On tonight’s premiere episode of Nashville,”That’s Me Without You,” Scarlett, Avery and Gunnar blow town. Juliette auditions to play the role of Patsy Cline. Rayna struggles with a life-changing decision.
When we last saw our favorite group of songwriters, musicians, up-and-comers, has-beens and superstars, their lives were in various states of states of upheaval. Rayna got two marriage proposals in one night, Gunnar told Scarlett she shouldn’t leave Nashville, Will finally came out of the closet to Layla, and Avery found out about Juliette’s one night, and apparently unsatisfying, fling with the slimy Jeff Fordham.
Rayna is somewhat conflicted, but she appears to make her choice about whose proposal she’s going to accept within the first five minutes. She places a phone call telling the person on the other end of the line that she’s decided to “come tonight” and says “I love you” before hanging up.
It looks like Layla has kept Will’s secret, but things are strained between the couple as they perform at the Bluebird for a National Public Radio show. He even dedicates a song to her, but it is too late to stuff that Genie back in the bottle. It’s clear that Layla isn’t going to make a good beard.
Outside, Deacon gets punched by Luke who questions why he can’t just let Rayna be happy.
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12 Hours Earlier…Relationships Hang in the Balance
While Rayna and Luke are behaving like a newly-engaged couple, Juliette is trying to salvage her relationship with Avery, who hasn’t officially kicked her to the curb. She shows up at his apartment in hysterics because she is desperate to know where they stand.
Juliette is a tad disappointed that her poor-pitiful-me soliloquy didn’t earn her a get-out-of-sleeping-with-your-boss card. Avery appreciates the self-awareness on her part, but he’s not ready to forgive and forget. Despite her begging and pleading, Avery tells her he can’t tolerate the sight of her.
Scarlett is moving on, and she suggests to her uncle that it might be a good idea for him to do the same. Scarlett claims the only reason she moved to Music City was to be with Avery and after her meteoric rise to fame and subsequent crash, she’s ready to hit the road.
Avery shows up and asks Scarlett if he can hitch a ride with her. Road trip from hell!
Layla asks Will if he ever loved her, and he tells her he still does. They decide to keep up appearances for the sake of their reality show.
Things are strained between Teddy and Maddie. Teddy tries to reach out to his hormonal teen, but she doesn’t feel like she can talk to him since she wants her mama to marry Deacon and not Luke.
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Tandy is in a tizzy over Deacon’s proposal. While she considers his actions as attempts to sabotage her sister’s happiness, Rayna views them as him trying to right his past wrongs. Tandy is incredulous that Rayna is even slightly entertaining his offer. She also tells Tandy that she’s going to have to tell Luke about this, which her sister thinks is an incredibly bad idea.
As Scarlett and Avery get ready to return from where they came, Gunnar jumps in the backseat to plead with Scarlett to stay. Gunnar refuses to get out of the car until Scarlett comes to her senses, so she calls his bluff and drives off.
Falling to Pieces
Glenn and Emily, both frantic, track down Juliette to Avery’s now empty apartment. She’s deep in the throes of the break-up blues. They are less interested in her personal problems than her audition to play the role of Patsy Cline in just a few hours. Glenn reiterates how she can’t blow this chance and drags his train wreck of a client to her feet. Something tells me her current mental state is exactly what is going to land her the part.
In a beat-up Volvo traveling back southern roads, Gunnar has to deal with Zoey, who’s pissed about his impromptu walkabout. To make things worse, there’s no air conditioning and tempers flare between Gunnar and Avery when Gunnar lets a clueless Scarlett know that Juliette was unfaithful. After pulling over to soothe the savage beasts, her old beater dies in the middle of nowhere.
Rayna makes good on her threat and has a chat with Luke. He asks her how she responded, to Deacon’s proposal, she admits she didn’t say anything. This doesn’t go over well with her brand-spanking new fiance. Rayna reassures Luke that she does love him, but that what she has with Deacon is tangled and it goes deep. Luke tells her that there’s no question in his mind that he wants to be with her, but she needs to figure out what she wants and agrees to give her some time.
Juliette pulls it together in time for her audition. She sings Cline’s soulful ballad “Crazy.” As I predicted, her trembling lip and dissolving into tears at the end guarantees at least a callback. Cline’s personal life was a disaster area, so aside from everything else making Juliette a horrible choice for the part, it looks like we’ll be witnessing her tantrums on a movie set this season.
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Where You Go, There You Are
Scarlett learns the hard way that in this day and age, retreating to the stix doesn’t guarantee anonymity. A Deliverance-ish looking mechanic recognizes her as the singer who had the nervous breakdown. Gunnar offers up the old “wherever you go, there you are” cliche to Scarlett. But they don’t call them cliches for no reason. He convinces her that her best move is to return to Nashville, where she has more support than in Mississippi, forget her past, and move on with her future. I can’t imagine much worse than returning home to be closer to mommy dearest.
Rayna goes to see Deacon and tells him that Luke can offer her something he can’t: a fresh start. She lets him know their lives will always be connected, and they share Maddie, who’ll they’ll raise together. He puts up an admirable fight to change her mind, reminding her how far they’ve come and how they’ve both recovered and found opportunities to start anew already. He believes everything they’ve been through has led them to his place in time. Rayna just can’t quite kick the habit, an addict just like him. He asks her to come to the Bluebird to sing with him.
So, Rayna has Luke waiting for her at some charity event, and Deacon holding out hope at the Bluebird. Rayna chooses Luke, but you know, this doesn’t spell the end for Deacon or dash the hopes of viewers who wish she’d given Deacon just one more chance.
Determined to prove to his daughter that he doesn’t hate Deacon or music, Teddy takes the girls to see Deacon perform. Juliette pulls a full-on Britney and finds out she’s knocked up. Layla and Will try to wiggle out of the reality show and get a divorce. Unfortunately, the producer has footage of Will’s confession.
Anyone else wonder if Juliette’s baby could possibly be Jeff Fordham’s?
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)