Rayna has been up since four in the morning, for some reason, puttering around the kitchen doing mom stuff: “I put your lunch bags in the fridge and the bananas in a bowl and started a load of laundry at 2 a.m!” Bucky materializes to talk about their label and laugh at all the demo CDs a bunch of losers have sent in for her to listen to. He suggests she go on Katie Couric’s show to discuss her hot probs in a “classy, exclusive way.” “Classy” and “exclusive” are often used to describe your jankier titty bars, BTW.
Meanwhile, eldest daughter Maddie is just teen’ing all over the place. She calls Rayna a bitch and is like “no wonder dad left.” Rayna does the good parent thing and grounds her rather than throwing back, “He’s not even your real dad, and he kind of sucks.” She informs Teddy of Maddie’s grounding, and tells him to keep awful Peggy out of the family house, which they are now alternating living in. He hangs up on her. She takes off her wedding ring and tosses it in her giant purse, where it will get lost. Are they still “cash poor?”
Maddie tricks her dad into letting her get out of the house, and she goes to hang at the happeningest spot in town, Two Old Hippies in the Gulch, where Juliette Barnes is giving a performance that she tweeted about to the world. The crush of the crowd knocks over a display case, and Maddie gets a bump on the noggin. Deacon, performing with Juliette, saves Maddie (his secret kid, don’t forget) and takes her to the doctor.
Rayna and Teddy argue in the hospital, waiting to hear about their daughter. It turns out she is suffering from acute noggin bumpage, but is safe to go home. Rayna wants to go home with her, but Teddy’s all “it’s my turn!” She acquiesces, and leaves behind a stuffed animal Deacon bought for Maddie (his secret kid). And, OK, sorry to GO THERE, but pretend you are a 14-year-old girl and your mom’s handsome male friend like, legit saved you from a crowd? He carried you and stuff? And then he left a teddy bear for you? You would get a crush on him. We know he is her dad but she doesn’t know that and it should probably be addressed? I guarantee you she and her friends have discussed how hot Deacon is. Anyway SORRY, Game of Thrones is back on Sunday, this’ll (hopefully) be the last time I mention incest here.
Back at the house, Rayna ignores Teddy’s wishes and their agreed-upon domestic arrangement shows up anyway. She glamours Teddy and reminds him that their daughters were, in fact, born, and he invites her in. Oh shit y’all, Rayna’s a vampire. She floats to her daughter’s bedroom using vampire powers and gives her a guitar, as a present for lying and being a little bitch and getting noggin-bumped. JK it is really a gift so she has an outlet to sing about her feelings re: the divorce. No one currently knows or cares where their youngest child is, but Maddie’s going to be OK! :)
Rayna goes on Katie Couric’s show and it’s a boring plug for Katie Couric, only marginally less annoying than Teddy and Coleman’s idea for SUBWAY PARK, a different stadium plan meant to piss off Lamar. “Eat my fresh dick, Lamar!” they don’t say, but should.
In a grown-up business meeting with adults, Juliette informs the label the she wants a different kind of publicity push for whatever her thing is. They’ve already got her doing an intimate fan club performance at the aforementioned glamour central of Two Old Hippies in the Gulch, but Juliette, who owns a thesaurus, knows that “imitate” just means “small.” So she tweets the deets. Good idea? (No.)
Things aren’t any better at home. The hot therapy professional of some sort is not taking any of Juliette’s guff. Her mom (the beautiful Jolene, The Treasure of Tupelo) is hurt that Juliette blew her off once while she was on tour; Juliette denies ever even seeing her.
Therapy was better than THE MELEE IN THE GULCH, however. A fake news station derides Juliette for her thoughtless tweeting, and her team is not very good at handling damage control. “My last job was at the mall!” cries her assistant. Did she never work over the holidays? Rayna calls and yells at her over Maddy getting hurt. She tells Juliette that she hurts the people around her. Oh, and Juliette still doesn’t have a manager, but that’s okay, Jolene knows what’s coming up. Hmmmm I wonder if that will come into play later like Juliette lacks this thing and her mom is surprisingly capable of that thing and they need to repair their relationship, I wonder...
