Basically everyone throws a fit about their lives with the exception of bride-to-be Rayna James.

By Keertana Sastry
Updated March 13, 2015 at 06:35 PM EDT
Nashville Recap
Credit: Mark Levine/ABC
S3 E3
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Is anyone happy on Nashville right now? It seems like pretty much every character is in the midst of a breakdown, tantrum, or highly stressful moment on the ABC series. Even the two happiest people in the whole city are dealing with pre-marital issues well beyond the normal couple.

After planning monster tours that have almost no overlapping dates, Rayna and Luke come together for photos, a few jabs at social media, and a new couple nickname: Ruke. The couple prefer to be called Layna, but they’ll have to pull a Benedict Cumberbatch and learn the hard way that when it comes nicknames, fans make the ultimate choice. You win Cumberbitches. Ruke, as they will henceforth be called, also meet with Luke’s huge multi-person team and Rayna’s… Bucky, to plan when the couple will finally get married. The team comes up with two dates: summer 2016 and the first weekend of November, only a few weeks away. Naturally Luke wants to get married as quickly as possible because apparently “the ranch looks real pretty in the fall.” Imagine that sentence with Luke’s accent, which is a perfect blend of classy redneck. Will Chase was born to play this part.

While one-half of Ruke is completely on board, Rayna is hesitant. Neither of the two dates are the most ideal for her, but of course if she has to accept one or the other, she’ll go with sooner rather than later. Did anyone else hope we’d be seeing a Runaway Bride moment later in the season? Sadly my dreams for a Julia Roberts/Richard Gere movie reenactment are dashed at the moment (it would have been so perfect—Rayna already has the perfect hair!) as the couple stay pretty strong throughout the episode.

Back in the crazy world of Juliette Barnes, the young singer turned soon-to-be movie star is having quite the bout of morning sickness. We first see her locked in a bathroom hurling while trying to call Avery but continuing to get his voicemail. She leaves him the most uncomfortable message of all time complete with an interruption, pills falling all over the floor, and more hurling. Sexy imagery for the new ex-boyfriend. Juliette even attempts to go to Avery’s house to tell him about his future baby-daddy status later in the episode, but she chickens out of her prepared speech when she sees him stumble out of a random woman’s car. Juliette’s manager and her assistant Emily are convinced that Juliette’s taking after her mother and is abusing drugs of some kind, but Juliette insists that her bad and missed rehearsals and her frequent trips to the restroom are not addict-related. Fat chance they believe her, but they can’t say anything at the moment as Juliette threatens their jobs, a standard practice for the young singer.

Next up is Maddie and Deacon. The daughter and father relationship is getting better and better as the pair decide that during Deacon’s one free weekend off, they’ll go fishing at his cabin with no other distractions from anyone. When she leaves his house, Maddie turns to Deacon and tells him “I love you, dad.” He reciprocates the feeling, and it’s quite possibly the sweetest moment of the episode. Maddie later finds out that her mother’s wedding happens to be the same weekend as her cabin retreat with dear old dad, and the young teen confronts her mother about not choosing Deacon.

Rayna very obviously gets upset with Deacon for telling their daughter the truth and goes to his house to scold him about his slip up. I’m not entirely sure why Rayna felt the need to go to Deacon’s house for the confrontation, but hey, I’ll take as many Rayna and Deacon scenes as I can get. They’re getting a bit too few and far between for my liking.

NEXT: Everything’s coming up Gunnar{C}Meanwhile, Will is pissed off that Rayna has knocked his album off the top spot on the charts; he gets even angrier throughout the episode as he discovers from a very angry Jeff Fordham that the album sales are dwindling fast. He tries to blow off some steam with his trainer, but even after releasing the stress, he quickly packs it all back on tenfold when he has to do on-camera scenes of love and blissful married life with Layla, who is still blackmailing Will to resurrect her music career. Her actions are getting more and more psychotic. It would be impressive to watch if she weren’t being so hateful.

If last week’s display of chemistry—both musical and romantical—between Scarlett and Gunnar wasn’t enough of a red flag for Zoey, tonight her attempts to work on the song Scarlett helps Gunnar fix are shut down by her boyfriend. She clearly takes the snub to heart, especially since her talents are less than appreciated at her Juliette Barnes tour rehearsals. Zoey gets Gunnar on board to start up their band gigs again, and they settle on finding Avery to reunite for a backyard barbecue concert. But getting Avery to play might be a much more challenging task as Avery’s all about the booze and broads at the moment. Avery has lost himself in the drink since his split with Juliette and writing songs that have ballad-y names but not-so-ballad-y lyrics, “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.”

The team make it to the barbecue and start to set up, which consists of Gunnar doing all the work, Avery drinking, and Zoey getting even more jealous when she sees Gunnar talking to an old friend—her name is Kylie and she just moved into the city. Gunnar admits to Zoey later that Kylie was his first love and that she was the only real family he had left since Jason was dead. Zoey assures him that he has family and the couple seem to be okay… for now. But with the creeping Scarlett feelings in one corner and the reemergence of a past flame in the other, is there enough room in Gunnar’s heart for all three women?

