attention to Scarlett’s mouthsounds here, as Gunnar was walkin’ around looking kinda good in his unna-wears. The couple is as touchy-feelie as a pair of 14-year-olds, and Gunnar decides Scarlett deserves Victory Mimosas. We all deserve mimosas in this world. Gunnar hasn’t been sleeping too well, though, and Scarlett asks if he’s been having bad dreams about his dead brother Jason, but she asks with the same sort of tone you’d ask your neighbor if they saw that hawk that’s moved into the backyard. It’s kind of rude?
Not that Gunnar cares, because he has been doing nekkid sex stuff with Scarlett, a Max Fleischer Christmas orphan, all day. She’d rather write (weird kid), but he’s “not in the mood” for songwriting and suggests they go out instead. Will the Cowboy Neighbor has joined them, and there’s plenty of talk about what a ladies’ man he is. It’s a gross conversation! They dare him to go pick up a girl, “Oh my god, he’s crazy,” Scarlett says. A man talking to a woman in a bar: so so crazy. However, Cowboy soon jumps onstage and goads Scarlett into singing, since she’s gonna be famous soon. Gunnar declines Scarlett’s invitation to join, so Cowboy instigates a duet the dialog helpfully informs me was by Vince Gill. Gunnar is sad and a little jealous (>_<).
At the bar, Scarlett (a fleur-de-lis desk lamp in a freshman girl’s dorm room) lays on Cowboy how bad she feels for Gunnar. He doesn’t write or sleep, the two things a human does. Please note that Scarlett is acting TOTALLY FINE during this conversation. I’ll bring it up again soon. The trio decides to take #selfies at the bar, but Scarlett gets a message from Bucky (these names!) about Rayna wanting to meet with her tomorrow. She needs to go home and Gunnar has to walk her out of the bar because apparently she is WASTED all of a sudden. She was soberino literally five seconds ago talking to Cowboy. And later it is established that it is around 8 p.m. Scarlett, you embarrass me.
At home, Gunnar tells Cowboy that she’s PASSED OUT COLD (smelled some vanilla extract). Cowboy gets #realtalk with Gunnar about how he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a brother, but he has lost family. Gunnar feels empty (like his gf’s head). Cowboy decides that he needs to get Gunnar all Looney Tunes: Back in Action, so he uses the traditional Texan method of playing chicken at the train tracks. “To get over death, you have to face it” is the untrue bullshit fake-zen Cowboy is selling, and as soon as they make it past the train in the nick of time, Gunnar agrees and wants to play again. Hey fellas, if you really want to overcome some personal tragedy, I suggest Russian Roulette. That’ll really clear your head.
But ‘tevs, the bad decisions got him back to his guitar, and that’s apparently all that matters. A hungover Scarlett wearing some kind of tablecloth muumuu asks Gunnar why he was out until the crazy hour of midnight. He just had some life lessons with Cowboy, is all. Now she likes Cowboy. She also makes it to the label office, but Rayna can’t be there what with the assorted family crises. They applaud her and give her champagne even though she decided to wear a jacket that looks like the Stay Puft marshmallow exploded all over her torso.
Gunnar’s at the songwriting office, writing a boring song. He should put a donk on it. The songwriting businesslady boss says that it’s nice to see him back. Is this the easiest job in the world? Can you just come and go as you please? Is that why so many people move here to be songwriters? Because of their love of music + flexible working hours? Huh. Anyway.
(If you have 30 minutes of your life to waste on just one thing today, I heartily encourage you to watch the provided link to “donk.”)