Will's album reaches No. 1, but Layla is less than pleased, and Juliette deals with her Patsy Cline audition and a secret pregnancy.

By Keertana Sastry
March 13, 2015 at 06:36 PM EDT
Mark Levine/ABC
S3 E2
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Y’all, real talk time. Watching Nashville is just exhausting. Nothing ever stays the same long enough for people to feel one particular emotion about these godforsaken characters. And Juliette’s pregnancy, Will’s closet troubles, and Rayna’s engagement keep rattling the cages more than a dog in heat.

Rayna is flying high for the time being as her album is No. 1, she’s picked a guy to marry who’s chock-full of delightfully confusing Southern sayings (you’ll see what I mean later), and she’s starting her tour soon. At the moment, things are just getting better and better for the country superstar.

Aaand then there’s Deacon, who looks like a less eloquent word for excrement, thanks to Rayna’s rejection. He really only makes an effort to do anything when Scarlett tries to talk him out of his funk and even then he briefly takes his pathetic gaze off of a window in his house to look over at his niece and make a short, slightly rude but completely harmless and endearing comment, “You’re a pain in my ass. And I don’t know why I came back to Nashville, but I’m glad you did.”

Why was young Scarlett back in the Nashville picture? Well first of all, who actually believed she would leave? But clearly she was only convinced by former beau turned probable future beau Gunnar, who at that very moment was telling his girlfriend to move in with him. And she didn’t really seem to be all that interested in the request. Who else completely forgot Zoey existed last week? That’s probably not a great sign for the Juliette Barnes back-up singer as she deals with her ex-boyfriend moving on without her and not having the information that she’s got tiny little Avery or little Jeff growing in her belly. Juliette is not telling a soul about the possible pregnancy because, you know, ew, but she is hoping to get the whole situation “taken care of” if you catch my quotational drift.

Meanwhile Will gets the news that he has dethroned the Queen herself, his album has beaten Rayna and is currently on the top of the Country charts. Delivering the great information is Will’s wife Layla, who is in no way looking to forgive her husband for his shocking revelation last week. If anything, she’s even more pissed off and betrayed. Guess getting blackmailed into staying married to a homosexual man who didn’t tell you his secret before your wedding all for the sake of cameras is not something she can get over. What a surprise, seems relatively simple to comprehend and appreciate.

Juliette is questioning her pregnancy as she and Avery were always, in her words, “so careful.” And the only time she ever had unprotected sex was, you obviously guessed it, with slimeball of the century Jeff Fordham. That’s the very same Jeff Fordham who immediately makes a memorable appearance in the episode at a board meeting that seemed to be called specifically to kick his butt into high gear about Edgehill’s dwindling album sales. Fordham is asked if he has a problem with women as pretty much all of the country singers on Edgehill’s roster are men.

NEXT: The return of Scarlett and Gunnar?

I wish I could rent a skywriter to write the word “YES” because that’s the only way the response to the question about Jeff’s misogynistic tendencies would be big enough. Fordham is left with harsh words: Do better or your section of the label gets pulled. So Fordham works on doing better with new entry Sadie Stone, played by the always talented Laura Benanti. Stone clearly has a severe brain injury because despite becoming a success in Nashville without Jeff, she’s now willing to consider switching labels thanks to the worst sweet talking ever.

The Nashville music scene might be fluctuating quite a bit but not nearly as much as Maddie’s mood as she goes dresser shopping with Deacon. The teenager is really showing her stereotypical teenager side by throwing major shade at her recently discovered father about her mom and soon-to-be step-dad. When Deacon broaches the subject with Maddie, an outburst ensues with Maddie yelling that Deacon should have stepped up and fought for her mom. Deacon, being in his pathetic, pouty stage of heartbreak tells Maddie the truth of his rejection and she storms off, putting Deacon even further into his depression hole.

Back to the glowing country beauty, Juliette seems to be haunted by her song with Avery and other mementos of their relationship including his cowboy boots, so Juliette, in her clearly insane hormonal state, makes a decision: “I wanna purge. I wanna rid of everything Avery Barkley.” Avery might be feeling the same way as he gets chatted up by the Bluebird’s newest waitress; Zoey bombards Avery with her problems about Gunnar and Scarlett’s obvious chemistry and as Avery gives her some advice (but really just tells her to shove off), new sultry waitress girl cleverly tries to gauge whether Zoey and Avery are together, and Avery falls right into the trap by saying the two are not dating.

Speaking of Scarlett and Gunnar, Deacon’s niece goes over to Gunnar’s to find Zoey and talk but stumbles upon Gunnar writing a song instead. Gunnar shows her his new music room and asks if she can help him out with some lyrics. Soon it’s like a flashback to season 1 with Gunnar and Scarlett very clearly proving they are perfect for each other through music. Sure this new song isn’t nearly as memorable as “Fade Into You” or “If I Didn’t Know Better,” but it’s a start, and seeing these two writing and creating together is quite possibly the highlight of season 3 so far. Zoey notices the pair from a window looking into the studio and is obviously seeing the same chemistry Nashville fans have noticed since day one. That Scarlett and Gunnar, they’ll be back together in no time. Scarlett and Gunnar. Scunnar? Garlett? Ugh, they’re both horrible.

