Emotions run high, and someone just runs.

By Madison Vain
May 07, 2015 at 04:27 AM EDT
Mark Levine/ABC


S3 E21
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Will she or won’t she? It’s all I can wonder heading into tonight’s episode. Is Juliette going to leave the baby? (I am no longer asking if we will be getting a less fake, or real baby.) Our week opens with the remarkably unhappy family on Juliette’s jet. She’s been playing those pop-up concerts all over the country and while Avery is happy to see her happy, he certainly takes note as Juliette ignores all mentions of the baby—she even tries to distract him with a little hanky panky in the bathroom.

It’s hard to tell, I admit, as Juliette has always had a short temper, but Glenn is quick to mention just how short is it when she erupts with “Bitch can have five minutes!” after Glenn told her Rayna requested to see Juliette ASAP. I think the show wants me to continue grasping a shred of sympathy for Juliette, but let’s just be clear, it is a very, very thin shred. When Juliette gets to Rayna, Rayna is distracted because news of Deacon has broken. Phones are ringing, everyone is staring, emails are blowing up—Rayna needs to get out.

As you can imagine, Juliette doesn’t take kindly to Rayna’s plight. What doesn’t make sense here is that last week Juliette was crying with Deacon. She gets the level of desperation here—Don’t you Juliette? You do get it, right? Juliette instead lashes out about feeling unsupported by her label and promises she’ll finish her album in two days. This, Juliette, is madness.

Earlier in the day, Rayna offered an unbelievably well-structured record contract to The Exes. (Have I mentioned how glad I am with this name? So much more numerically correct.) Gunnar and their manager Noel want to take the deal; Scarlett wants to keep hunting. She and Gunnar have been at each other’s throats all day (resisting sexual tension is exhausting).

So the thing is, now we seem to be getting a lot of Teddy—how quickly the tides turn! Dash is explaining to him that he needs to rekindle a relationship Lamar used to have with Senator Stern. The feds have been building a case against him but things started to fall apart following Lamar’s death as the business relationship they had the inside scoop on dried up. I don’t really like the idea of bringing up a web of malpractice we settled seasons ago—I also don’t get why Teddy thinks he can be so forceful and angsty about the feds plans. This is your get out of jail almost-free card, Teddy! He eventually agrees to wear a wire and reach out to the senator.

Teddy does reach out to the senator and it turns out the senator mainly dealt with Aunt Tandy, who Maddie and Daphne happen to be visiting right now. If we were worried about the convoluted and criminal web being raised from Lamar’s grave, it appears we cleared Tandy’s name too soon. I think we have to settle in for the long haul with this story line.

Kevin and Will are back from vacation! I missed you guys!!! But, as their happiness always starts to lose its sheen in the real world, it’s not long before Will is reminding Kevin they are not to be a public couple. Its only slightly longer before Will’s dad shows up after his performance and wants to—wait, what happened with Will’s dad? Well, it turns out Bill left Will (hey, that happens!) by the side of the road at 17, wishing aloud his son had never been born. When he says he was happy to see Will married it becomes obvious what dad’s problem was. Don’t start looking at condos, Kevin, this doesn’t bode well.

NEXT: Everything we thought that didn’t bode well, turns out to have not boded well…

Bill comes to Luke Wheeler’s party with Will that night, and Kevin is incredulous. He knows all about Bill and wants to get through to Will that no matter what his dad says to him now, it’s only a matter of time before he abandons him again. I’m sure part of him is also trying to protect their relationship that hasn’t even really been allowed to bloom (let’s go full mush, here), but I think he also just wants to protect Will, even outside of their relationship.

So the other thing about this Juliette not reacting to Deacon thing is that she also didn’t tell Avery. Avery, her husband. He can’t believe she didn’t mention it. Juliette’s response is to search frantically for her headphones and tell Avery that Rayna demanded she finish her album in two days. Of course Avery is mad, that’s a crazy demand! (Of course, it wasn’t a demand that was ever made, but that will surface later.) She tells him that he should go represent them as a couple at the Bluebird for Deacon’s performance later, and she’ll watch the baby.

Avery is right to feel wary—don’t worry, Juliette doesn’t hurt the baby—but it’s becoming clear that something is actually wrong with Juliette, rather than Juliette just being a diva. I feel like the show definitely shoehorned this into this episode, rather than really setting it up (I was super sympathetic to her just wanting to stay a working mom, but now it’s a compulsion).