The addiction counselor, who I guess lives with them now (?), talks to Jolene about how he used to be mad rich and blew it all on drugs, sex and cars, and he needs to do a better job of making that sound like a bad, life-ruining thing. Jolene says she feels like a failure in her life. Juliette sneaks a listen and hears her mom confess guilt about ruining one of her childhood birthdays. The next day, she apologizes to her mother for ignoring her after the concert: she really did see her waiting. She invites her to go on tour (and the addiction guy who has made himself rather indispensable all of a sudden) and is off to pay the medical bills of all the people injured in 2013’s unforgettable Melee in the Gulch. Now who hurts people, Rayna?
Deacon is at home, sangin’ one of Juliette’s sawngs to his dawg, the precious birthday puppy she thoughtlessly gave him as a gift. We get a puppy closeup, it is glorious. He takes the the as-yet-nameless dog to the vet to make sure it’s “OK,” when in reality it is just acting like a puppy. The vet, who is a hot lady (just telling you that she’s a hot lady so you don’t get confused by what’s about to happen) pretty much starts negging him immediately. “Oh are you a trucker? Country music sucks. There is no dim sum here, and I know from Chinese food as I am from Colorado.”
Obvs they bone. Like, right away. I think she just walked out of the office and went over to Deacon’s for sex. Not that I blame her! They both pretend they never do that sort of thing, and he invites her out to lunch, but oops forgets he has to do Juliette’s dumb thing. She gets kind of pissed and is like “Name your dog you jerk.” Then we get another close-up of the puppy, and this is instantly the best episode of 7th Heaven ever.
Coleman comes over to play with the puppy. He suggests Deacon not sleep with the vet, but it is too late. Far too late. Deacon’s bed already has fleas in it. Coleman makes fun of him, and is giggling, like “seems like you’re keeping yourself available for Rayna” and that is kind of real talk? But he’s laughing about it. Deacon doubles down with, “What about you and Teddy?” All of these relationships are gross, is the moral. Coleman tells Deacon to be a gentleman to this hot, slutty, kind of bitchy vet and treat her like a lady.
He named the dog Sue. It is a boy. Everyone else in the world got the joke, but not the vet, who not only hates country music, but apparently totally blanked on late 20th century pop culture as a whole. “Who even is Dolly Parton? What is a banjo? If only this damnable city were not suffering from a vet shortage.” Deacon still wants to date her. Congratulations?
Scarlett and Gunnar
You know what is a bummer? When your brother dies. Gunnar is pretty bummed about his brother’s death, and is doubly bummed because he feels he is to blame. All the naked Scarlett in the world can’t help bummer feelings, much to Scarlett’s dismay. He tells her that sleeping together doesn’t have to mean anything. She pretends this does not upset her, very slick.
Gunnar goes to meet THE WORST DETECTIVE IN THE WORLD who straight up tells him the police ain’t give a fuck about some dead troublemaker. His brother was, after all, in an area of town “known for criminal activity” (aka “a city”) and it looks like he was in a drug deal gone bad. He has literally stacks of innocent murder victims he has to avenge (Nashville: Home of Stacks of Innocent Victims) before he can get around to some con on the run. Look, I am no expert but I do watch a lot of The First 48 so correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure cops have to at least pretend to care about all murder victims equally. This dude was talking to Gunnar the same way that cop was talking to Lebowski about finding a car thief.
And oh, bad news, Gunnar has blown off the performance they were supposed to do for Rayna and her new label deal. Scarlett shows up alone anyway, and does a solo performance with her ol’ banjo. Television magic adds a rhythm section and background vocals and, like, other instruments to this solo girl+banjo performance. But Rayna has to bail in the middle ‘cause her kid’s in the hospital, whoops.
