On this episode of Nashville, “Three’s A Crowd,” Scarlett and Caleb struggle to hold their relationship together, Luke tries to make things right with Colton and as Markus continues to monopolize Rayna’s time, Deacon questions the singer’s motives

Things are going pretty great for Luke. Juliette is tucked safely away in rehab, his company has a new C.E.O. with a pulse, he’s got a hot girlfriend, all his investors are locked in for his brand launch, and Luke’s going to appear on the cover of Forbes magazine. He’s just got one problem. His son, Colt, is still freezing him out. Luke decides to carve out some one-on-one time with his son to try and reconnect.

Booty Call

The Exes find themselves with a free night, so Scarlett decides to fly to Nashville and surprise Caleb. The only problem with dating a hot oncologist is he’s super busy saving lives, so Scarlett has to cool her heels for a few hours until she has Dr. Hottie all to herself.

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Keep Your Enemies Close

Markus continues to monopolize Rayna’s time. With his album complete and ready to be released, he suddenly decides to scrap one of the songs. This sends Rayna scurrying to the studio to come up with an alternative. It’s obvious this is all part of Markus’ grand plan to win Rayna’s heart, but he’s got some competition. After reading the text that Markus sent Rayna, he’s keeping a closer eye on his girl. Deacon decides to pop in and bring Rayna some coffee.

Markus is pleased as punch to meet the great Deacon Claybourne. In fact, he would like to record one of Deacon’s songs. Deacon doesn’t think his stuff would appeal to Markus, but the former rocker loves the material Deacon wrote for Rayna, meaning they must have the same taste in some things-like Rayna herself. Markus wants Deacon to send him some demos, and if he likes what he hears, they can bang it out and still make his deadline.

Once Deacon and Rayna have a Markus-free moment, Deacon lets Rayna know he’s less than thrilled at the prospect of working with Highway 65’s star artist. Rayna, always the peacemaker, thinks that musically, Deacon and Markus have a lot in common. That may be true, but Deacon still thinks Markus is an arrogant son of a bitch. Rayna assures Deacon that Markus has a way of growing on a person, but Deacon makes it clear the only reason he’s going along with any of this is because he knows how much Markus’ album means to Rayna.

Speak of the son of a bitch and he’s sure to appear. Markus arrives at Rayna’s and tells Deacon he now owns everything Deacon has ever made on vinyl. Deacon thinks that Markus is being a disingenuous kiss ass, but Markus swears he’s being sincere.

The Beginning of the End

Caleb arrives at their apartment and sees that Scarlett has romance on her mind. Unfortunately, Caleb isn’t really in the mood. Instead of hopping into bed, he just wants to take a hot shower. Alone.

Scarlett and Dr. Hottie eventually get it on, but the pillow talk is tense. He’s not enthralled by her stories of life on the road, and she’s not exactly interested in listening to him drone on about clinical trials. Caleb rushes off to work but promises to get back so the two get a little more quality time before Scarlett leaves town.

When Caleb returns, a mopey Scarlett informs him that it’s probably best if she just heads to the airport. She admits it was crazy to think she could drop in on a whim and expect a romantic rendezvous.

Caleb points out he has a “real” job and doesn’t have the luxury to drop everything. He proceeds to insult Scarlett’s chosen career path. The long-distance thing just isn’t working for these two.

Will Catches a Break

Things are looking up for Will. Avery’s performance of his song at The Bluebird has landed him a publishing deal, and there’s a very big star interested in recording Will’s inaugural effort: Wade Cole. Will isn’t thrilled since Wade Cole has proven to be a bit of a homophobe. The two met at Juliette’s launch, and Wade was nice enough, but declined to be photographed with Will. He must think homosexuality is contagious or there’s that whole guilt by association worry.

Will decides to meet up with Wade. Will confronts Wade about his behavior at the launch party, and Wade doesn’t deny his behavior was shady. Will has “chosen” a lifestyle that most of Wade’s fans aren’t comfortable with and neither is Wade’s wife. She’s the head of some charitable organization, and the donors wouldn’t like seeing Wade with Will; they’d view it as an endorsement. Wade swears he doesn’t have a problem with it, but at the end of the day, he’s got to answer to “the missus.”

The Sins of the Father

Back home on his ranch, Luke starts to make some progress with Colt. The two go fishing and reminisce about better days. But Gabriella shows up with a photographer. It seems Luke forgot all about the magazine photo shoot.

Any attempts at genuine father-son bonding are now being staged for the camera, and Colt isn’t in the mood to play along.

Away from the prying eyes of the photog and Gabriella, Luke and Colt have it out. The hostility gets so intense, Luke raises his fist to punch Colt in the face. Colt tells his dad to go ahead and hit him because Luke can’t possibly hurt him more than he already has.

Luke finds Gabriella, and while she’s concerned about spinning the disastrous photo shoot, Luke could care less. He wants to put a hold on his brand launch. Gabriella protests, but Luke is adamant that he needs to work on his relationship with Colt.

The “Jingle” Bell Blues

Avery’s having a rough time. Ever since Markus fired him, he’s been stuck playing commercial jingles to bring in some cash. He’s not exactly a hot commodity on the music circuit without Gunnar, Scarlett or Juliette. He confides in Emily that he’s having money problems, and she offers to dip into Juliette’s accounts to help him out. Avery refuses, determined to provide for Cadence on his own. It’s hard to beg for a job when everyone thinks you’re married to a millionaire.

Caught in the Middle

Markus finds a song of Deacon’s to record, and at first, the collaboration appears to be going well. So well, that Deacon finds himself liking Markus in spite of himself. But when it comes time to record, Markus changes the lyrics. Rayna finds herself stuck in the middle between her main squeeze and her meal ticket. Rayna sides with Markus, causing Deacon to wish them luck and go on his merry way.

Rayna arrives home to find Deacon in a very pissy mood. It’s not just that she chose Markus’ version of the song. Deacon clues Rayna onto the fact that Markus wants to sleep with her. Rayna insists Markus’ interest in her is strictly professional, but Deacon says no guy texts with some woman he doesn’t want to sleep with. Deacon thinks Markus is out of line and wants to know when Deacon will tell him so.

In the Market for a Muse

A few other sub-plots deserve mentioning. Gunnar has been dealing with writer’s block. After finding out Scarlett has written seven songs while they’ve been touring, he feels the pressure to produce, but can’t. Erin takes him out to get his mind off of things, and he admits the reason he’s having trouble is because all of his songs, until now, have been about Scarlett. She was his muse, and now she’s no longer his inspiration.

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Sibling Rivalry

Maddie has been torturing poor Daphne. After telling Daphne the only reason Rayna signed them to Highway 65 was to keep her under her mom’s thumb, Daphne struggles to connect with her sister. After Daphne breaks down, Maddie realizes she’s been an uber bitch and sits down with her sister. Maddie says she loves both her sister and making music with her.

The Difference Between Need and Want

Will finds out that Wade and his wife are very vocal about traditional family values. Wade’s wife has made it her personal mission to spearhead the fight against equal rights for same-sex couples. Now Will finds himself in a conundrum. Does he sell his soul for the chance at career success or stand by his principles? Will decides to continue working with Wade, a decision I’m sure he’ll regret soon enough.

Rayna has a chat with Markus to make sure he understands that she is off the market. Markus denies having ulterior motives, but after she leaves, he looks like a guy who just had to shoot his horse.

Luke apologizes to Colt, but it’s too little, too late. Colt has decided to move in with his grandfather.

Nashville airs Wednesdays 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.