Nashville Recap: 4×16 “Didn’t Expect It to Go Down This Way”

Nice title, right? Like, I hope that describes every episode of any show I might write someday, otherwise I’m probably doing it wrong.

That said, there were some pretty good twists in this episode, so we have to hand it to the writers!

Previously on Nashville: Kevin got a new boyfriend; Rayna signed Maddie and Daphne at Highway 65, but then Maddie snuck out with Cash to sing at a cafe where she got groped by a bunch of gross hipsters and Deacon went apeshit on them; Juliette won Glenn back as her manager; Layla invited Avery on the road with her; Autumn hit on Gunnar; and Riff ran away from Luke’s tour.

When we start, Luke’s still talking to Riff’s wife, who tearfully tells him he’s run off without a word and isn’t answering his phone. He only answered once to say he was going to be “home when he was good and ready.” Wow, sounds like a peach.

Rayna is in her private jet with Bucky, where the windows are now covered in rain, assuring the unseen Deacon that everything will be fine. When she hangs up she doesn’t seem super concerned, telling Bucky that Maddie was singing at a cafe where she wasn’t supposed to be. I love Rayna. She never has any idea of how bad things actually are.

Autumn is still hitting on Gunnar when we get back to those two, trying to get him drunk under the guise of making him less nervous. Then she asks him to tell her more about his music, making intense eye contact and complimenting his “old soul.” Gross. When she finds out that James Taylor is his idol (this was mentioned about 8 times last week but didn’t make it into the previouslys) she offers to introduce him after the show the next night. He’s all, “Great, I’ll bring Scarlett!” Autumn gives him her best sultry dimple and says she had thought it would be “just the two of us.” Uh, plus James Taylor, I guess? Nervous, Gunnar makes his excuses without even trying to respond to her hints. She watches him go, smiling. I guess we didn’t have enough pure evil to go around once Layla genuinely fell for Avery and Juliette started to like her baby. Luckily Autumn is filling that spot quite nicely.

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Speaking of whom, Juliette has cooked brunch for Emily and Glenn to thank them. I bet she made Emily go out to buy the groceries. though. She’s wearing a white sweater, which represents the state of her newly purified soul, in case you haven’t figured out the symbolism of her all-white and Layla’s all-black ensembles on your own.

Anyway, she asks them how they’re going to use the momentum from her Opry performance to resurrect her career. She wants to start recording a new album so that she can stay close to Cadence but keep working. Glenn wants to know if she’s talked to Luke about this, and Juliette says that she thought that was his job in a voice that’s almost… dare I say it… sweet. Then she snaps back to true Juliette form by directing Emily to go back to doing “whatever it is I pay you to do.” Meanwhile, Glenn promises to try to talk to Luke before he leaves for his tour. And Juliette reveals she has a producer in mind for her next record.

Cut to Avery looking surprised. Hmm, I wonder who Juliette’s producer will be?

Avery’s current surprise, though, is a bleary-eyed Will stumbling into the kitchen and revealing that he’s signed up for online dating, inspired by seeing Kevin. “Any potential suitors?” Avery asks. Nope – they’re all into hooking up, says poor, romantic, Will. Shifting gears, Will mentions that Avery’s going on tour with Layla, but Avery thinks not. He says that Juliette and Cadence are “making really good progress.” Will interprets this weirdly: “So you’re staying for Juliette.” Uhh… or for Cadence? For his family?

Luke’s trying to get Riff on the phone, I guess under the theory that he’s more likely to pick up for his old buddy than the ball and chain. Kenneth comes in and says, “It could sink us if he misses the first show.” Luke’s like, YOU THINK? Poor Kenneth. He only exists to provide a talking prop to advance Luke’s scenes, so of course he is the one who has to state the obvious! Luke says “What I want to do is believe Riff’s still my friend and he’ll come through… but maybe we oughta find a replacement for tonight, just in case.”

Serious question though: Don’t you have to offer a refund anyway, if you have a different lineup than you were selling tickets for? I mean, if I buy tickets for a Spice Girls reunion and, like, S Club 7 shows up in their place, I’m not gonna be like, “Sweet! What an excellent use of two hundred dollars!”

