Nashville Recap: 4×12 “How Does It Feel to Be Free”

Previously on Nashville: Erin and Gunnar were casual and announced this fact ad nauseam. Rayna signed Maddie and Daphne to Highway 65. Luke owed the government forty million dollars, which was secretly a positive development for him because it caused Gabriella to dump him and stop sucking away all of his moral and spiritual life force. Colt saw Jeff saving Juliette and told Layla that was what killed him. Layla got the Crazy Eyes and asked Glenn to be her manager and made him ask Avery to produce for her. And Avery didn’t want to lie for Juliette anymore.

Oh, and Rayna and Deacon got married after what looked like it might be a serious problem (both Maddie and Tandy’s legitimate concerns about Deacon’s demons, and Daphne’s even more legitimate concern that no one actually cares about her) but ended with the cheapest, fastest resolution ever, in which Rayna sat her kids down for about four seconds, promised them there was nothing to worry about, and convinced them, presumably with the power of her hair, to shut up. We’ll be recapping that one, but we fell behind, so just trust us if you haven’t seen it… it was absurd, and the previouslys wisely don’t bother going into it.

Avery busts into the treatment center and asks for Juliette with a look of barely controlled passion. Any relation? asks the receptionist. “I’m her husband,” he announces dramatically.

Glenn and Layla arrive at Rayna’s office and she tells them that she’s thrilled they’re working together and loves Layla’s new demos. She says it was heartbreaking, and Layla says, “Most of it was inspired by my relationship with Jeff,” in a kind of hilarious way, as if Rayna actually might not have figured out that a bunch of sad songs would probably be about her recently dead boyfriend. Anyway, Rayna reminds them they have a completely finished record all ready to release, too. Layla tries to protest that her new stuff means so much more to her, but Rayna gets her to promise a launch date and a tour in exchange for being able to start her second record. Layla gives in quite easily, since the only part of the secret revenge plan that she cares about is starting to work with (i.e. work on) Avery ASAP. “I’d say we’re a match made in heaven,” she says with her giant eyes blinking innocently. Oh, Avery is no match for Nashville women.

At the Bro Castle, Scarlett and Gunnar are deciding on a set list for a show when Will comes home. While Gunnar’s on the phone with Erin, Will tells Scarlett, looking dimply and happy for once, that he actually played music and enjoyed it. She says he should join them for a few songs during their set that night. Gunnar hangs up and agrees happily. “Our set, our decision,” he says. Will’s nervous about the management, but acquiesces. Scarlett and Gunnar are champs. I like how near the top—with Juliette and Layla and even Rayna to some extent—there’s a lot of competition, but at the bottom, where there’s much less money, attention, and fame to go around, these friends are all helping each other.

Frankie and Deacon are setting up at the Beverly and chatting glowingly about how happy Maddie’s been—apparently Cash is Frankie’s daughter? When did this actually get revealed?—when a young woman comes in with a guitar asking to sign up for the open mic that night. Deacon tells her it’s full, but she starts in (with a speaking voice that’s very appealing and husky) on the fangirling, gushing about how it’s the bar she’s always dreamed of playing at and she loves his music. She asks to audition for him and of course he can’t say no now that he’s been “flattered,” as Frankie calls it.

Maddie and Cole are on the phone, her in her room, him at his grandpa’s, while he ignores another in his father’s long series of unanswered texts. Maddie picks up on his inattention and asks if he even likes her anymore. He confesses he’s not in the mood to talk, so she takes him at his word and hangs up, even after he feels contrite and tries to protest.

Scarlett’s getting out of her car somewhere when she sees Erin kissing some dude in the front seat of a nearby car. Scarlett makes this half-grossed-out, half-tragic face like she’s witnessing something sordid. Scarlett. DID YOU NOT HEAR THE PART WHERE GUNNAR CALLED THIS CASUAL EIGHT THOUSAND DIFFERENT TIMES? Seriously, what did you think that meant?

