We fade up on Rayna laying down her part of the studio version of her duet with Juliette… and wondering why Juliette isn't there.
And where is Juliette? Why, she's attached to Sean like a barnacle in the back of her limo, of course. Yeah… apparently when she asked Sean to marry her, she meant "right now." They've eloped, and they've had sex. Way not to drag the plot out, "Nashville." Sean's parents are about as enamored of this development as you might imagine -- his exasperated dad tells Juliette, "Forgive me, miss, but we don't even know you. At all" -- and insist on a proper church wedding, also right now. The wedding planning gives Sean's mom beaucoup opportunities to get catty with Juliette about having no friends (she's tagging in her assistant as her maid of honor), a mother in rehab, and still no shot at becoming a member of the Butler clan.
Juliette's mother isn't on board either. Not that Juliette wants her input or even plans to invite her, but Sean, assuming Juliette would want Jolene to attend, calls Jolene's drug counselor and tries to broker a one-day pass. Juliette gives him a big old dead-eyed thank-you smile as she says she'd better go visit Jolene on her own, and when she does, Jolene drops some program wisdom on her: Juliette has a hole in her, the same one Jolene does. "You think saying some vows to someone you barely know is going to fill that up?"
For better or for worse
Juliette blames that unwelcome assessment on Jolene not wanting to see her happy, but she isn't happy. Juliette wants to take off for New York City; Sean wants to "snuggle" with her and watch game tape on his iPad. She wants to keep touring like nothing's changed, except her ability to show off a husband; he has to point out that married couples need to communicate about their schedules. The day of the wedding, Sean sends over a cameo necklace that belonged to his grandmother, and takes his place at the head of the aisle. Juliette sends her limo… to an airstrip, where she gets on a plane and leaves the cameo in the back seat. The 41-minute marriage, ladies and gents!
Despite the snotty comments Rayna passes about Juliette's quickie wedding, her own marriage is still foundering. The record label wants to start the joint tour that very Sunday, and Rayna wants to take the girls on the road with her to get them out of the "toxic" environment the campaign and the resulting ugly revelations have created. Teddy is not trying to hear that; Rayna angrily reminds him that he stole money, lied to her, and indirectly caused a suicide attempt on Peggy's part, so she's not keen to include him in these decisions -- especially since, these days, it means including Lamar in these decisions. Lamar and Tandy drop by the house with some fresh-baked not-so-veiled threats about how paternity issues tend to come out during custody battles.
Rayna orders them out of the house -- then plays a trump card we didn't know she had. At the office, she tattles to Teddy that Lamar tried to hold Maddie's real father over her head, and Teddy rips into Lamar: He totally knows Maddie's not biologically his, and he doesn't care, but if Lamar tells the world before they've told Maddie, he will end Lamar. Awesome revelation! Except why has Rayna been putting up with Lamar's nonsense if she knew the whole time he didn't really have that leverage?
In any case, Rayna and Teddy have a frank talk about their marriage, that they love each other but neither of them is happy, and agree to handle this tour as they've done in the past, the girls coming out with Rayna when their school schedules permit, trying to make it work with video chats, and so on. As the episode ends, Rayna hugs the fam goodbye and climbs ruefully onto the bus.
On the Revel Kings tour, it's not going so well for Deacon. An old flame of Deacon's, a reporter, shows up to interview him (that's not a euphemism) (wait: it is). She's concerned about him, with good reason: Other Revel Kings are giving him guff about upstaging them during solos, he's getting headaches, and he's reluctantly stuffed into a shiny aging-rocker suit and coated with hairspray for a photo shoot. Old Flame knows he doesn't like to talk about himself, or what's wrong… but she "let it go" once before, 14 years ago, instead of pressing him, and the mysterious "Vince's car accident" ensued. We're not given much more info, but the crash still pains Deacon -- and it's clear his sobriety is in danger.
And forsaking all others
And that's the episode! … Oh, wait: Scarlett. Boo. She and Gunnar are snitting at each other nonstop and can't get any work done. Avery, meanwhile, is under pressure from Wyclef Jean to dump his band, and does so in the most graceless way possible, informing JT angrily that "not everybody gets to make it in this town." JT, lunging at Avery: "Not everybody is a fame whore." Seriously. Come sit next to us, JT. Avery comes by Scarlett's place to pick up his stuff and they end up Doing It for old time's sake… but then he makes the mistake of admitting that he ditched JT et al. for a solo contract. Scarlett goes from zero to self-righteous swivet in four seconds flat -- "I forgot how selfish you are," get your stuff and get out, etc.
Scarlett then volunteers herself for the ditched band's gig that night, since it was going to get canceled due to a lack of Avery. And of course she kills it, and of course JT offers her the lead-singer job, because Scarlett is perfect and will save the world with her Cotton-Council-commercial lyrics. Barf. This prompts Hayley to tell Gunnar that, whatever his problem is romantically, he and Scarlett need to get it together pronto; they're better together than they are apart. Not in terms of annoying the audience, mind you, but fine, let's go with that.
Watch the entire episode right here -- and then see what Twitter thought of last night's shenanigans.