Glenn rushes into a cafe to meet with Layla, apologizing for being late. He has to admit that he doesn’t want to order any food there because of Juliette’s big breakfast… oh and by the way he’s taken Juliette back on as a client. But he assures her she won’t be competing for his attention, even though that literally just happened and Layla lost. He even says that Juliette is focusing more on staying home. Because I’m sure Juliette being at home won’t be any kind of call on his attention! Still, Layla brightens as he starts talking about her launch. She does have to admit that she might still need a band leader, though.

Speaking of whom, Avery is cradling a napping Cadence and greeting Juliette at the Bro Castle. He apologizes for not being quite ready to go, and hands the pink little bundle off to Juliette. Their hands touch, and they freeze: Juliette obviously feeling hopeful, Avery not so much. As soon as Juliette starts talking he interrupts to say he’s going on tour with Layla. Juliette smiles and nods, but her smile fades the second Avery leaves.

Rayna arrives home and hugs Deacon, who’s fuming in the kitchen of the Jaymes Mansion. Deacon stands up, furious, saying that the problem is Cash and that they need a restraining order. “If you’d seen the way Maddie was singing, if you’d seen the song, it wasn’t our little girl, baby.”

Oh jeez. It’s tough to pick who comes off worse here: Cash, who is way too pathologically obsessed with Maddie for someone who’s six years older and supposedly an adult, or Deacon, whose benevolent sexism (which I believe is called “chivalry” in some circles) is really taking a nosedive into actual oppression. What he’s saying is her song was too sexy. What he’s saying is that he wants Maddie to stay a little girl, i.e. chaste. And I don’t think that’s OK – even though it’s obviously much worse to be a CRAZY KIDNAPPER like Cash.

Rayna doesn’t say much after this, she just goes up to Maddie’s room and knocks. There’s no answer, so she pushes open the door. But Maddie is gone. And the bed is made (this is the neatest teenage-girl room I’ve ever seen in my life by the way). And the window is open. Gasp!!! Seriously though, that house is GIANT. I find it hard to believe Maddie had to climb out a window to get out without Deacon noticing. Did we need to rely on this silly cliche, like, would they have not realized Maddie had run away if her room was empty but the window was closed?

Back at the Bro Castle, Avery is packing up the last of Cadence’s stuff and apologizing for springing the tour (which he keeps pronouncing “too-er”) on her. Juliette says calmly that it’s all right and then, looking nervous, asks about Cadence. Avery says he’s going to bring her on the road, but that Juliette’s welcome to visit anytime. (Oh, Layla will love that.) And then Juliette, who’s gone so far into her persona of the calm, non-psychotically-selfish co-parent that she doesn’t realize even a normal human might react a little more strongly, casually offers to send Emily on the road with Avery to help out with Cadence. Does this woman have any actual professional function, or is the job description basically “Juliette’s bitch”? Avery thanks her for being so understanding, and she says sweetly, “Break a leg tonight.”

When Juliette is sweet it’s almost more nerve-wracking than when she’s throwing tantrums, because you’re always on edge: how long will it last before she’s hatching evil, slightly deranged plans again? (Spoiler: Not long.)

Rayna and Deacon are in their kitchen trying to locate Maddie. They even call Colt (offscreen), plus a bunch of other friends we don’t know, who presumably have also been ticked off at Maddie for ignoring them in favor of her new older songwriter friend. Daphne comes into the kitchen looking worried and Rayna tells her that they don’t know where Maddie is, but that everything is fine and she should just run along and get ready for dance class. Being treated like an eleven-year-old has never seemed as painful to me as when it happens to poor Daphne.

Just then Rayna does get a text from Maddie, which she reads aloud: Don’t worry I’m safe, but Dad’s insane. “She’s mad at you,” Rayna concludes helpfully. Deacon gathers up his stuff and says he bets she’s at Cash’s right now. Rayna pulls him back and tells him to take Daphne to her dance class and “Cool yourself off.” Deacon is basically breathing fire out his nostrils as he agrees. I’m sure the cooling off is going to be very successful.