Speaking of women in Gunnar’s heart, Scarlett attempts to start writing music professionally again, but Jenny tells her that she needs to get in touch with her fun side. Therefore Scarlett decides to put down her poetry and pick up her cowboy hat for the backyard barn concert where she runs into Zoey and a scantily dressed Maddie who tricked Teddy into letting her go out for the night by saying she was going to a barbecue. Note to parents in television shows: When kids say they’re going to a barbecue with lots of parents, do not believe them. Maddie apparently left the house wearing a nice skirt and ended up at the party with a red Solo cup of something gross and short shorts that she very clearly made herself.

As Gunnar, Zoey, and Avery’s set begins, Scarlett notices a young heathen hitting on Maddie and taking her for more drinks; she puts a stop to the potentially sketchy moment by grabbing Maddie and taking her home. The two cousins bond over having strong feelings… as songwriters do, and Scarlett promises to be Maddie’s helper and confidant when it comes to these kinds of situations.

Meanwhile, Juliette meets with the creative team behind the film for her screen test opposite Derek Hough’s Noah, a supposed movie star whose attachment to the project is the only reason it was greenlit. Noah meets Juliette and asks her “Have you acted much?” to which I wish she had replied, “Have YOU acted much?” Instead they continue their pleasantries and Juliette goes on to nail the test so much so that Noah asks to celebrate the reading with drinks and a kiss.

She shuts the almost romance down by explaining her breakup. Noah says he has also just gotten out of a relationship with a woman who lied and betrayed him? Hmm Juliette, sound familiar? The soon-to-be actress excuses herself to the bathroom and ends the celebration date early. (Ed. Note: This fake Patsy Cline movie is getting more and more intriguing by the minute. Can Nashville just create a fake two-hour film in the middle of its third season? I think we’d all appreciate it, ABC.)

Juliette’s ex is continuing his run in the worst emotional state ever by trying to hook up with a random woman who is attempting to seduce him by acting like Juliette. The trick obviously does not work and Avery resorts to singing a much more ballad-y version of “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in tears.

NEXT: Too many tantrumsRayna is still dealing with the stress of trying to fit a wedding in between tour dates, a daughter who is pissed at her for not marrying her father, and you know running a label while putting out albums herself. When Rayna asks Luke if they can push back the wedding date a bit thanks to Maddie learning about Deacon’s proposal among all of the other obvious stress factors, he throws a bit of a tantrum. Rayna doesn’t like the way the call ended, so she charters a private jet to surprise Luke onstage at his concert to reconcile.

Back to Will whose album sales continue to fall and whose wife is continuing to stress him out: Jeff shows up to tell him that Layla cannot perform onstage with him since his fans are predominately young girls who don’t want the constant reminder that he’s married. Layla throws the biggest fit, and Jeff tells her to basically cool off and walk away as her music career is over. Layla yells at Will after the show for not standing up for him, and he huffs off to train some more… and eventually hook up with his trainer. Layla on the other hand, goes to Jeff’s hotel and tells him she’s ready to basically blackmail the whole label with Will’s sexuality news if Jeff doesn’t help her album reach gold. That’s going to be difficult as Jeff continues to try and court new star Sadie despite Sadie’s love for Rayna and Rayna’s hatred for Jeff.

Life really is not going well for Deacon, who is currently being forced to perform with the man who is marrying the love of his life. After finding out Deacon told Maddie about his proposal, Luke tells Deacon that he has to cut a few songs from his set before Luke’s performance. Deacon retaliates by saying that what he tells Maddie is between him and her as he is her father. He also has Luke’s new backup singer Pam flirting with him constantly. Despite his rejection and his honesty about loving Rayna, Pam doesn’t give a rat’s ass and sleeps with him anyway.

After their hook up, Deacon just stares at news clippings of Luke and Rayna even though Pam is clearly still awake next to him. Deacon also gets a visitor in the form of a desperate Juliette, who needs Deacon’s advice about her Avery/baby situation. In his anger, Deacon barely gives her the time of day and tells her to either reveal the full truth to Avery or “set the poor bastard free.”

In news that will make Deacon even more upset than ever before, Rayna proposes to Luke that they combine their tours into one giant “Honeymoon Tour.” That way there’s no more distance, no more drama, and no more Deacon. They can plan their wedding in peace and give their families time to see them and adjust to their new family unit. Just as Rayna tells Bucky about the new plan, she pulls up to her front porch and sees Juliette sitting on the stoop looking even more desperate for advice. She shows Rayna her ultrasound photo, and Rayna immediately understands. It’s about time we see these two pop divas interacting once more.

Hopefully this week’s episode was just a hissy fit prologue to some greater drama and more complex emotion later on in the season. Because right now, I’m ready to slap some common sense into a few of our favorite Nashville characters.

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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