Nashville: A show about people doing stuff. What kind of stuff? Stupid stuff mostly; sometimes funny stuff. Singing stuff. Sexy stuff. But mostly stupid stuff. Who's the stupidest in this week's episode? (Hint: it's a teenager.)
Rayna and Juliette
Tandy is still CFO, I suppose? Her total failure to actually keep the business in financial order was forgiven on account of being the founder's sister. Juliette is with Tandy and Rayna to talk about their business together. She would like to release "Don't Put Dirt on My Grave" as a digital single with a very long title, and Tandy freaks. Why, that's "the song that flipped off the country music establishment!" she pearl-clutches. Rayna would like to take some time and redefine Juliette as an artist. She should continue touring on her dates in Twin Peaks land. But whoops, Will's album is going up against Rayna's and Will is still on tour with Juliette. So dump Will. And lay off on publicizing the fact that Rayna and Juliette are working together. "Right now, my association with you could hurt me." Great way to CEO, Rayna!
Juliette, meanwhile, has learned that boyfriend Avery wants to produce Scarlett's album, but had no problem turning down her offer when she almost selected another label. He says it's different. (It's "different" because Scarlett needs him and he hates accepting help from others. Cool guy.)
Anyway! Cool block party for the debut of Highway 65 Records. Looks like there's an open bar. Juliette is accompanied by Glenn, because Avery sucks, and everyone is there. Everyone there is giving her shit, in fact, due to the fact that she visited L.A. and everyone knows that L.A. and Nashville are mortal enemies. Everyone is fawning over Scarlett, who may or may not turn back into a bunny rabbit when the enchantment ends at midnight, so you can see how that might be annoying. Defying Rayna's orders to keep their partnership under wraps, Juliette takes the mic and announces that she too has been signed to Highway 65. Soy milk and Richard Dawkins books for everyone!
Rayna is furious at her for destroying any possibility of salvaging her disastrous public image! Juliette is furious that Rayna is pushing her behind to the benefit of assorted up-and-comers over established celebrity! Juliette ain't care that Rayna's mad. #julietteshrug. "I'mma fix this, might take me a little minute," Rayna folkies about the conundrum. She tells Juliette that if the label fails, she loses her house. Where she lives. With her kids. (Pretty dumb to put your house up, huh?) But she has an idea! Juliette duets with Rayna at The Opry. The audience is like, "No, we dislike this supposed atheist. How dare she perform for us?"
"Country music fans are the worst." — ABC's Nashville
Teddy and the Kidz
"Music isn't a hobby to me!" announces Maddie in that charming way particular to teens as Teddy takes away her guitar so she can study and improve her C grades. Good influence! Good parenting moves! But Teddy is less smart with love-life moves. He goes to Deacon's Lawyer Girlfriend Megan under the flimsy pretense of doing some kind of thing for some kind of survivor group. "Are you using my personal tragedy to try and spend time with me?" she asks, which is easily in the Top Ten sentences you don't want your crush to say, along with "I'm calling the police" and "What's that spot on your lip?" She thinks their sex-having was a mistake (though she can now get a pothole filled, like, anywhere) and would like Teddy to go. He later tells her that musicians like Deacon "are not normal people," which, ha.
And ooh, Maddie is just so mad-dy at her dad ... dy (sorry). She's wearing Taylor Momsen-style sad raccoon-eye makeup and has even put makeup on her younger sister, The Girl That Was Forgot. She watches YouTube videos instead of doing school projects, a sure sign of on-set delinquency. She is GROUNDED and she says that's not fair! Teddy doesn't get it! Well, whoops, her mother agrees that she needs to read a book or whatever. "I want to go live with my real dad!" she throws in Teddy's face. DOUBLE GROUNDED!
So she uploads a video of herself singing a song to YouTube as "Maddie Claybourne." Ha, oh Maddie, you are dumb.
His girlfriend is being very awkward around him nowadays. He thinks it's because he's on the road all the time, but it's really because she had sex with the mayor (like you do). Maddie stops by to play him her new song. Oh, and Teddy is there, with Maddie. "Be a positive influence," the Cheater in Chief requests of Deacon. Speaking of good influences, Girlfriend passes. Teddy and Girlfriend are like "curt hello."
Deacon, though, is being a good father-figure/whatever-thing to Maddie. She asks him to explain to Teddy that she's super good and super serious at music. "Remember that your stepmother was recently murdered and ease up on your dad for a sec," is the advice that apparently must be given. Teens! Always so sassy and lackadaisical after family murder.