Scarlett and Gunnar are in a studio wrapping up a radio interview. Their song starts up just as they sign off, and Noah tells them they’re up to 6,000 downloads on their single (which, to be fair, is like a thousand times better, in my uneducated opinion, than any of their previous songs) and that they’ve been picked up by “I Heart and Cubix,” which are presumably new-fangled things the Youths use to pick music. (And which I’ve probably misspelled horribly. Eye hRt and Q-bicks? Who the fuck knows.)

Wide-eyed, Gunnar suggests they celebrate, but Scarlett can’t: she has plans with Autumn. She says she’s afraid they got off on the wrong foot and she really wants this time with Autumn, but can they celebrate after the show tonight? (Which, if you’ll recall, is when Gunnar was potentially going to go meet James Taylor with Autumn.) Gunnar agrees to this, so I guess he’s decided not to do everything Autumn tells him to do. This should go well.

Will’s in the studio recording and having a blast. After he finishes a take (or, uh, whatever it’s called when it’s a recording) he comes to get some water and gives everyone a cute thumbs up, telling them he feels good. A bespectacled young man comes up to fan out over him, complimenting his last album—and his voice. Apparently it’s one of Will’s backup singers. “Must be something special about you,” he says, tapping Will on the shoulder. Will gets that same squinty-eyed, excited look that Gunnar gets every time a pretty girl is remotely polite to him.

Avery arrives at Layla’s sound check and gives her a big hug, saying he’s “ready to do this.” She checks in with him about whether he’s really sure, and he says, “How could I turn down the chance to keep making great music with you?” She touches his arm faux-casually and says she’s really excited for tonight because of all four of them – Luke, Riff, herself, Avery.

Nope. Sorry Layla. Luke comes up to welcome Avery, and then pulls Layla away to tell her the bad news. She’s in the middle of gushing about how he’s a legend and he has to cut her short to tell her Riff’s MIA but that they’re hoping to still put on the show. Layla’s excitement starts fading into her usual key of Totally Freaked Out.

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Deacon pulls up at Daphne’s dance class. She’s staring at her phone, where she has a string of sweet, worried, unanswered texts to Maddie. Deacon tries to comfort her, but she says she feels like it’s her fault because she told Deacon about the show. “Maddie made her choices and that is not your responsibility. You did exactly what you should’ve done, all right?” says Deacon. He reassures a crying Daphne that nothing bad will happen to Maddie and that she just needs a little space. I’m sure this will change when Daphne hits puberty and dares to have a sexual life apart from her daddy, but Deacon is actually a great parent to her. Maybe this scene is here to remind us that he’s not just an angry papa bear.

Rayna shows up at Cash’s house and shoves her way in. Cash gets all snotty, like, “By all means.” She says she hasn’t talked to Maddie, but Rayna doesn’t buy it. “She ran away. Now where’d she get an idea like that?” Rayna snarls. Cash blames Deacon, saying she’s surprised no one called the cops on him. “I’m surprised no one called the cops on YOU!” says Rayna. Good comeback, dear. Although she has a point.

“He was pretty aggressive towards me too,” Cash says, showing Rayna a video (which doesn’t have Cash in it at all, but does show Deacon acting like an angry gorilla up on stage, yelling and puffing out his chest at everyone). Rayna pushes Cash’s hand away, saying she doesn’t have to look at that, and leaves. Immediately Cash goes out behind her house and softly calls to Maddie that she can come out. “So what do you want to do?” she asks Maddie.

Here’s what I would have done as a twenty-three-year-old to help a sixteen-year-old friend run away: hide them in my house if they were being abused or neglected.

Here’s what I would not do: hide them in my house because their parents wouldn’t let them sing in nightclubs.

Emily and Juliette are hanging out with an adorable Cadence. There is a giant giraffe in the corner that I’m pretty sure is about twice Juliette’s height. Juliette is asking Emily if she’s OK going on the road as “a nanny.” Emily says she’s all right with it if Juliette is. “Are you… all right with it?” she says, making that squinchy nervous face people make on TV when they’re defusing bombs or talking to Juliette Barnes.

