Other stuff happened in this episode, too:
Lukey Dubs, Rayna’s bf, engages in some hot Middle America foreplay by sponsoring a RACECAR with her name and picture on it. He’s throwing a private concert after the race, and she can perform to “announce the drop date.” Superstore magnate Mister Boone is there, and I was like, is this a real guy? Did he invent Boone’s Farm? But no, he is just a stand-in for another Conservative Big Box Empire, and his places are the only places to buy CDs anymore. (You can buy all of the songs featured in this show on iTunes.)
And oh, lordy, this guy. The owner of Boo-Mart is every Internet comment section you’ve ever read about country music. You know who is terrible? All of the young people, with their shenanigans. You know who is REAL country, with CLASS? Johnny and June and Barbara Mandrell and Loretta Lynn and I don’t know, anyone from the olden days before Plan B and ecstasy. Rayna wants to sell her new CD in his stores, but doy, obviously the billionaire owner ain’t know the day-to-day goings-on of his heartland bidness. Now if you’ll excuse him, he’s got anti-union PACs to contribute to.
Rayna sangs her song at the racecar afterparty (feel free to use that as a band name). But oooh, evil record label boss Jeff is there, hiding in the wings, learning when her album shall kerplunk to earth from the heavens. He wants all Edgehill artists to take up the record space on the shelves, because we are talking about country music, ergo the business side operates like it’s 1993. Jeff asks Luke WTF is up with Rayna singing at the party — Luke, a good bf it seems, is like, “Hmmm, hope Edgehill can keep me happy.”
Meanwhile, Rayna’s kids are getting an autograph from some … racecar guy? Country singer? I don’t know. He looks like he’s been a Real Boy for about a day.
“Good news!” Booney and Durke tells Rayna. “I’ve decided that Juliette Barnes can eat a hot righteous wanger, and I will give HER shelf space to YOU!” I thought maybe he had come up with a brilliant idea to put, like, a collapsable cardboard case of CDs near the checkouts but sure, pulling Juliette’s records is also a plan. She is a bad influence, he says. You know how kids today are, always deciding to be atheists because of their favorite country music celebrity’s lead. Daughter Daphne overhears this and makes a face like “Every time I overhear shit like this I am more and more certain that I am applying to Smith.”
Label villain Jeff is wickedly pleased that she is selling out Juliette like that — but no, Rayna of the golden voice and golden hair and golden morals shall do no such thing. She wants her Highway 65 label to be a refuge for artists, and will take no part in squelching such a voice.
Also there is a racecar to take her daughters to school and Daphne is like “I am going to double major in Environmental Science and Medieval Studies.”
Juliette, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Ju-li-ette: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down to the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Ju. Li. Ette.
On the Ryman stage, Juliette is practicing her off-the-cuff apology that is projected onto the teleprompter above her. It is very sad. She speaks of how hard her life is without her mother, and how she feels lost. That she must get herself back on track. “The filly is broken,” wicked Jeff tells Glenn. Glenn is like “The Lolita reference above was somehow way less gross than what you just said.”
Backstage before her Opry induction ceremony. She has so many well-wishers from her life pop in with hot advice, she should worry that she is actually about to meet her death. Deacon says she has a lot of people in her corner. Maddie says she heard a song by Hunter Hayes and learned that bullies are dicks. Avery says she doesn’t have to embarrass herself by giving that apology. Brad Paisley obliquely references “Accidental Racist.”
She accepts her award. She thanks people, mostly Glenn. The label boss is seething from the wings. Juliette, because she is a powerful and brave woman of beauty and integrity and general perfection the likes of which Rayna Jaymes could only dream about, goes all “fuck your speeh” and is mad off-script about how she ain’t skeered and Avery starts playing ANGER CHORDS and she is the best.
Glenn and Rayna’s Daughters are all :D
The crowd full of people who buy CDs are all :|
The angry record label boss is all >:(
She gets a cool reception backstage, to put it mildly, knock knock comes Rayna, “Not smart but pretty kewl,” she says. Label guy, though, he says she is stupid and the worst and is officially dropped. “Hmm,” says Juliette, “I may be dumb but not so dumb as to lose my top two grossing artists in six months while putting all my eggs in the TV show runner-up basket. L8RS.”
She’s at home, eating comfort food, while Glenn tries to do some business over the phone. She hangs up for him and entreats him to have some pride, which is a pretty rich request coming from someone I think is eating macaroni and ketchup. He says no label will touch her now. She says he should take a vacation, and she’ll take some time to be herself and start over. She’s an indie artist now. (Legit looking forward to this Act 2 for her career. ABC should just spin it off.)
