And Maddie thinks being 18 means she's mature enough to party with pop stars
Credit: Mark Levine/CMT
S6 E9
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Fans of the ’ville! We’re finally back after that mid-season hiatus. Does anyone remember what was going on when we left the guitar-strumming gang? You can either head here for a recap of the last episode back in February, or we can have some fun and try to piece it together as we go. Let’s get into it, y’all!

We rejoin the group at the hospital, where they’re awaiting news on Will’s condition — oh yeah, he collapsed during a performance on The Chew after abusing steroids for most of the season! — and the tabloids are already reporting he’s had a heart attack. Luckily, it’s not quite so serious, as the doctor informs Avery, Gunnar, and Alhanna. He does have a serious infection in the inner lining of his heart, though, so needs to rest up, but when the band members go in to see him, he’s cracking jokes and acting like the whole thing is no big deal. The guys aren’t impressed with his steroid use, and Will admits it was stupid and apologizes. Then Avery has to duck out to answer a call. It’s from the press, inquiring if Juliette has joined a cult. He’s pissed and hangs up abruptly, but later there are more reporters outside his house, asking where Juliette is. (Remember, she joined the Church of Coherent Philosophy and ran off to Bolivia, then when Avery showed up to bring her home, she was all brainwashed and robotic and told him to leave?! Craziness!)

When the others leave, the doctor tells Will he shouldn’t be thinking about playing shows right now, and that if he puts more pressure on his heart, there’s a possibility he’ll need surgery to repair the damage. But when Bucky emails to offer the band a slot at Music City Music Festival the next week, he’s all on board. Silly Willy.

Back in Nashville, Scarlett shows up to mother Will and try and convince him to take it easy. He pretty much blows her off, plowing ahead with his I’m fine bravado. Then, who should show up but ex-bf and tech billionaire Zach! He heard about what happened and came because he cares and feels responsible, since he rejected Will’s advances when he tried to get back together. Will’s all like, my heart’s got nothing to do with you, but when he learns Zach is now single, he’s a little less dismissive. Zach tells Will he’ll be back performing in no time because he doesn’t let anything stand in between him and his heart, so of course Will gets back on his exercise bike later that night. Exercising, performing, same thing? The next day, Scarlett’s back with healthy groceries and advises Will to get back to writing music to work his way through his pain.

While Will recuperates/makes himself worse, the rest of the band gets together to practice. Avery is absentminded, more worried about Cadence than music right now, and Alannah only seems interested in Avery. Once the latter leaves, Alannah and Gunnar head to the bedroom, where she’s fast to leave after they “do their thing.” Gunnar’s being all clingy and pretty much forces her to go on a dinner date with him the next night, since she won’t hang around to cuddle just now.

It turns out, though, that Alannah’s reason for ducking out early was to go check on Avery. She’s meddling — I don’t like it! Anyway, she shows up at his place ostensibly to make sure he’s okay, but it feels like there might be an ulterior motive here (cough, flirting, cough). They get tipsy on whiskey and talk about Avery’s past with Juliette. She also says, “Gunnar’s just nice,” and suggests Avery get over Jules with someone else, before then suggesting they dance out their worries instead. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dance as much (read: probably more) than the next person, but a little boogie is unlikely to make Avery forget that his wife and baby mama abandoned him, especially as he’s just declared he’s done with her for good.

Anyway, they dance — if you can call it that (at least Avery’s got the hair for head-banging) — and Avery crashes on the couch, while Alannah makes a comfy little spot for herself on the floor. Of course, when she leaves in the morning (after stroking Avery’s “great bedhead”), the paps gets a snap of her. When Gunnar sees the tabloid post while he and Alannah are out for dinner that night, Gunnar is maaaaad and goes after Avery. He almost hits him, but takes an accidental guitar to the nose instead when a band member steps in to stop him. (Recap continues on page 2)

Elsewhere in Music City, Deacon is apologizing to Jessie for losing his temper and pushing her ex-husband, Brad, when he was taunting their son, Jake. She’s gets why he did what he did, but just knows it’s going to make things a lot worse. It’s taken her years to learn not to react to Brad because she knows how manipulative he is. Deacon tries to explain his actions, telling her he can’t stand kids being hurt and that he was flashing back to his own dad. Then there’s a knock at the door, and Jessie is served with papers informing her Brad is suing her for full custody. Oh, boy.

When Jessie goes to see Brad to try and talk him round, he’s loving it and he plays the “worried about the safety of their son” card, reeling off Deacon’s past criminal offenses. He’s really excited to destroy Jessie and take her son away for good. To try and fight the situation, Deacon and Jessie go see a lawyer, who says since there were no impartial witnesses to the Brad/Deacon showdown, there’s very little chance Jessie’s going to win this custody battle. It looked for a second like Jessie was going to lie about Brad being violent, to try and build a better case against him, but she doesn’t for now. Maybe Jake can come forward and be the impartial witness and tell the court Deacon hardly touched Brad? Just a thought. Whatever happens, Deacon and Jessie decide to stay together for now.

As if Deacon hasn’t got enough going on, Maddie is hanging out with her pop-star boyfriend, Jonah, who’s showing his age by playing video games. He’s also celebrating his birthday week, so they start on the tequila shots in the afternoon, and with a little peer pressure from the guys (minus Twig, Jonah’s nice-guy best friend), Maddie knocks one back too. Later they sip from a flask on the way to Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators (yes, I Googled), to play hockey on the closed rink. It’s all cutesy fun and games with Twig looking on lovingly at Maddie while she makes out with Jonah.

The next morning, Deacon is concerned that Maddie was out so late and hasn’t been writing much music lately, but she dismisses his concerns and even leaves family dinner early that night for another Jonah birthday celebration. This time the gang hit the club, do more shots, and then Maddie and Twig slow-dance while Jonah ducks outside to answer texts from his ex. Nice. When Maddie drags herself down to the kitchen the next day, Deacon can spot her hangover immediately, and he’s mad. She’s all I’m 18, like that’s the drinking age, then suggests she move out. Deacon is upset, reminding her that if she’s anything like him, she has to be careful with alcohol. He doesn’t want her to move out, but she says she’s been thinking about getting her own place for a while now. Deacon asks her to think about it a little longer. As a compromise, she decides to go stay at Scarlett’s for a few days — even though Daphne begs her through tears not to go. Always the considerate big sis, that Maddie.

Speaking of Daphne, my favorite little Nashvillian bumps into Jake, and he fills her in on what went down between their dads. So Daph takes it to Deacon, mad he didn’t tell her about it. She’s also worried about Nashville’s Next — the talent show she’s going to be part of that also happens to be produced by Brad — but Deacon assures her it won’t affect her chances. MORE LIKE IMPROVE THEM, AMIRITE? That Brad is malicious and is totally going to try and steal li’l Daph away from her family!

As the episode closes, Will strums us out. He’s back working on new music, while Gunnar is ignoring Avery’s calls and Maddie changes her mind (for now) about moving out and snuggles up with Daphne and Deacon. We’ll see how long that lasts next week, and probably more about Scarlett and her horses too.

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