Luke’s on a radio show trying to win his fans back over. “I guess the only thing I’m guilty of is trusting the wrong person to fill out my tax forms,” he says with his easy charm. But the callers aren’t having it: one of them complains that he makes less than twenty thousand a year, and asks what it’s like to be so rich he doesn’t notice missing forty million. I guess Gabriella had a point… for once in her life. Frankly I’m not sure that the American people would really react like this, but the next caller demonstrates why, purportedly, Luke is having an image problem now. She says she’s always seen him as a simple country boy and now she can’t. So I guess Luke’s aw-shucks image doesn’t really work if everyone knows how rich he is, which is a testament to how un-self-aware America’s celebrity culture really is. We reward a very few extraordinary people with our three most coveted things—money, fame, and awards—and yet we tend to punish them viciously—from Luke here, to Taylor Swift—if we catch even a whiff of their enjoying those rewards.

Oh, and Simple Country Lady asks Luke when was the last time he went back to his one-red-light hometown, and he has to admit it’s been awhile. So we can all look forward to a Very Special Episode in the near future in which Luke travels back to his town and confronts his down-to-earth past. We’ve done the substance-abusing slutty-blonde single-mom cliché twice now, with Scarlett and Juliette, so I’m pegging this one at nine parts abusive drunken cowboy dad, and one part sweet, innocent, died-too-young mother. Mark my words. [Janes: Well, what do you expect? They all need to have backstories that would make plausible sad-sack country songs.]

Avery, who’s been waiting at Forestview this whole time, gets impatient and stands up. He comes up to the receptionist and complains that he’s been waiting for over an hour (which, given how keyed-up he clearly is–and have I mentioned lately that Jonathan Jackson is a hell of an actor, and not just when it comes to crying and making that giant vein in his forehead go purple?–is kind of an impressively long time to wait quietly in the lobby). Just then, out comes Juliette’s doctor. Avery, so worked up that he’s oblivious to the fact that an hour’s wait indicates Juliette isn’t exactly dying to see him, starts blathering about whether he should meet Juliette in a visiting area or in her room. The doctor clasps her hands in what I now think of as a Gentle Dinosaur pose and says sympathetically that Juliette’s in a “very delicate emotional state and doesn’t feel that now’s a safe time to be engaging with you.” Ouch. Avery sighs and enumerates all of the ways that he’s given Juliette what she needs, but the doctor says that “Juliette really needs this time to focus on herself.”

So, the first twenty-two years of her life weren’t enough time to focus on herself, I guess!

Avery gets pissed, presumably with this exact same thought. He’s busy being a single dad and Juliette needs more time to herself? Of course, mental health crises do not respect notions of fairness. The doctor shuts him down with a tactic usually reserved for women, saying that Juliette doesn’t need “this kind of drama.” Avery doesn’t have a good retort for this, and is left stymied.

Rayna shows up at the Beverly for open mic, at Deacon’s behest. “She’s just… kinda great,” he chuckles in disbelief, and Rayna listens eagerly. Vita, the girl from earlier, gets up on stage and starts playing her guitar. I don’t know enough about music to judge quality, and Rayna and Deacon seem to think she’s special, but her singing is … not my style, so I’ll just say that apparently this woman is great and everyone is happy that Deacon discovered her, blah blah blah. (I would love to see an episode of a TV show where someone gets all excited about a new talent and brings everyone to open mic and the other characters in the show are all like, Dude, what were you thinking? This girl’s terrible. Has that ever happened?)

“That’s a sound we don’t have,” says Bucky in Rayna’s ear.

“That’s a sound nobody has,” Rayna agrees.

I have a lot of snarky things to suggest for what they mean by her sound, but, given my aforementioned tin ear, I will refrain. [Janes: I don’t know too much about music either, but my impression is that she has a very distinctive sound. Not to my taste, either, but it’s more down-home country and less pop/mainstream crossover than anyone else on the show.]

Meanwhile, Scarlett and Gunnar are hanging out at whatever bar they’re playing before their set, but Scarlett has a Portentous Expression. Gunnar picks up on it—as I’m sure she secretly, and perhaps only subconsciously, wants him to—and insists on knowing what’s wrong. “I saw Erin kissing some other guy in the parking lot,” she says. “Like really kissing him. I’m sorry.” Gunnar says it’s fine and that they should start. Gunnar also looks perturbed, so I’m guessing he also didn’t get his own memo about how they are casual.

