Well, it’s been a busy couple weeks for all of us at Adversion. Our recaps may have fallen behind, but rest assured, we are committed to parsing every single second of our favorite shows for sexism, hidden meanings, and opportunities to make fun of Scarlett.
Previously on Nashville: Gunnar didn’t understand what “fun” was, in the context of pretty girls slipping into his bed at night; Jeff “fixed” the “Juliette thing” and got to be Luke’s CEO, and asked Layla to move in with him; Luke and Gabriella finally mixed business and pleasure, if you know what I mean; Deacon bought a bar and made his friend name it “The Beverly”; Avery could tell something was wrong with Juliette but Jeff said she was fine.
And finally, in case you forgot, Jeff saved Juliette from killing herself and TOTALLY FELL OFF A BUILDING.
Morning. Knocking in Juliette’s hotel room. She hoists herself up, looking like a mess. I don’t even know how her hair sticks up like that. She can see all the pills on the dresser, but instead of reacting with vague disgust at the idea of ever ingesting any substance again the way most people do with this kind of hangover, Juliette just casually swipes her finger across the desk and rubs it on her gum before she opens the door. She tells the police to talk to Jeff if it’s about the crazed fan. When the police officer breaks the news about Jeff, her eyes are all red and so is her nose and upper lip as she says, “He’s dead?”
Layla: a close-up of one eye. She can hear someone saying her name, but she’s just sitting on the bed in a bathrobe, trying to hold it together. A detective is asking her if he’s ever done anything like this before. “Are you saying that you don’t think this was an accident?” Layla says slowly. She doesn’t believe this because they were making plans for the future. He says that “sometimes people mask depression with false hope.” (Or, in Juliette’s case, with several Dr. Mario levels’ worth of pharmaceuticals.) Anyway, a tear slides down Layla’s face. She obviously kind of has to accept that this is a possibility, which is so sad.
Every TV character who dies gets either a really long, drawn-out, dramatic death scene or they get this routine, of everyone finding out that they’re dead. I always find this extremely moving, I guess because there’s such a Before and After quality to it: someone innocently opens the door, only to find out that their beloved (for God knows what reason) boyfriend is dead.
Luke and Gabriella are being super gross in bed as they canoodle, post-coitally, he says he doesn’t want to hire her back yet. She says she doesn’t want to make too big a deal out of this and needs to go put out a press release. But the knock on the door turns out not to be room service. “It’s the police,” Gabriella says.
Deacon has driven Rayna to what looks like a strip mall made over as the set of a Western film. She’s like, um… a bar? He says, not just a bar. “Baby, welcome to the Beverly.” Rayna looks about as happy with this name as I am.
Scarlett’s pulling a Felicity. (You should read about this if you haven’t: Clare Bowen has a very moving story behind her big move, and it’s still moving even though she looks way fucking better now anyway.) “You sure you want to do this?” asks the hairdresser. Scarlett says, “I don’t need it anymore. It’s time to let go.” Weirdly, it appears she used way more product on her hair for this scene than she ever does: it’s totally smooth and I think it looks very pretty.
A detective is asking Juliette if Jeff was behaving oddly. She is both dead-eyed and defiant, saying he was just being a jackass, as usual. “The last time I saw Jeff, he told me to stay in this room. And I did. All night long.” It’s hard to tell if she’s lying. I assumed she wasn’t, and that she’d forgotten, mostly because I think the character would be almost entirely unsalvageable if she hid something like this. I see Juliette as weak, as not even always well-meaning, but as redeemable. As the officer gives up and leaves, he says, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Juliette’s cryptic face doesn’t move.
A lady with an extremely pointy, made-up face comes in to the hotel room. Layla, the poor innocent, says, “You must be Kate. I’m Layla, I’m Jeff’s girlfriend.” She actually sounds almost chipper. Kate says dismissively, “I’m sure.” Well, I guess charm runs in the family. Layla offers help with funeral arrangements after she hears Kate saying something about transporting “the body” back to New York, but Kate says, “Look, I don’t know who… or what… you were to Jeff, but my brother never mentioned your name. And as far as the service, it will be family only. Now, please vacate the room.”
