Relationships and partnerships end and begin in Wednesday night's holiday episode of Nashville.

By Keertana Sastry
Updated March 13, 2015 at 06:32 PM EDT
Mark Levine/ABC


S3 E9
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And just like that, one more singer leaves Nashville for good on Wednesday night’s episode. After breaking up with Gunnar and getting into arguments about their band, Zoey finally packed up and left Music City to find a new life and a new start in Los Angeles, the city where literally everyone is looking for their big break in some way or another. As harsh as it sounds, I say good luck and good riddance to Gunnar’s ex. Zoey was definitely an interesting addition to the show last season but quickly wore out her welcome thanks to the writers not truly delving into her real loss of direction over her music career this season. So what are Avery, Gunnar, and their band, formerly known as ZAG, to do now? Seems like they’ve won themselves quite the consolation prize. But we’ll get to that later.

For now, holiday season is here in Nashville and everyone is getting ready in different ways. Over at Rayna’s, the girls and Luke have come together to film their own little Christmas reality special for charity “just like Johnny and June Carter Cash!” Luke brags to Rayna. The girls aren’t especially pumped about the family’s holiday plans—apparently they’re going to Australia; and all the girls want to do is bake cookies at home with their mom. It’s a sweet idea, and I understand the sentiment of not wanting their entire lives to have to change thanks to their mother’s wedding, but spending the holidays in Australia is just too cool to pass up.

Rayna gets her hands on an advanced copy of the Rolling Stone article she did a few episodes back, and she is not happy. She’s worried about the way they’ve twisted her words around about Deacon, and she’s got every reason to feel this way as Deacon later tells Scarlett that he’s “about 10 different kinds of pissed” that Rayna said things like she didn’t know why Deacon hadn’t moved on yet. While Rayna furiously tries to call Deacon to explain why she did the interview, he refuses to answer the phone and on the sidelines Luke is getting annoyed. Why can’t Rayna just let it go, he asks her. And despite her saying she’s moved on from Deacon and loves Luke and is going to marry him soon, we all know why she’s freaking out so much: There’s still a part of her that will always love Deacon, the way that he will always love her. His feelings are just more vocal and forthright.

Rayna finally gets a chance to confront Deacon about the article and explain that her reason for doing it was so that Maddie and Colt’s little… uncomfortable intimacy wouldn’t get broadcast all over the world and scrutinized. And Deacon gets Rayna wanting to save their daughter from humiliation, but he’s understandably angry and believes Rayna’s new lifestyle is just not what he expected from her. “I don’t know how you’re living your life this way,” he tells her as he walks out the door. Luke and Rayna get in another small tiff about her continued obsession with the article, and she decides to go over to Deacon’s and solve this tension once and for all. It happens to be a bad move for the country star as Deacon reveals Rayna was right to say what she said in the article, Deacon hasn’t moved on and never will because he will always love Rayna, and he tells her she needs to accept that. Rayna says she’s happy the article came out so she could finally tell him that she’s getting married, and Deacon needs to get over her. But there’s no sense of finality in the scene. How could there be between these two?

NEXT: For shame Layla! For shame!

Now that everyone’s favorite fake married couple are actually friends, Will and Layla’s only real issue is how much they hate doing their reality show and, more importantly, promotion for their reality show. To get away from the world, the couple decides to attend the music festival Winterville Nashfest (not a real thing) and try to get lost among the hipster crowd so they won’t be recognized. Should hipsters be offended by their portrayal in Wednesday night’s episode, or glad? I’m going with glad for the time being because Will and Layla’s reality show looked stupid, and people who don’t know anything about it are just cooler in my book. The fake couple decide to split up and enjoy the fest on their own and then come back at the end of the night to go home together. Coincidentally, the first person Will meets is a gay bartender … of all the bars in all the music fests. Will slightly offends the guy by asking if he gets flack for his “alternative lifestyle,” and then later tries to drunkenly kiss the bartender despite the guy being in a committed relationship. All in all, not a successful day for Will Lexington.

But at least he’s not Layla who started out the festival well enough by playing her own great music for a few random listeners when Satan shows up and is surprised by how great a singer Layla really is. Satan, a.k.a. Jeff Fordham, later spends the rest of the night talking with Layla about her music ambitions and history and even plays her a little something something on the guitar. Sure he has some musical skills, but who cares? He’s literally the devil. Eventually, because it had to happen at some point, the pair hit it off so well that Jeff decides he’ll give Layla a lift home, which results in a hookup that only the audience discovers after Will realizes Layla never came home the night before. And Layla was really starting to become likable again. This is the worst.

Surprisingly enough, the holiday episode was light on Juliette and Avery drama, though they did provide an extremely hilarious moment of pure physical comedy. Juliette hears Avery speaking with Gunnar about meeting with a woman who is “really hot” and assumes he’s going on a date. Later, dressed as a crazy person while riding a rascal, Juliette spots Avery and Sadie Stone talking, but what she doesn’t realize is that her ex-boyfriend is hoping to get the gig of producing Sadie’s next album. After Avery spots Juliette staring at him, she attempts to escape and takes down decorations from the festival all around her. It’s comedy gold people. Avery is sure he’s lost the opportunity, but Juliette speaks to Sadie and gets it back for him thankfully. He even admits to Juliette that it was cute she got so jealous of the possibility he might be dating someone. Avery’s career and his relationship with Juliette continues to move in the right direction—and it’s about damn time.

NEXT: Terry’s troubles help Scarlett move past her own

Who would have thought that Benjamin Buford Blue, a.k.a. Bubba, from Forrest Gump would be the person to help Scarlett finally get back on the stage and love performing music again? Scarlett is helping Terry get back onstage and in the limelight—and for a while, the plan seems to be working. Reporters are desperate to learn more about the man with the incredible comeback story, and even Zoey tells Scarlett that she’s basically acting as Terry’s manager and helping him get his life back on track. After performing a killer set onstage at Winterville Nashfest, Terry has a flashback to the night his wife and children died; he runs away, finds some alcohol, and proceeds to start going back to his old ways.

When Scarlett confronts him, he says the obligatory line from a guy who’s down and out and too stubborn or messed up to change: “You don’t know the damn thing about me.” And while that doesn’t do much but just make Scarlett cry, Terry then turns around and speaks the complete and total truth: That Scarlett is pushing Terry to do the things she is too much of a coward to do herself despite wanting to do it more than anything else.

Meanwhile, Zoey, Gunnar, and Avery are meeting with Sadie Stone’s manager to figure out a way to make their band more well-known. The manager tells them the best way to build a fanbase is through going on tour, but Gunnar’s not ready to leave Micah alone like his crappy mother. Zoey gets upset that Gunnar is sacrificing everything and Gunnar calls her selfish. But then Zoey says what Gunnar doesn’t want to admit—that he likes the way things used to be and that he would rather Zoey be the mother to his child than sing songs and have the career she wants. Zoey leaves before the band performs their set to impress Sadie’s manager at Nashfest, but a savior comes in the form of Scarlett, who is finally ready to show Terry and, more importantly, herself that she can get back into music. The band kills it, and Laughlin offers to manage them on tour once again. And once again Gunnar refuses for the sake of his family, a move I’m sure won’t be too upsetting to Avery. Does the exit of Zoey mean it’s time to bring back Gunnar and Scarlett? It seems more than likely at this point, but we’ll just have wait to see how long Nashville drags out the inevitable.

Episode Recaps


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