NEXT: Luke Wheeler Is My New Life Coach

Deacon coaxes Maddie out of her room (by the way, has he always called her “sweetie”?) and promises that even though Rayna had her reasons for her choice, he shouldn’t have told her the whole truth and he would always be there for her. She replies with one of the most heartbreaking moments of the episode “I wanted it to be you so badly.” You’re not the only one, kid.

Rayna discovers that her album has been bumped to No. 2 on the charts and must make the decision about whether or not she’s willing to play the PR and social media game to increase her visibility or settle for second best and no Platinum record for the first time in her career. And on top of that she must visit her mother and father’s old estate to claim what she’d like to keep. Obviously Rayna is still hanging on to a lot of issues involving her father and Tandy can see that. But Tandy’s got her own issues. She no longer wants to be considered Lamar’s daughter or Rayna James’ sister. She wants to be her own person. And apparently that requires her to move to San Francisco to work for a non-profit. Goodbye Tandy and her hideous new hairdo. We hardly knew that mop, but we (mostly) loved the woman underneath.

Rayna talks to her betrothed about their soon-to-be-public private life and whether or not airing their currently clean laundry was worth it to keep her career and her label in the spotlight. Here Luke gives her the best. analogy. ever. “You are walking into hell with dynamite drawers on.” I don’t know what this means, but I love it and will require Luke to only speak in strange Southern sayings for the rest of his time on this show. The couple decide it’s time to go public with their personal lives.

Meanwhile Gunnar and Scarlett are finishing up their song together, but Scarlett gets cold feet when Gunnar mentions he can’t wait to have a finished product with both of their names on it. She leaves in a tizzy, but later she returns to apologize, thank Gunnar for convincing her to stay in Nashville, and let him know something very honest: “I can’t write with you at the moment… I don’t know who I am right now.” Scarlett is definitely making the right choice here. If she were to jump back into the music game, she would have learned nothing from crashing and burning last season. It’s best to let Scarlett stay in the shadows for now, so that her reemergence on the scene can be that much more exciting and memorable.

Zoey can’t seem to get over her boyfriend’s interaction with her friend, so much so that it affects her backup singer practice for Juliette’s tour. But Juliette cancels her practice and gives Zoey’s choreographer a chance to get the singer to get her act together or she’ll get kicked off the tour. Zoey seems to make the decision that in order to keep her man, she’s got to be proactive about their relationship. So she goes home and accepts Gunnar’s proposal to move in together.

NEXT: Layla Gets Brutal 

Will desperately tries throughout the episode to get Layla some recognition from Jeff Fordham fresh off the success of his album but of course, Jeff being Jeff, he ignores Layla and continues to try and professionally seduce Sadie Stone to come to Edgehill, even as Layla is physically behind him asking for his opinion on the audition he got her to play Patsy Cline. Apparently it goes horribly, which only makes Layla more angry at Will. She blames her husband for everything that is happening to her, a.k.a. the blackmail to stay on the reality show and her musical failures. And then she suddenly snaps into a diabolical, crazy-eyed woman scorned. “You know you owe me everything. You owe me. Everything. I own you.” She turns around and blackmails Will to let her accompany him on his tour despite his interjections that it’s not really up to him. Layla plans to take everything from Will the way she thinks he took everything from her, not even considering how difficult this whole situation must be for him, as a closeted gay country singer whose whole future could come crashing down if anyone even remotely hinted about his secret.

Deacon shows up to Luke’s practice to grab his stuff and officially make some disgruntled comments about being fired that he can potentially later use against Luke to Rayna. But Luke isn’t letting Deacon quit that easy. He may not like the man who tried to steal his fiancee, but he recognizes great talent when he sees it and won’t let Deacon go, especially since Deacon’s contract with Luke gives the country star the right to decide when Deacon can and cannot leave the tour. “When are you gonna realize this ain’t personal man, this is business, meaning you on my tour is good business,” Luke tells him. Maddie does not like the fact that her new dad won’t be around to spend time with her and that her mother has just decided to add 40 more tour dates to her schedule. And she makes her anger quite clear to both Deacon and Rayna separately.

Juliette, on the other hand, is not letting her current growing fetus predicament get her down. She nails her Patsy Cline audition with producers, silently takes Jeff Fordham’s rude potshots and even tries to move on from Avery by dropping off his boots and more in front of his apartment. Avery opens the door as Juliette is leaving and the two get in another fight over who is really at fault in their relationship. Avery points out that Juliette isn’t taking responsibility for her actions, but she assures him she most certainly is. Clearly Avery is missing Juliette’s recent glow.

Later the waitress returns as Avery seems to be ending his shift at the Bluebird for the day and says that she just learned his ex-girlfriend was Juliette Barnes, which must be “hard to compete with.” Somehow this extremely obvious trick works on Avery, who says “it’s not that hard” and suddenly attacks said waitress with his mouth.

While Avery clearly moves on to a rebound, Juliette has secretly made an appointment to get an abortion as she is positive that she cannot let Jeff Fordham’s demon spawn ruin her chances of playing Patsy Cline or her life in general. The doctor gives her an ultrasound and reminds her that she is legally obligated to tell Juliette how far along she is. Juliette says she already knows she’s four weeks along as that’s how long it’s been since her disgusting deed with Jeff occurred. The doctor replies that she’s actually closer to the eight-week mark. Cue the dramatic music because that means Juliette’s baby daddy is not the Antichrist. Avery and Juliette have a serious talk in their not-so-distant future. I’ll make the popcorn for that watch party.

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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