In this episode of Nashville, “I’m Not that Good at Goodbye,” Luke and Rayna each handle their break up very differently. Deacon receives a bleak diagnosis. Sadie takes steps up to protect herself from her ex. Juliette and Avery adjust to married life. Will tries to make things right with Layla.

Things were a hot mess in Music City the last time we checked. To quickly recap: Rayna gave Luke the boot. Deacon was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver with the added possibility of cancer. Layla downed a bottle of pills, given to her by Jeff, with lots of alcohol and was found floating face down in a pool at a party (major party foul). Sadie got a visit from her ex, and Juliette and Avery got hitched. Not surprisingly, Gunnar found out that Micah is actually his dead brother’s son, and he turned to Scarlett for a shoulder to cry on.

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Damage Control

Things pick up right where they left off. Rayna and Bucky are trying to figure out damage control in the hopes that Rayna doesn’t come out of this looking like a cold-hearted bitch. Not too mention all those nasty business entanglements that Ruke has together.

I’m sorry to report that Layla did survive her “accident.” Philandering hubby Will takes her to the emergency room where the doctor reports that Layla’s overdose may have been intentional. Luke is surprised by this news mainly because he doesn’t know that his wife caught her supposedly gay husband in bed with a slutty blogger.

Jeff is lucky to have friends in high places, especially a mayor who, until recently, was keeping company with a high-priced escort. He placed a call to Teddy — ahead of the paramedics — when Layla was found, knowing he was in big trouble. Teddy meets with the the chief of police and is able to convince him to overlook the underage drinking and recreational drug use, but Jeff may not get off scot-free. If a scorned Layla decides to press charges by, for example, stating that Jeff handed her a bottle of pills, the pretty-boy record exec could find himself in hot water. Karma sure is a bitch.

Luke Implodes

While Rayna tells Daphne and Maddie that she and Luke won’t be getting married, Luke is busting into Deacon’s house looking for his former fiance. He, of course, blames Deacon for his and Rayna’s aborted nuptials. Deacon tells Luke he hasn’t seen Rayna in weeks, so the breakup isn’t on him, but Luke believes otherwise and shows his true colors by saying he should have “known better than to ever go sniffing around that bitch.” This leads to a brawl in Deacon’s front yard, that Scarlett is forced to break up.

Rayna and Bucky quickly learn that Luke is not going to take being unceremoniously dumped well. Rayna receives the bill for their extravagant wedding, and one of Deacon’s neighbors, caught his fight with Luke on video. Against Tandy and Bucky’s advice, Rayna decides she needs to go talk to Luke.

Rayna finds Luke using very expensive bottles of champagne for target practice. Not very smart to approach the egotistical ass you dumped while he’s holding a gun. Rayna pleads with Luke to act with some discretion when it comes to their split, but he isn’t inclined to comply. Then he accuses Rayna of hooking up with him strictly to reignite her flagging career. He takes full credit for her renewed career success. Suddenly, Rayna realizes she dodged a bullet.

Rayna Speaks

When she returns home, the place is surrounded by the press. Rayna makes a statement citing the break up as a mutual decision, and that there are no third parties involved. She also assures the paparazzi that her and Luke will always be supportive friends. A last-ditch effort no doubt to try and soothe the savage beast.

Will Shaves His Beard

Layla wakes up in a pissy mood and is less than thrilled to find Will by her bedside. She confronts him about catching him with another woman and is understandably as confused about his sexuality as Will is. Layla also tells him that she can’t keep playing the role of dutiful wife because Will’s secret is not only killing him, but her.

Will turns to Jeff for help, so Jeff does what he does best and acts like a major d-bag. He confronts the producer of Will and Layna’s reality show, Gia, and tells her he got the show canceled. Capitalizing on Layla’s suicide attempt would not be good for the network’s image. Jeff also lets her know that filming the two against their consent and using the footage to blackmail them could ruin her career and land her in jail. Now he has the leverage to get his hands on the only irrefutable proof that Will is gay.

Will tells Layla that they can get a divorce. She can use his infidelity as an excuse which covers both their asses. She argues that Gia will never let it happen, but he tells her that situation has been resolved as well.

Jeff’s actions earn him a big reward. Layla tells the police she has no plans to press charges against Jeff and that she brought the pills from home. Maybe this will be a life lesson for Jeff that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but I doubt it.

Is the Honeymoon Over?

Juliette and Avery are experiencing some hiccups in their new roles as husband and wife. Avery has moved in, but Juliette isn’t thrilled with his stuff encroaching on her territory. Juliette feels like three shelves in her closet is a huge sacrifice.

Their uninspired spat comes to a predictable end. I am not enjoying the kinder, gentler Juliette. Fingers crossed that after giving birth, she gets some of her old fire back. She can be a loving mother but a wicked bitch at the same time.

Saving Face

Luke sees Rayna’s press conference and it has him seeing red. If he wanted to bad-mouth her now, he’d only come off looking petty and bitter. His manager says that the alternative is for Luke’s fans to believe he’s holed up somewhere crying. Well, the video of he and Deacon contradicts that assertion.

Luke decides to put on a happy face. He’s going to throw a party and invite 500 of his fans and give a free concert. This guy is one hell of a spin doctor.

My Son, My Nephew, My Son, My Nephew

Gunnar decides to go to family court and try for custody of Micah in spite of the recent revelation that the boy is not his son. Kiley’s mother takes him to task for not being honest with Micah, so Gunnar sits Micah down and tells him the truth. Micah gets very upset and decides to tell the judge he wants to live with his grandparents. The kid is so upset, he freezes Gunnar out.

Kiley’s mother comes to pick up Micah’s things and admits that she’s been to judge Gunnar by his past misdeeds. She can see how much Gunnar loves her grandson, and that by lying to him, Gunnar was merely trying to protect him. It looks like she’s going to be willing to let Gunnar have some kind of relationship with his nephew/son after all.

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Sadie Got a Gun

Sadie decides to purchase a gun after the recent beating by her ex, Pete. He comes by the house with a peace offering, but promises she hasn’t seen the last of him. A passive aggressive peace offering to be sure.

Timing is Everything

In the middle of all the Rayna turmoil, Deacon receives a definitive diagnosis of liver cancer. His only hope for survival is a transplant. If his tumor continues to grow quickly, it won’t be long before he won’t be an eligible candidate. Scarlett immediately volunteers but their blood types aren’t compatible. But guess who is? Maddie. That’s just me foreshadowing not anything brought up in the episode.

Rayna shows up at Deacon’s for one of their talks. These usually mean bad news for Deacon, but this one is a mixed bag. Rayna admits she loves him, but that she needs time to figure things out. Not great for Deacon who only has a finite number of quarters left to feed the meter, if you get my drift. He doesn’t tell Rayna about the cancer, and when Scarlett questions why, he makes it clear he doesn’t want his true love rushing to his side because she feels sorry for him.

The fallout from the dissolution of Ruke is bound to drag out. People still talk about Brad and Jen. I hated the Luke and Rayna love story but could really get into a more antagonistic dynamic.

Nashville airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.