Wow, lots of 1930s-style fast-talking about what it’s like to own a label. Buy! Sell! Get me Robin Roberts on the phone! Golly gee, runnin’ a business is a heck of a thing. Tandy is helping, magically no longer persona non grata, and Deacon’s bumming around with daughter Maddie. He and Maddie are talking about their favorite inarguable country music legends so as not to offend any viewers (except for they all choose Loretta Lynn over Dolly Parton which is WRONG). Maddie drops off the weird family picture of their sing-along for the troops, decorated with the finest of stickers.
Luke is also there.
Rayna, best person and best singer, got bumped from GMA promotion because of weird Jeff Fordham dealings. Jeff wants Luke to play too. It’s a leverage thing. But Rayna ain’t care, because she’s gonna play LP Field! A free download for every Christmas goose sold! Livestream! Tweet! Facebook! This is how you 2014 music bidness.
But it's still tough going for our Rayna. She talks to Deacon about how scared she is of her life falling apart on account of putting all her eggs in the Highway 65 basket, and the hens she hired are total nutcases who are trying to drop out left and right. She doesn't want to "sell out" ("make money") but Deacon holds no grudge against her insane lack of pragmatism. He smiles at her. It's a love smile.
Rayna is preparing for her show at LP Field. She prays to the God of Fame and Riches for blessing her with children and flowers and fans and all these hot mens who are all the time trying to get up on her. She does her thing on stage with Luke, but Deacon (as well as her childrens and ex-husband) are giving her love faces from the sidelines. Luke drops to one knee and proposes right there on stage. To the woman who has spent two entire seasons talking about how she wants a private life. She takes the ring. Her ex-lovers and her children are like "Huh okay."
Soon enough, Deacon BUSTS IN to her home, and says that her happiness is a lie and that she shouldn't marry that seven-carot-ring-giving turd. Yeah, sure, Deacon has been a total fuck-up for 20 years, but he's chaaaanged now, and would like to be a husband to Rayna and a father to Maddie and Daphne. He kisses Rayna, and drops a ring in her hand. The ring, left over from their olden days of being a couple, probably has Stone Temple Pilots lyrics engraved in it.
Avery plays a song for Juliette, instead of getting her a real present. She loves him for some reason. His phone buzzes, and it's Jeff Fordham of the Juliette-sex-having. Juliette has Pained Face. She later calls Jeff and lies to him about telling Avery the truth about her cheating. NBD, he's only using her guilt to get her back to his record label. So he can be her boss again. Foolproof plan!
Deacon is having a … sobriety fundraiser? Something. There are tons of fancy celebs like RAYNA in attendance to watch Gunnar/Avery/Zoey's band perform. Avery plays a sweet whisper-loud-whisper-Wallflowers-style song for Juliette, but he doesn't think she's there. But oh, she's there. DRUNK. Deacon is mad that she's drunk at the sober event. Rayna sees all, because she is magical.
Juliette is so wasted and sad about ruining her life with Jeff Fordham. "WUT," says Rayna. Juliette pukes in response. She is wearing a peplum. Peplum puke. "I hate him and he's gross and he's mean," says Juliette. She's afraid of telling Avery. "Tell Avery," says Rayna. GOOD NEWS, Gunnar and Zoey already tell Avery, like dickheads. "Tell me it isn't true," weeps Avery. "Nope it is true," weeps Juliette and it's like, girl, you can do sooo much better! There was that billionaire. Remember him? Your current boyfriend burned up some demos in an Atlanta alleyway and had Professor Snape hair not that long ago. He has to get over loving her, he says. It's the rare civilian-dumping-a-star-breakup. We shall see.
Also she and Rayna then, like, tag-team Jeff Fordham and tell him about all their digital downloads? I don't know. Anyway she is staying with Highway 65.
Oh, we see almost immediately about Avery, by the way. He loves her, she loves him, she deflects questions about why she nailed Fordham with really messed-up tales of being taken advantage of since she was young, which is why she pushes love away. "I don't deserve you," she says. You deserve the world my angel, and I will personally pay for your self-esteem classes. Please be over Avery by next season.
Will has so many problems, both professional and personal. His personal ones (that he is gay and is now in a sexless marriage of convenience on reality TV) are far more pressing than his professional ones (label nonsense) but this clown lacks perspective. He has a No. 1 record! He goes on GMA and is apparently so good that his just-this-side-of-virgin wife calls to congratulate him (on camera). Ring ring, goes Will’s phone. Will answers. “It went to voicemail,” says the wife. So who is he talking to? Just that foxy gym rat. Who is a dude.
This reality TV producer has stumbled into a freaking goldmine of morons who are more than happy to sign their lives away for a hot second of record promotion. But now they’re getting real. Wife Layla talks to the cameras about how sad she is. Will is doing the same. “Why did I dupe this innocent into my bizarre web of self-promotion and self-hatred?" Will roundabout-ly asks. I refill my wine glass.
Some record deal falls through, whatever, Will goes to confess to Gunnar for the umpteenth time that he is gay and that it's tearing him apart. Gunnar gives him advice about record deals but he is SUBTEXTLY giving him advice about how it's okay to be gay. Don't go back to the train tracks, Will! He busts home and hides away from the obvious cameras, and finally tells Layla that he's gay. He weeps upon her tiny tiny shoulders. "WUT" says Layla. "JACKPOT" says the secret camera hidden in the clock.
She wants to go back to Ole Miss and poet some more. Did she not graduate? She's wearing a sparkle headband and is packing up her life that consists of the following:
* troll dolls
* love letters she wrote to Princess Bride-era Cary Elwes but never sent
* pieces of chewed-up street gum that happened to be in the shape of a heart
Zoey is there, and is like "Wow, too bad you suck and my life is amazing." Scarlett (a homeless child's busted Tamagotchi) is like "Good luck sleeping with all of my assorted ex-boyfriends." Then she wants to go to Loveless Cafe one last time which isn't even close.
Scarlett busts into a pantsless Avery. "Laters," she says. "LEAVE ME ALONE," he says. She wants him to tell her all of his problems. She reminds him of how good they were together (were they?) and now he's sad she's leaving. She also busts up onto Gunnar. "You even loved me for a little while," she says to him, which is a very odd thing to say to a person. They sing. "God gave you something special" his lyrics say about her like diamonds fall from her mouth. "She is cry," according to my notes.
HAVE A GR8 SUMMER.