At the studio, Layla finishes up a go-round while Avery watches. She asks submissively whether she got it right, and I guess Avery didn’t take much stock in whatever Juliette may have told him about Layla (to be fair, she isn’t the best judge of character is she?) because he doesn’t seem to find anything alarming in this unwonted docility. Layla asks for a break, and he remarks that it’s been unusually easy to find a working rhythm together. Probably because Layla is agreeing with everything he says in order to soften him up when she goes in for the kill. She agrees and then says that since he’s a musician himself, his producing style is both “gentle and commanding.” Oh, yuck.

It’s a testament to how Avery’s male ego has survived even these bruising few years that he unsuspiciously accepts this compliment, rubbing his neck in flattered embarrassment. “There’s not a lot of guys like that in this business. Juliette’s really lucky that she has you,” Layla says, slathering it on thick as she can while focusing all of the magical power of her Zooey-Deschanel eyes on him.

After her performance, Vita descends into a sea of admiring faces, including Rayna, who wants to talk to her about Highway 65. Somehow this devolves into Vita giving them a cheesy speech about how music is her escape, and she sings because she “can’t not.” Oh, and I guess the other characters are just going through all of this for kicks? Rayna blows by that, and asks her to come by the office next week. Vita looks panicked, but lies that she’s “beyond stoked” and that she’ll do what she has to do. She says she has to find a job, and Rayna hints, “We know the guy that owns this place.” Oh, Rayna. I wouldn’t brag about knowing the guy who named this bar after his dead sister. (No, I am never planning on letting that go, thank you for asking.)

Maddie and Cash are writing together when Cash suddenly starts lecturing Maddie about “going deeper” and letting her real emotions show through in her songs. I really like how the show turns this “write what you feel” trope on its head—I tend to dislike it, mostly because the vast majority of the time it’s not an older, experienced woman speaking to a younger woman that she actually cares about, but a thinly veiled exercise in male dominance; in every story about music, some man lectures some younger woman about getting “real,” not because he cares about her artistic development so much as that he feels entitled to know, and judge, and approve of her deepest vulnerabilities. In fact I’m pretty sure Deacon has said this same thing to Juliette.

Anyway, though, here it seems to be genuine. As soon as Cash tells Maddie to let her feelings out, Maddie’s like THANK YOU FOR ASKING I SLEPT WITH COLT AND NOW HE’S BEING WEIRD. Hee. I think Cash might’ve have bitten off more than she can chew with Maddie. “You probably think I’m terrible, I’m too young, I’m just a stupid little girl,” Maddie weeps. Cash leans closer and tells Maddie she’s allowed to make mistakes, and she deserves respect. Then she laughs that guys who date “girls like us” get songs written about them. (That sound you hear is every guy on earth who’s ever dated Taylor Swift giving a rueful groan of agreement.)

Luke’s looking at the vast amounts of Twitter hate being directed his way (oh, bad idea, Luke) when his agent or manager comes in and tells him that ticket sales are down. Luke tosses his glasses down and complains, “Why are my fans so quick to turn on me?” His manager, who is apparently named Kenneth, brings him back to the problem, which is ticket sales: he suggests Juliette, who’s up for an Oscar and is “bigger than she’s ever been.”

At Scarlett and Gunnar’s gig, Scarlett introduces Will with some very sweet words. Will gets up and sits on a stool and says some words about his recent travels. “Where’d you go, sweetheart? Frisco?” yells a square-jawed white guy who’s there with his white guy friends. But Will tries to ignore it and starts singing his song, “Ain’t It Beautiful.” The waitress, at Scarlett’s behest, asks Mr. Homophobe to keep it down, but he decides it would be better to throw a beer bottle at Will. Immediately Scarlett and Gunnar rush up to him, while Mr. Homophobe is escorted out by security guards. Will stares at him in shock, blood running down his face.

