Nashville returned with “When You’re Tired of Breaking Other Hearts” after a hiatus that seemed to last forever. Even though time passed in the real world, the show picked up right where it left off. Gunnar’s grieving for his brother. Rayna and Teddy are working through their divorce. Juliette continues to have trouble communicating with her mother and is dissatified with her career. And, Deacon has a dog … with no name.

Deacon’s Nameless Dog … and a Girl!

You just gotta love Deacon and his way with words. His “Somebody gave me a defective dog.” comment was awesome and worthy of a smile and a chuckle. The puppy was a horrible gift, but I’m hopeful that he will provide some much needed love and humor on the tour.

If nothing else, the dog introduced him to a lovely and beautiful vet. Will she help him get over being “strung out on Rayna Jaymes?” Coleman knows his friend too well. Deacon may have given up on the drinking, but I’m not sure he’ll ever get over his love for Rayna.

The dog got a name, Sue, and Deacon got a date. I’m not a country fan, but Google is my friend. The dog was named after the poem by Shel Silverstein that was turned into a country song by Johnny Cash titled, “A Boy Named Sue.” 

Deacon slept with the vet and then showed up at her office to ask her on a proper date, but if I was going to place a bet it would be on Deacon and Rayna. Now that she’s divorced, I expect their relationship will heat up again once they are back on tour.

Post-Divorce Troubles

Rayna and Teddy’s divorce was handled quickly and without much trouble, but the post-divorce relationship doesn’t look like it will be quite as smooth. Their plan to swap out of the family home every other week in theory sounds promising, but it’s not without its problems.

Instead of the girls moving between two homes, the parents will be taking turns. As with any dual parenting situation, Rayna and Teddy are going to have to come up with a consistent method of disciplining the girls.

Maddie clearly is struggling with the divorce as she demonstrated with her potty mouth interaction with her mother. In the end, both Teddy and Rayna handled the situation well. When Teddy told Rayna she couldn’t come to the house after Maddie got hurt, it was a tough situation.

Rayna didn’t listen though and put her daughter first. And, then so did Teddy. If they can continue to compromise, they will all make it out of this without much damage. Maddie was hurting and Rayna’s gift of the guitar was perfect. 

If trouble is ahead, it will most likely come when Teddy and Peggy move their relationship forward or if Deacon somehow finds out that Maddie is his daughter. Both of those situations will lead to fireworks.

Juliette’s Starting to Grow Up

After pushing her mother away and being dishonest about their past, Juliette finally realized that it wasn’t helping either of them. Her mother’s been working hard to heal and forgive herself for her previous failings.

Now that Juliette has acknowledged her troubles with her mother and invited her on tour, they can finally begin to heal. So far, Dante has been able to help them, though I fear that he is getting too involved in their lives. With him joining Juliette on tour and becoming an emotional crutch for her, I fear she will fall for him as she has done in the past with other men.

Juliette also started to take more responsibility for her career and reputation as well. After getting yelled at by Rayna for Maddie’s injuries, Juliette went to pay all the medical bills of those who were injured. It’s a small gesture, but for her it was a step in the right direction.

Way To Go, Avery

Since Nashville started Avery has proven himself to be a selfish jerk. He treated his band and Scarlett in the worst way possible. He was out to make a career for himself no matter who he hurt along the way.

Avery didn’t listen to his manager and signed a bad contract for a bad record deal. He was paying the price for his arrogance with a record label that wanted to make him into an artist that wasn’t the right fit.

Avery finally took his life and career into his own hands. He stole and burned the master tracks. And, proving that he was serious he turned over what remained of his song rights advance and the keys to the car he was given. He left on the perfect statement, “I feel more alive than I have in months.”

Avery has many burned bridges to rebuild, but he seems to be started in the right direction. He won’t win Scarlett back, but maybe he can at least repair their relationship enough for them to be friends.

It was great to see him on the Bluebird Cafe stage singing a song that he loved.

Scarlett and Gunnar are Meant to Be

They are the most adorable couple ever even when they are going through a difficult time. Gunnar may have pushed her away in his grief, but she didn’t take it personally. They just understand each other.

He let her down by not showing up for the audition and then rejected her, but Scarlett stood by him. Her decision to get Deacon’s help was brave and showed her love for Gunnar. Their intervention prevented Gunnar from making a life-changing mistake.

They went to bed separately, but neither of them could sleep. In a touching moment, they  met in the hallway and with a few simple words, they acknowledged their true feelings.

Scarlett: “It wasn’t pity.” 

Gunnar: “I don’t think it was a mistake either.”

And, with one phone call it could all come crumbling down. Rayna loved Scarlett’s audition and offered her a recording contract … as a solo artist. Ouch. What does Scarlett do with that?

If Scarlett learned anything from Avery it was how to handle this situation. Rayna initially wanted to sign both Scarlett and Gunnar, so not all is lost. Scarlett should be able to convince her to sign the duo either instead or as well. Plus, she could always get Deacon to help.

Scarlett cares too much about Gunnar to take Rayna’s offer. It’s just not in her to choose a career over someone she loves.

Deacon’s Story

The highlight of the episode was when Deacon stepped in and stopped Gunnar from making a huge mistake. The honesty and pain of Deacon’s story was heartbreaking to hear. He recognizes the mistake he made in the past.

Deacon not only lost his friend, but his inability to deal with it cost him the most important person in his life, Rayna. His regret and angst was palpable when he told Gunnar, “Hang on to her.”

Charles Esten continues to shine in the role of Deacon. Now, if only Deacon and Rayna can finally get back together all will be right. He needs to get her and hang on to her!

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(Image courtesy of ABC.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.