Rayna James, meet your stalker and his huge knife

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Credit: Jake Giles Netter/CMT
CONNIE BRITTON
S5 E8
type
  • TV Show
network
  • CMT

Sometimes when I’m watching an episode of Nashville, my mind drifts a little because the pacing of the show is just a little too slow. Yes, it’s better than cramming too many crazy plots into one episode, and I am, of course, very invested in Maddie’s burgeoning career/love life/teenage angst, but there comes a point where I could skip yet another look of love between Ray and Deac or a spat between Daphne and Maddie for something that actually forces me to pay attention. Well, kids, I’m here to tell you to be careful what you wish for. Let’s get right into this week’s slow burn-turned-“WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK” episode of Nashville.

As if I could love Daphne anymore, the episode opens with her making pancakes AND bacon for Rayna and Deacon. The delightful breakfast is short lived, however, when Maddie comes in and demands granola/announces that the security guards are back, prompting her parents to spill that Stalker Man has posted bail and is on the loose. Rayna wants the girls to travel with security, but naturally Maddie is all, “No way! I can take care of myself.” I say, let her.

It doesn’t take long for Mr. Stalker to make an appearance. Later that night, he just casually strolls on up to the Jaymes household and stands there staring at the front gate with an “I’ma cut off your curls and sleep with them under my pillow” look in his eyes. But how can he do such a thing? I hear you cry. There’s a restraining order! Well, Stalker Boy got himself some math skills: He’s standing 317 feet from their door and the order states that he can’t come within 300 feet of Ray and the fam. You have to admire his savvy. He’s gone by the time they wake up the next morning, but it’s sure as hell causing some sleepless nights and inconvenience – the CMT Awards are next week! Nice plug.

Elsewhere, Juliette is at a prayer group, furiously taking notes, looking for peace, and trying to find out what to trust. Sounds simple. On the way out she tells Hallie that she wants to do a gospel album with her and the choir. She wants to explore something new, and that music really speaks to her. She asks Hallie to hook her up with the choir – well, at least set up a meeting where she can implore them to be part of it.

And so Juliette and Hallie head to church to win over the choir. At first the gathered group seems to listen to what Juliette’s pitching, but then they start with the hard-hitting questions. It’s kind of like a job interview: Why gospel? What does it mean to you? What would you bring to the role? Okay, not the last one, but you get the idea.

One dude doesn’t think she’s been into gospel music or going to church long enough to know what it means or why it’s special. Juliette steps up and owns that she doesn’t know everything about it, but she does love the music and the way it makes her feel. One girl points out that there’s no context for J’s love of gospel, and when Jules says she feels transported when she hears it, the girl just retorts, “That’s good for you.” The choir members also ask if she’s realized that it’s black music, and they point out that her “thing” is normally a little sexier than church. Eventually, Juliette snaps a little, causing an outbreak of disgruntled chatter among the pews.

But the next day, Juliette is back in front of the congregation apologizing to the choir and admitting she doesn’t know anything about gospel or church. She’s sinned, lied, and hurt everyone who’s ever cared about her, and she can’t change that, but God works in mysterious ways, and He gave her the gift of this place, all of them, and their music. Now she wants to honor that and God, and if they want to help her share their gift with the world, she thinks they could open some cold hearts. With a speech like that, who could resist? Saved by an Angel: A Gospel Album, by Juliette Barns, coming to iTunes soon.

NEXT: See ya, Scunnar

In other news, remember when Damien didn’t leave town? Well, now he and Scar are meeting for lunch. There are cheek kisses, compliments, and talk from Damien of honoring what happened between them. Scarlett tells him she honestly doesn’t know what she’s doing right now. I’LL TELL YOU, SCAR: You’re eating lunch with a man who is not your boyfriend, whom you recently kissed and potentially have feelings for. (Sorry, even kinda-cheating makes me mad.) Anyway, D-man thinks they should eat lunch and get to know one another, and then he’ll go back to his hotel room (hmmm, I wonder why the hotel room was mentioned?), and she can go back to her life and think about what she wants to do.

They do just that, and after a spot of soul searching over at Deacon’s, Scarlett heads to Gunnar’s place to more or less break up with him. She basically tells him she can’t be with anyone right now; she feels something for Damien, and she need time to figure that out. She then (needlessly and cruelly) says she feels nothing for Gunnar and that scares her, but she’s not going to let fear stop her anymore. All Gunnar hears is, “I want to have sex with Damien,” and he walks away. And that, country music fans, is why you don’t form a band with your ex.

