In exciting news, I am writing this recaplet from the actual city of Nashville, in the glorious Hutton Hotel which was, in fact, used in last week's episode. So I took the elevator right where Will freaked out on Brent for the millionth time in a fit of internalized homophobia! [Faints.]
Anyway, things aren't going so well for Juliette. Still. Always. The protesters have grown even more vehement, and venues are starting to cancel her shows because not only is she a homewrecker, she's also a blasphemous homewrecker. The south, y'all. Juliette heads home, because there's really nothing else for her to do, and receives a visit from Jeff in which he lambastes her for all the damage she's done to Edgehill and calls her trailer trash AND an uneducated, mildly talented lie. He's uber-grody about it, in case you didn't get that from the context clues. Avery goes to see her and finds her passed out on her bed with an empty bottle of something, but she's not dead -- just pukey. He makes her toast and tells her that he broke up with Scarlett, and also that she's actually awesome and talented. She doesn't believe it, so he puts a wig on her and takes her to participate in some good old-fashioned street corner busking. She has fun, but doesn't succumb to all of his obvious desires to make out with her (that is apparently a theme of this episode). Instead she goes home to pray and think, then shows up to his place not to make out with him, but to ask him to write a song with her. So God, in defiance of all the protesters, has apparently helped her to cook up a plan.
Scarlett is also having a bad time. Well, first she's having a great time singing with the Zac Brown Band in some honest to goodness big festival concert footage. But then she's exhausted by her crazy schedule of appearances, and Bucky's 1) befuddlement over the Kelly Clarkson situation; 2) expectation that she'll go to Rayna and Luke's number one party. She eventually tries to tell him about the Gunnar situation and he literally is like, "Don't you have a friend you can call? And also you're going to the party."
Gunnar is having a better time of it, as the party is in his honor and he also gets a request to write with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. He blows off Zoey to do it, and though she understands she's also hurt and they have some Venus/Mars moments about it all in which he compares her unfavorably to Scarlett. As you may imagine, that doesn't go over so well. Eventually they make up (thanks to some sage advice from Jay DeMarcus himself) and it turns out that Gunnar might actually like Zoey BETTER than Scarlett, if such a thing can be believed.
Oh, and THEN. You guys. Sigh. Okay. So, Deacon is offered a solo contract with Belcourt Records, which is not particularly lucrative. He wants some time to see if he can get a better offer. To do so he needs to bring some heat to the table, and an invitation to co-write with Rayna may be helpful in this department. Rayna, of course, wants a hit single for her new album and also clearly to make out with Deacon (and vice-versa, although nobody is admitting it). The two of them write on Deacon's floor, which is where they wrote hits when they weren't writing hits in the bedroom between rounds of mind-blowing sexytimes. (At least, I think this is what they're implying.) Their new song is awesome, and they're so cute working together on the song, and Connie Britton's voice coach deserves yet another five Emmys and Deacon's hand appears to be less busted. And also: mad eye sex, though that goes without saying. They both acknowledge that it feels like old times and then Megan comes home and ruins everything. Rayna leaves and no one even made out a little! Horrors.
Deacon and Rayna also see each other at the number one party, where they giggle about their song in front of Scarlett and she is not pleased. She is also not pleased to see Gunnar, who wonders if they can get past the weirdness and be friends again. She says that they can't, and brings up the FEELING that happened between them when they performed for Kelly Clarkson. Gunnar is like, "…I was just singing the song," and then Scarlett gets really mad because that is a quality burn. And then because Scarlett is the worst, always, forever, she freaks out in the bathroom and when Rayna tries to be nice to her, she says that Rayna might have weird co-dependent relationships with her exes, but she doesn't. She extrapolates that when Rayna asks Deacon to jump he asks how high, which is exactly the type of cliché that makes for a terrible song. Rayna seems to take it to heart, though, and she and Deacon agree that while it was nice to write together, they probably shouldn't do it again anytime soon, because of the danger of falling into old patterns. But we like old patterns! Old patterns are the best! (Except when they involve Drunk Deacon, which is decidedly the worst) Gah. Horrors. So Deacon decides to sign the record contract and make out with Megan some more, while Rayna thinks it might be time to make things public with Luke Wheeler, who apparently IS still into her something fierce despite appearances at the Music City Music Festival. They can't decide if "Layna" or "Ruke" makes a better celebrity couple name. The answer is that they are both terrible, which is grounds for an instant parting of ways. Sigh.
And then there's Teddy. It turns out that Megan has been hired by the family of Peggy's shooter to investigate his suspicious so-called "suicide." She mentions to Teddy that the shooter worked for Hollander enterprises, which of course is affiliated with Lamar, which of course means that Lamar was trying to kill Teddy, which we knew all along. Teddy meets up with Smithers, who basically tells him that he has PTSD-inflicted paranoia. And if I were a jury member, I would totally consider voting to acquit Lamar if his inevitable murder of Megan clears the path for a Deacon-Rayna reunion.
Previously on Nashville: Peggy was D-E-A-D dead. Rayna needed a single for her new album, and was reminded of the songwriting magic she and Deacon shared. Kelly Clarkson wanted a piece of Gunnar and Scarlett's songwriting magic, but then Scarlett freaked out and ruined the whole thing. She also broke up with Avery, which is just as well given his obvious feelings for Juliette. Speaking of Juliette, she told a "No Respect 4 Juliette" protestor that, "There is no God… that would listen to a crackpot like you." The post-ellipses part of that statement was deleted by the time it got to the press, and now people are burning her CDs and shizz. All of this, of course, means that MethMom died in vain.
We begin with Juliette in her plane, anxious to get out of Pittsburgh (Woo! Uh, I mean… sorry) and asking Glen if he can ensure that protesters can't get within 500 feet of the venue at her next show. Emily reports that she's shut down Juliette's Twitter account, which had over a quarter of a million unique tweets in the last 24 hours, with hashtags including #godlessbitch and #juliettesucks. She's also working on switching Juliette's email and phone number, while Glen arranges for extra security. Juliette resents the fact that she has to turn her life upside down because some kook has manufactured a controversy. The one upside to the situation is that some members of the bloodthirsty horde may have had to buy her album just to burn it. Anything for sales!
Meanwhile, Deacon is having dinner with his A&R friend, who welcomes him to Belcourt Records and hands over a standard contract. Deacon takes a quick look, says it's been a long time since he's been a solo artist, and notes that there are a lot fewer zeroes on the contract than there used to be. Belcourt Buddy (seriously, I don't know what his name is) says that's true for everyone, and the only money to be made is in T-shirt sales and tour dates since the record company won't get a cut of that. And I would totally spend $25 on a "Freakin' Deacon" girlie tee. Deacon wonders why, if there's no money to be made, they want to sign him at all. Belcourt Buddy says that it's because he wants to make albums and they still put them out. I guess that's as compelling a reason as any? Deacon wants some time to think about it and see if he can get a better offer. FROM RAYNA PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
Speaking of record deals falling into your lap Scarlett joins the Zac Brown Band on stage at some big, actually real music festival. She gives an enthusiastic, cross-eyed greeting to the crowd, and gets to solo on the second verse. Bucky is in the audience and holds his phone up so Rayna can hear. They agree that Zac is good people, and Rayna adds that he's doing her a solid. This moment, while Bucky is in the midst of a huge crowd, also appears to be the perfect time to ask Rayna if she's listened to any of the demos he's sent over, presumably for the single. She did, but feels that the song has to come from her. In fact, she's just about to meet up with somebody for a possible co-write. At this very moment, Deacon pulls up with a big shit-eating grin on his face. Sigh. SO MANY SIGHS in this episode.