Nashville Recap: Baby Boom

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Photo: Mark Levine/ABC
Nashville
Show
Nashville
Episode Title
Road Happy
Season
3
Episode
5
Editor’s Rating
3/5

Last night’s Nashville will forever be called the “of course that happened” episode. Of course applesauce kid is Gunnar’s. Of course that homeless dude can sing like an angel. Of course the first time Will goes cruising for sex in the park, he gets jumped. Of course Zoey seizes the opportunity of Juliette’s illness to bulldoze her way into the spotlight.

And (spoiler alert if you didn’t watch next week’s preview): Of course Maddie will end up kissing Colton.

I mean, of course.

I do love the fact that, on Nashville, dunking fries in applesauce (um, ew?) is considered a hereditary trait. (They should have also given Mika a mini-pompadour and sideburns.) Gunnar was immediately suspicious of the little tyke, especially when he found out the kid was 9½ — Gunnar can do math! (Well, probably. With a calculator.) But it wasn’t until Avery told Gunnar about Juliette’s pregnancy that it all really crystallized. (It would’ve been awesome if they’d flashed back to a slow-motion shot of Mika dunking his fries into applesauce as a look of horror washed over Gunnar’s face.)

I’m never that stoked about babies and long-lost kids on soap operas. I mean, in the moment, they’re always a good for a quick "OMG." But then what? You’re stuck with a kid. (A few parents are nodding sagely right now.) I get that the show was basically forced to write in Juliette’s pregnancy, but is this Mini Gunnar plot really necessary? What do we have to look forward to with all these kids suddenly? Really awkward playdates? Avery onstage with a Babybjörn in one hand and bottle of whiskey in the other? Juliette forcing her underlings to mash peas?

Meanwhile, no one can keep a damn secret in Nashville.

Zoey, Noah West, and Avery all managed to find out about Juliette’s pregnancy this week, and Deacon figured out that Will is gay. (“I say live and let live,” he said, which is a very Deacon thing to say.)

Of course, Juliette wasn’t exactly the soul of discretion, waddling around backstage (in fairness, she had to pee really bad) and clutching her “bump.” (A pox on the person who came up with the phrase baby bump, which is irrelevant to this recap, but I really needed to get that off my chest.) But the fact that Zoey was actively creeping in her dressing room didn’t help. “I just saw all this gorgeous stuff!” Zoey explained, as if that were somehow an excuse for rifling through Juliette’s things. Amazingly, Juliette didn’t fire her on the spot. The pregnancy has thrown her off her game.

I was kind of hoping that the “I’m pregnant. It’s yours” text wasn’t actually from Juliette but maybe from pushy Emily instead. But nope, this is how Juliette chose to disclose the news of their impending bundle of joy to Avery. (Which text is worse: the breakup text, or the “I’m pregnant and you’re the father” text? Discuss among  yourselves.)

Poor Avery: The ignominy of getting that news via text is only exacerbated by the fact that he is wearing a neon vest and doing court-ordered community service. And then they take his phone away, which makes me twitchy just thinking about it. So once he’s done collecting trash along the side of the road, he hightails it to the set of Juliette’s movie and bangs on her trailer door.

“I don’t know anyone named Avery,” Juliette says, which seems excessively harsh, but the man did say he wanted to “nothing” her.

Inevitably, Avery makes a scene, yelling for her to come out and hollering about the pregnancy, until a bewigged Glenn (sigh) tells him to knock it off, but not before Noah West overhears everything. (Bonus of course: Of course Noah West has the hots for Juliette).

Much like Possibly Shady Sadie ™, I can’t quite get a read on Noah West. The period mustache makes him look vaguely sinister, but he looks very good with his shirt off, which is definitely a sign of high moral character. Also, he helpfully suggested that Juliette be on top for their sex scene, so he’s like the MacGyver of hiding actresses’ pregnancies. I guess I’ll take a wait-and-see approach on this one.

Meanwhile, Rayna is missing her girls something fierce, so she arranges for Luke to pick them up on a private jet, along with Colton, who’s still wearing that dumb hat.

Aaand our long national nightmare is over: The gender of Sage has been revealed (in the most gender-specific conversation in the history of television):

“Spending time with your new sisters is not boring!” Luke scolds a complaining Colton.

Sage is his sister,” Maddie says.

“Where is she, anyway?” Daphne says.

“My daughter? Dance camp,” Luke replies. (I’m surprised he didn’t add, “Where she stays in the girl’s dormitory and uses the girl’s bathroom and menstruates.” Okay, we get it!)

And all of a sudden, Daphne is turning into a little diva, demanding chocolate milk on the plane and brandishing the word suck like she’s, well, Maddie. Rayna suspects it’s all the time away from her mama that is causing her to act out, and she’s concerned.

“You give them some time, they’ll get used to it,” Luke says.

“I don’t want them to get used to it,” Rayna replies. (When is she going to realize that she and Luke don’t share any of the same values? Catch up, Rayna!)

Was everyone else as grossed out as I was by seeing Deacon and Pam do couply things like watch TV in bed together and hold hands? Oh, hell, nope.

Beyond those disgusting PDAs, Deacon didn’t have too much to do this episode, but he was a caring friend to Will, who’s kind of in a world of hurt right now. Jeff told Will to make his “so-called trainer” sign a non-disclosure agreement. (He actually is a trainer, Jeff! Has the man never heard of multitasking?) Frankly, that seemed pretty reasonable to me, but the trainer took it personally and left the hotel room in a huff, and Will couldn’t really chase after him because it would look like exactly what it was — a lover’s quarrel. Ugh, poor Will.  In a way, though, I hope the trainer is gone for good, because he was just another in Nashville’s long procession of undeveloped, plot-advancing love interests. (Where do they all go once they’re off the show? Is Deacon’s veterinarian lady hanging out with Maggie the lawyer and Will’s old music promoter in a home for wayward Nashville hookups?) I want Will to meet a man that he loves, a fully fleshed-out, interesting, sexy character who is possibly worth jeopardizing his career over. C’mon, Nashville, you can dooooo it!

Random Riffs:

  • Do the producers of the show actively dislike Scarlett? Now they’re giving her “Very Special Episode” material where she bonds with a homeless dude?
  • The actor who plays the homeless guy is Mykelti Williamson, a.k.a. Bubba from Forrest Gump, so everyone on Twitter was saying, “He doesn’t want pizza. He wants shrimp.” Thank you, Twitter.
  • The fan in the bowling alley called them “Layna,” not “Ruke” — so I guess that settles that. Also, do people really do that? I mean, do people chase after Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, yelling, “Kimye! Kimye!” (And if they do, does Kanye have them “disappeared”?)
  • If the producers dislike Scarlett, they hate Teddy. “I’m not sure what fun is anymore,” he tells Jeff, which is also the answer to the question: “Describe Teddy’s character arc in seven words or less.” (But I’m sure that random lady he kissed by his car is going to spice his story line right up!)
  • Is Juliette having the most dramatic pregnancy ever, or what? First there’s the big daddy reveal that leaves her crying on the sonogram table, then she has a false miscarriage alarm, then Avery wants to “nothing” her, and now she can’t breathe! Geez, you’d think she was on a soap opera or something ...