Juliette picks the best suitor, and it's... Rayna?! Liam breaks Scarlett's heart, Teddy and Megan become more awful.
Credit: ABC
S2 E16
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For once, Will was not the most tragic figure in his bed during March 5’s Nashville, “Guilty Street.” That title belonged to his fake-girlfiend Layla Grant (Aubrey Peeples, pictured with Chris Carmack), whose career has gone up in Sharknado-esque flames. I think anyone who follows reality TV could’ve told you that an American Hitmaker runner-up was gonna have a tough time holding down the charts — but this is real TV, so we’d agreed to play along.

I can’t feel that sorry for Layla after all the conniving crap she’s pulled against the apple of my eye, the thong of my neckline, Juliette Barnes. But I guess I’ll feel a little bad. It seems like she’s in the awkward stage of not knowing whether or not to grow out her bangs and certainly not trusting her own instincts in the matter. It’s the same with sex, apparently. Layla was a virgin before she slept with Will, Nashville‘s gayest lone-star who won’t admit he’s gay. “Tell me what you like….” she tried, desperate for him to throw her a bone. He reached past her shoulder and then very sexily…. grabbed the TV remote. Classic sex move!

“Do you respect me?” -Juliette

“….In what context?” -Rayna

I can’t believe I’m still dwelling on Will — who wasn’t willing — when the big news tonight is that Rayna and Juliette are about to join forces professionally! They have the same hair now, so they might as well. See, all the major music labels were wooing Juliette with expensive gifts — diamonds, baskets, and pears, oh my! — when little did they know a Pyrex full of her mom’s Pink Macaroni would’ve done the trick for a lot cheaper. (Maybe. If the pink stood for crab legs.) But those big names wouldn’t grant her artistic freedom. Juliette wanted to stick to a country label, and the only one that would have her was Edge Hill, in the form of sleazy schmooze-serpent Jeff Fordham and his $10,000 bottle of champagne.

It’s too bad the drunkest character in this episode, Teddy, wasn’t on hand at the fancy restaurant to lap up all the extra champagne after Juliette slammed the bottle onto Jeff’s table. Sure, it’d make no sense — but it’d definitely get me to start loving Teddy.

Avery, Gunnar, and Zoey have a band, and a first gig! But already there’s TROUBLE, because Gunnar is sooo much taller than Avery and has to gobble up all the sexual attention in the room by wearing both a necklace and a vest. Gunnar, you rascal! Nah, the conflict is because… well, who even knows what Avery’s problem is. I guess he thinks Gunnar is the Juliette of the band because he’s the one with tons of cash and songwriting credits. Just go with it, Avery. Turn down a $250,000 producing clause (whoa!) in your girlfriend’s potential Edge Hill’s contract if you must. But please, for the love of Zoey’s voice — play in a band with your talented friends!

Did anyone else find comic value in the vague threat of an all-out riff war between Avery’s Guitar and Gunnar’s Harmonica during the trio’s EXCELLENT song at their Thursday night gig? It’s like the two guys’ animosity (at least Avery’s towards Gunnar) swelled along with the good vibes of their collective group chemistry! Our little Yoda broke into a huge smile at the end of the tune, but one slightly showier harmonica run from Gunnar and I bet Yoda would have been at his throat. I’m guessing this was the intention of the scene? Very well-played. And the music rocked, too!

Liam (Ooh La La) and Scarlett — the only working member of Highway 65 — were collaborating on a new song, “Come Find Me,” just as Rayna did…. just that! She and Luke Wheeler (who was a very convincing Good Boyfriend this episode, but it’s still clear Rayna’s not into it) walked in on Liam and Scarlett in the studio. And when I said collaborating, I meant hooking up. Rayna wasn’t not surprised at all. That’s just what Liam McGuinness does. Banging the talent is part of his creative process.

Boom, he’s fired. (Was that wise? At least have him finished producing her album…) But how would this affect Scarlett? Was she in love with Liam, Rayna asked?

“He’s kind of opened something up in me and made it flow,” Scarlett murmur-sang to Rayna, followed by the less sexual/more empowering version: “He helped me see myself.” Awww. Girl had it bad for St. Luscious — and who can blame her? That long-haired man can wear the hell out of a scarf and draw the best out of a wallflowery sweet-tea beat poet such as Scarlett? Hell, I’m still drooling over Liam right now. Can I help it if I have the DVR paused on his streetlight-tinted tendrils? (Yes.)

“We had fun, right? It happens all the time, proximity and all that stuff,” Liam explained as Scarlett tracked him down on his way out of Nashville. All that stuff, like the cozy blanket of our combined dreams that I wove during one of my Adderall-fueled all-nighters? we could see Scarlett wondering, puzzled. But Liam had never been under that blanket with her. “It’s not tragic,” he said. “It’s just… living life.” Ouch!

“It’s not how I want to live my life,” said our ethereal doily.

“Then, live the life you want.” Liam’s last words echo the very advice Rayna would give to the “fragile kid” on which Highway 65’s future is pinned the following day: “Everything he brought out in you was already there,” said Rayna. “You have to own who you are as an artist. You have to trust yourself.”

NEXT PAGE: Ice buckets for all the wounds! On tour in small-town Virginia, Deacon ran into Ruth (Charlotte Ross), a backup singer who’d toured back in the day with him and Rayna, at at an AA meeting. They went to grab a real cup of coffee at her bakery, and Deacon got a major arm squeeze (watch the wrist!) when he spoke of his surprise daughter Maddie — “she’s the sweetest kid, and she sings.” (He didn’t mention who Maddie’s mother was. Minor detail.) Ruth had always wanted kids, too. “Wanna try?” she joked. Then later in her car she literally invited Deacon to a slumber party in her bed.

He should go for it! They have chemistry! But Deacon was loyal to Megan and exited Ruth’s warm and fuzzy car that probably smells like a bakery… out into the bitter cold of MEGAN SCREWING TEDDY IN ANOTHER CAR as she let his call go to voicemail. Harsh blow, Megan, allowing only half of Deacon’s face watch the steamy sex scene in a decidedly non-bakery car where nothin’ good is cookin’.

Dream phone: Deacon calling you.

We knew this would happen! The two lamest characters had to hook up eventually. And the reason they were even hanging out that day? Teddy had found Peggy’s post-miscarriage medication during one of his routine “Which handbag should I wear to my job as the Mayor of Nashville?” purse-checks.

YES. Pork blood forever.

Megan and Deacon both returned home to the House of Nothing In Common and she shifted uncomfortably as he crowned her with a crappy truck stop hat. (You know Ruth would’ve been crazy about that hat! Classic Ruth.) Despite the dullness and inevitable conclusion of their romantic situation, this scene happened to provide the cutest line of the night: After Megan “apologized” for having her head in her work, Deacon said, “Well, now it’s in my hat.”

Forget the night, I think that’s the cutest line I’ve heard all YEAR! The year is young.

Loose, Gorgeous Connie Britton Wave of the Week:

Rayna considers the impact of signing someone who’s trying to cop her ‘do.

Your thoughts on “Guilty Street”?


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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