Things aren’t going so well for the James family, financially. Should they get a line of credit on the house? No, says Teddy! (He tries later but finds out the credit union is being audited, so he bails. SHADY.) Should Rayna join Juliette’s tour for some quick cash? No, says Rayna! Should they borrow some money from Daddy? Oh Jesus God, absolutely not, insists Rayna again. This is going well. Escaping from domestic duties for a while, Rayna chats with Deacon about their upcoming tour, a conversation wherein almost every quote could easily be followed by “That’s what she said”:
“I thought we’d start by going deep.” That’s what she said.
“Don’t forget, it’s just me and you up there.” That’s what she said.
“I think I just might need a little minute here.” That’s what she said.
Cleaning out her sparkly-ass closet with her kids and assistant (cash-poor), a $500,000 check from Paw-Paw arrives just in time to keep the Jameses in sequined dresses and remote-controlled radios. But it looks like Daddy’s money comes with conditions relating to her touring schedule, basically about how she should, like, not do it while her husband’s got politics going on.
Rayna has a chat with her sister Tandy (ugh) about their dad and his conditional money. Tandy lets it slip that he hates her music career because their mother had an affair with a musician for over a decade. This musician was also, like, a man who probably wore blue jeans, but that doesn’t mean that he necessarily hates all men in blue jeans. Just musicians. It makes no sense, but the heart hates what it hates.
Rayna confronts Lamar and turns down his money, and also lets him know that she knows all about her mom’s affair. Then this weird reverse-Electra thing happens where Lamar is like “you abandon your family for music just like your mom abandoned me,” and he later mulls over his deceased wife’s secret picture that he keeps stashed in his desk. Lotta heartbreak here.
Juliette starts her day like we all do — at a photo shoot, worried about fancy superstar things like getting that darned Deacon to tour with her. But lest she believe that her life is all go and glamour, she’s informed that Junkie Mom™ (deliciously named Jolene) showed up at the label, demanding information on how to contact her. She shuts it down, but to no avail: Junkie Mom is ready and waiting outside the shoot, hounding her with sob stories like an ol’ junkie pro. Juliette speeds off, in dire need of the downers her mom could easily acquire for her.
While having a Junkie Mom sucks, she’s at least convinced Deacon to record that pondscum sex track with her. They literally make beautiful music together in the studio, and she rattles off all the country greats she was influenced by, thanks to Junkie Mom’s deep abiding love of classic country. Deacon inquires as to what her problem is with Rayna, which is basically that Rayna was a rich kid whose daddy bought her success, while Juliette, in case you haven’t noticed, is stuck with a Junkie Mom.
Cut to post-coital Juliette and Deacon, this time with Juliette whining about not sangin’ at the Bluebird. But whoops, no time to dwell on the past, because guess who’s at the gate in a mad junkie jumble? Only momma, caterwauling that she got nowhere else to go. She sends her on her way, returns to the house, tries to be a nice human, and then Deacon straight bails to go hang with Rayna. WE ALL BEEN THERE KID I FEEL YOU. He can’t do the tour with Juliette, anyway. Know why? ‘Cause he “can’t be counted on,” the absolute coolest words a 40-something man can say. Great guy, not at all a turd.
And guess who got arrested at the bus station? Only Junkie Mom, who is now saddled with the Sophie-est of Choices: rehab or Alabama. Even Juliette can’t send her hated mother to Alabama, so she moves her in to the Old Barnes Place. While I like where this is going, Juliette does not, and rebels the way every celebrity should, by shoplifting nail polish from Kroger. But oh no, one of Rayna’s daughters I refuse to learn the name of (Poppy? Lurleen? Zappos?) grabs some TMZ-ready phone video of the serious, major, crime. Hey kid, go ask your dad about crime before you ruin Juliette, k?
Over in East Nashville, Quiffmaster General Gunnar and Scarlett, that wisp of cotton candy in the rain, are trying to get a hot little songwriting sesh going only to be interrupted by Evil Rocker Boyfriend Avery. How dare he barge into his own home? Gunnar tries to make peace by complimenting Avery on his 5 Spot performance and babbling on about “tone” and Link Wray. It is literally every conversation I’ve ever tuned out of, filmed and transmitted only to mock me.
Scarlett and Gunnar are soon off to record their track, and she’s gee-gawing around the studio, stuttering out the names of musicians like she’s got Reverence Tourette’s. But golly, this modern (1960s) technology makes her soooo nervous, she up and quits even attempting to record. “No hot prob,” Gunnar and Watty insist. “We can find literally anyone else to do this.” Guess who is suddenly butthurt? Scarlett poutily insists the only reason she’s not trying to succeed is because she loves her boyfriend, a hot new idea that no 22-year-old woman has ever had before.
Later, the dueling bros share a beer at the Bluebird while the anthropomorphic Kewpie closes shop. Gunnar spills the beans to Avery that Scarlett is a ruiner, and the only reason she’s ruining everything is because she’s afraid of losing him. Avery insists that’s ridic, and dang it if he doesn’t try to encourage her later at home. The wilted Ophelia avatar is still totes nerves, but Avery basically explains the concept of “music” to the kid and promises to go to the studio with her, if it’ll help. It does help, and Scarlett is able to record the track with Gunnar while Avery smirkily hovers over the scene like a handsome, less capable Snape. That he finally got to introduce himself to Watty was surely just a side benefit of being such a supportive BF, no?
We also got to see a commercial for a new Reba series, Malibu Country. It was hilarious.
"Ohmygaw, this is the gas station where Reba filmed her Fritos commerical!" — Scarlett