“What am I supposed to do? He’s got all the power,” Juliette says, her anger showing through for a moment. But Emily points out that they’re making progress, and Juliette says that “after everything I put that man through, I guess I should just be grateful that he and I are in an OK place.” So reasonable! So mature! So disturbingly unlike Juliette!

Meanwhile, Avery’s talking a different crazy person down from a ledge. Layla’s complaining that tonight was supposed to be her “big break” and Avery’s listening patiently, sympathetically. Of course Layla loves this guy! He lives to be the soulful companion of dramatic women. Anyway, he finally suggests they film sound check so that she has something to show for it in case the show is cancelled. This makes her really happy.

Deacon’s phone rings while he’s pacing in the kitchen. Rayna, driving home, has to tell him she didn’t find her. “Did you check every room, did you check every closet?” Deacon asks. Rayna hasn’t yet reached his level of paranoia—or, rather, his level of Completely True Suspicions—and is like, well, I didn’t conduct a police search but Maddie’s not there. “Baby what was I supposed to do? Leave her up there singing half-dressed in front of a room full of idiots hootin’ and holler—did you see that guy grab her leg?” It’s really hard to tell what upsets him more, Maddie’s clothes or the sexual harassment she experienced. Pro tip, Deacon: you wanna be the guy who gets more upset about sexual harassment than slutty clothing. Don’t be that other guy. Anyway, Rayna says that he needs to recognize her frame of mind, and that she might have been upset over the confrontation.

Maddie is ranting to Cash about how her parents don’t support her. “That’s not exactly true, Maddie. I mean your mom did give you a record deal,” Cash says in a rare burst of being not entirely irrational. Maddie rolls her eyes and says it was just to keep her away from Sony, which is huge news to Cash. Which I have a hard time believing; how would Cash have known about the record deal and not have heard Maddie’s tale of woe about the Sony deal? Anyway, Cash is all impressed and offers to call Sony herself.

At his studio, Will is raiding the fridge when he hears a throwaway conversation between a young woman and Glasses from before. The young woman asks about a personage named “Riley,” whom Glasses has not seen since they broke up. Will’s ears perk up.

Luke is ranting to Kenneth about how they can’t count on anyone these days. Kenneth, ever the boring voice of reason, points out that it’s hard to get people on short notice. He has calls out to “Dierks, Blake and Thomas Rhett.” (Note to self for next time: if they use only the first name of a celebrity, the person won’t be on the show; if they use the full name, it’s because the person either agreed to appear, or is made up.) Luke sighs that it’s their only shot. Just then Heidi knocks and says that she’s gotten a call from a hospital in New Orleans. She asks Luke to come help, and he leaps into chivalrous action. So they’re going to fly to New Orleans and back before the concert, even though Layla’s already in sound check? Well… I guess my knowledge of geography is too limited to comment on the plausibility of this, so, sure. Seems fine.

Speaking of which, here’s Layla at sound check, singing her song and sounding amazing, but looking absurd in a lacy jumpsuit that belongs on, I don’t know. Who’s sexy and in her fifties? Glenn Close.

Unfortunately, Juliette, who’s just arrived, doesn’t seem reassured by how dumb Layla’s outfit is. Kenneth comes up to her and apologizes for Luke, who’s tied up with an urgent matter. Juliette, still in her Unflappable mode, smiles and agrees to wait. Kenneth, not realizing that pigs might as well be flying over his head, takes it all in stride and just sort of says that it’s going to be a long time and that Luke will reschedule. Juliette is completely, almost unbelievably polite about this. But when she turns to watch Layla oozing sex in Avery’s general direction as the two sing into the same microphone, she gets the pursed lips that usually signal impending doom for her enemies.

Later, Will calls Avery for advice. “How do you know if a guy is gay?” he asks. “If this is a joke, I’m not sure I want to hear the punchline,” Avery says. Hee! Will gives Avery his laundry list of evidence: that he has just broken up with someone named Riley, and…that’s it. Avery points out this could be a girl’s name. “And he did say he’s into cars and grilling and football and stuff, so he’s straight!” Will concludes. Still working on eradicating your internalized homophobia, huh Will? Avery laughs kindly and points out Will’s into that stuff too. Will says he doesn’t know how to tell if someone’s a possible “suitor,” so Avery says that he’ll just have to man up and ask the guy out. I feel like that’s dangerous advice for a gay man in Nashville, but I guess if Glasses was a homophobe he wouldn’t have been so friendly backstage.

