On this episode of Nashville, "Stand by Me," Scarlett's feelings for Damien have her questioning who and what she wants, Rayna's stalker steps up his game, Juliette moves forward with plans for her gospel album but meets some resistance and an accident leaves someone's life hanging in the balance.
Rayna and the family are on serious lockdown. Rayna's stalker, Carl Hockney, has bailed himself out of jail and while there is a restraining order against him, it's obvious Hockney isn't likely to keep his distance after approaching Daphne at school. Not wanting to take any chances, even Maddie and Daphne will have personal bodyguards.
At Least It's Not Scientology
Juliette continues to embrace organized religion, and she informs Hallie that she wants to make a gospel album with Hallie and the church's choir. Hallie doesn't think it's a good idea, mainly because Juliette is white. Juliette explains that the music really speaks to her, and she wants the opportunity to explore it. She wants the chance to get the choir in a room and ask them how they feel about it. Hallie isn't totally comfortable with the idea, but she agrees to help Juliette anyway.
A Decent Proposal
Damien is back in town, and he asks to see Scarlett. He says that there's something between them, and he wants to honor that. Scarlett is confused, so Damien suggests they get to know each other better over lunch. When it's over, he'll go back to his hotel, she'll go back to her life and decide if she wants to see him again.
Hockney Continues to Pursue Rayna
Hockney decides to step up his game and stands outside Rayna's house just far enough to not violate the restraining order. Rayna questions what Hockney is trying to accomplish, Rayna's head security guy, Dave Winters, says Hockney is trying to get her attention. Mission accomplished. Deacon, who's ready to pummel the guy, is frustrated there is nothing they can do. Winters advises that their best bet is to wait for Hockney to make a mistake; which he will. When he does, they'll put him away. Rayna's frustrated that Hockney is turning their lives upside down, but Winters tells Rayna that Hockney's goal is to disrupt her life, and to the extent she lets him, he wins. Winters promises they will get through this.
Scarlett Wants to Have her Scone and Eat it Too
Scarlett confides in Deacon about her burgeoning feelings for Damien. Nothing has happened yet, but Scarlett refuses to lie to anyone, and Deacon says that never works out for anyone anyway. No matter how Scarlett works it out in her head, it's just a big mess. Deacon tells his niece that all those years he was so messed up, he would ask himself if this was who he was; the deepest part of himself trying to express itself, or is it the dark part trying to take him down. He wonders if Scarlett's struggle boils down to the same thing. Scarlett doesn't know what she wants to do, but she wants some time to figure it out.
The Gospel According to Juliette
Prior to Juliette's meeting with the choir, Hallie warns her to be prepared for some pushback. The church, the people and the music are new for the country singer and for them. Juliette questions if Hallie understands that whether this gospel album happens or not, Hallie is still going to record an album like she said. Juliette plans to push Highway 65 to sign Hallie.
Juliette addresses the choir members and pitches her idea. One woman, Vonetta, asks Juliette why the sudden interest in gospel music? For the members of the choir, it's a sacred thing. Juliette insists it's sacred to her now too, and as an artist, she wants the chance to explore (exploit) it. Juliette wants their help and not just as backup singers but as partners. Another woman questions how that would work, but Juliette hasn't figured that part out just yet, and she hasn't even started writing the songs. Juliette wants to sing some standards but also include new material, and she encourages the singers that they can contribute material as well.
One man questions if Juliette has been going to church and listening to gospel long enough to know why the choir comes together every week and works so hard, or what it means to them. Juliette admits she could probably never understand. One woman, Maureen, argues that the music has no context for Juliette and no meaning that sets it apart. Maureen informs Juliette that gospel is "black music," and even if it wasn't, isn't Juliette's thing more sexy than that?
Juliette promises they will get paid, and Vonetta is on board, but Maureen argues their religions isn't a business. Juliette questions if they think making a gospel album is actually good business for her? Maureen apologizes-- sarcastically -- for causing Juliette such difficulty. Juliette makes it clear that Maureen's mind is made up, and she's not trying to twist her arm, but she wants to give the others a chance to speak their minds.
A Few Shades Darker
Scarlett has the "we need to talk" conversation with Gunnar. She admits she had lunch with Damien, and Gunnar takes that to mean that Scarlett slept with him or plans to. Scarlett has decided she can't be with anyone right now. She feels something for Damien, and she doesn't know what it means, so she needs time to figure it out. Scarlett can't be in a committed relationship right now, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she and Gunnar can't still see each other. All she knows is that she's not going to cheat or lie. Gunnar is fixated on this decision being strictly about sex, and Scarlett tries to explain it's more than that.
Scarlett tells Gunnar that so much has happened between them that she's numb. She doesn't feel anything for him right now, and that scares her. It also frightens her that she could feel something for someone else, but she refuses to let fear stop her. She apologizes for upsetting him and encourages Gunnar to handle it however he wants to. Scarlett may have towed the party line, and said the Damien thing wasn't all about sex, but she wastes no time doing dirty, dirty things with him in his hotel room.