Layla is just like this sad puppy that everyone kicks and her giant eyes look so vulnerable. I can’t handle it! It’s so sad!
Luke comes back into the room and finds Colt’s empty bottles, and starts yelling at him for being underage. Colt has to yell, “Dad!” and starts tearing up as he says, “I saw Jeff Fordham fall off the roof last night.” He tells Luke what happened with Juliette and starts sobbing as he said he couldn’t find Luke, “and you weren’t there.” Luke draws him into an embrace.
Scarlett comes into Caleb’s office while he looks at some X-rays and says, “Hey stranger.” It’s pretty funny because, like, how do you say hello to someone when you absolutely know their next comment is going to be about a major appearance change? It’s kind of awkward. Anyway, he says, “Oh my God,” rushes over to kiss her, and says “I did not think that you could be any more beautiful.” Great response from Caleb. A+ for the scene, which brings you up to a solid D- overall. He wants to go out to celebrate when she tells him she’s going out on tour, but she has rehearsal all day and suggests dinner.
Deacon, completely not reading the room, brings Rayna joyfully into the bar and introduces her to his partner, Frankie. “Nice to meet you, finally,” Rayna says, recognizing the name. “You’re going into business with your sponsor? Is that a thing?” Deacon says no, but he’s getting a new sponsor, and Frankie agrees that they’re keeping their boundaries clean. Yeah, because that fixes this whole idea.
Rayna answers a call from Layla, who’s sobbing, and says she didn’t know who to call. “Jeff’s dead,” and she starts crying hysterically. “I just want to get out of here, I want to come home, but there aren’t any flights.” Rayna says she’ll call Luke and that Layla can go back with him, and that she’s there for Layla. Layla hangs up, her voice squeaking as she tries not to sob again. Rayna hangs up, looking shocked.
Will comes into the kitchen, where Avery is playing with an iPod. “I thought you were hanging out with Kevin all day,” Avery says. Will is like nope, and I don’t want to talk about it. So Avery gets to share about his apartment hunt. He explains that living in the Bro Palace was always temporary till he and Juliette either got back together or didn’t. Will takes this a teensy bit personally: “So it’s all over, just like that.” Then his phone beeps: Jeff Fordham’s dead. Avery stands up, shocked. Will says he’s going to call Layla. Aww, I love those two together, and the strange kinship that sprung up between them despite everything he did to her when he didn’t know what the hell he was doing. Will asks if Avery is going to call Juliette, but he says no: “Moving on is moving on.”
The news is all over this death (really? Without Juliette’s involvement, which no one knows about, would people actually care this much?). “Police tell us hours before his death, Fordham attended a party…” Gabriella switches the TV off and we see a grim Luke and a head-rubbing, anxious, upset Colt on the couch. Luke makes (not very enthusiastic) noises about calling the detective. “I wouldn’t,” says Gabriella. “We need to talk to Juliette first, get our stories straight.”
Wow. I’m sorry, I know that knee-jerk vilification of female characters is AN ISSUE on the internet sometimes, but Gabriella is ACTUALLY SATAN. I’m going to spend all my feminist cred on standing by this opinion. Forever. A man has died; a traumatized teenager has witnessed it; and she is STILL WORRIED about Luke Wheeler’s dumb brand.
And we get to watch the slow, but total, moral corruption of Luke Wheeler proceed: he asks if she’s telling him to obstruct justice. “No, I’m asking you to wait and see if justice unfolds without the world finding out that your underage son was drunk when he saw an accident.” Oh, it’s so gross. Colt gets indignant; Luke sends him off to shower. “I’ve already received calls from investors who want to back out because you threw a party where someone died.” Luke, near tears, says, “Jeff was my friend, OK?” Gabriella is not even embarrassed. She says that the press is bad when he’s launching a multi-million-dollar business venture, and Luke—taking the easy way out—agrees to this, saying that he wants to protect his son, but really, I think, seduced by Gabriella’s utter conviction that the truth has no moral claim on you when millions of dollars are at stake. Then Gabriella smoothly switches to the same noble language as Luke: “We need to keep Colt quiet, for his sake.” You JUST SAID it was about the multi-million-dollar business venture, dude.
