We open the episode with Rayna and Deacon in post-coital bliss, but alas! It is all a dream! And Rayna sure feels guilty for dreaming it when Teddy wakes her up with a cup of coffee. When she learns from Tandy that Teddy is way down in the polls, she's also guilty enough to offer to sing at his fundraiser. This is before she learns that it's being held at the country club frequented by all the former high school classmates who made fun of her for liking country music and whom she emphatically says are not "her people," even though everyone else says that they are. One of these is a lady named Peggy. Rayna thinks that Peggy has a crush on Teddy, and some shady eye contact at the fundraiser and a clandestine meeting in a car suggest that something nefarious is going on between them. And though the suggestion is that they're having an affair, I think this actually probably has to do with all the boring, evil, bad financial dealings.
Meanwhile, Deacon somewhat reluctantly agrees to play with Rayna and the rest of the band at the fundraiser, then gets into it with both Lamar and Teddy before they go onstage. And then while they're singing their opening number about changing ground, Teddy and Deacon engage in some sort of complicated dynamic that happens entirely in emasculating stares. Deacon seems to come out ahead, since Teddy leaves the room when they finish the song. This of course leads to yet another inscrutable conversation between Rayna and Deacon. Eventually they both cry a little, and when he asks if they're done, she says they're done. And I think she means DONE. At home, when Teddy says he can't deal with it anymore, Rayna tells him that she's firing Deacon. Noooooooooooo! How are they ever going to go on their intimate sexytimes tour? Plus, true love! Thwarted! In more positive news, I think Connie Britton is becoming a better singer. Hooray!
So, this is all light drama compared to what's going on with Juliette. The video of her shoplifting has of course gone viral and she's been disinvited from presenting at the CMAs and is the butt of every late night joke. She laughs it off, saying that all publicity is good publicity. But her manager, Glenn, and her publicist, McKenna, disagree. They finally convince her to do an interview with Good Morning America, and though they provide her with a script to set the record straight in a way that won't hurt the Juliette Barnes brand, she goes rogue. Juliette first tries to convince Robin Roberts that she just put the nail polish in her purse so it wouldn't slip through the holes in the basket, then says that jealous people are just trying to bring her down. But you can't fool Robin Roberts, who then starts asking Juliette about her mom's arrest. Juliette freaks and walks out on the interview, and then everything goes all to hell. With sponsors pulling out, her tour is off for now and Glenn wants to dump her. Finally humbled, she asks him not to and promises to do everything that he tells her to. In return, he wants to know why she stole the nail polish. The answer is that it was tastier and more nutritious than eating MethMom's pink macaroni dinner. Eventually, Juliette calls Deacon, who is sucked in by her genuine sadness and vulnerability.
Meanwhile, Gunnar and Scarlett land a publishing deal, which is no surprise. Avery is less than excited by this, which is also no surprise. What IS a surprise of the pleasant variety is Gunnar's burgeoning romance with Hailey, an assistant at the publisher. She's a hot hottie who loves yogurt, and so makes the ideal mate. While they have sex and yogurt jokes, Avery is a total dick to Scarlett. Again. Still. She wants him to support her like she supports him, and he says that he's trying. Maybe if he washed his hair once in a while he would be more magnanimous?
Previously: Rayna and Teddy's financial situation was more precarious than she knew, in part because of Teddy's shady-secret-burned-papers business dealings. Lamar was pleased about the shadiness, since a mayor with secrets is easier to control, but not pleased about Rayna's career in country music, since his now-deceased wife had a long term affair with a singer-songwriter. Speaking of affairs, it seems less and less likely that Rayna and Deacon are going to have one, sadly. Gunnar tried to convince Avery to be supportive of Scarlett's burgeoning songwriting career, and the combination of Juliette's infamous MethMom showing up in town and Deacon turning down her exclusive bandleader/boyfriend contract was enough to send her to Walgreens. Where she pocketed a bottle of nail polish. In view of three young fans. Who made a video of her with their phones. D'oh!
We enter on a cozy boudoir scene. The lights are low and sheets are tangled. Someone has been getting busy. We pan up to learn that one of the getting busy parties is Rayna, and the other is Deacon! And I mean, it was pretty easy to call that this was a dream. Not a Bobby Ewing-caliber dream, but a dream nonetheless. Rayna and Deacon dream-talk about how much they've missed having the sexytimes together, and as they start going for another round someone keeps going, "Hey... Hey." It turns out that it's Teddy, who's waking Rayna up with a cup of coffee. He lovingly calls her sleepyhead, and she looks guilty in response. And after he leaves, telling her to take her time, she looks even guiltier. As if she's not had a sex dream about Deacon every night for the last ten years!
Meanwhile, there is some very loud knocking on Juliette's door. She answers, annoyed and still in her nightie, to find two cops. She asks what her mama did now, and offers to let them take her. They could probably actually lure her out by crinkling a bag of pork rinds. But it turns out that the cops aren't looking for Jolene -- they're looking for Juliette. One of them hands her a paper and says that shoplifting is a class A misdemeanor. He adds, "I'm sure by now you've seen the video. About four million people have." Juliette just laughs, tells them to get a real job, then slams the door in their faces. I'd think that would be at least a class B misdemeanor! Or maybe it's just Juliette being her typical lovely self.
Back at the Jaymes/Conrad manse, Rayna asks Tandy what's really going on with Teddy's campaign. It turns out that the voters of Nashville are smart, and Teddy is down twelve points. Rayna is shocked and Tandy adds that he's practically on life support. The girls are there and Rayna gives them a ten-minute warning. Per usual, Maddie is rather teenager-y about it and Daphne is a cute little sassmeister. When Maddie asks Tandy if Teddy is going to win the election, Tandy says, "Absolutely." Rayna seems just a little put off by the facility with which her sister can lie. When Tandy mentions that Teddy is having a fundraiser that weekend, Rayna suggests that she could sing. The sisters banter for a while, and eventually Tandy says that though Teddy wouldn't say so, a Rayna Jaymes performance would help a lot. Rayna says that she's in just before Tandy breaks the news that the fundraiser is at the country club. As Rayna wonders what she's done, Maddie comes running back in with the Juliette Barnes video loaded on her phone. Rayna seems too involved in her own personal drama to be able to take much glee from it.