While Alannah wards off unwanted advances from Brad
“The House That Built Me” kicks off with the girls writing songs in the house that maybe didn’t build them, but still the house in which they live. Daphne is on the Nashville Next website and perturbed to learn her nickname on the show (as chosen by fans) is “Princess,” but she soon forgets her troubles when Deacon walks in dressed all hipster-y.
He’s recording a radio show later that day, complete with a performance, an interview, and a bunch of college students, so has dressed accordingly. It all goes well with Maddie and Daphne in the audience and the fans lapping it up as Deacon signs autographs and takes selfies, until an old dude shows up and asks him to get a cup of coffee. Deacon gets weird and tells the girls they have to leave immediately.
The next day Scarlett asks her uncle how the show went, and he tells her fine, until his dad turned up out of nowhere. We know from previous seasons that Deacon’s father was an abusive drunk, and he hasn’t seen him since he was a teenager. Scar’s heard horror stories from her mom too, but she still wonders if Deacon’s curious to see why he showed up. He’s all, nooo way, not even a little bit. For now…
Not content with meddling in just one person’s life, Scarlett turns her attention to Sean. She’s landed him a gig at the Bluebird, which of course he doesn’t think he can do and is freaking out about. He wants Scar to do it with him, but she tells him he just has to let something good happen for him. So he performs and it all goes well — if you don’t include his wife sitting in the audience while Sean dedicates a song to Scarlett for helping him through the hard times. Understandably, wifey is pissed and walks out before the end of the set. Realizing what’s happening, Scarlett looks upset too, certainly more than Sean does, if he even notices. The next day, Scarlett goes over to see Sean’s wife to tell her she doesn’t want her husband, she only wants to help him. Sean’s wife says she hates living in a limbo, and after a year of trying, of holding him when he wakes up in the night screaming, and walking on eggshells, she’s over it. But Scar is convinced he’s changing, so she sends Sean over to see her at their home. Then he freaks out looking at a friend’s Facebook page and starts hitting his head against a wall — literally.
Scarlett rushes over to help and discovers Sean has locked himself in the bathroom with a gun, and she attempts to talk him down. He tells her about a friend and team sergeant named Derek who recently hung himself. He had just gotten a promotion and his wife was pregnant again. Derek taught Sean everything he knew and saved his life multiple times, so he doesn’t believe he can make it if he Derek couldn’t. He tells her he can’t escape the images in his head; they won’t stop and he can’t make them. He wants things to be normal and moves the gun closer to his head. Distressed, Scarlett starts talking, telling him there’ll be a different normal for him soon, one he can live with. She ask him to think about things he can feel right now — the air in his lungs, the breeze on his face — and tells him to focus on those good feelings, as fleeting as they might be, because gradually they’ll last longer and longer; the awful will get less and the better will get more. (Recap continues on page 2)
Elsewhere, Avery, Gunnar, and Will’s band is losing traction without Alannah. She’s meeting with her new team, who tell her they want her headlining a tour by next year, so she needs to be opening for someone now. Brad suggests the Lumineers, and Alannah is very excited. The Lumineers (off camera) hear her demo and want her to open for them, so they all agree to get drinks that night. Only in the end, it’s just Alannah and Brad who show up, and he starts to get creepy toward her, telling her she should see his hotel room. (Okay, Harvey Weinstein.) He strokes her hair and is just generally sleazy, saying, “I give a little, you give a little, that’s how it works.” She’s noticeably uncomfortable and rushes over to Avery’s place, scared.
She tells Avery it was obvious Brad was coming on to her, but if someone were to record it, it would seem innocent. She resolves to say something to him about it, but when she goes to make sure there’s no misunderstandings between them, he acts like there’s nothing there. He can’t imagine how she got that impression and tells her that his interest is strictly professional. He says he understands there’s no room for confusion about this type of thing in these times, and they agree to see one another at dinner. And then Alannah shows up the restaurant and is told the meal’s off because the tour’s off. Alannah realizes she’s being punished for standing up to Brad. Later she performs at a bar, and Avery is praising her galore. She tells him the tour’s off, and he offers to help her write songs to make her feel better. That does not go down well when the guys also have plans to write that night and now Avery is unavailable.
Let’s get back to Deacon. He finds an old photo of himself as a kid in one of his old guitars and flashes back to his dad beating his mom. Riled up, he goes to see his dad and asks why he’s there. His dad tries to tell him he didn’t come there to fight. He lost his house during Hurricane Harvey and is starting over again, preferably somewhere he has family. Deacon thinks he’s here for money, but Pops protests that he just wants to get to know his family and grandkids. Deacon’s all, you’re 30 years too late, and when he tries to say he’s a changed man, Deacon goes off at him, calling him a “nightmare” and telling him it’s never going to happen, before storming out.
Weirdly, Maddie thinks she knows better in this situation. She doesn’t want her grandfather to be homeless and wants to meet him before he dies. Deacon gets mad, saying he was raised by him, so he knows best what he’s like. He then has more flashbacks of his dad being drunk and belligerent and hitting him. (Recap continues on page 3)
Later, Maddie comes by to apologize; she just thought that it’d be nice to have someone new in the family after all the loss they’ve been through. It’s been a year since Rayna’s death, and Maddie tactically gives a little speech about sometimes being so mad at Rayna that she didn’t want to be her daughter anymore, but she ‘s glad they forgave each other. Deacon sees what she’s saying but can’t get past what he and his dad have been through. Maddie goes to see her grandfather, because of course she would, and they have a heart-to-heart.
Grandpops tell her that his perspective has shifted now that he’s old. They talk about family and hold hands, and then she brings him back with her to talk to Deacon. Grandpa points out to Deacon that he can’t hurt him anymore now that he’s a successful man, and he tries to make a case for himself as a good father because he left and didn’t come back when he realized he was turning young Deacon into an angry man like him. In a flashback, we see Deacon pointing a rifle at his dad, who’s going after his mom, and telling him to leave. His dad says he saw the hate in his son’s eyes then and knew he was becoming like him, so he left to ensure that wouldn’t happen. He thinks he was a father to Deacon, whether he remembers it or not — seems a little tenuous, but whatever. Deacon’s like, yeah, well, whatever, I still pretty much became you, what with the years as an alcoholic and all. But his dad is seeing it as a success and tells his son he didn’t become him because look at everything he has and the all the people around him who love him! Yay?
As Maddie and Daphne sing us out, Scarlett and Sean’s wife look in on him snuggled up in bed with his son, at peace for now, while Will watches old footage of how he used to perform and Gunnar gets frustrated trying to write new music. Deacon brings his dad over with a suitcase, and sweet little Daphne hugs him as Maddie looks proud of
herself her dad. And then, ladies and gentlemen, the moment I’ve personally been waiting for since last week’s episode! Alannah and Avery are writing together and start making out on the couch, and who should walk through the door? NONE OTHER THAN MISS JULIETTE BARNES!
Give, ’em hell, Jules! But next week, because this episode ends on the miniature diva’s pissed-off face.