Unfortunately, just then Luke catches sight of a shades-wearing Juliette on TV. Everyone’s demanding how she feels as she tries to escape to her limo, and she finally whirls on them and says in a teary voice, “My manager just committed suicide, how do you think I feel?” Gabriella makes a long-suffering face as the reporters gleefully pounce on this information.
Juliette’s contemplating her bottomless drink and Gabriella and Luke, but mostly Gabriella, storm onto her plane. “You guys got the wrong jet,” Juliette says casually. Hee. Things only stars would say. Gabriella says they need to talk about what she said; Juliette is like, hey, you’re Luke’s image consultant, not mine. So that’s her title. I thought it was “Managing Director of Devils on Luke’s Shoulder.”
Luke says that they’re all upset and that Juliette shouldn’t go spouting off theories. “What I told them was what the police told me.” She tells him that whoever saw her (he doesn’t name Colt) needs to get their eyes checked, and it’s quite convincing. Gabriella says that she needs to stop talking to the press, and Luke tries to let her off gently by saying she doesn’t have to do the show tomorrow—but Juliette has never missed a show, so why would she miss it just because her manager died? Fair enough.
Gunnar is teasing his manager about being stressed, and the manager is complaining about last-minute decisions. “I can’t find a sound engineer to save my life.” Gunnar sees the perfect opportunity, presumably, to rub in Scarlett’s face the fact that he’s finally getting laid again, and says he knows someone. Scarlett shows up and the manager whines about his merch. “Feel free to call Locks of Love and tell them you need my hair more than a sick child does,” says Scarlett snappishly. She declares herself ready to rehearse. Gunnar looks scared. I feel like Gunnar is kind of that guy who thinks he likes tough girls (like Erin) but actually is totally uncomfortable when the woman he loves declares her independence in some way.
I’m rooting for you, though, Gunnar. You’re still better than Caleb. Also, now that Scarlett’s fixed her hair, maybe you should follow her example and cut that mess off your head.
Layla’s on the plane with Luke and Colt, looking catatonic. colt is leaving a message for Maddie, apologizing for not calling her back. Luke is like, well, this is awkward: “You know not saying anything to anyone includes your girlfriend, right?” “What about Jeff’s girlfriend – you gon’ tell her?” So he heaves himself over to Layla and asks her to come to the tribute. But Layla is bent on wringing every drop of guilt out of Luke that she can. She cries and says it doesn’t make sense, and they were happy. “How could this happen?” she says extremely pointedly. Luke resists answering, and lets Layla collapse, sobbing, into his arms.
Rayna tells Bucky she’s worried about Layla. Bucky mentions fast-tracking Markus’ album to fill her release date. Having spent thirty seconds focusing on business, Rayna is now ready to move on to more important things like her relationship with Deacon: she asks if Bucky knows anything about Frankie Gray. Bucky gives Rayna a lot of non-new information, such as the fact that Bucky was once an alcoholic and now owns a bar. It’s always amusing when shows sneak a little exposition into their scenes, like they can’t figure out how to give us information we need. I’m not sure what to call it when they sneak in a recap of information that we have already been effectively given at least once.
Frankie’s singing at his bar, and Deacon’s watching, looking moved and pensive. Light clapping follows the song, and Deacon says it was a great set. “I’m not sure they know that,” says Frankie, but Deacon promises that their audiences will become people who are here for music, not bottom-shelf liquor. Deacon wants to get people in earlier: a happy hour with music. Frankie thinks this is a good idea, but asks if “You didn’t think it was a good idea to run all this by your old lady first?”
You know them bitches, always tryin’ta get in the way of you buying bars when you aren’t supposed to be around alcohol.
Erin’s waiting on Gunnar’s porch when he gets home and says she got his call. He says it was just about a job for the tour. Erin, who’s used to Gunnar making up jobs so that he can stalk her, is mildly surprised that this one exists but says it’s cool. Gunnar backtracks that Scarlett will have to approve, and this is all still fine with Erin, because it’s not that big a deal if you don’t realize that the “bandmate” is actually the “still in love with me ex-girlfriend,” but also because Erin is basically a male fantasy incarnate so she never says no anyway.