Outside, Will’s being treated by an EMT who says his nose is broken, and he cracks that he misses the days when the only thing thrown at him was panties. “That ain’t funny,” slurs Scarlett, who could suck the fun out of, like, a candy store. In Disneyland. On Christmas.

The cop says that Will’s attacker “could be in big trouble” and that he’s facing a felony hate crime. He’ll need Will to file a statement to get justice. “If that’s what it takes to get it,” says Will. But, um, isn’t that actually not how prosecuting hate crimes works? I’m pretty sure you can prosecute someone whether the victim presses charges or not. But whatever, I get it, we need to be shown that Will, once again, faces the choice to speak or be silent and once again is tempted to choose silence.

In the James kitchen, Deacon and Rayna are hanging out having a midnight snack and chatting about how well Maddie and Cash are getting along. Rayna changes the subject to Vita: she wants to work with her, but she has lots of big names who want to work with Highway 65. She finally works up to asking if there are jobs for Vita at the Beverly. “It is so nice having friends in high places,” she laughs, touching his forehead with hers.

At the police station, Will waits for the officer to take his statement and has the not-at-all-contrived bad luck of having the perp escorted right by him. “Try and send me to jail, bitch,” Mr. Homophobe hisses. Will stares back at him, and when the officer shows up and asks him to state his name for the record, Will just looks off to the side.

Kitchen of the Bro Castle, and Gunnar’s drinking some coffee. Erin emerges from his room and kisses him happily. “You sure fell asleep fast last night. I’m not boring you, am I?” she coos in that gross way that characters do when they’re very sure they’re too sexy to bore anyone.

Gunnar waits only long enough to give a very fake laugh before asking her if she’s seeing other people. Erin, who has been living in the real world this whole time, says, “I thought we agreed we were casual.” Gunnar gives this awkward chuckle and says, “I didn’t think casual meant not monogamous.” DUDE. WHAT DID YOU THINK IT MEANT? I guess in Gunnar-and-Scarlett world, “not getting engaged after six months” is casual, which is yet another piece of evidence that they probably belong together.

Erin says she likes what they have, which, if she weren’t a female character, would be code for “so let’s not try to make it more serious because I pretty much just want to get laid here.” But since this is TV, and she’s a woman, she follows it up with, basically, she likes what they have so she will be monogamous if he wants. Gunnar looks as surprised as I am.

In the studio, Avery is directing Layla when to take a breath and she just says, “OK, let’s try it,” in her sweetest voice (as her web spins tighter and tighter). Luke busts in and says he needs to talk to Avery—and that it’s important and should be discussed privately. Mr. Simple Country Boy seems to think that this indicates he should interrupt Avery’s work and kick out all of Avery’s coworkers. Kind of getting more of what the fans are saying about you now, Luke.

He tells Avery that Juliette’s been moved from the center where she was dropped off and asks whether she can get back on tour. “Well, we all have our needs, don’t we,” Avery sneers, and says that his need is to do his damn job. I mean, that is a good point. Luke fumbles around for a bit, but Avery gets offended. His rant ends with, “She can’t be counted on. OK?”

Meanwhile Layla is following this tennis match of emotions with great interest. As soon as Luke leaves she comes in, all sympathy and eyelashes, to ask if Avery’s OK. Avery is sufficiently buttered up at this point to admit that Juliette’s been in rehab and in treatment for PPD, and that they were separated before that. Layla actually looks almost genuinely sympathetic and says she’s sorry. He says he feels trapped, and she sits down next to him and takes a shaky breath. “I know it’s not the same, but when I was married to Will, I was living a lie too, you know? I mean, it hurt, a lot, but the longer it went on the more damage it did. I’m not saying that the divorce was pleasant, but it felt really good to be free of it. You deserve to feel free, too.” She grabs his hands, and he looks pensive.

Honestly, one of the magnificent things about a show like this is that even when characters are telling themselves they’re being nakedly manipulative, often a kernel of truth shows through that they don’t even quite realize. So it’s hard to tell if this is all Layla being extremely good at revenge, or if part of it is her actually understanding Avery in a way because they really have both been the sacrificial lamb of a more ambitious, more dishonest partner.

