This week’s episode of Nashville really should have been called “The Constant Rise and Fall of Jeff Fordham,” as Edgehill’s former CEO tried to find a quick and surprisingly clever way to make a comeback in the Nashville music industry, took a giant bullet to the ass, and yet might still have a way back in the game. He’s like a freaking Chumbawumba song. Elsewhere, Rayna gave Bucky a well-deserved promotion, but had a little trouble letting go, and Scarlett is making eyes and time with Deacon’s doctor in a move literally everyone saw coming. More good-looking people = more love stories. Or maybe it just equals more hook-ups? Either way, that’s television for ya.
Is anyone else torn by Jeff Fordham right now? I mean we all know he’s Satan. This has been discussed at length. But his idea to have Luke start a record label is actually a pretty smart move considering he’s now a pariah in the industry for being the catalyst for Edgehill’s dissolution, and he probably has no other skills outside of the music industry other than knowing how to shed his skin every few weeks or so. As soon as he hears the news about his former company, Fordham wallows on Layla’s couch for a while (Did he suddenly become homeless after losing his job?), and then has his record label epiphany while not listening to Layla’s whining. And speaking of this relationship with Layla, the poor girl asks if she’s just part of Jeff’s mid-life crisis. Honestly at this point, I have no idea. She might end up being more than just Jeff’s red, shiny sports car, but she’s also currently the only person stupid enough to actually want to work with him.
Before Rayna hears the Edgehill news, she officially gives Bucky a promotion as head of A&R for Highway 65, a smart move considering Rayna should not be running a bunch of divisions at her label and stretching herself and her hair too thin. No I take that back. That would never happen. That hair is the lord’s work. But after Rayna and Bucky meet with most of Edgehill’s artists, the singer and manager can’t seem to get their ideas in sync, leading Rayna to make some final authoritative decisions by saying no to signing up-and-coming and popular talents, and saying yes to signing Layla, whom Bucky deems a “negative” thanks to a much needed re-branding. In this re-branding, is it at all possible to make Layla a different character completely? Maybe one who isn’t totally obnoxious?
Speaking of re-branding, Juliette is trying to do that for herself in pregnancy. She has a photoshoot with Vogue but doesn’t feel beautiful in anything, and apparently she wants restraining orders against every magazine thanks to some unfortunate mentions. Let’s all make one thing very clear: If Juliette was mentioned in any fashion polls, she wore it best. Finally thanks to some quick words of advice from Avery, Juliette’s Vogue shoot goes extremely well as she shows off some very Demi in Vanity Fair-like photos to her husband who is positively overcome with love. Seriously, are these two not the best couple right now?
NEXT: Luke Is Wheelin’ & Dealin’ With Will[pagebreak]
Another couple is slowly building on the series as Scarlett takes advice from Deacon’s Dr. Cutie to get her own life by re-joining Gunnar and Avery’s band and asking that very doctor out on a date. And yes, I have upgraded him from semi-cute to Dr. Cutie because I can admit when I’m wrong—and he is indeed quite nice to look at. Dr. Cutie and Scarlett’s relationship could potentially suffer when she finds out that Deacon decided not to go ahead with a clinical trial for his cancer. But let’s not focus on Deacon’s condition or the fact that’s he’s making everyone miserable or the fact that he and Scarlett keep bumping heads. Let’s just focus on the cuteness. So much cuteness!
Unfortunately it’s back to Jeff as he convinces Luke to start Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records (because of course that’s what he’s calling it). But let’s be honest, the real reason Luke jumped head first into this idea so quickly is his bitterness toward Rayna. They finally share a scene together since the breakup—it’s in an elevator and is basically the opposite of her elevator scenes with Deacon in season 1. And after making a few mean comments about how Rayna doesn’t seem to look back when she makes decisions, Luke is ready to pull the trigger on his new business venture.
Jeff and Luke agree that Luke will be getting the final say on important decisions, and he easily agrees that Will Lexington should be their first official client. Signing Layla however gets a hard pass. Will is basically the girl everyone wants to take to prom after Edgehill is dissolved as every single record label pitches themselves to him. He’s so popular that he goes to Deacon for advice on whom to choose as he’s torn between someone new or going back to Jeff, who supposedly had his back. Though is that really what we’d say Jeff was doing? After first bringing up Rayna’s label and getting it shot down by Will, who isn’t sure if they would be the right fit for him, Deacon’s two cents on what to do are pretty simple: “Personally I do tend to lean towards the Devil I know.” Yea… That’s bad idea jeans for sure.
Oh right, and Teddy tries to cover his prostitute tracks after a talk with Jeff leaves him paranoid and stupid enough to go over to Natasha’s house to “get their story straight.” (Because loose lips sink ships!) And of course, when all seemed to be somewhat in the clear, there were people surveilling and listening in on their conversation. People who were very surprised to see the Mayor coming up with fake stories on how he met Natasha. Quick! Someone name the many politicians caught in prostitution scandals and which ones Nashville is emulating!
Then there’s Sadie, who finally tells Rayna about her ex-husband troubles and settles out of court with him so she can get back to producing her new music. While I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Sadie’s story line (even though I love Sadie a lot and Laura Benanti even more), her anger over her troubles is really beautifully put. She’s ashamed at how far this situation has gone, she’s angry at herself, she’s angry at Pete. She tells Rayna that she stayed with him for so long because she was hoping he would change, and sometimes he would, and then he wouldn’t again. I appreciated the realness of these sentiments. But Rayna tells her that all that anger needs to be directed at Pete, not herself, and that today is the day they get the control back. She then proceeds to go back into Raynado mode with this perfect Pete zinger: “I don’t know what your problem is—maybe the lord only gave you two inches, I don’t know.” But she tells him that if he tries to mess with Sadie again, “I will make it my mission to ruin you, and unlike you, I actually have the power to do it.” Raynado for the win!
Eventually after Will goes over to the dark side, Luke fires Jeff, and it’s back to Layla’s couch for some more wallowing. Layla, who earlier in the episode told Rayna that she’s made some dumb mistakes in her life, makes yet another one by asking Jeff if he would want to be her manager as he technically got her the deal with Highway 65. So she literally signed with an angel, and made a deal with the Devil. Great. Now we’re never getting rid of Jeff Fordham.