Scarlett and Caleb are at a boring grown-up dinner date when Scarlett gets a text about meeting a sound person. Caleb tries to be excited about this, but says, “she hasn’t had a chance to look at the menu,” to the waiter. But Scarlett’s phone keeps buzzing. Caleb wonders, “If it’s this hard to get your attention now, what’s it gonna be like when you’re on tour, huh?” Scarlett barely even hears this because “Knoll” (she pronounces it just like Felicity pronounces Noel, and I”m going to steal TWoP’s spelling now that I’ve finally learned this manager’s name) has sent urgent paperwork. Caleb folds the menu on the fancy white tablecloth and suggests placing a to-go order, which… I’m sure they do that.
Will comes into Layla’s apartment to find it covered in boxes. Layla says that Jeff called the movers and, I guess, had them pack up about half her stuff without asking her, which she finds “sweet” and I find “about as creepy as befits a man like Jeff.” Anyway, Will—who has his own experience with suicidal thoughts, as we all remember from season one—gently tries to reassure her that such thoughts aren’t rational. Layla rejects this and says she doesn’t think Jeff did it at all.
She’s right, of course, but I just love how Will is trying to use his own experience (hurtful as it was for Layla) to help her now. They have an extremely sweet friendship, having come to terms with the various wounds that have been dealt on each side after years of confusion and anger; and I like that this episode showcases that. Anyway, layla is convinced that Jeff wouldn’t have left her. She asks Will to stay (“Do you think that Kevin would mind…?”) and Will, for once, swallows his own issues and says it won’t be a problem.
Juliette’s in Nashville, in the car on the way to a hotel with her anonymous driver, one of the only and, given that Gabriella and Zoe are the only two competitors that I can think of, by far the least annoying speaking African-American characters on the show. He says he’s sorry about Jeff and she, in the same deadened voice she’s been using all day, says they weren’t really close.
Deacon is in bed with Rayna, apologizing for buying the bar without asking her. She just says that she wants him to be OK. He says he is, and that he wants Beverly to be a star here just like she was there. She says she gets it, and he turns off the lamp, but Rayna does not look convinced.
Juliette’s standing in a fancypants hotel room with floor-to-ceiling windows and the Background Piano of a Brewing Storm ominously plunking on its lowest strings. Her chauffeur drops off the prescription she asked for (uhoh) and asks if he needs to bring her to see Avery and Cadence. She says no, just to pick her up for soundcheck. Anonymous Chauffeur looks concerned but agrees.
Avery is checking out an empty apartment with an extremely toothy lady who thinks Cadence is so cute and looks just like her mother. As soon as Avery realizes that the realtor recognizes him, he squirms out of the appointment, looking upset. Yeah—how did you think that was going to work, Avery?
I guess it’s the next morning, because Layla emerges from her bedroom to see Will unpacking and folding up all her boxes. He wonders if he overstepped—he thought it was best if everything was back the way it was. Layla seems to be quietly touched by this. I’m basically in tears. He asks how she is and she says, “Lost,” breaking down in tears.
Just then Rayna shows up, and Will says good-bye. Layla says thank you, and to tell Kevin thanks (for … loaning out his boyfriend for a night, I guess?) Left alone, Rayna tries to say she’s sorry about Jeff and Layla throws it in her face that she hated him. Rayna, to her credit, doesn’t try to deny it or say she, like, respected him despite their differences, because: lying. But she does, convincingly, say that “The only thing I care about is you and how I can support you through this.” Layla confesses that the family is shutting her out and she has nothing of Jeff’s. Rayna shakes her head, looking so sad and compassionate. She tells Layla that she was important to Jeff, and Layla cries some more, and it’s really sad.
Erin’s in an interview with Scarlett and Gunnar, talking about how she started on some bigger tours. Scarlett asks an indecipherable question that seems to be about having fewer perks on their tour. Erin unsubtly adds as a total non-sequitur, “And you don’t have to worry about me and Gunnar. I mean, we’re super chill.” Seeing that she’s put her foot in it, she makes her exit quickly—she is, at least, skilled at doing that—and Gunnar starts humble-bragging that she’s not his girlfriend, just his Casual Sex Partner, while Scarlett gets on her high horse about Gunnar taking the tour seriously. Both of them sound like twelve-year-olds. A match made in heaven.
