Juliette refuses to apologize to her haters; Rayna considers the price of selling out

By Annie Barrett
March 13, 2015 at 07:03 PM EDT
ABC
S2 E13
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Hell hath no fury like a Juliette Barnes repeatedly scorned and then trained like a glitter-doused show pony to recite a bullish*t apology to her haters.

During her induction to the Grand Ole Opry (let’s just pretend it’s not weird that no one thought to cancel this in the midst of her period of public infamy), Juliette refused to even look at the teleprompter Edgehill label head Jeff had so calculatingly set up for her. Instead of damage-controlling her own reputation and the label’s, Juliette sweetly thanked the Opry, Glenn the Good Witch, and most of all her fans for sticking by her, even though all the data says a lot of them have not. She launched right into a new song about…well, I’ll just tell you the title: “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet.”

Juliette’s antics met a confused non-response from the audience and an icy reception from the “oooh, girl do you know what you just did” in-the-know industry types backstage. Only Rayna poked her head into Juliette’s dressing room to offer businesslike support: “Well, that wasn’t very smart. But it sure was brave. Good for you.”

THEN. As if Glenn’s retort to sleazy Jeff Fordham that if he had known about her stunt, he would have made sure she called him out by name and “shoved that teleprompter right up your ass” wasn’t great enough, Juliette had some choice words for Jeff when he thundered in.

He called her just plain stupid. Uh, sir: “Just for the record, ‘just plain stupid’ is losing two of your top-grossing artists in less than six months on the job, not to mention pinning all your hopes and dreams on a karaoke who came in [hilarious pause] second place on a talent show.”

They’ll see each other on the unemployment line — unless Rayna snatches Juliette up for Highway 65 first. (And Luke Wheeler, too, for that matter. Not only is Luke little Stella’s new old-man-friend and getting cozy with the family, but he’s firmly in Rayna’s camp professionally as he brought her onstage to showcase her upcoming single.)

After sending Glenn off on a paid, indefinite vacation (JEALOUS) and squeezing most of a huge ketchup bottle into a bowl (still jealous), Juliette streamlined her way right to Avery’s house.

She cooked! She tried.

NEXT: Avery and Juliette are officially together…in bed “You really had me convinced I’d be okay if everything I had disappeared,” Juliette began. “But I realized there is one thing that I need… One thing I have to have…”

Thong necklines?

“….you.” Ahhhh! I love the way her voice lilted on “you” so vulnerably, almost like she was asking a question — but duh, the answer is absolutely, yes, let’s kiss now. Avery and Juliette are a couple!!!

I’m psyched. They’re great. And Avery was a fountain of solid advice, support, and intuition this week — he helped Deacon realize that he’s always been satisfied with his career of working hard for Rayna and writing hit songs — maybe he didn’t need to be famous on his own after all. Sign me up for a pre-download of Deacon Claybourne: Live at the Bluebird right now. Oh, wait. That’s not how vinyl works?

We need to talk about Scarlett and “Black Roses.”

First of all, Liam snatching Scarlett’s private journal away — that is the stuff of NIGHTMARES! I freaked out right along with her when that happened. But his twisted move paid off: We finally got some insight as to why our ethereal doily is so mopey and docile and eye-shifting and self-denying all the time: Her mother suffered from extreme highs and lows and spent Scarlett’s childhood in and out of psychiatric wards — and when her mother was around, Scarlett barely made a peep so as to reduce the chances of setting her off. I loved learning all of this, and I loved Scarlett demanding a piano player in the middle of the night so she could lay the track down that morning.

I can see your eyes staring into mine across the battlefield

You’re on the other side

You can throw your words sharper than a knife and leave me cold again

In another house on fire

I lay low, lay low and watch the bridges burn

Now you only bring me black roses

And they crumble in the dust when they’re held

Now you only bring me black roses

But I’m not under your spell

Did anyone else lose their breath when Scarlett went super high on the third “under your spell”? So much sadness, anger, and ultimately relief in that one little trill. And you know what gave Scarlett the power to really go there? The desire to take charge of her career again! Plus, amphetamines. (Generic Adderall, 30mg, thanks to Liam. Get ready for a lot of scenes of Scarlett intently folding and then refolding all her cozy shawls. Or maybe writing more beautiful music, whatever.)