Elsewhere, Layla and Jeff are mourning and scheming and scheming and mourning. Jade kicked her off the tour after Layla (well, Jeff, from Layla’s phone but Layla just thinks she was so drunk and did it herself—whoops!) tweeted out that photo she wasn’t allowed to tweet. Layla feels awful, but Jeff feels like it’s time to get even. He has Layla start a Twitter war—much to the chagrin of Bucky, but Jeff doesn’t pass that message along to his little songbird. Speaking of songbird, Layla sings a beautiful song in the studio, and I’m mad at Jeff on so many levels when she stops with his little lies and forcing her hand, but also because she stopped singing.

Layla is appreciative of Jeff by day’s end. She has tons of Twitter followers and Huffington Post ran a story on her Twitter feud. Honestly, these two should separate a little bit. Instead, they go home together and Jeff asks Layla to sign a formal contract. Layla doesn’t really read it and signs. Consider me worried.

Apparently Micah is now sort of speaking to Kylie. She celebrates by hugging Gunnar, and I can’t even sort out my emotions, but I think my overwhelming feeling is about what a bad idea these two touching each other is. They head off to the Bluebird to see Deacon perform. Turns out Kylie is super excited to meet Scarlett, but Scarlett does not return the warm welcome, which pairs nicely with the thick tension sitting between Caleb and Gunnar. Honestly who sat these people all together?

Deacon ends up cancelling the appearance Avery and The Exes and The Exes New Partners and a decent bit of Nashville have been waiting for. Rayna is on the floor, mid-meltdown, and they just need some time to discuss how very real the chance that nothing comes through to save Deacon is. Rayna tells him how she didn’t go to New York and how Beverly said no and then mailed the check back to her all torn up.

Wait a minute…the news getting out and the check coming on the same day…are we sensing Beverly’s hand?

NEXT: Scarlett and Gunnar take the stage and it is muy caliente!

Gunnar and Scarlett, at the request of Deacon, fill in for Deacon and goodness are they good on stage together. From the back row Avery says to Noel, “They’re a train wreck offstage, but damn, they make good music when it counts.” It’s slinky, and sexy and while that quote applies to, literally, every character on this show, its especially prominent here. It’s a moment that comes full circle when Deacon and Rayna end up showing up for Deacon’s performance—don’t y’all see? You’re just like them! Don’t waste as much time!

Is the music exceptional tonight or what? Deacon and Rayna are excellent together. And they’re happy. Le sigh.

Emily gets to Juliette and Avery’s house and the baby is screaming, hasn’t been changed or tended to in hours annnnnnnnnddddddddd Juliette’s like, “K, bye!” Emily calls Avery, Avery calls the doctor and Glenn, and an intervention is set. I think you can assume this, but Juliette does not walk into an ambush well. She’s screaming, the doctor is saying postpartum, Avery is looking on with a wild look in his eye. Remember when Avery was just a hell-raising bad boyfriend to Scarlett? Those days are far, far away now. Juliette wants the doctor out and she is not sorry for working, in fact, she wants more support!

Gunnar and Scarlett are tired of fighting (also, their partners). They agree to keep their personal lives off limits and just behave like coworkers, which has never worked between two people who have to strike up that agreement. The first thing they do after the dust settles is accept Rayna’s offer. I’m pretty glad Caleb asks outside the Bluebird about Scarlett’s feelings—but he is somehow placated when she explains just how mad Gunnar drives her…never be placated by a woman’s fury at another man, Caleb.

Kylie does something similar when she and Gunnar get home and then she says something really wonderfully deep (I know). She apologizes for ruining Gunnar’s memory of his brother. There are a lot of levels to that apology but before anyone works through them, she kisses him. I’m about to scream at them to not go any further when Kylie pulls back and says goodnight. That makes no sense.

Bill tells Will he loves him. Not only do we know too many stories of bad parents coming back as their child is making it big, but Kevin is right—once Bill finds out the whole truth, this won’t go well. Will is on Kevin’s doorstep telling him that his dad said he loved him and he is not appreciating Kevin taking the wind out of his sails. Just when I’m worried this will be a premature end to a really good relationship, someone brings tabloid photos to Luke’s attention—it’s Will and Kevin on vacation and they’re definitely “incriminating.”

So Beverly shows up. She wants to help. And don’t get me wrong I am THRILLED. But my hunch of Beverly’s hand from earlier is now full blown—this is finally her chance to become famous. She swoops in, the press is alerted, and she saves the day—publicly. That major glare she levels Rayna with at the end all but seals the deal. Either way, Deacon gets the liver, which is perhaps all that matters, but this will absolutely cause some problems.

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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