Luke is walking out of a studio and leaving a message for Kenneth that Juliette won’t work when a man emerges from a nearby car and hails him down. “Riff, what the hell,” Luke greets him, giving him a big man-hug, complete with shoulder-pats. Riff says his son is cutting a demo, and—as a way of extending sympathy for the “heat” Luke’s been taking—asks him over for a barbecue. He mentions a wife and children, so naturally I assumed the wife was an old flame of Luke’s, but that was one cliché the show didn’t indulge in (yet).

Gunnar is hanging out in the living room of the Bro Castle when Will comes downstairs. He asks about the bruising, and Will says, “To my nose, or my ego?” Gunnar points out, rightly, that Will should be proud and that he handled it bravely. Will has to admit that there won’t be an arraignment, that the homophobe was charged with a misdemeanor—and that he didn’t give a statement. “I’m still breathing through [my nose], ain’t I?” he says. He yells that he doesn’t want to spend every night after his shows filing statements about hate crimes. I think we all know what he really means—that he doesn’t want to relive these things after they’re said, they still hit too hard and strike at too raw a wound for him to be able to stand recounting them.

Anyway, Will leaves, muttering darkly that he won’t let the perp “get away with” this. Uh-oh.

At the Beverly, Frank and Deacon are interviewing Vita. She says she’s a quick learner. But when Frank starts telling her what her job duties are—and they’re basic, laughing at customers’ jokes and doing what she’s told—she launches into another speech about how Rayna helped her to “get… this job” and that she’ll work her butt off. She starts asking about playing the occasional open mic. Frankie interrupts her before she starts to get too big for her britches: “Not if you’re scheduled to work.” He slides an application under her nose. She starts filling it out—until she gets to the part that asks if she’s been convicted of a felony.

To the side, Deacon is arguing that they need someone anyway, while Frankie is hinting at a bad feeling about Vita. When they look over and find she’s gone, Frankie doesn’t seem surprised at all.

At the James household, Maddie is singing her latest song for Cash. As Cash joins in and they sing together, Daphne shows up in the background, watching them through a transparent panel in the door. It’s unclear whether she can hear them, but what is clear is that Maddie’s bonding with Cash in a way that Daphne can’t get from her right now. And she walks away, alone, again. God, someone needs to write a song about the Plight of Daphne.

After they’re done, Cash praises Maddie and says that she made her really feel what she’s going through. Then she says that writing your feelings in song makes it easier to speak them. “The first lesson of becoming a woman—which you are—is learning to tell the man in your life what your needs are,” she says. Nice. Once again, the show took a trope that’s usually annoying—guy gets weird with girl after having sex, girl has to go through a long period of self-blame for agreeing to have sex, as if one somehow caused the other—and turned it into a lesson in empowerment. You’re allowed to have sex with the right guy, with the wrong guy, with a right guy who looks like a wrong guy or a wrong guy who looks like a right guy, and you still get to ask for things afterwards. Whichever one Colt is—and the show leaves that somewhat unclear, though my guess is that he’s a sweet boy who cares about Maddie and is just distracted by dealing with something too heavy for a teenager to deal with, namely death-by-rescue-of-suicide—doesn’t really matter; what matters is that Maddie learns to ask for what she needs, irrespective of what she has or hasn’t done in bed.

Back at the rehab center, Avery is greeted again by the doctor. He says he’s aware of what Juliette’s “up against,” which is a nice way of phrasing it; no matter what she’s done to him, she’s fighting a battle no one deserves to fight. He says he still needs to tell her what he feels, which is that he’s a liar. He says that if she doesn’t come public about their divorce in the next twenty-four hours, then he will. He stalks off, leaving the doctor with a message that, um, can’t be very comfortable to deliver as a medical professional.

Rayna comes into the entryway of a motel—the kind with bulletproof glass shielding the cashier, who is cutely starstruck when he recognizes her but tries to help her. Rayna asks about Vita, who listed this motel as her home address; the clerk reveals that she just pays to park her car in the lot. Rayna ventures out to the parking lot, where she finds a car with a sleeping bag and a guitar inside it. Ominous music plays, since Rayna thinks she’s figured out the big secret, without even realizing a felony might also be involved.

