On this episode of Nashville, “Please Help Me, I’m Fallin’,” Juliette attacks a fan (and Jeff finds a way to use the incident to his advantage), Deacon and Scarlett both find themselves inspired as they say their final goodbyes to Beverly, Rayna has to deal with a temperamental Markus and Maddie continues to act out.
Rayna finds herself dealing with two difficult, rebellious kids: Maddie and Markus. Markus may technically be an adult, but his attitude screams spoiled, truculent teen. He’s not having any regrets about his falling out with Avery. Rayna, trying to keep Markus happy, doesn’t dwell on the termination of Avery and Markus’ working relationship. Instead, she’s got a list of great producers for Markus to meet, but he’s not interested. Markus wants Rayna to produce his record, and he’s not taking no for an answer. Rayna concedes, but it’s apparent this is not going to be a match made in heaven.
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Jeff Uses Juliette’s Breakdown to for Professional Gain
Juliette agrees to grant Avery a divorce and lets him have full custody of Cadence, but she’s crossed over to a dark, dark place. Without her minions around to keep her drunk, high and emotionally sedated, she hits an all-time low. Her attempt to sneak out of her hotel in Atlanta undetected doesn’t work, and when an avid fan tries to get a selfie with the singer, Juliette physically attacks the woman. Jeff and Luke have to pull them apart.
Luke, his PR maven and Jeff are left to clean up Juliette’s mess. The fan agrees not to press charges, which is completely unbelievable given today’s litigious society, but several onlookers filmed the fight, and it’s only a matter of time before the press catches wind of the story. The timing really sucks for Luke, who’s in the midst of setting up endorsement deals with some pretty wholesome brands.
Jeff sees Juliette’s meltdown as an opportunity to secure the C.E.O. position in Luke’s burgeoning empire. He promises Gabriella he can spin the situation to make Juliette the injured party, but in return, she has to convince Luke to give Jeff his dream job.
Will’s Renewed Sense of Purpose
Will and Kevin, who had a spat about Will’s hesitancy to sell the song they co-wrote to Luke, mend fences. Will makes it clear that while there’s nothing wrong with being a songwriter, his passion is singing. Kevin, who continues to be the most patient BF ever, has a friend who is hosting a showcase and gets Will a slot.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Gunnar didn’t return from Atlanta alone, he picked up some roadie chick named Erin with whom he had a one-night stand. The only problem is Gunnar hasn’t figured that out yet. Even though Erin left early, refusing Gunnar’s offer of breakfast and/or a ride and failed to leave him her phone number, Gunnar thinks there’s potential for something long term. Avery points out Gunnar has a pattern of trying to make mountains out of mole hills and clues his friend in that if Erin wanted to see him again, she would have left her number.
Their guy talk is interrupted by a news report about Juliette’s physical altercation. The hows and whys of Juliette’s public meltdown have yet to be determined, but the anchor suspects it could have to do with Juliette’s demanding schedule.
Avery is concerned, and his first instinct is to call, but both Will and Gunnar advise him to stay out of it.
Juliette Spirals While Jeff Works the Angles
Juliette’s day has gone from bad to worse. After being reprimanded by Luke, she downs a bottle of vodka. She’s then ordered by Jeff to stay in her room and out of trouble. A drunken Juliette pleads with him to stay with her, but Layla’s in town, and Jeff’s got better things to do than babysit his biggest client. Juliette becomes incensed at the idea that Jeff would rather be with Layla and insists Jeff would drop his little brunette ingenue at a second chance to go to bed with with her. Juliette throws herself at Jeff, but he lets Juliette know that she never meant anything more to him than a bang in a broom closet. Jeff also says it’s no wonder that Avery left her.
Jeff meets up with Layla but insists that he can’t stay long. He’s still cleaning up Juliette’s mess. Layla notices scratches on his neck and jumps to the conclusion that Jeff is sleeping with Juliette. Jeff insists that’s the last thing on his mind and tells Layla that if he can prevent Juliette’s outburst from hurting Luke’s business dealings, he’ll have a new job and have the luxury of never having to deal with Juliette again. Layla questions if that means Jeff will no longer be her manager as well and he says he wouldn’t. But he cushions the blow by telling her they’ll be better off, because it will make things less complicated, and Layla will be able to move in with him. Could this be the real thing?
Jeff proves he’s a man of his word. The woman Juliette attacked issues a statement to the press that she’s been stalking Juliette for weeks. I’m guessing the payoff had to be big, or Jeff found something on this woman, because there’s no other reason someone would subject themselves to such humiliation otherwise.
At a party celebrating Luke’s new business ventures, Jeff learns he has secured the CEO job.
Avery Can’t Let Go
There is obviously not much else on TV in the city of Nashville, because Avery sees the woman’s press conference. He immediately calls Jeff and demands to know what is wrong with Juliette. (Really? You told her you wanted a divorce and full custody of your daughter. Remember?)
