Despite the fact that Juliette has no tour and her label hates her for shoplifting a three-dollar bottle of nail polish, she's back in the studio working hard... and by "working hard" I mean that she's acting like a slave driver to Deacon and the rest of the band members, forcing them to play until their fingers bleed so that she doesn't have to go home and deal with her mom. Why not kick MethMom to the curb and secure her bad girl reputation? Something about court-ordered conditions where MethMom either has to stay at Juliette's lush mansion for an appointed amount of time... or go to rehab. Tough choice she's got there.
But after Juliette finally goes home and finds some trashy dude drunk in MethMom's bed, she throws the guy out in his underpants (in front of her whole fancy neighborhood) and eventually turns to Deacon for help. See, having a father-figure as a boyfriend can help when you need someone to persuade your drug-addicted mother to go to rehab, since he's already been there. Doesn't hurt that MethMom thinks Deacon is totally hot and tries to hit on Deacon... in front of Juliette. But he ignores this awkward moment, gets her safely ensconced in rehab and doesn't even expect Juliette to fuck him in return. What a gentleman. Then Juliette gets a fresh start by ditching the plush mansion with the nosy neighbors and moving into an equally enormous place.
But while Deacon is good in a rehab-related crisis, he's unraveling post-breakup with Rayna. He refuses to sign off on changing the words of one of their songs so that she can sell out for some abhorrent commercial, and this is a decision I totally respect. Then his trip to the rehab facility brings back some fond drug memories and he almost takes some of MethMom's left over "prescription," but doesn't. In the end, he decides to go with getting in a fist-fight after a set at the Bluebird, because apparently that fine old institution has its fair share of hecklers. Who knew? Said heckler gets Deacon fired up by asking where Rayna is (even though it's been established that Deacon's been playing alone here for decades and Rayna came just that one time) and then saying he sings better with Rayna (like, obviously). So Deacon punches the dude repeatedly and ends up in jail. He makes Rayna his one call from prison, but she's a bitch and ignores it, and then Juliette bails him out. And after all this, he still decides to let Rayna make a mockery of their music with that dumbass cosmetics commercial.
For her part, Rayna just looks like she's got the whole damned world on her shoulders, when it's her fault she's not on tour, her fault that she fired Deacon because she couldn't keep it in her pants, her fault that she thinks she's too good for the easy money of a Greatest Hits album and her fault that she didn't pay more attention to her husband's financial misdeeds. After finding out there's not a single other songwriter in Nashville who is available to work with her (perhaps they're afraid of Deacon's fists of fury), she decides to write her own music, which she probably should have done a long time ago. So she gets to it writing, and then has another inscrutable conversation with Deacon about the non-state of their relationship (though after tonight's complicated Survivor tribal council, these two almost made more sense), which of course leads her to moping some more. Could we please see some interaction between her and Juliette at some point? We need some inter-generational smack-talk to get this show on the road.
In the I Don't Give a Hell department, Teddy's campaign is going shitty because people are on to the fact that he and Peggy... embezzled some money. It's not okay that they totally paid the two million dollars back, because it's still stealing. Anyway, he has to go to Lamar for help getting auditors off of Peggy's case, and of course Lamar does in his usual menacing way, which includes threatening Peggy. And then because Teddy's a fucking idiot, he and Peggy meet on a street corner IN PUBLIC to celebrate the fact that they got off scot-free. Naturally a PI captures their liaison on film. This will probably come into play along about the time I start fast-forwarding through scenes with Teddy that don't involve Rayna.
Finally, in young people land, Scarlett and Gunnar try to sell their songs some more, and because she's a moron, Scarlett just happens to tell her controlling boyfriend Avery that they need a backup guitarist to accompany them. This leads to a strange public moment where she's singing a tender love song to Gunnar while Avery looks on over his shoulder likes he wants to stab someone. Instead of murdering Gunnar then and there, he spontaneously decides to start jazzing up the number with his own melodies, and generally ruining everything good that has ever happened to Scarlett. Then Avery accuses Gunnar of making eyes at his girlfriend, which he is, but Gunnar explains that he's banging Hailey (who wants to keep things uncomplicated) at the moment, and doesn't care. Then Scarlett tells Gunnar she's just not that into him, and he again explains about Hailey, so much so that Gunnar finally has to tell Hailey he wants to do more than just have casual sex with her. And Scarlett (who looks about ten years older in this final scene) continues to realize that Avery is about the least supportive boyfriend in the entire world... but does absolutely nothing about it.
-- Angel Cohn
Previously: Scarlett wanted Avery to be a halfway decent boyfriend, and all he could say was, "I'm trying," leaving the rest of the world to respond, "Not very hard." Rayna and Teddy discovered that they were under serious financial strain, but her planned intimate duo tour with Deacon looked to be off after their love triangle got a little too pointy. Meanwhile, Teddy burned official-looking papers and alluded to shifty dealings of some sort with a lady named Peggy. That's just the thing you want to deal with when you're running a losing mayoral campaign! And Juliette's MethMom cooked up some pink macaroni, making everyone really depressed about life.
We enter in the studio, where Deacon is laying down guitar tracks as Juliette whines her way through some lyrics. Her song is about yelling from the rooftops about how she's falling for someone, though musically it sounds a little sinister. Songwriter and former Juliette sexytimes partner Randy is in the soundbooth, rubbing his eyes and generally appearing not to be enjoying himself all that much. Just outside, publicist Makena brings manager Glenn some much-needed coffee. Apparently Juliette has been in the studio for a long time. Makena says this is a good thing since it's keeping her out of trouble, and suggests they put out a press release saying she's hard at work and not stealing travel-sized toothpaste from Walgreens. When Deacon walks out, Glenn asks if Juliette's called it, but sadly she's just finally giving the band a bathroom break. Although they've been there all night, there's no end in sight. Deacon and Glenn agree that Juliette just doesn't want to go home and deal with MethMom, who is likely making all sorts of culinary delights featuring Miracle Whip and Kool-Aid. Apparently MethMom has to stick around until her sentencing hearing, or go to rehab. To the latter, she said no, no, no, because you can only appreciate the finer culinary subtleties of pink macaroni when you are very, very high.
Back in the studio, Juliette complains about her chorus not being good enough as Randy says that the band is kicked. Juliette argues that she's paying them, but Randy says that they've reached the point of diminishing returns, just like when you are on your fourth pitcher of beer at the bowling alley. Better for everyone to just stop! Plus, Juliette has twenty takes that are perfect. The problem is that Juliette doesn't think that they're perfect. Well then maybe she should start singing instead of whining vaguely in tune. In private, Deacon confronts Juliette about her real issue -- MethMom. He guesses that Juliette has tried to get her in a bunch of programs, and tells her that she doesn't have to do that by herself. But Juliette doesn't want Deacon's help. She's figuring out exactly how many days she has to spend ignoring her mother before she can be shipped back to Alabama. Deacon doesn't think this is much of a plan, and gets a very concerned, fatherly look. This makes total sense, as he's actually old enough to BE her father. In good news, this uncomfortable conversation has the bonus side effect of getting Juliette to finally end the session so the band can get some sleep. Juliette leaves so she can wander the streets and hopefully not the aisles of CVS.