Later, Vita comes back to the lot to find Rayna still waiting for her. She asks about the application, and Vita apologizes and gets all emotional. “I panicked,” she says, and explains that she’s been arrested. Vita says she’s not the same girl anymore and the only thing she’s ever been good at is music. Rayna says that people have taken chances on her and she takes chances on people, and nudges her to go back to the Beverly and try again.

The “barbecue” Luke was invited to is actually a very civilized meal on a dining room table with Riff and his two blonde children and his attractive wife. Luke is telling some story about a tour he and Riff did together. Riff’s family is all cutesy and lovey-dovey, and Luke’s blue eyes get all sad for a moment, realizing that he has none of this: no Rayna, no Colt. Just then, Riff’s wife asks about the family, and though Luke pretends not to be bothered when he has to admit that Colt decided to stay with his grandfather, everyone sees that he is. In the awkward pause, Riff offers to show him something, with the air of a man carrying out a rescue.

At the Beverly, Frankie and Deacon are arguing over Vita. Deacon calls Frankie out on his DUIs, and points out he himself (Deacon) is what Frankie calls “a disaster on paper.” It seems to win Frankie over, though he’s definitely not as gung-ho as Deacon. Vita, who’s waiting in the back, is overjoyed when Deacon calls to get to work.

Luke and Riff, in his “den,” are reminiscing again. Luke says Riff is the smart one for choosing “what matters most”—his wife and kids. Riff gives him a sweet little speech about being a good guy. Luke looks like he’s about to cry. Then he takes another swig of beer and asks Riff about coming out of retirement to go on the road. “It’ll be just like old times, minus the partying and the women,” he pleads. Riff says he has to discuss it with the family, and they clink their beer bottles.

Colt picks up the phone to be accosted by Maddie, who’s pacing around in her pink, teen-girly room. “You owe me an apology,” she says, making up for decades of TV shows in which girls never. said. this. “You’ve been weird and distant with me ever since we had sex and it’s not OK.” She says she deserves respect. Colt doesn’t answer. The scene ends.

Um… I guess we’ll find out what happens next episode? Because this is the last we’ll hear out of Maddie.

Erin shows up at Gunnar’s studio in her little black fedora and makes one of those annoying cool-girl jokes she loves to make. “Is it still a booty call when you’re monogamous? Or is there some other, more elegant term?” Oh, be quiet Erin. Gunnar sighs and says they need to talk. Erin interrupts to apologize, saying that she was dating other people in order not to get hurt. Way to make this harder, Erin. She confesses she likes him a lot, and that it scares her. Gunnar segues, somewhat bluntly, into saying that he doesn’t feel jealous and that it tells him she’s not the one. Erin takes it pretty well. “I get it. I mean it sucks, but I get it.” They exchange compliments and she leaves, her dignity intact.

Layla’s watching the news when she sees that Juliette’s released a statement about having divorced Avery. It ends with, “I’m grateful for Avery, as he’s been a wonderful father, a loving husband, and a patient man through all of this.” Oh wow. I’m going to cry harder than Avery right now. Who is also watching, and is twisting his wedding ring off his finger, looking wrecked (unlike Layla, who looks a little bit like a snake who just spotted a mouse).

At his studio, Gunnar answers his phone to hear from someone named “Rusty.” “Will’s there?” he says, sounding worried. He gathers his jacket and calls Scarlett hastily to warn her.

Back in Luke’s office, Kenneth updates Luke on his prospects for costars on the tour. Luke blithely announces that it’s taken care of, he’s invited Riff. “Riff Bell who left the music business?” Kenneth says nervously. He points out that a current act would help sell tickets. But Luke has finally learned his lesson: “I wanna get back to being real.” I would like to see him say this to Gabriella, but I guess Kenneth is Gabriella’s lower-paid surrogate.