Also, another house on fire! It all ties back to Juliette. Just kidding.

By the way, I’m obsessed with Liam’s “Really? This guy?” glare upon meeting Luke in front of Rayna:

Luke had a special surprise for Rayna — he covered her eyes and everything.

And the results… were….

TERRIFYING.

Okay, the Rayna James-wrapped NASCAR auto was almost as terrifying as Pork Blood Peggy. Not quite as.

Aggghh, no, it’s a terrifying massacre again, make it stop!

Rayna spent the episode wooing Mr. Wal-mart, excuse me, Mr. Boone, in order to secure shelf space in his mega-superstores for her new album. After a sad display of pooh-poohing her for mixing business with pleasure (as if anyone would hang out with that guy for fun), Boone remembered oh yeah, he does have all the power, and sure Rayna can have shelf space. He’d just remove Juliette Barnes from the roster, because everyone hates her now anyway.

NEXT: Layla Grant’s mind proves to be an open blank book {C}Rayna reluctantly agreed at first, but Maddie’s “ugh, mom, she’s my hero” look, a crisis of conscience, and very likely the determination to sign Juliette onto her own label all convinced her to drop the Boone’s deal. “I will be damned if I take part in some corporate jackass trying to squelch her voice,” she told Tandy (Tandy!) on the phone. You’re probably thinking, have these people never heard of iTunes? Maybe not — in fact I love how no one ever uses a computer on this show — but country music fans do tend to buy the most CDs in stores. Now if someone could just remind me of what a CD is, that would be most helpful.

Meanwhile, at Will’s encouragement and because he needed something to do other than bum around the apartment in boxer briefs (though I strongly disagree with that), Gunnar agreed to help Layla with her songwriting. Problem is, she’s never written before. And the reason why is almost as scary as Scarlett’s haunted childhood: Layla doesn’t have any thoughts to write down. At least she doesn’t think she has thoughts. Who knows? (Not Layla.) She’s so young. People don’t really start to think until they’re at least old enough to legally drink until they forget what they were thinking. Sure.

Will can relate to his fake girlfriend: Like Layla, he’s used to doing only what his parents expected him to do — in her case, pageants and music; in his case, acting not gay. Will has a potentially deep Moment of Truth as he catches a glimpse of the looseleaf journal Layla’s started (good call, Gunnar — and way to compliment Scarlett as you suggested it) and heaves a great big sigh in bed. Perhaps he should be embracing his real thoughts, too.

What do you think was on Layla’s journal page? My guess: “Consider thick-framed glasses to complete Zooey transformation STAT! / I don’t like being homeless.”

Speaking of Zs, no Zoe this week.

Oh, but some big developments in the Teddy-Tandy-Lamar realm of the show (that has nothing to do with all the others…until next week!) — all the charges against Lamar have been dropped, so the man Teddy knows was out to have him murdered instead of Peggy will be on the loose next Wednesday. I’m already terrified — not because Lamar is scary, but because it means I might have to catch up on what the EFF is going on here.

Case in point: I had no idea that vague, exclamatory texts are how the U.S. Attorney’s Office communicates with suspected guilty people. The more you know!

Final question: Is Deacon’s awesome orange bowl, like, excessively large, or have I been limiting myself big-time in the amount of bowl space I require to make just a few eggs?

Either way, Deacon is doin’ it with class and style, as usual.

Loose, Gorgeous Connie Britton Wave of the Week:

The one on the left gains new life at shoulder length, perhaps due to the shoulder itself or perhaps due to her hair’s inherent infusion of volume and oomph; probably both.

Your thoughts on “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right”? Discuss!

Follow @AnnieBarrett

Head back to week’s recap: Arm Sex With Deacon and Rayna

Episode Recaps

Legendary music icon Rayna Jaymes struggles to maintain her place in the spotlight while dealing with the ambitious rising pop vixen Juliette Barnes.
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