Juliette has been signed to Highway 65, and this has inexplicably repaired the rift between Rayna and Tandy, who is back in full-force as CFO. It has not done much for the tenuously mended rift between Rayna and Juliette, however, who have somewhat different ideas about how Juliette's signing should be announced. Juliette wants a big splashy single release, but Rayna suggests that they be strategic and hold off on mentioning their mutual involvement for a while. Rayna definitely does not want Juliette to wait to dump Will from her tour since his album will drop against hers in May. Juliette does so, and then at a party for Rayna's single, takes it upon herself to bum rush the stage and announce that she's now a Highway 65 artist. Rayna is NOT happy. Her idea for damage control is to have Juliette sing a duet with her at the Opry, which is met with tepid applause. So yeah, this is not exactly the dream team we've hoped for all season.
Meanwhile, Teddy has turned into a total stalker freak AND a mean dad. Despite the fact that Megan has asked him to leave her alone, he approaches her at every possible awkward moment, telling her that Deacon will never understand her since musicians are "not normal people." Compelling case, right? Then he gives Maddie a hard time for her mediocre grades and heavy-handed makeup, grounding her and threatening to take away her guitar lessons. She's all, "I want to go live with my REAL dad!" which as you can guess does not go over so well. And then she uploads a video to YouTube under the name "Maddie Claybourne," which I'm sure will create no fuss at all.
Meanwhile, Layla has hired Brent as her manager, much to Will's chagrin. Brent gets her what appears to be a notable last-minute gig and then suggests a #laylaandwill club tour since Juliette has dumped them both from hers. Will finds out that he's being offered a spot on Luke Wheeler's tour and beats a hasty retreat from Layla. But Brent reminds him that a beard is the best defense from old dude-lovers coming out of the woodwork and outing him, and so Will actually PROPOSES to Layla. Another in a string of great moves!
Elsewhere, Zoey thinks she's going to get called back from a backup singing audition, but totally doesn't. Scarlett has her worst hair yet and decides the only person who can produce the rest of the tracks on her album is Avery. Juliette is pissed that Avery seems willing to ride on Scarlett's coattails, but not hers. He wants her to be okay with it, though the tinge of desperation in Scarlett's request isn't helping matters. And finally, Luke asks Deacon to take an opening spot on his tour and Rayna takes the news a bit on the strange side.
Previously on Nashville: Rayna caught Liam and Scarlett making out and fired him, just as he has now been fired from our hearts. Juliette wanted a label that would let her be herself, and asked if Rayna would sign her to Highway 65. Gunnar was a bit overenthusiastic about Zunvery, Zoey was interested in becoming a backup singer (but not interested enough to Google what you need to prepare for a backup singing audition), and Will continued his reluctance to shave the beard known as Layla. OH, and Megan banged Teddy in the backseat of her own car as a nation went, "…Yeeesh."
We enter with Zoey on a backup singing audition that appears to be taking place in a church. I don't think she's singing an actual church song, but it still has that kind of vibe. Or maybe it's the stained glass windows are throwing me off? There are three folks at a desk, and the main guy (at least I assume he's the main guy, since he's wearing thick glasses and a fedora -- and you CAN NOT be a cool guy in the music business without a fedora) tells her that she was phenomenal. They're bringing back their top choices next week to sing with the talent, and he tells her to keep her phone close.
Deacon and Scarlett bump into each other at their house, and Scarlett asks how tour is going. Deacon tells her that his last motel didn't have any heat, but the good news is that the roaches stayed in the wall to keep warm. Ah, the glamorous life of a touring musician! Deacon wonders why Scarlett isn't working with Liam, and she says that it turns out he can only produce three tracks on her album, since he "got" "called" "away" "on" "another" "project." She's wearing a snowflake sweater and her hair is up, and Deacon looks a tad concerned. He tells her that Liam is a great producer, but for what it's worth he personally has never been a big fan. Scarlett sort of smiles and goes to bed. And I guess if you're Deacon, it would be kind of hard to enjoy the company of a guy who banged the love of your life AND your niece within six months of each other.
And then we're playing music with Maddie and Daphne! Yay! Or nay, according to Teddy. He walks in and notes that this doesn't look anything like a presentation on the Battle of Liberty Gap. He's good natured about it, until Maddie says that she's working on a new song and wants to play it for Deacon tomorrow. Daphne -- who of course is perfect -- already has finished her math problems and wants Teddy to check them. Maddie tells her that they don't even have school tomorrow, and to stop being such a nerd. Hey girl, now let's not start smart-shaming! Teddy sits right in front of Maddie, who currently has a "C" in history, and tells her that it's not cool for her hobbies to get in the way of her homework, no matter if it's how she deals with the fact that her true paternity was kept a secret from her for thirteen years and/or that her stepmother has recently been violently shot and killed. Maddie is incensed, and yells back that music is NOT a hobby to her. Teddy grabs the guitar from her hands and says that school has to be her priority. If she makes progress on the Battle of Liberty Gap, she'll get the guitar back for her lesson. Maddie storms off. And seriously… I think sometimes as a parent you have to realize that you're sitting on top of a freakishly talented cash cow and just let the history project slide.