Scarlett chokes (at first) in Tampa, Rayna and Luke duet, and Awful Peggy fakes her own miscarriage
NASHVILLE Hanky Panky Woman
Credit: Mark Levine/ABC
S2 E8
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Let’s just get this out of the way: Awful Peggy finally dealt with that pesky “lack of a pregnancy” thing she’s got going on by FAKING HER OWN MISCARRIAGE for husband Teddy with a can of “pork blood.”

She couldn’t even get pig’s blood from a brand-name pig’s blood store. Nope, A.P. had to black market that sh*t and buy pork’s blood in a brown paper bag. This is officially the most interesting thing Peggy’s character has ever done and the grossest thing on TV… well, just tonight, probably. TV, you so nasty.

Props to Kimberly Williams-Paisley for acting the hell out of that scene in which she pretends to cry for her lost child. I think she convinced me more than she convinced Teddy, actually. Wait….WAS she pregnant?

Oh, and what exactly about the Tennessean (a real paper!) headline “Nashville mayor Conrad weds Peggy Kenter” suggested that the city “overwhelmingly approves” of its First Lady? Teddy is just so terrifically whack. Hate how dull he is; love how crazy Peggy is right now. Can’t believe I’m still typing about either of them.

In “Hanky Panky Woman,” all the key players except Juliette and Avery (whoops, plus Will, and Rayna’s daughters, who didn’t appear) had tripped down to Tampa for Luke Wheeler’s first stop on his blowout “The MOON or SHINE” tour. I had to check that more than five times. I kept thinking it was “No moon, no shine.” Why is it either the moon OR shine? I know the point of it is to remind those rowdy-ass Luke Wheeler fans to drink MOON SHINE and the order of the words doesn’t matter. It’s not important. It’s like any major event in Teddy’s life. I just have to move on.

Oh, maybe it’s supposed to be like “rain or shine.” I still don’t get it. We all know I am not that bright, moon or shine.

Scarlett O’Connor: She’s tougher than you think! Our dear, sweet ethereal doily fell hair-first into a pile of dark pink chalk this week. I’m digging her new extensions, for the record — that mop of hers was begging for a My Little Pony to breathe its unique version of fire into it.) Anyway, that extra color, plus a heaping helping of support from Uncle Deacon ‘n’ Mama Rayna, plus all that good ol’ gumption Scarlett has stored up in her heart, helped her overcome a bit of stage fright as she opened for Luke in her first stadium show.

Ha! “A bit of stage fright.” Girl got literally CLOBBERED by insults and popcorn. To Luke Wheeler fans, any song not about beer and trucks may as well not be in English. They have no time for technical difficulties, either. I could not stop cringing when Rayna had to saunter out and rescue Scarlett by assuring Luke’s fans, “Trust me, this is one of the most talented young women I’ve seen in a long time.” What the hell was she saying? They had no idea. Because that sentence didn’t sound like English either.

NEXT: ‘I ain’t dead, and I ain’t done.’ #EffYeahDeacon Deacon wanted Rayna to pull Scarlett off the tour, but Rayna knew better. She’d been booed so many times — “I heard ‘show me your boobs’ so much, you’d have thought it was a hit damn song,” she told Scarlett. (Love that. Hit damn song!) As Watty White used to say, steel is forged in fire. We already established that a My Little Pony breathed pink sparkle-fire into Scarlett’s mop. Therefore, engulfed in flames of a sort (much like Jeff Fordham’s fantasy version of Rayna, see below), Scarlett is made of steel. The next night, she slayed those greedy beer-truckers with her twangy artistry and sweet dance moves.

“Do you wanna hear some country music?” she revved them up. “I can’t hear you… do you wanna hear some good country music?” Emphasis mine, not Scarlett’s. Nice subtle dig there by the prettiest pony in Tampa.

Are Scarlett’s endless series of slightly different braids fascinating anyone else? In addition to the two regular ponies, she went from fishtail to normal braid, then back to fishtail. Did she stand there fishtailing her own mop — which would take like 40 minutes — during Luke’s set? Oh, why the hell not?

Deacon had flown to Tampa, too. Again, why the hell not? He’s not busy, plus he needed to bring Scarlett her crappy old pillow. Deacon may have underestimated Scarlett’s toughness, but his concern and support for her was the best. “They’re all gonna love you,” he promised her. (Liar!) “None of ’em more than me.” And later, he grabbed one of Luke Wheeler’s terrible fan’s beefy arms as the guy was mid-boo and yelled a simple “HEY. Don’t do that.” Adorable. Deacon!

Ooh, and some good Deacon foreshadowing this week, as Scarlett caught him gazing wistfully at Luke and Rayna’s big-arena duet. “I blew every shot at being a solo artist I ever got,” he told her. “Well…you ain’t dead,” she sang. (Yes. Sang.)