Luke calls Colt out to “the car,” but Colt would rather shoot pool. Luke says that they can’t do anything till they know what happened. Colt is like, uhhh, we know what happened. But Luke thinks not, since Colt was dead drunk and Juliette, that paragon of honesty, says she wasn’t there. “So you’re gonna take her word over mine?” Colt says. Yeah… he has a point. Luke points out that Colt getting drunk doesn’t give him much reason to trust him and screams at him to get in the car. Colt slams down the cue (more informally and, in my opinion, accurately, known as “pool stick” in my early draft) and goes out to the car.
Rayna arrives at Deacon’s studio. He is glad she’s not too busy to see him play. She says she won’t be able to see him and he, blithely, says, “Well that’s all right, plenty of other nights.” But Rayna has to break ti to him that she can’t see him in that bar. “You’re an alcoholic, and you’ve been fighting this disease your whole life,” she says with a shaky voice. Oh man, I feel for her. Yes, it’s tough to be an alcoholic, but it is also so hard and so traumatizing to be the partner of an alcoholic, I’m sure she has a whole lot of baggage from that and Deacon, understandably, hasn’t really been aware of that at all.
He grabs her arms and says that Beverly died giving him a liver, so he’ll never drink again. Rayna says, “You know that’s not the way it works. It’s one day at a time.” That’s such a good point. But Deacon takes it as her not having faith in him, and when she says she has faith in him he plays the dead-sister card and says he has to go. She looks heartbroken. Poor Ray.
Juliette is in her dressing room, off-handedly rejecting the planned costume in favor of “the red one” because she’s “sick of all this depressing black.” Yeah. It’s such a fashion drag when your manager dies. Layla comes in, saying she wants to be with other people who “feel his loss,” which, I feel you, Layla, but are you sure you picked the right person? I know the last time she talked to Juliette, Juliette was saying all sorts of horrible shit about their relationship.
Never one to disappoint, Juliette continues her mean streak. “Tell me about it. I gotta get a new manager,” she says while applying lipstick, the absolute picture of evil. Layla, because she learns slowly, looks shocked. Then Juliette says fakely, “I’m sorry, I forgot you two had a little somethin’ going on. Are you OK?” Layla, with the hopefulness dying out of her puppy-dog eyes even as she speaks, asks Juliette to reach out to the family and get them to include Layla in the ceremony. Juliette is like, uhhh, why? Layla admits they won’t acknowledge her. “K—I’m going to do you a favor and not contact his family, cause it’s not gonna do you any good, okay? Jeff’s gone, and he’s not comin’ back, and the best way for you to get over him is to just pretend that the two fo you never happened,” Juliette says and gives Layla a big grin. Her assistant gives her what Ann M. Martin used to call A Look while handing over the slutty red outfit, and Juliette is all, “What? That was great advice.” Hee.
Scarlett’s in her room picking out stuff for the tour. Caleb has brought her flowers as an apology for being overly sensitive about the tour. I’m sorry, but how many episodes do we have to watch where Caleb tries to make up for the utterly lackluster nature of this relationship by offering Scarlett cliched man-to-woman gifts like flowers and jewelry? SHE HAS HOBBIES, CALEB. Get her something that you didn’t read about in Heterosexual Dating Advice for Weenies. And I don’t feel like this in any way makes him a more interesting “opposite” to Gunnar in the little love triangle. Just because he does nice things for Scarlett doesn’t make us care about him in the same way we would if he were a character in his own right. (Take note, Jonas.)
Anyway, Caleb launches into a big speech about seeing each other on the tour and says “We are gonna crush long-distance.” Scarlett giggles, and not because she realizes that her boyfriend is absurd.
Gunnar busts into the Bro Castle, where Will, poor guy, is sitting alone on the couch eating a pint of ice cream. complains that “Scarlett cut her hair and turned into a crazy person!” When Will figures out the problem, says, “I think we’ve established that you don’t do casual. …Why on earth would you bring your girlfriend on the road in a professional capacity?” You got ‘im, Will. Then Will goes to TOWN on Gunnar, pointing out that he’s a huge fucking drama king. “It’s not like your boyfriend just jumped off a building, or your wife just abandoned you and your child, or the guy you blew up your whole life for just dumped you.” Excellent job, Will. Gunnar, like a lot of “sensitive” male TV characters, gets away with a lot of narcissism because he feels entitled to make everyone, in particular Scarlett, deal with all of his Feelings. I’m glad he got called out.
