On this episode of Nashville, “Unguarded Moments,” with Deacon working to get his bar ready for the grand opening, Rayna turns to Markus for some emotional support. Gunnar and Scarlett struggle to balance their personal and professional lives, Will re-enters the music scene with some help from Avery and Maddie’s defiant behavior continues.

Luke is the front-runner to win the “Crappiest Dad of the Year Award.” After demanding that Colt keep his pie hole shut regarding the circumstances surrounding Jeff Fordham’s death, the relationship between the two is strained. Luke is keeping Colt under his thumb by dragging him on tour and forcing his son to speak to therapists, all of which are having no success in getting Colt to to readjust his pissy attitude. Luke has tried everything and is at the end of his rope, but the solution is simple. Colt wants Luke to tell the truth about what really happened to Jeff.
Rayna Leans on Markus

Rayna is also dealing with problems on the home front. Maddie who has been under lock and key is still finding ways to get under her mother’s skin. Rayna has had her hands full with Markus who has been monopolizing all of her time, leaving Deacon to deal with a truculent daughter and a moody tween. The tension between Maddie and Rayna escalates even further when Maddie learns that Sony has expressed an interest in signing her as a solo artist, a possibility Rayna will not even entertain.

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Rayna calls to talk to Deacon about their increasingly defiant daughter. He’s been so busy renovating the bar that he failed to notice that Maddie died her hair blonde, a move that seems to bother Rayna mainly because she feels her daughter is trying to emulate a certain train wreck named Juliette Barnes.

Rayna also tells Deacon about the news that Sony wants to sign their daughter. Deacon says whatever Rayna decides, he’ll back her 100%, but what Rayna doesn’t get to express what she really wants because Deacon is knee-deep in contractors and cuts her off.

Markus can tell Rayna is distracted and offers to be her shoulder to cry on. She tells him about the record deal, and Markus isn’t surprised given how talented Maddie is, but he’s sympathetic to Rayna’s concerns. Markus knows that at Maddie’s age, all she’s thinking about are the perks and the trappings that make fame look like the best thing in the world. But speaking from personal experience, Markus has learned how distorted your view of the world can become, and soon, you forget why you got into the business in the first place.

Rayna recollects how she started out, and how her dreams of a music career wound up with her being kicked out by her dad. She knows that  there are a lot of people out there who wouldn’t think twice about taking advantage of a 16-year-old girl. Rayna wants to keep Maddie as safe for as long as she can since she didn’t have that in her own life.

It’s obvious that Markus has a thing for Rayna, and if Deacon continues to neglect his woman, Rayna might be ripe for the picking.

Gunnar’s Relationship Heats Up While Scarlett’s Cools Down

The Exes are on tour and while professionally, things couldn’t be going any better, there are some personal issues threatening to blow things wide open.

Scarlett had her misgivings about Erin, and it looks like she had every right to be concerned. Gunnar is distracted having his current piece of tail in such close proximity at all times. And while Scarlett has cooled things with Caleb to focus on her career, she’s not seeing the same commitment from her singing partner. Scarlett is off spending times schmoozing with fans while Gunnar prefers to engage in sexcapades with the comely sound engineer.

During their show, Erin “effs up” royally, causing all the fuses to blow. Gunnar and Scarlett go old-school acoustic and save the day. Scarlett is convinced that Gunnar will let Erin off the hook, but instead, she stumbles upon the two of them in a heated exchanged. Erin says what happened wasn’t her fault, but Gunnar is pissed. He vouched for Erin who finally admits she may not have been as experienced as she led him to believe. Gunnar makes it clear that if Erin can’t do the job, she’s off the tour.

Scarlett apologizes for being so cranky and gives Gunnar props for not letting his personal feelings interfere with what’s best for The Exes. At least they know they can rely on each other musically.

Erin comes to Gunnar’s room and lets him know how much the tour means to her and asks if he’ll help her figure out the trickier sound systems involved with smaller venues. He agrees and the two make nice. They make nice very loudly right next door to Scarlett’s room. The audio porn couldn’t come at a worse time because absence may be making her heart grow fonder, but the same doesn’t seem to hold true for Caleb.

Avery and Will Collaborate

The only sadder sack than Avery these days is Will. Will is still heartbroken of his break up with Kevin. Avery learns that Will has been trying to write some songs, and they’re all about his first love. Will isn’t feeling very confident, but Avery assures him the music is good. Now all Will has to do is stop moping around and get out there and get himself heard. Will feels the songs are way too personal, but Avery explains that is exactly what makes them good.

Avery performs one of Will’s songs at The Bluebird. The lyrics hit home with him, and there’s some Juliette montage spliced into his performance. When he finishes, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. On a more upbeat note, there was a song publisher in the audience, and he wants Will to give him a call.

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One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

Deacon gets home from the bar, and Rayna lets him know that he’s dropping the ball. Deacon swears that he has no idea how to deal with Maddie. Something has changed between them, and Maddie won’t communicate. Rayna acknowledges his frustration, but Maddie needs them, and what’s more, Rayna needs Deacon. They fought so hard to be a family, and they need to be a united front on everything.

Rayna and Deacon call a family meeting. Because Rayna is the best mother, ever, she’s come up with a compromise. She wants to sign Maddie and Daphne to Hwy 65. The one condition is that the sisters work as a team.

Daphne is ecstatic, but Maddie, not so much. She tells her little sister that the ONLY reason Rayna made the offer is to keep Maddie under her control.

Deacon and Rayna celebrate what they believe to be a stellar parenting moment with a long overdue roll in the hay. Rayna hops in the shower, and just as Deacon is about to join her, Rayna receives a text from Markus which Deacon reads without hesitation. The message is G-rated. Markus just commented on the “great talk” they had and how he hoped he had helped, but from the look on Deacon’s face, he’s worried there are two cocks in the hen house.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10 pm 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.