The men are messing with Maddie and the Queen is not amused.Now that Rayna’s gotten great press for her Bluebird show, manager Bucky moves on to worrying about Sadie’s album (he questions whether Avery is capable of producing something this big). Rayna receives a special delivery on Maddie’s behalf – a diamond necklace from her new boss, Jeff the skeevy exec. Knowing he’s low on the liver donor list, Deacon asks his doctor for a life expectancy quote but the doctor refuses. While getting whiskey drunk and burning photos of his dead brother and cheating ex-girlfriend, Gunnar receives a surprise visit from Luke (who wants to cowrite a song and also get whiskey drunk). Avery struggles with Bucky’s low expectations, pregnant Juliette’s nutty, nagging phone calls, and his own perfectionism while trying to record Sadie’s album. While Deacon is doing some ill-advised Web MD research (just six months to live!) he receives a Face Time call from Maddie, who is eager to hang out. Will agrees to let his ex-beard-wife Layla live in their apartment while he crashes at Gunnar’s, but she’s hoping to bust out of Nashville ASAP. Rayna storms into Jeff’s office and learns that Teddy did, indeed, sign a contract for Maddie to join Edgehill.
Sadie is happy to sit around the studio doing nothing while Avery fiddles with sound boards, because at least she isn’t at home hiding from Pete. But when her abusive ex calls from the parking lot, blatantly disregarding her restraining order, she panics. When Rayna confronts Teddy, he gets defensive and pretends he signed the contract because it’s what Maddie wants. Will finds Luke and Gunnar writing bad, angry break-up songs.1 Then they all decide to have a midday Guys Night Out. While Teddy whines at Jeff for manipulating him, Rayna gets with a lawyer. Preparing for his big meeting with Benton Media execs, Jeff schedules Maddie to perform and also invites Layla to sing some of her new folky/angsty material. Deacon’s freaking out on the inside, but puts on a happy face when it’s time to jam with Maddie. When Rayna threatens Teddy with an emergency injunction (based on the fact that he’s not Maddie’s biological dad) he fesses up to the real reason he’s beholden to Jeff. And the Queen is not amused.
Here are five awesome things from last night’s Nashville
The doctor diagnoses Scarlett Not only does uncle Deacon refuse Ms. Sunshine and Lollipops’s2 immunity-building bee pollen, he screams at her for not accepting the will he has just written. So she corners his doctor and asks him to give Deacon a better prognosis. Instead, the handsome physician sits Blondie down for a little chat about her. “Scarlett, you ever heard of the term ‘happiness bully’?” Standing O for the good doctor! New fave.3
Sadie takes a stand It’s been hard to write about this story in the context of “awesome” because it’s so disturbing (as it should be). I’d be curious to get a domestic abuse survivor’s take on it, but overall I think the show is handling it quite well. Ever since Pete punched Sadie in the winter finale, we know she needs a confidant. Enter Avery, patron saint of all distressed damsels.4 When Sadie is too shaken up to record, she finally tells her producer all about her ex. Once Avery learns that Pete is in the parking lot, he runs outside and threatens to beat him silly. Pete almost takes the bait, but then Sadie warns him off with the restraining order while pointing to a security camera. So while Avery sticks up for his friend, he doesn’t save her. She saves herself. I love that I can count on this show to treat its women characters with that level of respect.
Luke outs Will After secretly gay cowboy Will abruptly shuns one of the floozies he meets on Guys Night Out, he worries Luke’s gonna deduce the truth. The next morning, as the guys nurse their hangovers at Gunnar’s house, Will explains that his playboy image isn’t the real deal. Luke responds, “Always had my suspicions, but now you’ve confirmed ’em… You’re sensitive. Well guess what? So am I.” OMG MASCULINITY IS SUCH A TRAP AND MAKES PEOPLE STUPID LET’S BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND RIGHT NOW
Deacon’s a pretty cryer Deacon’s been avoiding Maddie because he doesn’t want to tell her he has cancer. When they finally get together, he’s noncommittal about future guitar lessons cuz, ya’ know, how much future is there? Everything changes when Maddie sings for him and he makes the most heartbreaking happy/miserable crying face. Maddie asks, “Why are you sad?”, and he says, “I’m not sad, sweetie. Right now I’m about the happiest guy you know. Very proud.” And from that moment, he smiles, drinks his stupid bee pollen and makes plans for the distant future. Best. Dad. Ever.
Rayna Terror pt. 2: Mama Bear Fights Back Mega fist pumps for when Rayna counters Teddy’s BS excuses with an emergency injunction, but that was just the start of her rampage. Let’s count all the ways Rayna rocked this week –
– She storms the Edgehill/Benton Media board meeting, informs the chairman that 20 year old Layla overdosed and nearly drowned in Jeff’s swimming pool, notes that this is not the right way to handle young female artists, and immediately gets Maddie’s contract voided. All of which leads to…
– Jeff getting canned. YEEESSSSS!5
– Oh, but she ain’t done y’all. Rayna now wants sole custody of the girls. Right on, lady! For all his foolishness, Teddy’s one redeeming quality was that he always did right by his daughters. But then he tried selling Maddie out to cover his own corruption and prostitute-sexing, all while blaming Rayna for being an over-controlling, absentee mom!? The jig is up, Mr. Mayor. You are no longer in the Queen’s favor.