Meanwhile, Evil Jeff Fordham sent police to Rayna’s house. No! she cried. Her father’s case has nothing to do with her! Oh, don’t worry, said the cops. They wanted nothing to do with Rayna’s father’s storyline either. Instead, they demanded the tracks Rayna had laid down with Liam (heh heh) for her new album. She was like “Ugh, I have no time for this, I just wanna go have sex” — but then reluctantly handed over the masters in a leather bag even bigger than the lingerie bag she’d just packed for Luke.

And this is the hell-raising ridiculata Evil Jeff has keyed up for her rushed new material:

Oh HELL no. #RaynaFlames

NEXT: Is there a small spark (certainly not the magical late-’90s-VHS-esque hellfire pictured above) between Rayna and Jeff? {C}Jeff Fordham is evil, but I’m liking the “professional chemistry” between him and Rayna. He knows she’s really the one in control, and they’re both getting off on that. Professionally. The two of them had some majorly steamy eye contact going on as she coolly sailed by him/looked back at him in the distance/glared at him outright backstage at Luke’s concert. I’m not saying they’ll be an item or anything. I just dig the charged vibe. The whole episode had a new burst of life to it, don’t you think?

Technically Rayna was in Tampa to support her new artist Scarlett. That’s the press release version. Rayna was really there to bump uglies with Luke. He’s not just “easy, fun, and simple” like Liam St. Lucia. “Luke feels like somebody I could… get serious with,” Rayna told her sister, who herself was Rising Out of the Ashes of having nothing to do on-screen. (Seconds later, she fell back into the dust.)

The reigning king and queen of country music, Rayna James and Luke Wheeler, are already sleeping together, so they might as well collaborate on a hit duet! Problem solved: Instead of capitalizing on “the heat” from Rayna’s accident, Evil Jeff can digitally release “Ball and Chain,” which was expertly penned by…Luke Wheeler! Just kidding. It’s Gunnar (some guy Rayna Flames doesn’t recognize).

Speaking of duets, how great was it to see Scarlett and Gunnar collaborate again in a low-key hotel pool setting? Pleasant-dreams audio aside, they were like a perfect visual representation of coziness out there. I could curl up and fall asleep in Scarlett’s giant knit hobo hat alone. It’s pretty clear Gunnar needs her in order to make his magic. Sure, she only threw him that one line, but it’s more than that. It’s an infusion (of pink hair). Without her, he’s lost.

And then there’s Juliette. But first, how about this great zoom-in on Manager Glenn’s new glasses?

Way to go, Glenn!

NEXT: Olivia might be crazier than Peggy. Ha! Yeah right. Anyway, that Charlie and Olivia Wentworth storyline already seems passé because Juliette and Avery are really connecting right now. If you must know, Olivia lied to Juliette and told her Charlie had put her up to seducing her because they were both kinky like that within their marriage. Olivia said Charlie “likes to watch.” It was pretty obvious to me that she was full of sh*t. I’m basically done with them. And so was Juliette, as she triumphantly ignored Charlie’s persistent texts by SUBMERGING HER PHONE IN SPARKLING WATER. (Is that what that was? Either that or it could be an inspired Alka-Seltzer commercial down the line.)

Juliette headed home because she needed a friend. Wait, Avery’s her friend! We know this because they’ve established the friendship out loud dozens of times. He is not a hired hand, just so that is clear. Juliette and Avery had a heart-to-heart about being someone’s “flavor of the month” in which Avery tired to connect Juliette’s drama with the billionaires to that one time his manager (Marilyn! I caved and looked it up) seduced him with fame and fortune and her body. I really don’t see how these two plots are similar at all, and neither did Juliette, but it did give her the opportunity to toss Avery a compliment. “I seriously doubt she saw you as a throwaway,” she assured the Bluebird Cafe’s mayor on Foursquare.

“You gotta stop giving all these people all your power!” he shot back at her. It seemed like two separate scenes. What’s he on about?

Eventually Juliette barged in on a dull Charlie-Olivia restaurant dinner. Charlie definitely didn’t know Olivia had kissed her. Lady J called them both sick, narcissistic perverts and said “You know what? I’d rather spend the rest of my life in a double wide than spend another minute around a billionaire bitch like you.” What’s she even doing there? I don’t think she cares about this guy Charlie AT ALL.

But he’s in love with her, apparently! Huh? Gross! Where is this going?!

Loose, Gorgeous Connie Britton Wave of the Week:

It was all kinked up tonight — not usually my thing, Connie Britton Hair-wise, but I liked the symmetry of busy hair/busy pants. Also, come on. Those legs.

Your thoughts on “Hanky Panky Woman”? Should Juliette and Avery hook up/ruin their friendship? Did you know “pork” was an animal? Do you have it in you to even try on lacy leather pants?


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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