Rayna (right click “ignore spelling”) and Juliette are having a lil’ San Diego press conference for their Red Lips White Lies (Blue Balls) Tour, and all the professional-type journalists who don’t sleep with the musicians they’re covering are asking journalist-type questions, and boy are the starlets irritated by that! To cope, Rayna facetimes with her family in an oddly-directed scene that features not only a 360-degree shot of her on the phone in the stadium, but also the POV from her facetime conversation with the kids. Leave the fancy camera ideas for cable, Nashville. She does not want to come home for her husband’s boring election crap.
She meets with her non-Deacon guitar player and seems to act very professional about what she wants, and this dude, who looks like a lesser Will Ferrell character, just up and quits. I am going to assume he’s sexist. “Where does a woman singer get off telling me not to sing over her?” he huffs to his MRA message board. Liam McMagnanimous agrees to play, like, a few songs, whatever, it’s not really his bag, you know? He is a rocker, you can tell by the way he’s disdainful of flowers and perfectly nice gifts of cowboy boots. “Why couldn’t she have given me something rockin’, like an ill-fitting leather jacket or herpes?” he rocks to himself, rockingly.
She does her show in front of all of the people, and sings her adult contemporary country-pop crossover that the super-rockin’ guy just thinks is oh-so-rockin’. She then watches Juliette and she is good. Her manager (who is the guy who sells HUD homes on public access, HT Aaron Robinson!) is like “she is not as good as you!” Hugs. Anyway she changes her mind and decides to go to her husband’s boring election crap anyway.
Ugh, this boring election crap. Coleman is on the news and they are concerned about him being a familiar political staple, but Lamar reminds everyone that VOTING FRAUD is a viable option. The girls at home are stoked about all this boring election crap, especially the eldest who says “Dad’s gonna be mayor, I’m fricking popular now!” because if there’s anything junior high kids love, it’s local politics. I would have thought that being the attractive daughter of an extraordinarily famous music celebrity would have already bought her popularity, but my mom was a teacher, what do I know. “When will Mommy come home?” the other one says.
Mommy will come home right before they call the race! And she will not even text anyone on her way to the airport, kind of a dick move but hey, Mommy’s home, who cares! Beloved local news personality MY GIRL ANNE HOLT (she needs to do this) calls it for Teddy. Yay? Coleman’s concession speech is all graceful and about how he loves his wife. Ha, you see, Teddy’s marriage is a loveless sham, so it’s like, who is the real winner?
TCB. Haha. Of course it is. They’ve never said but it’s pretty obvious this is a Republican family, right? Anyway, Lamar is there because of Chekhov’s Election Fraud, but says he didn’t actually buy it, and I don’t buy that. The new mayor is later found drinking alone in his hotel room when Little Peggy Pill Popper shows up, all glass eyes and loving looks. Face touch. No kiss. K.
Wanton sex-haver Juliette Barnes is afraid the press is going to catch wind of her quickie marriage to Football, as if that would be a worse thing than the thing they already know, which is that she left him at the altar of their second fake “for show” ceremony. She wants a divorce. Football wants an annulment, because in the eyes of the law and Jesus, it will magically revert him back to virgin status. And, uh, Juliette doesn’t want to sing a song. (Spoiler alert, she later sings the song.)
She takes her jet to meet Football and they blah at one another for a while. This football dude, ugh, he’s just got a face like a particularly uncompelling wooden spoon. Not even the slotted kind, just a very beige, straight, unmemorable stick of wood with something resembling a head. Sorry about your face, dude. Juliette, sorry about your wack-ass taste in faces. Anyway, he’s pissed at her for being mean to his family. The sister didn’t deserve it but someone should let him in on the fact that his parents are kind of awful.
She looks at the wedding ring. (Did he pick it out? Is it dolphins? Is it a pair of hands? Is it a smiley face with rubies for eyes?) She sings the song, like I already told you. She won’t contest the annulment, and is like “sorry I trampled your beliefs for my own selfish gain, you really should get a clue” (I may be projecting that last part) and then he tells her he does not like her and she is sad. Well, that was way less fun than the Zellweger/Chesney annulment.
(Am I done with this yet? Property Brothers is on.)
Scarlett, the only woman Zooey Deschanel has ever accused of laying it on a little thick, worms her way into a ride with Gunnar all the way to Texas, a far away place. She’s presumptuous and rude and bullies her way into it, and it’s terrible. “I brought my bag with me!” Well, you can take it with you to the Greyhound station, toots, because the lives of people in your periphery are valid, too.
She meets up in Austin with Unkie Deacon and Ye Merry Band of Revels, and main Revel dude just letches allllll over her because he is mad Deacon was getting all the attention and sex from the unprofessional journalist, and it is disgusting and inappropriate. She’s got about as much sexual charisma as a thesaurus (“Thesaurus? What’s that, like the main dinosaur?” - Scarlett) and is so off-puttingly childlike in her demeanor, it feels like Chris Hansen is going to show up and tell everyone to have a seat.
But then. BUT THEN. Post-show lead Revel-maker and long-time friend of her uncle takes her backstage, shoos everyone out, has security watch the door, and basically tries to rape her. It’s terrible, terrible, but luckily some other bandmate gives Deacon the super-secret band hand signal that his buddy’s trying to rape his niece, so he busts in just in time to see her knee the dude in the groin. Deacon goes bananas on his face, quits the band (“No, you're fired!”), and exits the building.
The next morning, she inexplicably apologies to Deacon for getting him fired from his band. God. God. Scarlett, I hate you, but the rules of feminism compel me to inform you that that shit is not your fault and your internalized misogyny is breaking my heart. There’s like a thousand colleges in Nashville, for the love of Buffy, pick one and go take a Women’s Studies course. She doesn’t get that some assholes are just assholes, and Deacon explains, leading up to the greatest, most hilarious cut in primetime drama history, that once certain people start being treated “like a god, pretty soon they think everyone’s just there to serve them.”
Avery in Atlanta, just having great, douchey luck. Haha! Good editing. Well-written transition. Everyone involved in that gets a high-five. Avery was having a back and forth argument with himself about sex publicist Whoever and Wyclef as to who was ripping him off more: he sided with Wyclef. Bros before hos. He drove a Mustang around town. Saved you seven minutes.
Here was an additional seven minutes: Gunnar was going to Austin to pick up his brother Jason, rechristened Holster by my whims, who has just gotten out of jail, or prison. He said he was gone for eight years, but it didn’t look very federal, and his finely crisped emo-bangs indicate a well-stocked commissary. They go to a motel, and sing a Merle Haggard song. Standard ex-con brother stuff. Gunnar goes out to pick up some Chinese because he is such a mark that even Scarlett, a woman less crafty than a blind kid trying to make a sand art sunset at summer camp, is able to take advantage of him. Of course in the hours (ha, hours! Is Austin some kind of desolate, Chinese food-less wasteland?) that Gunnar has disappeared, Holster has managed to steal and sell Gunnar’s guitar and acquire a gun. They exposition about Holster’s armed robbery crime, and how Gunnar left him there to take the rap. Holster busts out, never to be seen or heard again, if we’re lucky.