Approximately ten minutes later, Scarlett has taken all the time she needs to be alone and figure stuff out. She’s donning a hotel robe — I told you that earlier reference wasn’t thrown in there for nothing — and Damien is clad in a towel, wheeling out a room service cart of post-coitus champagne. She claims she’s leaving, but then they get down to having some more fun instead. R.I.P Scunnar.

Okay, we’re getting down to the good stuff, but first here’s a quick debrief of everything else that happened in this episode:

Avery does a spot of recording, but Juliette isn’t a fan of the song and thinks he should be past the whole “angry kid” thing. Don’t preach, J — just because you’re evolving, it doesn’t mean everyone else has to be spiritually woke, too.

Daphne gets her period for the first time, and Rayna want to throw her a period party to commemorate the occasion, complete with a tampon-shaped cake. Not really — she just gives her a gift from Tiffany’s.

NEXT: The dramatic stalker showdown is here

Okay, here we go. After Maddie refuses security accompaniment to attend Clay’s gig, Rayna and the team take a trip to see the show, too. Maddie is mad, of course, but Rayna is impressed by what she sees – I really can’t believe it took this many episodes for Highway 65 to find its new star. Ray suggests that Clayton come down to her office to talk about his career and gain some industry guidance, so long as he promises to take good care of Maddie. Tough deal, Clay.

With that dealt with, Rayna arrives at the HW 65 offices. Her security does a quick sweep before leaving to sit in the car. Now, tell me this: Why wouldn’t they just sit in the reception area? Like, right outside her door? So that, I don’t know, THE CRAZY STALKER who’s been hiding in her broom closet all night long couldn’t pop out to threaten her with a knife?! Okay, I’ll back up a little. While Ray’s sitting, headphones in and eyes closed, listening to some sweet beats, Stalker Man stands up from his hiding spot behind her receptionist’s desk and creeps into her office with a freaking knife in his hand.

Rayna jumps up and tries to find a way to escape, but Stalker Man tells her not to be scared, then, realizing he has a knife in his hand, admits he doesn’t even know why he brought it. He’s all “It’s not even sharp.” Um, that HUGE knife looks pretty sharp, creep. Smartly, Rayna tries to talk him down – seriously, she should be called in on all hostage situations. He tells her his name is Wayne, not Carl – of course it is; Wayne is such a stalker name – and that he uses his middle name because an evil man give him his first. He opens up about how both his parents abused him, and Rayna’s all, “I see your childhood abuse and raise you my sociopath dad murdering my mom when I was 12 years old. We all got pain, boy.” But not in quite so many words. She makes the point that we all suffer and have to deal, and she can’t understand why we’re all so awful to the people we love the most. She tells him he has to go on; if he gives in to the hurt, then the evil man wins.

While she talks him down, Rayna sneakily dials 911, but Wayne hears and rushes at her with the knife. Luckily, the call connects, and the Nashville P.D. contact Ray’s security. As they burst through the doors, guns raised, Wayne grabs Rayna and holds the knife to her throat. She tells him not to give in and to decide right now who he really is. Wayne just replies that he’s sorry, before… letting her go. He’s arrested, and Rayna breaks down shaking and sobbing. And phew, you can breathe again. Wait, not quite…

Turning down the cops’ advice to go to the hospital to get checked out, Rayna insists she just wants to go home. Once in the back of the cop car, she calls Deacon and tells him through tears that something terrible has happened. He tells her to come home to him. She’s nodding yes when, out of nowhere, BAM, another car crashes right into the side of her vehicle, sending an un-belted Rayna flying amidst shattered glass.

It doesn’t look good, guys, but then again, this is TV, a land where miracles happen. So despite rumors that Connie Britton has only signed on to do half of this season, perhaps Ray-Ray will live to croon another tune.

Can one person survive two car wrecks? Grey’s Anatomy tells us yes. We’ll find out next week — I’m off to light some candles and hold vigil until then. Juliette will hook me up.

Episode Recaps

CONNIE BRITTON
Nashville
Legendary music icon Rayna Jaymes struggles to maintain her place in the spotlight while dealing with the ambitious rising pop vixen Juliette Barnes.
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 6
rating
network
  • CMT
stream service

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