It’s a busy morning in the multi-talented Jaymes-Claybourne house when we kick off “For Sake of the Song.” Deacon is writing a new ditty, Daphne is being featured on the news about her recent buzzworthy performance on Nashville’s Next, and grandpa’s feeling proud (and casually taking credit) for Deacon’s success, reminding everyone that it was he who taught his son to play the guitar. Deacon, naturally, is not pleased.
Meanwhile, Juliette is making big plans to confront Darius, the head honcho at the Church of Coherent Philosophy (the cultish religious group she ditched earlier in the season). Avery’s worried she’s going to get hurt, but J’s on a mission to bring the movement to justice for the way it treats its followers.
At their meeting, Darius tells Juliette that his team was merely being overly cautious when they locked her in a room against her will that one time in Bolivia. He contends that a world-wide organization has its challenges and sometimes things go too far, but they are helping people. He also seems confident that everything they do is within the law. When Juliette pushes back, Darius resorts to intimidation, saying he has her on video making threats and irrational statements. He then brings up the non-disclosure agreement she signed before she left for Bolivia, and tells her that if she talks to the press, the movement will sue her and her family into oblivion.
Unfazed after the showdown, Juliette calls Glenn and tells him to get her publicist on the phone — she has a story to share. Glenn warns her against starting a war with Darius, but Juliette looks pretty damn pleased with herself after the article comes out. That is until later, when she learns that the church is blasting her in the media as an abusive diva who demanded special treatment and was violent towards other members.
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Meanwhile, Deacon and the girls can’t figure out where grandpa is spending his time — and Deacon doesn’t believe him when he says he’s been catching up with old friends. Scarlett asks her uncle if he’s worried his dad’s out drinking and Deacon’s all, great, now that’s literally all I’m going to be able to think about.
So he follows his dad to a random house, where he discovers him playing in a garage band with some fellow old dudes. Of course, grandpa has a great voice too. He invites Deacon to join the jam session, but his son declines, opting instead to listen and sip iced tea. The whole scene leaves Deacon feeling a little overwhelmed and he leaves the house quickly. Back at home, he has some nightmarish flashbacks to his childhood, remembering how cruelly his dad treated him when he was learning to the play the guitar as a kid.
When grandpa gets home later, Deacon accuses him of doing everything he could to literally beat the love of music out of him. His dad has a completely different version of events, arguing that he only pushed him out of love and sacrificed his own dream so his son could succeed. Deacon’s like, dude, the only thing your love ever gave me was a drinking habit that ruined my life; you don’t get to take credit for my music.
Later, once they’ve cooled down, Mr. Claybourne Sr. comes to Mr. Claybourne Jr. in an attempt to patch things up. He tells Deacon he thought he was helping him as a kid, but his anger and drunkenness turned it into something else. He adds that Deacon’s a better man because he broke the cycle of alcoholism and meanness. He’s proud of his son, and tells Deacon he’s going to skip his show that night to avoid causing any trouble. But when Deacon gets to the Bluebird and expresses some regret for leaving his dad at home, good old meddling Scarlett runs over to bring him along.
At the performance, Deacon is asked to play the first song he ever learned. He starts strumming a little tune his dad taught him, and grandpa sings along quietly in the audience. Deacon then flashes back to happier memories of his dad, like when he bought him his first guitar and gave him lessons without any screaming or hitting. Back at home after the show, they sit down with their guitars and share a sweet moment. Then Daphne walks into her granddad’s room to drop off some laundry and finds an empty bottle of bourbon under his bed, because this is Nashville and no heart string can be left un-plucked.
On the Alannah front, things are getting really creepy. After she tells Avery that she needs some time to figure out their relationship and can’t compete with Juliette and his family, she heads off to see Brad. When she gets to his office she overhears the receptionist on the phone saying through tears, “He just keeps doing it” and, “I’d never get another job.” Then Brad comes in and massages the poor girl’s shoulders and whispers something in her ear. Rather than walk out right there and then, Alannah sits down with him and says she wants to be friends. He ask what kind of friends she wants to be, and she responds that they can be whatever kind of friends he wants. Ewww. Brad doesn’t think she sounds very authentic, but he’s happy enough with Alannah as a fake friend even if she doesn’t really like him. She calls him “baby” at one point. It’s nauseating. They make plans to have dinner, which we can only hope is part of some master plan to bring him down.
Later, she gets roses from Brad with a note: “Surprise! You’re opening for Little Big Town Friday! No pressure! – B.” She seems way too happy about this considering how it was accomplished. Next, she goes to see Jessie (because Jessie has to stay on the show somehow) and tells her about the receptionist. Jessie says it’s inevitable, she’s his type. She also mentions that he’s had six settlements with former employees, some of whom reached out to her after the divorce. Alannah, however, still thinks she can take of herself though. We’ll see…
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Elsewhere, Maddie and Twig are making music together when Jonnah comes in and tells everyone that he got his buddy a date for some pajama party they’re throwing. He also wants to know if Maddie’s decided whether she’s going to Europe with him. Deacon isn’t really on board, thinking it won’t be much fun for her trying to fit into his schedule.
Later, at a party at Jonah’s house that is not the aforementioned pajama party, the host’s phone is blowing up but he won’t tell Maddie who’s calling. He finally says it’s his agent and goes out to answer his ex or current girlfriend’s (it’s unclear) FaceTime. She’s crying and telling him she’s trying to get better, but he doesn’t think he should be the reason she seeks help. Meanwhile, Twig goes outside to see if Maddie’s okay. They’re getting closer, and even Daphne notices her sister can’t stop blushing whenever his name is brought up.
The much-hyped pajama party comes around and Twig seems a little tipsy. Maddie is dancing with Jonah when she tells him she’s decided to go with him to Europe. Twig then comes running out to tell his friend that the neighbors are there to complain. Reader, it was not the neighbors. You guessed it, Mia shows up and takes Jonah into the laundry room, where they start making out (he’s seems a little reluctant?). Twig tries to distract Maddie with some really questionable dancing. They end up slow dancing and almost kiss when Maddie remembers Jonah exists and runs off to find him. And find him she does. After seeing her boyfriend half-naked kissing his ex, she runs off before Jonah can stop her and yells at Twig for not telling her about Mia. She heads home to sit in bed and sob while Mia slaps Jonah. The next morning a dejected Jonah sits in his pool with damp eyes and gets mad at Twig, telling him, “You had one job.” Ah, boys.
Speaking of idiots, some never grow up. Alannah and Brad have dinner and flirt. It’s so, so gross. He thinks she likes him, despite her calling him a user and a narcissist. He then takes her hand, saying he didn’t think he stood a chance with her. She tells him he doesn’t, but is all coy smiles and hand holding. Please let it be part of her plan to bring him down.
Backstage at the Friday night show, Brad puts a creepy hand on her shoulder, and she tells him he’s scary when he’s nice. He then goes to kiss her and she (thank God) moves away. He kisses her cheek instead, and she heads out on stage to play to an adoring crowd. The next day she’s in the parking lot watching the secretary leave work. (Please have a plan! Please have a plan!)
Guess we’ll find out soon what Alannah is cooking up since there are only two episodes left in the entire series of Nashville. Anyone else feel like we’ve got a lot to resolve? At the very least, we should revisit that whole “Juliette is pregnant” storyline pretty soon, maybe? Just an idea.