The worst thing in the world has happened to Rayna: she has to do a commercial. The final frontier of gauche. Unless it’s for Crisco, Fritos, Covergirl, or your own perfume, country lady superstars do not appear in commercials. She should be ashamed of herself. Good thing Deacon is full of integrity, because he has decided to shut that whole thing down. But apparently being given a legitimate legal excuse to knock it off isn’t what Rayna wanted after all, so she heads over to Deacon’s place to hash it out. He explains, while casually holding a fishing pole throughout the entire conversation, that music is all he’s got! Most professional musicians like getting paid, but not Deacon! He doesn’t want his song used for a “beauty product,” I can only assume because he’s sexist. “Oh, is that Deacon’s new song in this woman’s commercial? Let’s compare tampons!” no one has ever said. I bet he’d let a fishing pole company use his precious precious songs.
Rayna is hurt. Stabbed through heart. So she decides to do what every heartbroken girl has ever done, write songs all by herself. Look out, Scarlett! Even her manager at first was like “…” But she goes through with it, and stays up late songwritin’ in the living room. Teddy shows up and they don’t talk about their problems for a while, and he comes out and asks if she and Deacon slept together. No. Well, did you want to sleep with him? “…” hedges Rayna. Deacon, meanwhile, has gotten into a barfight with a heckler outside of The Bluebird. He calls Rayna to bail him out and she straight rejects his call. “It’s no one,” she tells Teddy. “There’s no one there.”
Anyway then Deacon starts going to AA meetings again and decides to let Rayna use their song, so yay money!
Teddy’s going through his own hot probs, though. He gets nailed by Coleman in their debate for high school treasurer, and Peggy is losing her shit because the Feds are nosing into her dirty business doings, as if it’s their job or something. It’s not like she embezzled 2 million dollars, right? (Oops — she did embezzle 2 million dollars for Teddy <3). Lamar, in his patrician office full of fine leather goods and manly whisky drinks, tells Teddy to calm the F down, Daddy’s got this. He meets up with Peggy and basically tells her to keep her dumb mouth shut, and she correctly responds “Yes, sir,” the only thing anyone should be able to say when ordered around by Powers Boothe. The auditors of course slink away, so all is well. Or is it? we ask ourselves as we watch a photographer get all sorts of sexy evidence of hand-touching between Teddy and Peggy.
Deacon’s in the studio pulling an actual all-nighter with Juliette and her band. She is stressed about perfection, but Deacon can tell that she’s just antsy because of Junkie Mom. “I have a little history with addiction,” he drawls at her, but she doesn’t need his help. Yet.
Juliette comes home to a house that’s quiet: too quiet. Know why? Because Junkie Mom has pulled a CLASSIC junkie move, and brought home a greasy drifter to bang. There are bottles (both alcohol and prescription) strewn about the room, and Juliette evicts the rando greaseball with prejudice. Junkie Mom starts a front yard fight IN HER UNDERWEAR (classic!) while the neighbors walk by. The HOA barely approved that beige trim, they are not going to be pleased with this.
All curled up with tea and sad thoughts, Juliette talks to her bodyguard about her mom being an asshole. He suggests that someone else try to talk to Junkie Mom, and she’s like “Hoke, you’re my only friend.” So she agrees to let Deacon intervene on Junkie Mom by using his masculine wiles. JM is all like “Murfreeboro!” and Deacon is all like *intensity and handsomeness* and she agrees to go to rehab. Outside of one of Middle Tennessee’s fine rehabilitation establishments, however, a scene is quickly made. Junkie Mom goes into a JUNKIE HULK RAGE after Deacon takes away the pills that she dropped. She full on slaps Juliette in the face, and Juliette’s bodyguard is like “ugh” and slowly meanders out of the car, likely wondering if he is being paid enough to spend time with these people.
Juliette is sad. Deacon tells her that he’s her friend and not everything has to be sexual, but Juliette says that everyone wants something from her. Deacon says he does not want something from her (except, presumably, making that record and being paid for it). Juliette, shamed and stuck in a hated house, decides to move to a more modern joint, and I think those kitchen cabinets look a little chintzy and suggest she does some light renovation. Getting Junkie Mom into rehab has done a number on Deacon, too: he meets up with his sponsor (and James family political opponent) Coleman to hand over the pills that JM had dropped: he kept and counted them lovingly, calling each one precious before giving it a tiny little kiss, just a taste, and placing it gingerly back into the bottle.
He also says the phrase “rehab sweat.”
Glamorous Music Row assistant Hailey tells used VHS of All Dogs Go to Heaven Gunnar that she doesn’t want to get in the middle of the crackerjack songwriting team of him and Scarlett. That’s nice of her, wouldn’t want to mess with that electric charisma (*side-eye*). But hey, good news, there’s some kind of songwriting thing they have to play for someone tangentially related to Lady Antebellum, this could be their big break. All they need is another guitarist.
You know who is a guitarist? Terrible Avery is a guitarist. Scarlett stops sorting her Cabbage Patch Doll collection long enough to make a very bad decision to let Avery sit in. During the performance, he just noodles all over the place, and there are KNOWING GLANCES from everyone in the room. Gunnar confronts Avery in the battle of the beta males — “you upstaged us!” “you were making eyes at my woman!” Scarlett stands in the hallway, an orphaned dormouse far too timid to intervene in the soul patch battle for her soul.
Scarlett tells Gunnar that there is nothing between them. Gunnar says NBD, I am with Hailey! Scarlett is a little surprised at this development, because she is exactly that kind of person. Hailey sexts Gunnar to let him know that they heard back from Gentlewoman Slaveowner’s producer re: their hot traxxx. Scarlett entwines her silken hair ‘round Zephyr’s Eastward-bound breeze and floats home to find Avery, standing and monologuing music trivia to himself. They were REJECTED harder than Juliette’s tough love is rejected by her Junkie Mom. The notes basically say that Avery is a ruiner and a hijacker, but Scarlett digs her tiny hooves in the ground and continues to “choose” Avery, because she is dumb. “Sorry?” Avery says, like “Sorry they don’t appreciate my music.” He only wants them to be a couple like they’ve always been. “Oh you mean me writing poems and keeping them to myself?” Actually, Scarlett, that’s what we all want.
Let's hold hands
And dance in the sand
That time we saw a pony?
- Scarlett O'Conner, 2012