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Scarlett and Autumn are at a spa. Autumn tells Scarlett spas and Scotch are the only way to unwind on a long tour. Then they exchange politenesses about how they’re happy to be on tour with each other. Autumn gets bored with this fairly quickly and starts prying as to whether there’s something going on between Scarlett and Gunnar. “I’ve watched you play, your chemistry, your energy… there’s a lot more going on than just music,” she says, watching Scarlett carefully. Scarlett, her guard apparently weakened by the hot rocks, says, “There always is something going on just beneath the surface with me and Gunnar, but we decided for the good of the band that that’s just where it’s gotta stay.” Autumn plays the wise older friend, agreeing that it’s a good idea to avoid complications on the road. Scarlett thanks her and says she’s really going to learn a lot from her. Yup. Like how to be a huge liar and manipulate people who trust you.

At the hospital in New Orleans, a doctor tells Riff’s wife and Luke that he was brought in by a “local escort” and that he’d taken about eight different dangerous things, including “sexual performance enhancers,” and that they caused a brain hemorrhage. “What does that mean, when can he come home and do a show?” Luke asks hilariously. Not SUPER quick on the uptake are ya? The doctor keeps a straight face and clarifies that brain hemorrhage = stroke, and that Riff won’t be onstage anytime soon. Luke suddenly remembers that he’s here with Riff’s wife, who’s probably worried about his actual life and not just a tour, and puts his arm around her.

Juliette storms into her house. “What is wrong?” Emily pleads. “Luke bailed. BAILED and I had to watch Avery and Layla grind on stage during sound check!” Juliette tantrums. Emily disarms her quickly by asking what’s really wrong in her sweetest voice. Juliette says tearfully that she thought she was getting her life back together and that she and Avery were in a good place. Emily hugs her and says “Maybe it’s just not meant to be.” Ooh, I wouldn’t jump straight there if I were her—but Juliette just says, “Maybe I just don’t deserve him.” But lest you think that she has simply come to a mature acceptance of the (hypothetical) situation, she adds, “But it’s OK because you’re going to be on the road keeping an eye on him. RIGHT?!” Emily, looking nervous, agrees. Yikes. I guess Juliette’s whole not-putting-Emily-in-the-middle thing from last week is over. But I’m sure Emily knows Juliette too well to have expected it to last.

Meanwhile, Layla is showing Avery the setup for the tour. Not only did she basically create an entire recording studio in the bus … she also gave him a private room with a double bed and a crib. “I can’t imagine it’s going to be easy touring with an infant, so you should be comfortable,” she says. That’s actually pretty sweet. Although I have a feeling she kind of expects to be sharing that double bed before too long. Avery tears up and has to excuse himself, leaving Layla looking puzzled.

Maddie’s still at Cash’s house, and Cash is reporting what she found out from Sony. They were offering her a great deal. “They basically wanted to make you the next Taylor. Or Miranda.” Cash says the offer is still live, but Maddie realizes that she’s under contract with Highway 65 and she needs parental consent to sign with Sony. “No matter where I go, they’re just in my way.” Cash sits down and says dramatically that she found out something else on the call.

Rayna and Deacon are discussing their options. Rayna doesn’t want to call the police because she’ll be “in the system” as a runaway. It’ll be dragged through the tabloids and she doesn’t want that for Maddie. Deacon is frustrated and demands what can they do then? “Good lord, Deacon, why’d you have to blow up on her like that last night?” Rayna says. Uh-oh. Deacon flips out, yelling that she has no idea what it was like. “What was I supposed to say? ‘Excuse me young man, when you’re done groping my daughter’s leg, can I have a little word with you?’” At least today he’s blaming the young men who were groping Maddie. Rayna says that she knows what it’s like to be sixteen and fight with your father and leave the house forever. They both get scared looks on their faces. Finally Rayna says, “I thought of one place we haven’t looked yet.” Dramatic music plays us out to commercial, even though we all know that since Rayna’s already looked where Maddie is, nothing really dramatic’s gonna come of this.