Gunnar is sad to hear that Will and Kevin broke up. But he can’t believe it: “No, I just saw you guys high fiving over your cowrite getting cut by Luke Wheeler.” Word for word he says that, because that is what you say to your friend who just broke up with someone, I guess. Will, sensing an opportunity to take over the scene with his own narcissism, lectures Gunnar on the dangers of letting someone into every part of his life.
The Beverly. Frankie is gloating to Deacon about the size of the crowd, and says, “If you want to back out of this…” Deacon brushes this off and goes onstage. He thanks everyone and says he’s the part owner, and announces the new name, which promptly puts a stop to the clapping. Then he sings a song that involves whiskey and a “sky so blue.” I never noticed that his guitar strap says “Deacon” on it. Cute. And the song is pretty fun.
Juliette takes a bottle of vodka off of the fancy bar in, I think, her suite. Luke comes in and gives her her speech. She reads the part about Jeff Fordham being her dear friend and says, “God help me.” Luke begs her to cover up (her cleavage is an eighth wonder of the world right now) as she pours about a quart of vodka into her cup. Then Colt storms in asking why she’s lying, and says he saw her on the roof with Jeff. Luke chases him out, but Juliette gets this horrified look on her face and starts to get very streaky flashbacks of her moment on the roof.
In her dressing room, she sits down on the couch, looking terrified.
Avery finds Will in the darkened kitchen and gives his condolences about Kevin, which he heard about from Gunnar. Avery settles in for a heart-to-heart, and Will confesses, “Part of me thought, if I didn’t say it out loud, maybe it wouldn’t be true?” Oh, so kind of like the whole being-gay thing. He asks Avery how he’s handling everything so well. Avery says there’s not a lot of time to break down while he’s taking care of Cadence. “I guess you have to postpone it, or push it all out of your mind.” He says that he misses the idea of forever, and starts to cry as he says he’s got the ring on just for appearances.
Just then Cadence starts crying on the monitor, and Will leans forward to say, “I got ‘er.” Avery wipes his eyes and nods as Will grasps his shoulder and tells Avery to take his time. There is a major cuteness overload in this scene, and Cadence hasn’t even shown up yet. Will stepping up to be Avery’s buddy and Cadence’s secondary caregiver is adorable, and has the side effect of being a nice break from the self-pitying Will of the last few months.
Meanwhile, Avery never gets a break from his main activity: he breaks down sobbing in the kitchen.
Luke is chasing Colt into a hotel room and asking some dude to babysit Colt, yelling “Not another word!” as Colt tries to protest. It’s time to take the stage, so he just walks away. Wow, Luke is the worst. I blame Gabriella.
Avery stands at the door watching Will sing to Cadence and joins in on the second verse: “Sweet girl of mine,” they sing, as Cadence’s chubby, puzzled face stares up at them from her crib and then drifts into sleep in approximately three seconds. Avery apologizes for losing it (ah, the tyranny of American masculinity) and Will is cool about it. “We’re gonna get through this,” says Avery. Will agrees, and points out that since Gunnar’s going to be gone, he’ll be lonely without Avery and Cadence. “You need help with her, and I could use a friend.” Avery nods. YAY.
Rayna is flat-out not listening to Bucky as he blathers about some sort of studio that Markus is going to be recording in. “I’m sorry, I’m just really upset about this bar, and Deacon,” says Rayna, who has apparently forgotten her resolve to not let her label be a joke. Bucky says that he knows how Deacon is now, and that she and Deacon can deal with this. He manages not to point out that Rayna is once again abdicating any sort of responsibility at this label. I wonder if Bucky is going to turn out to be a secret mastermind, and take over the label in a huge dramatic coup in the fifth season. That would be cool.
