Scarlett and Gunnar rehearsing
If it's not one thing...
Deacon wants to want to ixnay Rayna's tour and go on the road with Juliette; they've started sleeping together, he likes her, and it would mean a career boost for him. But he doesn't like the "exclusive" nature of the contract she's suggesting (he explicitly compares the word "exclusive" to its romantic-relationship equivalent), and he can't get his mind around choosing anyone over Rayna.
Rayna knows it, too; last week's intense duet at the Bluebird reminded her what's at stake for Deacon emotionally, and reawakened her own feelings. She knows she should let Deacon move on, but "you and music, there's no difference," she tells him tearfully, adding that she's "holding these hearts in [her] hands" and trying not to break them, but her own heart is "in pieces." It's a brutal scene, Rayna's face buckling, Deacon walking away from her (hard to tell if he's angry, fed up, or afraid he's going to kiss her — could be bits of all three).
But it's Juliette's offer Deacon walks away from. He's shown up to record the song they co-wrote, and, observing that every country song comes from somewhere, he's elicited from Juliette that her half of the tune is about her mother. Juliette snidely guesses that what his half comes from "starts with 'ruh' and ends with 'ayna'" — a bitchy comment made more relatable by Juliette sighing that she'd "like to be that girl worth choosing." She's starting to think she can count on him, but when she tells him she needs to count on him, Deacon agrees that she deserves that -- but chooses Rayna. Juliette, icily, "I hope she's worth what you're givin' up." Looks like Juliette won't be knowing Deacon's name anymore, much less calling it.
...it's your mother
And Juliette's mother is calling her name — Mom's boyfriend ditched her, she has nothing, and she's crashing Juliette's gates all over town, showing up at the studio, getting arrested for possession. Juliette's handlers advise her to put a lid on the bad PR by letting Mom stay with her for a while; Juliette reluctantly consents, but can't forget that when she called her mother's name, nobody answered. Juliette hasn't forgotten how to shoplift, either. Out shopping for comfort food, Juliette slips a nail polish into her bag while teen girls film the whole thing on their phones — talk about bad PR, and you get the sense it's an old habit her mother's presence has driven her back to.
Rayna and Lamar, meanwhile, invert the idea: she doesn't call his name, and yet he always answers. Lamar somehow gets wind of the financial trouble Rayna and Teddy are facing thanks to the smaller tour. Rayna's already nixed the alternatives — go on tour with Juliette after all, or ask Lamar for a loan (the "don't even bother" look Teddy shoots their accountant is priceless) — but Lamar sends her a big check anyway. It's accompanied by a list of stipulations, and after she tells Lamar to go to hell, her sister Tandy tells her that Lamar's investment in Rayna giving up her career isn't really about Rayna — their mom had "a friend; a singer-songwriter friend." Flabbergasted that her mother had a ten-year affair, Rayna reaches out to Lamar, but he's more interested in controlling her than in making peace.
Teddy is backing Rayna's play with the loan, but when he heads to the credit union (whose board he used to serve on) to see about getting a home-equity loan, his contact drops a bomb: the union's getting audited. "Audited?" Teddy gulps, and Eric Close is brilliant here, feigning casual interest while flickers of terror cross his face. Guess burning those papers didn't destroy the problem.
One of the few bright spots in the episode: Avery. During the demo recordings, Scarlett struggles with the timing and the equipment, apologizes to Watty, and runs off in tears. Later, Gunnar runs into Avery and tells him point-blank, without rancor, that Scarlett is afraid she'll lose Avery if "she really goes after it." "That's ridiculous," Avery snorts. "I know," Gunnar says. Avery goes home, gives Scarlett an awesome pep talk, urges her to sing into a wire whisk (hee), then accompanies her to the next session, and she does fine.
Also great fun: Maddie and Daphne's talent show. The Conrad girls are played by Lennon and Maisy Stella, who were "discovered" via their YouTube channel, and their performance is lovely. (The younger daughter going through Rayna's old stage outfits and trying to find one "without side-boob" is classic as well.)
Get all the songs, fights, and tears by watching the full episode right here:
- Arts & Entertainment