A concert for the Army brings everyone together, as various secrets threaten to tear others apart
Credit: Mark Levine/ABC
S2 E21
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After a week of being angry at this show, tonight’s episode was a breath of fresh air. Juliette brought the drama and the tears, while Deacon brought a little laughter (and a few more tears). Plus, Jeff Fordham was even creepier than usual, so what more can a girl ask for, right? Let’s dig in!

We picked up with Juliette attempting to scrub herself clean of her horrible, horrible mistake. But sadly, no soap — or obscene number of towels in her shower — was going to get rid of the fact that she’d slept with Jeff Fordham, whom after much soul searching, I’ve decided looks exactly like Randall from Monsters, Inc. You’re welcome.

Out of the shower, Juliette finally came face-to-face with Avery, who apologized for how he’d more or less neglected to think about her feelings during the entire Scarlett-is-cray-cray situation. It was a very sweet scene that almost turned sexual before Juliette bolted. She was meeting with song writers. Also, she needed to get checked for STDs before sleeping with Avery again. OK, not really, but she probably should.

Moving to the more functional couple, Rayna had to cut a meeting short when she found out that Luke was in the hospital. He’d been in Afghanistan for a concert when an IED killed two men and injured others. Luckily, all he had taken away from the experience was a few bruised ribs, some cuts, and a good ‘ol bump on the noggin. So what did Dr. Luke prescribe? Just a little Rayna-flavored sugar. And as the cherry on top, Rayna suggested they do a concert for the troops at Fort Campbell right outside Nashville. Best girlfriend ever? Well, she’s definitely better than Juliette right about now.

Back at Will’s, the cameras were taking over in preparation for the reality show that’s guaranteed to ruin absolutely everything. Did anyone else love the line in the song he sang Layla about how he was a “crosser of a straight line.” Yes, Will. WE KNOW.

In the kitchen, Gunnar got a call about meeting with Juliette to potentially co-write on her album. As he told Zoey, his only problem was that he’d witnessed Jeff and Juliette leaving the screening room the other night after making an NC-17 film of their own. Yes, Gunnar made a funny!

He met with her anyway, but not for long before Jeff Fordham told Juliette he wanted her back … at his label. More on that later.

At Deacon’s house, Scarlett was recuperating with some tea in the “girliest” cup Deacon could find. And then tea quickly turned into her deciding to pick up a shift at the Bluebird to try and get back to normal. But after a few customers had a little too much to say about her life (and failure), she went with plan b: She was going to leave Nashville. I’d explain, but that’s literally all we know right now.

NEXT: Meet Tony the Trainer

With Rayna out of town visiting Luke, Maddie asked if she could stay with Deacon. The sleepover consisted of homework, burnt lasagna, and lots of questions. Maddie wanted to know if he’d ever thought about marrying Rayna, if he was the coolest guy ever, and also, where he was the night she was born. He told her he was on the road, but what he’d later reveal at AA was that he had no idea where he was that night. When he’d found out that Rayna was having another man’s child, he’s gotten drunk, and that was all he knew. Damn you, Deacon. Whenever that man cries, I cry.

At the concert for the troops, Luke wasn’t too happy with Rayna for inviting Juliette, but after hearing Juliette talk to a wounded soldier about how her father was killed in service, he suggested they duet on “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet.” It went over well with the crowd, but that was only the start of the concert. Other features included a video from Michelle Obama, a number from Kellie Pickler, and most importantly, a family performance from Rayna, her daughters … and Deacon? When Rayna brought her girls out to sing “A Life That’s Good,” Maddie asked if Deacon could join, considering he wrote the song. Rayna said yes, much to the dismay of all the other men in her life.

Food for thought: Is Daphne the coolest little chick ever? She’s like 9, and she’s got a beanie on her head, a tambourine in hand, and has no fear of performing in front of a ridiculous amount of people. My vote: Yes.

However, the best part of the concert was the moment Deacon apologized to Rayna. He’d previously told her that he would never forgive her for lying about Maddie, and he was wrong. She hadn’t done anything wrong, he told her. She had just been protecting their little girl, and he finally gets that now. He’s grateful for what she did. And I, for one, am grateful for the beautiful shot of the two of them looking into the distance with tears in their eyes. That Maddie has some beautiful parents.

Continuing on his fatherly tour, Deacon asked Teddy to tell him about the night Maddie was born. I didn’t exactly expect Teddy to do it right there, yelling over the music of the concert, but I suppose there’s no time like the present? Also, I’d like to thank Teddy for keeping the birthing details to a minimum.

Sort of keeping with that theme of no time like the present, Zoey was taking an opportunity to sing back-up for Juliette, which meant Gunnar had to hold off on telling Avery about Juliette’s rendezvous with Jeff. However, Jeff made it clear that he wasn’t above telling Avery about their mistake, to which Juliette reminded him just how “unsatisfying” and “brief” said mistake was. Good one, Juliette! When in doubt, hit a man in his ego (or groin).

And while we’re on the subject of cheaters, let’s talk about Will. About .5 seconds after starting the reality show, Will was over it. After all, they were forcing him to repeatedly kiss Layla, so I can’t blame him for being annoyed about that. But really? You knew this was coming, buddy. But instead of making out with his lady, Will hit the gym, where he was hit on by a very hot trainer named Tony. Tony the Trainer? I love it. But is it better than Tony the Tiger? Discuss!

Tony offered to work Will out. Originally, Will crumpled up Tony’s business card — which consisted of almost nothing but a close-up shot of Tony’s bicep/torso — but when he later decided to rip a camera out of the wall of his house, he dug that business card out of his shorts pocket and scheduled a private session.

Other things to note: Luke’s near-death experience had him worried that his feelings for Rayna weren’t being reciprocated, but she quickly reaffirmed that she loved him, and as she put it, “I’m all in, babe.” Yeah, tell that to him after you and Deacon sang with your girls on stage.

So what did you think of the episode? Is Scarlett really leaving? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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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