Jeff says that Juliette is fine, but Avery knows Jeff orchestrated that apology. Jeff doesn’t understand why Avery gives a damn, but Avery responds that Juliette is the mother of his child and he’s concerned. Avery believes Juliette needs help, not a manager paying people off. Jeff swears the last time he saw Juliette, she was just fine.
Cut to Juliette emptying a variety of prescription pills out of their bottles. She takes them by the handful, rinsing them down with booze. Jeff just has this gift of pushing mentally unstable women right off the edge of the cliff.
Avery’s next stop is Glenn. Glenn tells Avery that it’s time for some tough love. No matter how much Avery loves Juliette, it doesn’t matter how much he cares about her if she doesn’t care about herself. Glenn’s advice to Avery is to cut all emotional ties.
Rayna Has Her Hands Full
Markus asks Rayna to drop by his rehearsal to listen to a new song he’s written. Rayna, who brings a grounded Maddie and a disgruntled Daphne along, is concerned that what he’s written resembles his previous work. She does a few tweaks, but Markus resists the changes. He doesn’t even have the courtesy to perform the song once. He accuses Rayna of being a dictator not a collaborator. Rayna argues she was simply doing what he asked her to do that morning, but Markus insists she just doesn’t get him. Markus then question if signing on with Highway 65 was a huge mistake and stomps off leaving a dumbfounded Rayna in his wake.
Rayna is on mothering overload. She’s got a defiant, moody Maddie on her hands, she’s got to talk an insecure, overcompensating Markus off the ledge, and Daphne is having her own issues. She’s feeling hurt and embarrassed by all the stuff with Teddy, and it’s affecting her desire to play music. Rayna reassures her youngest daughter that people can be negative, but Daphne can’t let that take away from what she does and how she feels about it.
While Rayna was busy dealing with Daphne’s tween angst, Maddie performed the song for Markus, prompting him to give it another shot. He’s thrilled with it, and it looks like Markus is sticking with Rayna and Highway 65. For now anyway.
Rayna uses the events of the day to try and explain to Maddie the difference between the performance with Juliette and singing for Markus. Rayna wants Maddie to understand that when she gets up on stage, what she sings, what she wears, everything is a reflection of who she is as an artist. Rayna also requests that Maddie be a bit more sensitive to Daphne’s feelings. Maddie asks why she should care what Rayna wants, when Rayna doesn’t care what she wants.
They Shoot Gay Cowboys Don’t They
Will is killing it at the showcase, but his happiness is short-lived when some women in the front row pull a gay man forward like some kind of sacrificial offering. Will is understandably frustrated, convinced that he can no longer secure a fan base that doesn’t consist of participants in gay pride parades. Kevin accuses Will of being dramatic, but Will insists his dream is dead. He regrets coming out and Kevin, tired of Will’s self-loathing, calls it. Their romance is DOA.
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Deacon and Scarlett Say Their Final Goodbyes
In a far less interesting subplot, Deacon and Scarlett are still butting heads. This time it’s over Beverly’s failed music career. The two find out that Beverly sang every Sunday night at a local lounge, and the place is holding a memorial type deal in her honor. Deacon is anxious to go, but Scarlett wants no part of it.
Deacon insists on going, so Scarlett stays behind to finish up, so the two can return to Nashville. She finds a demo her mother did, along with a rejection letter from a record label.
Scarlett shows up at the lounge anxious to leave town, but Deacon is determined that his niece meet Beverly’s fans and friends.
One woman tells Scarlett how proud Beverly was and requests Scarlett perform. As she sings, Deacon closes his eyes and imagines his late sister is the one performing.
On their way back to Nashville, Scarlett tells Deacon that she thought her mother resented her success, but the truth was, her mama was proud of her. The whole experience motivates Scarlett to move forward with her upcoming tour with Gunnar. She had been rethinking going on the road so soon after Beverly’s death, but now she knows it is what her mother would have wanted.
Deacon calls his sponsor, who also happens to own a bar. Deacon has some ideas on how to keep the flailing establishment in business, and he wants to buy in. He also wants to rename it “The Beverly.”
You Jump, I Jump
The Juliette storyline is about to reach the moment we’ve all known is coming. She sends Avery a text telling him that she’s sorry, which he promptly deletes. Jeff spots Juliette as she heads to the roof and follows her. She’s lingering on the ledge, and he pleads with her not to jump, but in an unexpected twist, his attempt to save her sends him careening off the building himself. (I did not see that one coming.)
From the looks of the trailer for the next episode, it doesn’t appear Jeff breaks his fall thanks to some strategically placed awnings. He’s dead. But if you are an Oliver Hudson fan, don’t fret, he’s still alive and well on Scream Queens.
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)