Love or success? Rayna was placed in exactly this dilemma on Wednesday night’s episode of Nashville when a reporter from Rolling Stone was tasked with crashing the reigning queen of country’s life to find the perfect cover story. And while she made some sacrifices with the article for her family, Rayna also put her career ahead of her relationship and future with Luke. This is a decision that will surely come back to haunt her when the Rolling Stone interview is published and the CMA winners are announced. I’m sensing country’s fictional superstar couple Ruke could come to an end sooner than expected.
Two months have passed since the last time we saw our favorite (and not so favorite) Nashville residents. Luke’s tour is winding down while Rayna is gallivanting off to the Dancing with the Stars stage to perform her new bonus single (some more cross-promotion within ABC, I’m half-expecting Rayna to say her future household with Luke and his children is a very “modern family” just to throw some more promotion in there). The song Rayna sings isn’t half bad for something she supposedly threw together at the last minute, but more important than the music are the lyrics—which feature the lines “Always been a whole lot happier on my own” and “I won’t be no ball and chain.” Foreshadowing much?
Ruke finally have a short 48 hours together to spend with their families and plan their wedding. But of course, this happens to be the only time for Rolling Stone to come a-knocking for the exclusive front-page, in-depth interview with Rayna James. And of course she has to take it because it would do wonders for her CMA chances and her new business. Luke, while peeved, agrees to play ball and while the super couple make compromises and sacrifices for each other, Maddie gives her soon-to-be step brother quite a quick but uncomfortably smitten look. Someone should have sensed this trouble from the start and don’t look at Daphne, she was too busy eating bacon and is nowhere near old enough to understand that boys don’t have cooties. (At least not always.)
Meanwhile in the always difficult yet completely fascinating world of Juliette Barnes, two months have almost caught Juliette up with her real-life counterpart Hayden Panettiere in terms of pregnancy, and she and Avery are discussing important childcare matters like learning the gender and picking a birthing plan. Good news is the former couple are in the same room together. Bad news is everything else. Juliette and Avery can’t agree on any plans until Avery realizes how close and “intimate” he must get with Juliette to attend Lamaze classes. His reasoning? Just because they were that close when they made the baby, doesn’t mean they have to be that close when the baby comes into this world.
But despite his continued feelings of discomfort with Juliette, Avery clearly wants to be a good father, which he demonstrates by buying the best crib and explaining to the baby store worker that this is his first child and he wants to “do right by it.” While Juliette and Avery’s relationship continues to be strained, her friendship with assistant Emily grows stronger and stronger to the point where Juliette has finally truly appreciated Emily out loud and even asks her to be her birthing partner. Juliette also decides that since the baby is healthy, she needs to get back to worrying about her music. So she makes a little visit to Rayna to discuss her demos. Are they any good? Not so much, but as Juliette vents to Rayna about her relationship with Avery and her current struggles, Rayna helps Juliette realize that these difficult situations are the ones from which she should draw inspiration for her music.
NEXT: Layla may not be such a horrible monster after all