Drunk Gunnar, back at home. “Stop treating me like dirt!” cries Scarlett, a Disney Princess coloring book. As if everything in her personal history does not prove that she kind of gets off on being treated like dirt? There’s a lot to unpack with this one. She’s mad at Gunnar for bailing on the show, and he is sad that his brother “cannot play music any more!” Because he is dead. She huuuugs him because he yelled at her (immediately contradicting herself re: dirt treatment) and he says he doesn’t need that from her.
Suddenly we are at Unkie Deacon’s house, the only Real Man in all of Nashville. Scarlett is scared because Gunnar, a genius full of good ideas, has decided to go hang out at the biker bar where his brother was murdered and Find the Real Killer. You can tell Gunnar’s really upset because he’s wearing a hoodie. But Decaon rights all wrongs: he tells Gunnar that he himself actually really killed someone, by convincing a friend to drive drunk. Gunnar did no such thing. He tells him to “hang on to” Scarlett. Yes, hang on to her long, crispy hair like it’s a bleached, tangled lifeline and don’t let go.
They pretend to not want to sleep together for a minute and then they sleep together again. The next morning (I think this episode only took place over the course of one day), Scarlett gets a phone call from Bucky, it turns out Rayna was impressed with her 45 seconds of singing (and she is Deacon’s niece but let’s not talk about that) and wants to sign her as a solo artist! Will she still go by Scarlett O’Conner or should she change her name to something less Gone with the Wind-ish? Or more Gone with the Wind-ish? “Ladies and gentleman, please give a round of applause for Aunt Pittypat and the Red Silk Petticoat Band!” U BOOZE U LOSE GUNNAR.
King Joffrey Baratheon, First of his Name, meets with his producer Wyclef at the Great Sept at Atlanta. Wyclef plays the tracks for Joffrey, describing them as “East Nashville meets dubstep,” even though they are not dubstep at all. At all! That is not what dubstep is. “Have you ever heard Beethoven? It’s like Taiwan meets a chicken pot pie.” The words he uttered are total nonsense. Joffrey hates this sound with a righteous fury, but his manager and Wyclef try to convince him that they’ll just love it in Europe. You know what they actually love in Europe, for real? Lambchop.
Manager Whatsherface foolishly attempts to tell Joffrey that he should be honored to defer to Wyclef. Joffrey defers to no man, and throws a typical Joffrey hissy fit because his music is all he’s got! He’s also got all of that money, thanks to music, which is helpful when one wants to eat food or live indoors. This show is perpetuating the myth that selling out is a bad thing, as opposed to keeping troo 2 ur roots and having to throw benefit shows at a bar if you break your guitar hand or whatever.
Joffrey sneaks back into the Sept and steals his masters. He smashes them up in the alleyway, and burns them up like they’re The Hound and he’s The Mountain. Joffrey, a precious music baby full of adult integrity (integrity = theft and fire), sure knows how to breach a contract. Everyone is pissed. Joffrey doesn’t care. He returns the money and bails, saying he feels “more alive than he has in months.” Are we supposed to be happy for him? Are we supposed to think Joffrey has turned a corner? O Joffrey, thou art forever petulant.
Joff has made it back to King’s Landing, and is performing at The Bluebird. He is introduced as “AVERY BARKSDALE,” which is so close to being an actual good character that my feelings are kind of hurt. Joffrey turgidly warbles at the piano about a bunch of feelings, and it sounds like a thousand penises are falling out of his mouth and planging on the keyboard. But there is sooooo much integrity. It is not as good as dubstep, and reminds me of a talent contest I witnessed in high school where this guy sang “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain, but more boring.
Just then, Joffrey’s keyboard exploded, pummeling his body with tiny black and white keys, as if the actual concept of music was taking revenge. One lodged directly in his eye, killing him instantly. No other Bluebird patrons were harmed, and all of Westeros celebrated his demise.