It was a night of reconciliation on Nashville. Everyone wants answers to their particular plight in life, and most received a verdict, whether they agreed with it or not. Rayna needs Highway 65 to be seen as a viable label. Avery wants his wife to acknowledge his existence. Will hopes that Luke will keep him around after coming out of the closet. Gunnar longs for Scarlett to ditch the doctor. Layla just wants to be seen and heard by anyone on her team. And Deacon prays that his sister recovers from the surgery that saved his life. That’s a tall order for an hour-long show, but in true Nashville form, we plowed through them all in the most dramatic way possible.
After Juliette told Rayna that everyone thinks Highway 65 is a joke, our perfectly coifed leading lady makes it her mission to sign the next big thing to her label. That “big thing,” according to the Conrad sisters, just happens to be Markus Keen (Riley Smith) who recently left his rock & roll band in search for a solo career. Rayna is blown away by her daughters’ acoustic version of his band’s song at the school talent show. She manages to magically score a seat next to Markus on a flight departing from L.A. By the time they land in New York, she has convinced the rocker that country music needs him and Highway 65 is happy to give him a home. Sign, sealed, delivered.
Next up is Avery. It’s been five weeks since he’s seen or spoken to Juliette, and watching her lose it on Live! with Kelly and Michael because “it’s so hard being away from my family” is beyond confusing. Avery’s hair is also confusing. At a launch party of her new album in Nashville, Jeff warns Juliette that in order to stay at the top of all the charts, she needs to put in some time with Avery and the baby. Juliette tells Jeff that Avery hates her, so Jeff convinces Avery to move back in the house because Juliette is too scared to ask him herself.
When Avery shows up holding the baby, every stranger within a 20-mile-radius is boozing it up in his living room. Juliette barks for the randos to leave. She begs Avery to stay, asks for his forgiveness, showers affection on her little family, and utters one very sad sentence to her daughter: “Hi. I’m your Mama.”
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Juliette and Avery walk the red carpet at her album party the next day and the paparazzi pepper them with questions. Avery hoists the baby up and announces that they are all going on tour together. Inside, Juliette takes the stage while the baby tests her little lungs with some massive crying. When the song is over, Juliette rushes over to see why her baby is suddenly possessed. Pam Tillis (the Pam Tillis) assures her that the baby just needs her mama. And probably a diaper change. Juliette bumbles through an explosive baby diarrhea situation before Avery steps in to save the day. He encourages her to mingle with her guests.
What he didn’t expect was for Juliette to skip out on the rest of the party, throw away her cell phone, and hop a plane with her entourage to finish the rest of the tour. With all the red carpet pics from that night and a brand-new phone number, she should be good to go for several more weeks without any pesky family issues getting in the way of her career. I hope Avery cuts his hair in protest.
NEXT: It’s time to update the resume [pagebreak]
Meanwhile, poor Will has been stuck in limbo waiting for Luke to figure out if he’s going to keep him around. Somewhere along the way, Luke consulted a PR firm, and a rep named Gabrielle thinks that Luke’s audience isn’t ready for an openly gay country artist. Luke struggles with her recommendation. Will is talented. Small town doesn’t mean small minded. He invites Gabrielle to Juliette’s party so she can see Will in action among his peers. Those peers have no problem with Will being gay. But they do have a problem taking pictures which could inadvertently show support for Will’s lifestyle. Gabrielle gives a hoity-toity “I told you so,” and Luke drops Will from the label the next day. Who thinks Rayna will pick him up to be on her renegade label?
In other slow-moving news, Gunnar likes Scarlett. I think she likes him too but won’t admit it because her cute doctor boyfriend is so nice and brings her coffee. The fact that Gunnar and Scarlett are a rising duo is highly inconvenient, especially when they have to do a photo shoot for their tour merchandise in the same room. Gunnar thinks that the sexy, photoshopped images portray an inaccurate picture of The Exes. He calls a band meeting and is whiny when Scarlett brings Caleb along. She’s fine with the photos and could care less that there are 50 stops on their tour schedule.
That night Scarlett stays with her mother who had her breathing tube removed. Beverly apologizes to Scarlett for all of the awful things she did and is thankful that she didn’t die before she had a chance to tell her she’s sorry. Scarlett gets a major case of the feels and decides that she doesn’t want to tour so much with The Exes. It’s time to call another band meeting.
Gunnar walks into Caleb’s office at the hospital and challenges Caleb for making Scarlett have reservations about the tour. He knows the merchandise photos appear provocative, but there is no reason to feel threatened. The good doctor stands up and calmly tells Gunnar that he is far from threatened. It’s not like he and Scarlett are saving lives. A successful music career is pretty slim. Gunnar gives Caleb that “oh no you didn’t” look and icily informs him that he may not be the guy for Scarlett, but neither is he. Boom.
Across town, Layla plays a solo gig at the Bluebird to a crowd full of adoring fans and one completely empty reserved table for Bucky, Rayna, and Jeff. It seems that her label is out scouting new talent and her manager is holding back Juliette’s hair while she throws up. Even though all parties claim that she is a high priority, it’s Glenn Goodman who finds her after the show to offer praise and his business card. I miss Glenn and his awful toupee! It’s good to have him back!
Finally, Beverly is not necessarily up and about, but she is talking and full of positive energy. She tells Deacon that she heard him playing his guitar and is grateful that he stayed by her side. She makes him go home to stay with the girls why Rayna stalks Markus. She tells him she loves him one-too-many times, and I start to get suspicious. It’s when she had her breakthrough with Scarlett that I knew this would not end well. Scarlett tells her mom that she will be scaling back the tour dates and crosses the room to arrange some flowers. Beverly’s face twitches, and when Scarlett turns back around, she’s unconscious. I assume that Beverly had a stroke or a heart attack. Of all the loose ends that were tied up this episode, Beverly’s well-being is certainly not one of them.