First, though, she pops by Avery’s digs with a casserole. “There’s one thing I need and have to have. That sweet sweet d.” She actually says “you,” to Avery, but she meant the d.
“Minstrel, assemble your peers to join voices and move the land!” commaneth Claybourne’s liege label.
“Sir, I am no beggar,” replied Claybourne.
“Dost thou wish to expand thy wealth and acclaim? Bring forth your coterie of notables and make it so.”
And so it went for Claybourne. “My lady Barnes, wouldst thou lend me your fair voice?”
“Alas, my crimes are many in this land, and I fear my loose tongue shall bring upon you nothing but ill repute,” responded Barnes.
Claybourne returned to his olde inn, Ye Bluebird’s Nest, hoping to reclaim some little lost glories.
“Why, my friend, are you now seeking such approval?” asked the humble barkeep.
“Hmm,” said Claybourne.
Later, Claybourne’s ward, the delicate Scarlett, inquires after his adventures.
“I shall take my songs and let the sounds gently kiss the wax, for that was the way of my father and his father before him. Ye Bluebird’s Nest shall be my stage, and Ye Bluebird’s Nest shall house my melodic emotions.”
(Can’t wait for the Kickstarter episode.)
Tedsy and Tandsy
Teddy thinks Lamar is out to get him but Tandy thinks Lamar is out to get her. In fact, she’s in hiding, afeared for her life. She gets busted by the FBI since she’s a witness (but not before she was kindly informed by texts from “U.S. Attorney’s Office” warning her about that). She tells the feds that she is a thief and her evidence is inadmissible, she’d rather do jails than be killed by murder. Teddy is agog to see Anne Holt on the Bizarro World Channel 9 News, saying that all the charges against Lamar have been dropped. It was exactly as exciting as this paragraph makes it sound.
Gunnar, Will, and Layla
Will is home at his and Gunnar’s place from running damage control on Juliette’s oopsy-daisy-atheist-y tour. He learned how judgmental a lot of people can be, and boy, is he ever right. Oh, and Layla is there. She congratulates Gunnar on writing a No. 1 single (how boring must THAT conversation have to be a million times) and asks him to write with her. He pretty much can’t say no.
Writing time! She wants to write something fun and upbeat for her young fans. He thinks music must be deeper than that, must come from someplace rill. “Take Taylor Swift,” he says. “Please,” I finish. You don’t write music for fun! Pop music isn’t fun! SONGWRITING IS SRS BSNSS.
Will is mad at Gunnar for embarrassing Layla by talking about how shallow she is and how much she sucks. I’m no Layla apologist, but it’s really funny how Gunnar truly is the worst now! He should hook up and talk with Boone-y B about how much they hate whippersnappers. What Gunnar doesn’t understand, really, is why Will still has a girlfriend rather than a gentleman caller. Will is like “Hmm.”
Layla is sad that she cannot write a song. She is weeping, a blank, has nuttin’ to say. She was a pageant girl and a music girl and everything that her parents wanted. “I get that,” says Will. Does he ever! “At least you have the guts to break free,” she says, “And live the life you wanted.” It would have been a great time for him to segue into gay, but alas, it was missed!
Back with Gunnar now, Layla mentions that she is not used to failing. He says she’s young, that it’ll be okay, and that she should write down her thoughts and feelings and questions and farts and doodles and shopping lists and sex dreams, like in a journal! “Hey, you know who kept a journal,” thinks Gunnar ...
Liam is recording Scarlett’s album, and that starts with asking her questions about herself. She is from Miss-Sippy, she says, and Liam ascertains that she moved to Nash’vul for the best of reasons, following a boy.
Scarlett (every unread copy of Jane Eyre in the world) is soon enough singing a fun drinking song, but Liam shuts it down and says she is A FAKE SHE DOES NOT SLAM WHISKY WHY ARE YOU BUILDING YOURSELF ON A FOUNDATION OF LIES, Scarlett responds that people like fun songs (she is right!) and then Liam is like HAHA STOLE UR JOURNAL in order to learn about her rill thoughts and feelers.
She says she is a nice person but he says there are ANGRY DAMAGED SOULS inside of nice people. Her subtly-titled “Black Roses” was all that he needed to know about that; it is not about a lover though, it is about her mother who was carted away to the mental hospital. They record her sad songs about feelings.
You know what else they do?
Pills. You know, uppers, speed, goofballs, heppers, bennies, wizz, red-eyes, handful of high-fives, little orphan annies, the big kahuna, bottlecaps, W.H. Audens. “It’s nothing, it’s just like taking a few cups of coffee,” says Liam the pusherman. Girl’s about one toke away from a Jack Webb speech if she isn’t careful.