In the hospital waiting room, Luke says he doesn’t get it, this isn’t like Ed. Heidi’s like, are you serious, he was always like that, and that she had to put her foot down to get him to stop. “Truth is, after he played the Beverly last week, he never came home,” she says with tears on her face. Luke starts to feel guilty and says “I never would have brought him back out had I known the temptation would be too…” Heidi grabs his arm and reassures him it’s not his fault. “The way you looked at our family, you saw perfection,” she says, “but it wasn’t. Nothing ever is.” She sends him off to do his show, and they hug. If this is Luke’s new love interest, well, it’s a little cold-hearted since her husband just had a stroke, but I could get behind it.

Layla finds Avery in a room somewhere, freaking out. She apologizes for rushing him into the tour. He takes a deep breath and says she didn’t: “In fact this is exactly what I need. The job, the bus… and you’ve been so thoughtful and generous. I guess I’m just not used to it. You know, being put ahead of someone else. It means a lot. So thank you.” Yes, Avery. Juliette is horrible and Layla’s a saint. Good luck with that. She tells him he deserves it, and then Glenn comes in and tells them the show’s back on. They grin at each other.

At Autumn’s tour, Noah comes to tell Scarlett and Gunnar their single’s up to ten thousand. They’re thrilled. Gunnar asks how it went with Autumn. “Tiny fish nibbled on my feet. It was awesome,” Scarlett says, oddly. Then she says it’s cool to be friends with Autumn. “You guys should hang out one on one sometime. I think you’d like her,” says Scarlett, not noticing the panicked look that comes over Gunnar when she says that.

At Will’s recording studio, they’re wrapping up, and Glasses gives him a compliment. Will asks him if he feels like grabbing a beer and he agrees. Will grins. “All riiiiight.”

Turns out the place Rayna’s looking for Maddie is Juliette’s. Yay! A Rayna-Juliette scene! It’s been way too long. Juliette says Maddie’s not there and asks softly, “Is everything OK?” Rayna tears up and says no and then starts sobbing right there on Juliette’s doorstep.

At the Dead Sister Bar, Deacon is asking Frankie about Maddie. Frankie says he doesn’t want himself and his daughter to get in the middle of things between Deacon and his daughter, which… HIS DAUGHTER IS MISSING, so it’s not some dumb little family drama, Frankie. Deacon points out that Cash put herself in the middle and that he’s asking Frankie this as a friend and a father. But Frankie is determined to be a huge jerk about it and says he heard that Cash took Maddie out to play music “and you lost your damn mind.” Deacon plays the victim card: “I swear to God I don’t know how this keeps getting put back on me,” he whines. He says he did the right thing. Frankie asks why Maddie ran away if that’s true. Um, because she’s sixteen and a spoiled brat maybe?

Juliette and Rayna are having a very different conversation in Juliette’s living room. Rayna says that she’s been trying to slow Maddie down, but “there’s just no containing her at this point.” Juliette says kindly that there was no containing any of them at sixteen, which is a very sweet way of making the point that “containing” your daughter isn’t really a great aim to have. She also says that as a mother she understands wanting to hold on. Rayna says that the more she holds on, the more Maddie pushes her away. “How do you let go of somebody that you love?” Juliette wonders. “You don’t,” says Rayna, which is excellent advice when you’re talking about teenaged daughters, but maybe not such great advice when you are talking about maltreated ex-husbands, as Juliette obviously is.

Luke is onstage at his concert and introducing Thomas Rhett. Backstage, Kenneth and Luke agree he was a great fix. Kenneth says they need a permanent replacement. Luke suggests, “Or we just pull the plug and walk away right now.” (To which Kenneth demands, “You’re saying you just want to cancel the tour?” Uh. I think he is saying that, in that he literally just said that. Nashville has a lot of exchanges like that and they always crack me up.) Luke, who says he feels like the tour has done enough damage, isn’t sure what he wants. Just then Juliette knocks. HMM I WONDER WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW. Anyway, they greet each other happily and hug. Luke mentions having to go out to do his show. Juliette says that’s actually what she’s here about. “Do you think that three would be a crowd?” she asks, setting her jaw.

