BlackmailDante sends Juliette a copy of the sex tape he made of them without her knowledge. He wants $2 million, and despite her security company's protests, she agrees to pay it to avoid scandal. Unfortunately, Dante doesn't show up at the drop site and calls with a new demand of $10 million.
Juliette's staff tells her she'll have to liquidate assets to get the money. She considers it, but then realizes the price will just keep going up. She decides to take the hit to her reputation and let him sell the tape. She schedules an exclusive on "The View," so she can get in front of the story. "The CMA votes have all been counted anyway," she rationalizes.
Teddy escalates his fight with RaynaRayna tells Deacon she'd like to slowly bring him into her life with the girls, so they're comfortable before she tells them about her new relationship. He agrees and comes over for dinner, but things get awkward when Teddy shows up. He's furious with Rayna, and when she doesn't agree to keep Deacon away from his daughters, he has her issued with a restraining order.
Teddy claims he's "protecting his daughters." Rayna goes and asks her father for help for the first time in her life. He makes a call to the judge and gets her an immediate hearing. The judge throws out the temporary restraining order but gives them a date to discuss the issue in open court. Rayna decides this has gone far enough. She goes to Teddy's office and tells him she's kept her promise their whole marriage to preserve his relationship as father to Maddie, and he needs to trust her to keep doing it. He finally agrees.
Shift in powerLamar sits in on a meeting with Tandy, but it's clear his recent health problems have slowed his thinking. She suggests he might not be ready to come back to work. While he rests at home with a cup of tea, she meets with the board to try and have him replaced. Most of the board agrees, but one of them tips Lamar off to what's going on. Looking rejuvenated, Lamar interrupts their next meeting and tells Tandy to get out of his seat at the head of the table. Order, it seems, is restored.
Will and Gunnar go after their career aspirationsGunnar is doing his best to maintain the new tough-guy persona his producer wants from him. Scarlett is outraged when she hears him during a radio interview saying he "does whatever he wants," when it comes to women. He tries to explain it's for his career and promises to see her perform at The Grand Ole Opry. Scarlett thinks he might consider it beneath him now.
Will talks to Scarlett and finds out from her that Rayna has scheduled secret auditions to try and find another act for her new label. He shows up after they've seen all the other contenders and boldly makes his pitch. Rayna's looking for star quality, and she's impressed. After he performs, she and Bucky decide they may have their second new artist.
Out with the new, in with the old?Scarlett's stunned when Will confesses that he snuck in on the gig but pleased he made a good impression. She asks him to talk to Gunnar for her, and nice guy that he is, he agrees. He goes to see Gunnar at the rough bar he's performing at and tries to talk to him afterward. Will tells him he's getting in over his head, and that's proven when one of the tough guys nearby asks where exactly Gunnar's been in prison. The stand-off escalates into a bar-room brawl, and Will and Gunnar end up in jail for the night, missing Scarlett's performance.
She still has an admirer there, however. Waiting nervously in her dressing room, Scarlett receives a gift from someone in the audience. It's a whisk, the kitchen utensil Avery once handed her at home, to use as a microphone and try out her singing skills. It's a touching, personal gift, and Scarlett is even happier when she sees him smiling up at her from the crowd during her performance. She makes a splash as Rayna's new act and is thrilled with the enthusiastic response.
Scarlett finds out where Gunnar and Will are and goes to bail them out. Gunnar tries to apologize, but it's too late. Scarlett tells him to look where they are and that she can't take it anymore. "I fell in love with you," she tells him, "not your brother."
The truth comes outMaddie overhears Rayna saying "I love you" to Deacon over the phone. Rayna tells her that, yes, they are in a relationship, like they were before. She promises to tell Maddie more when she thinks her daughter is old enough to understand, but Maddie isn't willing to wait. When her mother's not home, she goes snooping and discovers evidence that Teddy isn't really her father, after all.
Jolene's final sacrificeSeeing her daughter, Juliette, trying to be brave in the face of utter humiliation breaks Jolene's heart. She goes to an old dealer and buys drugs, then asks "for something else." Later she takes Juliette's phone and once she's combined plenty of drugs with alcohol, she calls Dante's last number. She tells him he's not getting the money from Juliette, but she'll take the video card off his hands for $2 million.
Dante seems strung out himself, so he believes her plausible story about still being in love with him. But when he arrives at the apartment, she pulls a gun on him and demands the video card. When he doesn't comply, she shoots and kills him. Distraught, she calls Juliette on the set of "The View" and begs her not to do the interview. Then we see her destroy the video card in the garbage disposal.
When the line goes silent, Juliette cancels the interview, understanding that something is very, very wrong. She rushes to the apartment and finds Dante dead, and her mother also gone, lost to an overdose. She screams in agony, and we know that despite all the horrible history between them, she loved her mother. As always, Jolene had the best intentions, but she's put her grieving daughter into the news for a murder/suicide, instead of a mere sex scandal.
More from this contributor:'Nashville' Recap: Rayna and Deacon Romance Already in Trouble; Juliette Drowns Her Sorrows
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