Help me out here, guys. How do you think the writers of Nashville came up with Scarlett’s “awesome” story line this season? Do you think they all sat in a room with a sign on the door that read: “Scarlett’s Awesome Story Line Meeting in Progress. Do Not Disturb.” And do you think they worked through the night, with lots of crumpled up balls of paper that said things like, “adopts a scraggly dog” and “gets really into yoga” and “buys a good hairbrush” until a eureka look passed over one writer’s face and he broke into a huge, self-congratulatory grin and said, “I’ve got it! Scarlett befriends a kindly black homeless man who sings like an angel and has a tragic past!” And they were all, “OMG, nailed it!” “Genius!” “Heh, heh, no wonder they pay you the big bucks, Bob!” And there was much rejoicing and cigar-smoking and high-fiving all around.
Anyway, I don’t want to dig too deep into this story (or discuss it at all, frankly), but if you had but one prized possession on this planet, namely, a photo of your family that you kept in your back pocket at all times, a photo that gave you hope and reminded you of everything that you hold dear in this life — do you really think you would just hand that photo over to some random girl you met on a street corner so she can accidentally throw it into the wash?
Or maybe I’m overthinking this.
The biggest news of the episode was Juliette’s pulmonary embolism, which is just bananas. I mean, Juliette gets all the story lines. Couldn’t they have thrown a pulmonary embolism Scarlett’s way?
So Avery drives all through the night, as he’s quick to point out to Juliette, and she’s heartwarmed to see him, and a reconciliation seems nigh, until Noah West innocently comes into the room with flowers, and Avery has a cow. When did Avery become “massive overreaction guy”? I mean, bringing flowers to a sick friend is actually a thing people do, sometimes even when they’re not having sex. But Avery storms out in yet another huff, and Noah kind of makes a move on Juliette (because, coincidentally, completely unrelated to the flowers, he does have a thing for her), and she explains that she still loves Avery despite it all.
Later, Juliette tells Avery he has two options: He can either be all in or all out on the pregnancy. And at the end of the episode, he comes to her doorstep, seemingly ready to reconcile — and she’s so relieved, poor thing — but it’s kind of a fake-out because he reminds her that he actually does have more than those two options. (Hey, it was worth a shot.) What Avery wants, for now, at least, is to be involved in the baby’s life, but not to be back together with Juliette. Ugh, Avery is so annoying right now.
Hey, it’s the CMA nominations, you guys! Do they really announce those on Good Morning America? I strongly doubt it! Anyway, Luke and Rayna are nominated for everything, and, afterward, some talking heads suggest it’s all thanks to the popularity of “Ruke” (or “Layna” — I truly can’t keep up at this point), because that sort of thing always sways voters. (Just wait until Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively clean up at the Oscars this year.)
Taking a page out of Avery’s massive overreaction book — and also because, as we’ve established earlier, she secretly hates Luke with the fire of a thousand suns — Rayna decides to get all mortally offended that people are suggesting “Ruke” is a factor in her nominations. So she sets out to basically sabotage her own fiancée, pushing him out of an upcoming appearance on Dancing With the Stars. It’s ... wonderful. (If the CMAs are the thing that finally breaks up “Ruke,” I will become a loyal CMA viewer for life.)
Also, and please tells me I’m not the only one who noticed this, but the moment where guest-star Sara Evans reads “Female Vocalist of the Year” is hilarious. First, in a clear voice, she says, “Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Rayna James.” Even the cadence of her voice suggests that Rayna is the last name. Then, mumbled, barely audible, almost as an afterthought, she adds, “Carrie Underwood.” I’m not sure what Carrie Underwood did to piss off the producers of Nashville, but she must’ve done something. (Also, hello? Tay Swift is totes pop now.)
I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge all you little geniuses in the comments section. Last week, several of you floated out the theory that Micah isn’t Gunnar’s kid, but his brother’s, which suddenly makes a lot of sense.
I mean, Kiley’s whole explanation for not telling Gunnar he was the father was half-baked at best: “We slept in my car! I had to buy him clothes and feed him! So I’m sorry if finding his father wasn’t my top priority.” Huh. Seems to me that would be the exact time you would try to find the father. Also, buying clothes and feeding the kid doesn’t exactly qualify you for Mother of the Year, Kiley. It’s kind of bare-minimum stuff. I also have no idea why she just let Gunnar take Micah overnight. Something to do with the fact that she had to pack? Kiley can’t even with common household tasks.
Didn’t someone else in the comments section trot out the theory that Teddy’s new squeeze is actually a prostitute, hired by Jeff, possibly for future blackmail use? Gold star! And poor, poor Teddy. He really is, to quote Patton Oswalt, a “failure pile in a sadness bowl.”
“She was thoughtful, a good listener, I thought I could talk to her,” Teddy whines. (Teddy is the type who actually does read Playboy for the articles).
“That’s why they call them professionals,” Jeff snarks.
There aren’t enough cringes in the world.
Actually, there are a few left: Because the kiss scene between Maddie and Colton was the actual worst. First of all, I wasn’t getting romantic vibes off Colton at all when he said, “I’m here for you.” I was getting more of a future-stepbrother, “what would Greg Brady do?” vibe. And then the police immediately burst in, and it was like: “Incest Police! We got a call about an incident!” Nightmarish.
By the way, has there ever been a show in the history of television where a teenager was asked to be responsible for a kid sibling that didn’t end with a massive, out-of-control house party? Don’t bother to look up the statistics; the answer is no.
So Maddie and Colton’s bad behavior — the party, not the kiss! no one knows about the kiss! — brought everyone home to deal with things: Teddy, Luke, Rayna, and Deacon — one big happy, effed-up family.
The upshot of all of this is that Teddy and Rayna are ... hiring a nanny. So maybe, and this is just wild speculation on my part, two ideas came out of that “Scarlett Awesome Story Line Meeting.” Fingers crossed!
- What is the etiquette for harmonizing in Nashville? It seems like a big free-for-all. Because Deacon was singing his (great) new song, and all of a sudden, Pam just ... jumped in with the harmonies. As though she had been invited. Which she hadn’t. (In fairness, they were lovely harmonies.)
- Speaking of which, is it just me, or has Luke had practically all the big song numbers this season? Remember when other people used to sing on Nashville, too? That was nice.
- Juliette only got one CMA nomination? The hell? This is like The Wire not getting an Emmy all over again.
- Poor Layla. She was just a third-place winner on a reality-TV competition with a dream. Now she looks like she’s auditioning for the role of Martha in a local production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Every episode she gets blowsier and meaner and drunker. I love it!