Luke Wheeler, Nashville's biggest charity, thinks that Deacon is too good to be playin' in bars and sleepin' in motels, stuff that's a real distraction when you're trying to find material for country songs. He asks Deacon to go on tour with him. Deacon asks his girlfriend, who gives an enthusiastic yes, presumably so she can resume getting the ol' pocket veto from Nashville's favorite (made-up) politician. The citizens of Bellevue know whom to ask for sidewalks.
Gunnar and Zoey
The show actually opens with a lovely Zoey, singing a lovely song in a lovely church/recording studio. It is an audition, and she did well! How lovely. And how goes Gunnar? Well, he doesn't want to give up on the band! They could do shows every week! But Avery, you see, has been in bands, and sees it ending in bad blood (good luck in Atlanta, douche, never forget). Zoey thinks it should be fun and casual. Gunnar says "Well I'll bring balloon animals next time we play!" to indicate that he is hurt by their lack of seriousness, but to me it sounds like that would go over pretty well at Road to Bonnaroo.
Gunnar asks why Zoey isn't so gung-ho into the band anymore. It's because she thinks she did very well during one of the secret auditions she's been going to. "So, you want to sing professionally?" he asks of her, which, yes, obviously, and aren't you asking her to sing in your band in a serious professional full-time capacity? If she gets this job, though, she'll be gone for six months on a national tour. Gunnar is sad. He is tired of everyone running off to do exciting things while he stays behind; he is the Beth March of Nashville, this one. NBD, though: looks like Zoey didn't get the gig. Her dreams fell through so Gunnar's ego stays intact. Hooray?
Will and Layla
Proving the point that what you can imagine is dirtier than whatever it actually is, Layla presents Will with a sex shop bag full of ... something. We are never shown what it is, so fill in the blank with your own filthy mind. (My bet: some kind of sexy outfit that doubles as a college girl's Halloween costume.) Will is like "We don't need this." But you know what he does need? Brent, who is Layla's new manager.
Will and Brent are watching Layla perform when a rando pops up and asks Will for a pic. Turns out Will went to school with this fellow's sister, and she seems to recall him being in a band. With a guy. There is presumably some history between Will and that guy, because he feigns ignorance and excuses himself from the conversation. Brent overhears all.
Hashtag Layla and Will Roadshow (too many characters) says Brent! Now that Will is gone from Juliette's tour, this dynamic duo can tour the world together. "Hmm," says Will. Actually, Edgehill would like him to tour with Luke Wheeler now. Layla is sad, because Edgehill hates her and now it feels like Will hates her. "Do you even want to be in this relationship anymore?" she asks. No, he does not.
Brent informs Will that he cannot break up with Layla. Someone down the line will out him to the label and the world as he gets more and more famous. And that would be a career-killer. Because, as this show demonstrates over and over again, country music fans are terrible people and cannot be trusted to be adults. So, naturally, Will proposes to Layla (who is, let's remember, like 19). I'm sure this genius decision will end just swimmingly for all involved.
Rayna and Scarlett listen to the wispy, cotton-candy gossamer strands of music that she produced with Liam. Rayna thinks they're great! And she can do other great songs, with other (non-letch) producers. She thinks Scarlett should go back on the road in the meantime and be the human cud for word-of-mouth. Scarlett (a bottle of booze stolen for a chess-club makeout party) does not want to go back on the road, because she cannot handle the pressures. The pressures! So many pressures. She would like to go ahead and finish the album please, with Avery. Rayna is like "Sure, whatever, fine, knock yourself out."
So Scarlett goes to Avery's house (as no one uses telephones) and asks him to help her finish the album. He is like "But Juliette."
And what does Scarlett do at the Highway 65 launch party? Eh, not much. She takes compliments with aplomb and remembers names and is wearing a headband like a Coachella-goer circa 2007. Oh, and she also takes A PILL with — wait. What's this? A pill with water? She takes a single pill, with water, and then proves herself competent in front of strangers. The pill was in a prescription bottle. I mean, I know Liam gave her some PILLS earlier, but now he's out of the picture. Is this a Very Special Episode Brought To You By The Good Folks at Pfizer, or is it possible we missed a scene where Scarlett went to a doctor who diagnosed her with like 1,000 anxiety disorders and prescribed legal and needed medication to help her function as an adult human in the world? Because I feel like that is what we witnessed. It's not like she's got a Fabergé egg full of coke or is huddled in the bathroom with some of that sweet, sweet H. Some people in this world need pills!
(George Michael rules, "Father Figure" rules, but man ... those lyrics.)