Rayna calls Deacon to tell her she just got back from Juliette’s and didn’t find Maddie. Turns out Deacon is in a car, staking out Cash’s place. Rayna’s like, “Honey.” Deacon admits maybe he’s going too far. I dunno, it is pretty insane and creepy, but actually I probably would have done the exact same thing if my daughter was missing and her adult friend was clearly lying about where she was. Rayna tries to talk him down and say they need to let her know they hear her. But as soon as Deacon yells that he sees Maddie at Cash’s, Rayna says she’ll be right there. I’m sure Maddie will love that.

Will and Glasses are starting their second round. Glasses says he’s having fun, and Will exclaims that he’s relieved because he was nervous asking Glasses out. Oh no, Will! You had definitely not gotten a clear “yes” on this dating thing! It’s not time for relief yet! Sure enough, Glasses says (with a smile, though he’s obviously a bit mystified that casual drinks turned into a Surprise Date–something we ladies experience All. The. Time.) that he’s not gay. “What about all that nice stuff you said to me,” asks poor Will. Glasses laughs and explains that “Riley” was his bandmate. Then he offers to set Will up with his gay cousin! Oh, ouch. Will attempts to keep a shred or two of his pride and declines, saying he’s going to stick to the music for now.

Autumn’s hotel room. Gunnar comes over to tell her that he can’t go with her because Scarlett really looks up to her. “Well that’s a shame. It would have been fun,” she says, or rather, purrs. Does Alicia Witt ever get cast in a role where she doesn’t have to use her Sexy Voice? Anyway, then she starts casting her net of manipulation. She says that it’s sweet how Gunnar cares about Scarlett, and would she do the same for him? Gunnar is so innocent he doesn’t even ask Autumn what she means, he just answers it like it’s an actual question: “Well yeah, of course she would have. We look out for each other, you know? It’s part of what being in a duo’s all about.” Autumn gives a nasty little laugh and says that he should look out for himself and that in duos, “one always outshines the other.” Then she gives him a light kiss on his cheek that somehow causes him to end up with a giant magenta lip print on his cheek. Scarlett walks into the hallway just as Gunnar’s leaving the room and her face falls when she sees him wiping the absurd lipstick stain off his face.

Luke’s singing and Avery and Layla are enjoying it from backstage. Glenn compliments Layla on their great night and footage. “I had some help,” Layla smiles in Avery’s direction. Just then the music pauses, and Luke announces to the crowd that Riff’s having health problems, and that they have found someone to replace him. He calls Juliette up to the stage, and Juliette, as she passes Avery on her way out, says like a crazy person, “Now I get to spend plenty of time with Cadence!” That was amazing. Avery’s eyes go wide in consternation – and Layla is about to burst into tears. “Starting tomorrow night, y’all won’t be able to get rid of me,” Juliette tells the crowd. Ohhhhh shit.

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Deacon and Rayna come to Cash’s door. “Look, I already told you she’s not here,” Cash says, but Maddie comes right out. Oops. That’s awkward for Cash. Deacon apologizes, but Maddie says he always apologizes and nothing ever changes. I mean, I actually think this is the first time he’s saved her a little too aggressively from sexual harassment, but of course she’s in “my parents are evil” mode. Rayna pleads for her to come home because they love her so much and they can talk it through. Unmoved, Maddie says she’s staying with Cash. Deacon and Rayna start burbling about how she’s a bad influence. Um, you’re on her porch guys. RUDE. Maddie screams that they’re trying to ruin her career, that Sony and Edgehill wanted her. Rayna says she doesn’t know everything about that. Maddie says, “I’m done letting you make all my decisions for me. I talked to a lawyer who thinks I have a very good case.” For emancipating herself, apparently. (Um, doesn’t there have to be abuse or something for that? Maybe she could get away with arguing that her mom tried to profit off her by signing her to her own record label instead of a more established one… seems like a thin case to me though.) Maddie slams the door in their faces. Rayna sits on the porch, looking gutted, while Deacon bangs on the door.



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