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Nashville Recap: Broken Records

There was a moment on last night’s Nashville that had us all on the edge of our seats, fearful of the outcome, helplessly yelling “Nooooo! Don’t do it!” as a beloved character almost made a horrible mistake. Am I referring to Scarlett popping that speed or to Juliette defiantly refusing to apologize onstage, effectively ending her career at Edgehill Records? Of course not. I’m talking about that fateful moment when Avery came this close to eating Juliette’s macaroni and ketchup casserole. Save yourself, man!

Juliette, mercifully, wasn’t in the mood for eatin’. Instead, she was in the mood to repeat the exact same speech she gave to Avery at Scarlett’s door right before the winter hiatus that we were all supposed to have forgotten about, I guess.Also, I’m Team Javery as much as the next gal, but couldn’t that kiss have been a little, I dunno, hotter? Shouldn’t Avery have grabbed her mid-sentence, if only to avoid hearing the same spiel twice? Instead, he patiently waited for her to complete her thought, like they were on the debate team and she was due her allotted time. Then he kissed her. Meh.

On the bright side, at least Juliette didn’t sell her soul at the Grand Ole Opry. Early in the show, she was reading some lame fauxpology that Jeff Fordham had written for her off a TelePrompTer in such a monotone voice that she sounded like one of the show’s many celebrity cameos. (Last night we had two more! Brad Paisley and NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, both dreadful actors. Who knew we would one day long for the smooth dramatic stylings of Wyclef Jean?) But she was just fakin’ cause she and Avery had cooked up this “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave” song, which she boldly launched into instead of apologizing. Glenn was proud of his girl (awww!), but the old dude from the very important record store (LOLOL) was not pleased. He decided to pull Juliette’s album off the shelves to make room for Rayna’s. At the record store. Where all the kids shop these days. (Rayna turned him down, by the way, because perfect.)

So I guess this Luke Wheeler guy is here to stay, huh? I feel like there was this moment a few weeks ago when Will Chase’s contract negotiations must’ve been hanging in the balance and the writers were all, “We can write you off in heartbeat, buddy, so no cute stuff,” 'cause I swear they were setting him up to be a careerist jerk and now he’s turning into potential good boyfriend material. (Nashville going schizophrenic on a character? Neh-va!) That being said, this whole Daphne loving him and gushing about his “thousand horses” and hugging his leg when she sees him does not sit well. At all.

Also not sitting well? Liam suddenly being bad influence guy, like some shady character in an After School Special. First he goes all Mean Girl on Scarlett by stealing her diary (but that was for the greater good, I suppose), discovering all her thoughts about her mentally ill mother (is Laura Dern available because that casting would be … epic) and then he gives her a bottle of amphetamine. “Just take half a pill,” he advises her. Oh, well in that case everything should be fine ... Oh dear God, she’s taking more than one pill!!!

Last night. I noticed. That Scarlett puts. Pauses in the middle. Of every sentence. (If you focus on that it will drive you slowly insane.) On the other hand, damn that girl can sang. “Blood Roses” had to the be prettiest tune of the night. (Is it wrong that I sort of liked her whiskey drinkin’ honky-tonk song, too?)

Song writing and being an authentic artist like Taylor Swift was the big subtheme to last night’s show. Layla asked Gunnar to help her write a song because, as she tells him, “I know how important it is if you want to be taken seriously in this town.” Then she basically plops down on the couch and expects Gunnar to write the song for her. He tells her it doesn’t work that way. (He’s kind of a jerk about it, but he has a point.) Later, she confides to Will that she worries she has nothing to say and they share a tender and authentic moment together. (The hell?)

Tandy was featured in the “previously on Nashville,” so you knew she was going to show up eventually, and she does, hiding from the District Attorney’s office with wild hair in a seedy motel room (wait for it ... wait for it ... and there’s the sound of a police siren blaring in the distance). A question: If she knew that her testimony was based on illegally obtained documents, why’d she bother hiding out at all? Anyway, the upshot of this is that Lamar is going to be released and Teddy is going to have a total cow.

Random riffs:

• Michiel Huisman (Liam) needs to go back to his diction coach or something. Because that Southern/Dutch/Westeros accent is just not working for me. (Him being a sexy beast, however? Never not working.)

• Why do people on TV shows always walk around while eating cereal? (Exhibit A: Gunnar). Do you do that? Am I the last sedentary cereal eater left?

• Every time I see Lennon Stella, who plays Maddie, I think: Look how grown-up and pretty she’s getting! Like she’s my kid or something. Not sure what that’s all about.

• Scenes between Teddy and Megan are the new scenes between Teddy and Peggy.

Next week on Nashville: Juliette becomes a Stage Five Clinger and Rayna confronts Lamar. In the meantime, I’m off to get a giant decal of my face emblazoned on my car. It’s a thing.

Photo: Mark Levine/ABC