Mr. Homophobe is back in the bar—and Will is back up onstage, and has bought his enemy a beer. “You didn’t get to finish your beer last night,” Will drawls. “Of course I didn’t get to finish my song, so…”

Boy, Nashville has changed! When the attacker says, “Get off the stage, ya homo,” the rest of the audience boos him and his dumb friends. And it’s so true—even in just four years, I think the climate has very much changed for gay men and women everywhere, from the coasts to, well, Nashville.

Will starts his song over again, and the vast majority of the audience claps. Yay! Scarlett and Gunnar arrive too late to actually do anything, but they do tell the homophobe to leave with his “backwoods friends.” (At least I think that’s what Scarlett calls them. Who the hell knows what she’s saying half the time.)

Will smiles as he sees it, and keeps singing. “He’s braver than me, that’s for sure,” Gunnar says. Scarlett smiles hard.

Avery arrives at the studio, apologizing for being late, and Layla’s sitting on the couch waiting for him, all ready with goopy sympathy. Avery immediately spills all of his emotions, saying he feels Juliette destroyed all of his hopes. “Me too,” Layla says. Oops! She covers quickly, saying that she understands being disappointed. Avery tries gamely to extend sympathy to her, since she lost her boyfriend, even if he was the absolute fucking worst; he says he admires how she’s bounced back.

Layla, who has apparently figured out that Avery lacks any sense of suspicion or self-preservation, lays it on even thicker. “I had to find something to live for,” she says. “Lately that’s been being here with you. Making music.” Oh Avery honey. How do you not see what is happening right now? You were married to Juliette, who wrote the book on manipulation. And yet you’re still as trusting as Cadence in her crib.

At the show, as Will basks onstage in his triumph, Gunnar and Scarlett talk about Erin. Scarlett mumbles that she shouldn’t have said anything, but Gunnar says it’s good that they broke up. He wants to be with someone he cares about, someone he loves. Scarlett announces awkwardly that she has to go. He asks if it’s a date and who with. After several rewatchings to discern the English words in Scarlett’s sea of blurred consonants, I believe she answers, “Taxidermy guy from the weddin’ don’t say nothin’ about it.” But who the fuck knows. It could’ve been “taxi driver guy from Reading” for all I know.

Luke picks up his phone and remarks upon Riff being a “facetiming guy.” Riff gives him some advice about how to avoid a double chin. ABC execs count their product-placement dollas as the men discuss “Facetime” for way too long. The upshot, anyway, is that Riff is coming on tour—with his whole family! It’s probably not too late, then, for Luke to end up in an awkward love triangle with Riff’s wife! Luke hangs up, looking lonely in his truly massive mahogany-and-leather-filled office.

Vita finishes up at the Beverly, explanibragging everything she’s done on her shift. Frankie tells her she’s earned her keep, and smiles as she leaves.

Deacon comes into the bedroom where Rayna is sleeping, her hair perfectly coiffed. “That Vita is a hard worker,” he says, though Frankie’s “not too keen” on her. Rayna thinks she’s worth the risk, which, kinda easy for you to say, isn’t it? You don’t actually… own the bar!

But just then, Frankie calls Deacon to tell him that five hundred dollars is missing from the till. “Vita,” Deacon sighs.

So, from the previews, it looks like Vita is not only making off with five hundred dollars but also possibly gets murdered outside her motel. Previews are notoriously tricky, though. My money’s on Frankie stealing the money himself to finance a major relapse and pinning it on Vita because he has some sort of grudge against convicted felons. The more evil plots afoot in Nashville, the better!

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing how Layla’s evil plan works out, and I guess to finding out what the hell happened with Maddie and Cole and their random mid-episode cliffhanger. See ya next week!


  1. […] Previously on Nashville: Maddie told Frankie’s daughter Cash that she and Colt went all the way, and Cash told her to write it in a song; Avery and Juliette got divorced and went public, while Layla gloated in the background; Luke invited an old friend back on tour with him; Will got harassed and attacked when he first tried to perform in Nashville; a girl named Vita showed up and Rayna thought her voice was amazing, but it turned out she slept in a car in a parking lot and Frankie thinks she made off with $500 from the bar. […]



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