Erin and Gunnar meet up at a bar. Erin says she feels stupid about telling Scarlett (honestly, fifty-fifty chance she did it on purpose to stir some shit just so that she could pretend to be above it), but Gunnar says it’s his decision—he has a hard time working with people he’s dating. Erin says that they’re not dating and she’s not going to let it get messy: “Work is work—play is play.” Has Erin been taking lessons in being gross from Gabriella? Also, I feel like there’s a weird undercurrent of “Sexy girls don’t ask for commitment, they just spout weird euphemisms about how they love to have casual sex” going on here. The “cool girl” phenomenon, in other words. Of course, Scarlett is probably a balance for any possible cool-girl overload, since she loves commitment and every single nerve in her body is keyed up to maximum freak-out all the time.
Luke and Juliette are onstage at their tour. And Jeff, his voice trembling, makes a little speech about the tour being family. Juliette starts saying her speech, but cuts it off quickly with “He’ll be missed.” Yikes.
She strips off her jacket as she gets offstage. Layla screams at her that Jeff “did practically everything for you,” and Juliette rightly points out that he was paid. “The truth is Jeff Fordham didn’t give a crap about me.” Everyone is cheering Juliette’s name, and she grits out, “Excuse me, I have a concert.” But just as she’s about to go on, she has another streaky flashback of Jeff begging her not to kill herself, and runs away in a panic.
Juliette’s locked in her dressing room. Layla asks to do the set and wants to borrow a guitar. “Luke! That wasn’t a tribute. There’s something I need to say.” Luke nods, while the “Juliette!” chants continue, and goes onstage to introduce Layla instead, making the excuse that Juliette is emotional. A few people boo. Layla comes out (she’s wearing jeans and a top that is like Victorian Widow meets the Boob Slit Trend of 2014) and talks about Jeff, saying that, “He was my heart, he was my compass, he was my love and I was his.” OK, I know you’re sad, but “compass”? Towards what, total depravity?
Anyway, Layla sings a song about being lost that I think is totally fantastic, and goes with her deep, mournful voice perfectly.
While Layla sings in the background, Gunnar calls Scarlett to say he wants to bring Erin on the tour; Avery and Will drink beer out on their front lawn; and finally, Luke is interrupted planning his new set by a teary Juliette saying she needs help. She says she was so wasted she didn’t remember, but she was there, and she tried to kill herself—and Jeff died saving her. Then Layla’s song ends, and everyone cheers.
Back at the Beverly, Deacon and Frankie are chatting at a back table when Rayna arrives. She hugs Deacon and he says, “Oh, baby. It scares you. I get that.” She agrees, but says that fear doesn’t get in her way. “If this is what you want, I’m going to do everything I can to support you.” But she stil looks afraid as she hugs him. I think this is more about her feeling pressured to be a supportive girlfriend, and less about her actually trusting Deacon. Which, I can’t blame her.
Colt is sitting, arms crossed, in Luke’s bachelor lounge while Luke explains that Juliette told him what happened and that he’s sorry he doubted Colt. But when Colt asks if he can tell Maddie—or if someone will tell Layla—Luke says that it’s better for Juliette if it stays quiet. “Better for her, or for your brand?” says Colt. Luke, whose face is half in shadow (for those of you new to the art of Symbolic Lighting, this means that he is morally ambiguous), looks troubled.
Gabriella is dropping Juliette off at a rehab center in the middle of the night. “Are you ready?” she asks Juliette. Juliette, wearing a baseball cap and a hoodie, says flatly, “No,” but starts walking inside.
This was a great episode. I know we’re a little behind here at Adversion, but—having not seen the next episode—I hope that Luke is going to have a moral reckoning, and that Rayna starts acting like a woman who actually owns a label and doesn’t just use it as a particularly shiny place to freak out about Deacon, and that Avery and Will continue taking care of each other.
See you next week, or… something!
[…] Previously on Nashville: Gunnar brought his “it’s just casual” girlfriend on the road in a professional capacity, Gabriella blathered on about the lines between business and pleasure, [Janes: UGH Gabriella. I was hoping I could forget about her forever.] Deacon opened a dumb bar, Rayna signed Markus Keen and took away Maddie’s phone; Juliette almost killed herself and Gabriella kept Colt silent about it; and Juliette went to rehab, finally. […]