So why is it that when Deacon gets super rage-y and slams doors and throws things, we’re all, “Aww, poor, wounded soul. He’s so sensitive. He just needs a hug.” But when Luke shows the slightest signs of a temper, we’re all, “Red flag! Red flag! Anger management issues!”?
Ha. Sucks to be him.
But seriously, can you blame Luke for being a little pissed off? In the beginning of the show, Rayna was basically acting like the man had cooties. I had the following things scribbled in my notes: “OMG, she hates him.” “For reals. She literally can’t stand the guy.” “She is obviously repulsed by his touch.”
It started with their little photo shoot. (By the way, clever move to make it seem like an intimate moment, only to have the camera pull back and reveal it was a publicity shoot. There are no intimate moments in #TeamRuke.) “Easy there, cowboy,” Rayna said, as Luke’s hands migrated annoyingly to her ass.
Then, later, when Luke tried to set the wedding date, Rayna could not have been less enthusiastic. When one of the management execs ironically suggested summer of 2016, you could see Rayna was thinking, Yeah, that works. Granted, Luke has a very annoying habit of springing what should be private discussions on her in public. But there’s also the extremely inconvenient fact that she DOESN’T REALLY WANT TO MARRY HIM! (Ahem.)
So, yeah, Luke kind of went off a bit. First by cutting Deacon’s set in half out of spite, then screaming at him, then hanging up on Rayna, forcing her to make amends. (“By phone? By Skype?” Bucky asks hopefully. “Private jet,” she says, flipping her hair.) So she flies out to LA to join him on the tour and tell him how much she loves him. She is sending that cowboy more mixed messages than a bucking cow in heat. (Sorry, I tried.) Also, holy smokes on his Rayna tattoo! Can you be both a fiancé and a creepy stalker?
Meanwhile, Juliette is bloated, sweaty, and puking out her guts — but no one suspects a thing! (Actors have to do such weird things, like pretending to have morning sickness while actually being pregnant. I wonder if they even needed to use stunt puke.) Everyone thinks she’s on drugs because, at this point, at least, she hasn’t told a soul about the pregnancy. (If you thought that Juliette was going to tell Avery right away that she was pregnant and that they’d have a mature, thoughtful discussion where they weighed their options and explored their feelings for each other, you’ve obviously been watching a different show —thank God.)
First, she tried to call Avery: “It’s me ... I guess I’m not the ‘me’ person to you anymore. It’s Juliette ... Barnes.” (Heh.) But that call got interrupted by Glenn, and there was yelling and the spilling of drug-impersonating mints, and she had to delete it. Then the show did a fake-out (that not a single viewer over the age of 10 fell for) where she confessed everything to an empty seat in a car until, heartbreakingly, she saw Deacon 2.0 — er, Avery — stumble onto the sidewalk and start making out with some other woman.
Speaking of heartbreaking? That final, plaintive version of “Beautiful Girl” that Avery sang? I wasn’t ugly-crying in the least when he sang that. Nope. Not me.
Elsewhere, the show is still trying to figure out what to do with Teddy. He continues to be normcore dad guy, telling Maddie that her shorts are too short (they were!) and only letting her go to that “barbecue” if there was adult supervision and she’d be home by 11. Oh, Teddy, you poor, trusting sap.
Then Teddy went to a bar and had this actual conversion:
Strange lady at bar: Hello.
Strange lady at bar: How’s the cheese?”
Teddy: It’s good.
These are the scenes Teddy is in now. I’ve never seen one character more desperately in need of an arc.
But yeah, Maddie was, in fact, not at a wholesome, parentally supervised barbecue where they sang songs around a campfire and made s’mores, but at the Barn-aroo, where she was drinking “the alcohol” and draped all over a cute boy.
Luckily, Auntie Scarlett — who was at the party looking for some label-mandated fun because, yeah, country-music fans hate sad songs — came teetering to the rescue. (Oddly enough, Maddie wasn’t even too mad about it. “I didn’t want to stop you from having a good time,” Scarlett said. “I wasn’t,” Maddie replied mopily.) (By the way, I appreciate the fact that they’ve already advanced Scarlett to the role she was destined to play in this life: dotty, eccentric aunt.)
Also at the Barn-aroo? Just what this show needs: another love interest for Gunnar. Yep, his first love is in town, taking Zoey’s jealousy levels to DEFCON — uh, whatever a high DEFCON level is. Not sure where they’re going with this new character since Gunnar and Scarlett are obviously endgame, but I suppose I’ll be patient.
The best part of last night’s show? They finally remembered that Juliette knows Deacon! And Rayna, too! Her timing in seeking advice from Deacon may not have been impeccable — he had just stormed off in a (soulful) huff after seeing Luke serenade Rayna — but he still managed to give her some decent advice (“you tell him everything”), and then, when that backfired, she went to Rayna. My heart!
- Good lord, the women of Nashville throw themselves at men, but hard.
Exhibit A: Woman at Barn-aroo hitting on Avery: “Man, you’re pretty. You’re like Johnny Cash and Johnny Depp had a baby.” (She’s not wrong, though.)
Exhibit B: Luke’s backup singer (a.k.a. “the only damn woman in the world who doesn’t know that I’m in love with Rayna James”), who responds to Deacon’s “I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me” with, “I just might” — before introducing herself.
- Derek Hough’s character asking Juliette Barnes if she has any acting experience is meant to be meta-ironic, right? Right?
- Layla finally got smart and began blackmailing Jeff directly. I’m so proud of her.
- “I may be gay, but you are insane!” The greatest line Will has ever uttered? (Also, get yours, Will. Personal-trainer boy is hot.)
- The gender of Luke’s MIA child Sage remains Nashville’s greatest mystery. “Colton is onboard to be my best man,” Luke tells Rayna. “And Sage is ... over the moon.” (This is beginning to remind me of Saturday Night Live’s Pat.)
- Holy shit, you guys! They’re changing from #TeamRuke to #TeamLayna! We did this! In the future, we must use our powers wisely.*
- Next week? Juliette does some sort of awesome drool-crying in front of Avery. Can’t wait!
*Before you start telling me about the timeline of television production schedules, I don’t actually think we did this. But, weird coincidence, bro.