The Pile-On Avery Club
Avery is back in the studio after putting his career on the back burner for so long. He asks Juliette what she thinks of his new track. She answers that she thinks it's great Avery is getting back to his roots, and that he has an amazing band, but she's not a huge fan of the song. Juliette points out that Avery isn't an angry kid anymore, so maybe it's time for him to mature past that sound. Avery thanks her for her feedback, but the constructive criticism is obviously not appreciated.
Are You There God, It's Me Daphne?
Nashville has a lot going on, but the writers inexplicably decide to choose this episode to give Daphne her first period. It happens at school which is mortifying, but she hides out in the bathroom until her mother arrives with fresh clothes and feminine hygiene products. Rayna presents her daughter with a "first moon gift" because Deacon's idea of a period party to commemorate the occasion didn't go over so well. Rayna wants to make this a big deal since her own mother wasn't around when she started the long journey of PMS, cramps and all the other joys that accompany womanhood. As Daphne's mother, Rayna says, it will be her pride and joy to celebrate every milestone with her youngest daughter.
She Moves in Mysterious Ways
After the bumpy first meeting, Juliette takes another stab at the church choir. She apologizes for offending anyone or for trying to put herself in anyone's shoes. She's made a good living off making music, and she's grateful, but that doesn't mean she's lived a good life. Juliette admits she's sinned....a lot. She's hurt everyone who cares about her and herself and lived her life like a freight train, running over anyone who got in her way.
But God works in mysterious ways, and when she was near death, He paid her a visit and gave her a gift: the church, Hallie and their music. She doesn't want to steal from them. She wants to honor them and God and His mysterious ways. And if they want to help her share their gift with the world, they might just open some hearts and minds that are cold, just like her's before she met them. No matter what, she's going to keep coming to church and Bible study and working on herself, if that's okay. And after that humble, heartfelt speech, who would dare say no?
Rayna Warms Up to Clay
Maddie goes to hear Clay and refuses to let security come along, so Rayna shows up to keep an eye on her daughter herself. Rayna is impressed with Clay's music, telling him he has the soul of a poet. She thinks he should come down to Highway 65 and have a conversation. She's not ready to sign him but thinks she can offer him so guidance in terms of his future.
Fatal Attraction Meets Every Country Song Ever Written
Rayna heads to the office to do some work. Her security detail sweeps the place and then plant their asses outside. As Rayna sits listening to a demo, Carl Hockney walks right into her office holding a knife. He announces that neither Rayna or her (completely inept) security guard have anything to worry about. He swears the knife isn't even sharp. Well, that's comforting.
He tells Rayna to call him Wayne which Rayna correctly guesses is his middle name. He likes it better than Carl, and Rayna agrees. She speaks in an even dulcet tone reserved for people hanging by a very thin thread. Wayne reveals he snuck into the office during normal business hours and hid all night in the broom closet. Rayna responds that he must really want to talk to her. Wayne just really wants Rayna to understand how connected they are. Rayna is curious how they are connected other than him holding her hostage, and he immediately refutes her accusation. He just wanted to have a conversation, and this is what it took. Rayna wants to leave, but he won't let her go until she knows that she understands him more than anyone else.
Wayne's been listening to Rayna since he was a boy, and all he's ever wanted to do is meet her. Rayna makes her way to the door, and Wayne gets very agitated. He accuses Rayna of pretending to be nice as if she really cares about his name. He tells Rayna it was given to him by an alcoholic and abuser just like Deacon. Rayna defends her man, and Wayne says that's what they all say.
Every response from Rayna aggravates Wayne, and she admits she doesn't know how to act since she's scared, and he's threatening her. Wayne swears he's never hurt a woman in his life. He's the one that's been hurt. He thought Rayna would be different, not like the ones who make fun of him behind his back.
Rayna decides to tell Wayne that her father was a sociopath who killed her mother and covered it up. She has to deal with that every day of her life, and it gets to her. She overcompensates, but she can't help it because that horror is at the surface. She writes songs and sings them because that's the only way she knows how to deal with the pain she carries inside him. And her loser husband's daddy beat him daily and turned him into an alcoholic. No wonder Rayna's a country singer.
Rayna sees Wayne's pain, but the only choice he has is to go on. By being there, he's giving into it, and his daddy wins. Leave it to Rayna to talk a stalker off the ledge. She gets him talking about what a psychopath his mama was too. While Wayne's momentarily distracted, Rayna dials for help, and Wayne catches her in the act. He threatens to kill Rayna, and she makes a run for it. Her 911 call gets patched through to her security guy who races into the office.
Wayne grabs Rayna and holds a knife to her throat. Rayna begs for her life, Wayne apologizes and drops the knife and the police take Wayne away.
A understandably hysterical Rayna gets a ride home with the cops and calls Deacon while on her way. Just as she tells him that something terrible happened but assures him that she's okay, another car side swipes the patrol car.
News of Nashville getting a season 5 on CMT was dampened by the news that Connie Britton was only signed to appear in 10 episodes. The network was hopeful to get the star to commit to more. It looks like this car accident could be the beginning of Britton's emotional exit. It also explains the mother-daughter period chat.
Will Rayna survive the crash? Will you watch Nashville if Britton exits? Is Scarlett acting a bit like a ho, or is it about time she tapped into her wild side? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
(Image Courtesy of CMT)