While Avery and Will bond over broken hearts, everyone else, including Juliette, deals with the death of Jeff Fordham.
We’re only seven episodes into this season of Nashville, and we’ve already had two deaths. That’s right: After the cliffhanger (no pun intended) from two weeks ago, Nashville is back and confirming that Jeff Fordham is definitely dead, and “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” deals with all the consequences of his untimely demise.
If you were expecting an immediate breakdown from Juliette because she’s basically responsible for Jeff dying, you’d be wrong. Instead, the show plays the drunk card: When the cops knock on Juliette’s door the next morning — it took them that long to find Jeff and inform Juliette!?! — she’s bleary-eyed and hungover and completely surprised to hear of Jeff’s death. Also, she doesn’t seem to care a whole lot, a feeling that isn’t totally unwarranted considering how he treated her.
That stands in stark contrast to Layla, who’s seen crying and unable to process how the happy Jeff she said goodnight to the night before could then go on to kill himself. It doesn’t help her state of mind that Jeff’s sister Kate shows up and shuts her out of all information and funeral proceedings. Apparently coldness runs in the Fordham family.
Colt isn’t dealing so well, either, and is completely pissed at his father for not being there when he needed him. Maybe that was better, though, because when Luke does show up, he only berates his son for drinking and then doubts his story about seeing Juliette out on the roof about to jump right before Jeff saved her.
In fact, Luke is less interested in dealing with his son’s potentially traumatizing experience and is instead focused on making sure the launch of his lifestyle brand moves forward. He tells Colt to keep his story to himself for now, that it won’t do anyone any good to hear. Of course, when a secret is kept on Nashville things tend to go south real quick.
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While all of that craziness is going on during the tour, Scarlett and Gunnar are preparing for their own. For Scarlett, that involves a dramatic new haircut — bye bye, gorgeous blond locks — and for Gunnar, it means having to throw together a bunch of details in just a few days, including finding a sound engineer who isn’t booked solid.
Also back in Nashville, Deacon reveals his big purchase to Rayna, and she’s less than pleased. When she sees The Beverly she’s hesitant. Is it because of the money, because it’s a shaky investment? That might be part of it, but the larger issue is not only that Deacon didn’t run the idea by her first, but that he’ll also be spending a lot of his time at a bar, which she rightly reasons might not be the best place for a recovering alcoholic to spend his time.
Still, Deacon’s been looking for a sense of purpose ever since Beverly died and he got to live, and this is the best he can do. He’s obviously passionate about it, and the way he runs the first day of The Beverly proves that he might just have what it takes to turn the bar around. He institutes a happy hour with live music and plays the first set himself, The Beverly packed with more clients than Frankie has seen in ages.
NEXT: Lullabies and goodbyes
While Deacon has success at his new bar, Scarlett is having less success setting off for her tour. She’s wrapped up in the details, and it’s hurting her relationship with Caleb. Their distance doesn’t last long, though, as he eventually apologizes for being so needy and comes up with a way to use his frequent-flyer miles to see her while on tour.
Things might not go exactly as planned, though, as Gunnar makes a call to Erin and offers her a job as the sound engineer on the tour. When she spills the beans about her one-night stand with Gunnar to Scarlett, Scarlett questions whether Gunnar can handle having her on tour, whether he can stay focused. He thinks on it but assures her he can, but considering he makes that decision while in bed with Erin, he might be kidding himself.
With Gunnar taking off soon, Will and Avery are left all alone at their place. Avery considers moving out, but a night-time (and totally adorable) conversation between the two convinces Avery to stay. They bond over heartbreak and realize they need each other right now, what with Avery raising a baby on his own and Will navigating his life post-breakup with Kevin. If this is an excuse to have them sing more lullabies to Cadence, I’m all in.
Back to the Jeff mess, though. Juliette is totally creating a mental block and not dealing with his death. She’s still getting prescriptions delivered to her home and ignoring her family. She’s told that before her and Luke’s concert tonight she’ll read a speech as a tribute to Jeff, but she’s having none of it. She’s even lashing out at Layla by telling her that she needs to forget her “thing” with Jeff ever happened and move on. That’s cold, even for her.
Thankfully, the show doesn’t drag out this plot too long, as Juliette remembers being on the roof just before she’s supposed to take the stage and perform her opening set for Luke. She runs away and locks herself in her dressing room, where there’s hopefully no pills or booze, and Layla takes her spot, delivering the tribute that Jeff, I guess, deserves. Though let it be said that I’m still not down with “redeemed” Jeff. The dude was a scumbag.
With the set taken care of, all that’s left is for Juliette to finally confront her issues, and thankfully she does. This addiction/depression story line has been played out long enough, and it’s time Nashville moved away from it. When Juliette comes into Luke’s dressing room and simply says, “I need help,” it’s both devastating in terms of character and a complete relief from a viewer perspective. It’s about time!
Thus, the episode closes with Juliette secretly checking into Horizons Rehab Center. Gabriella asks her if she’s ready, to which she replies, “no.” She walks in anyways, though. Maybe we’re finally moving past this story line and away from the weeks and weeks of sadness that have defined this season of Nashville.
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