Nashville Recap: Suspicious Minds

Photo: Mark Levine/ABC
Episode Title
Time Changes Things
Editor’s Rating

Sometimes, the “previously on Nashville” segment fills you with dread. Last night’s featured the unholy foursome of Micah, Kiley, Beverly, and Natasha — four characters I thought we would never have to lay eyes on again. Shoot me now.

In fairness, the show wasn’t too horrible. Although, when you consider that Rayna became Javert to Beverly’s Jean Valjean, that Scarlett looked weird(er) than usual, and that they included creepy flashbacks where everyone sort of looked like their own Sims avatar — I wouldn’t exactly call it “great.”

You guys? Help. Why did Scarlett look so different? Were her eyebrows darker? Was she wearing more makeup/bronzer? Had she finally combed her hair? It was distracting. Anyway, I don’t have much to say about her story line, except she and Gunnar sing a really great song — pretty much the one thing they can be consistently relied on for these days — and then she goes to a formal country-club party with her hunkologist, and then she and Gunnar have a fight, which comes out of the blue and makes zero sense (something about Scarlett putting on airs and thinking she is too fancy for Gunnar and Kiley. Note to Gunnar: If you think that Scarlett is some sort of fancy lady, you’ve never met a fancy lady).

Yeah, Kiley is back in Gunnar’s life, and she cries a lot and then claims that Jason raped her. Do we buy this? I mean, it sort of explains why she would cheat on sweet Gunnar with his bad-to-the-bone brother, and why she’s the kind of hot mess who can just drop her son off with a guy she hasn’t laid eyes on in ten years — but maybe it explains it too neatly? She’s lied to Gunnar one too many times for me to be 100 percent trusting of her story. Needless to say, Gunnar is all in.

So Rayna tells Deacon she’s on a business trip to New York when in fact she’s going to Mississippi to stalk Beverly and try to convince her to donate part of her liver. This is where we got treated to those soft-focus flashbacks where they Benjamin Button–ed everyone. Deacon, of course, is clean-shaven and seems kind of “golly gee-whiz” in a way that I’m sure he never actually was. Beverly’s hair looks silkier (they must’ve have had better hair-care products in the '90s). And Rayna looks … older. (Nice try, show!) The gist of the flashbacks is that Beverly and Deacon used to be a duo, but then Rayna sees them in a club and offers to hire them both for her tour, but only Deacon wants to go. “It’s about her, isn’t it?” Beverly says. “You don’t care about the music or the job, you just want her.” (Nailed it!) Then, defiantly, Beverly shouts: “I’m going to go out on my own and going to be bigger than Rayna James every could be!” Huh. How’s that workin’ out for ya, Bevs?

The greatest thing about the Beverly scenes is that she is the first person to raise the possibility of Maddie donating part of her liver.

“She’s too young,” Rayna says in a such a matter-of-fact way, it made me second guess our Big Theory.

By the end of the show, despite the fact that Rayna is relentless (I was surprised she didn’t end up hiding under the covers of Beverly’s bed at some point), Beverly still says no, forcing Rayna to pull out the big guns, namely trying to bribe Beverly with — [Doctor Evil voice] —  “one million dollars.” Assuming Beverly stands firm, it does lead to the question: Are the next few episodes just going to be a series of roads to nowhere? Deacon gets a new liver … and then he doesn’t. Rayna tries to convince Beverly to donate hers … and fails. We shall see.

Back home with Deacon: shenanigans! He goes into Maddie’s room, and she and Colt are both hastily getting dressed. Colt isn’t wearing a shirt! He chases Colt out (“You need to run!”), and Maddie does lots of crying, and somehow, inexplicably, Juliette Barnes is brought in to save the day.

“When do girls start having sex?” Deacon asks her.

“Were they doing it?” Juliette asks eagerly. (She has a way of getting to the heart of the matter.)

Deacon, of course, has no clue.

Juliette volunteers to have a talk with Maddie, and this sort of ABC Afterschool Special breaks out.

“So you think I should wait to have sex?” Maddie says, after explaining that she and Colt didn’t get that far.

“When the time comes, I hope you do it for the right reasons,” Juliette says. (Who is this woman, and what has she done with Juliette Barnes?)

“You’re going to be an amazing mom!” Maddie says. And a look of deep consternation crosses Juliette’s face because — oops — she’s the worst mom ever. (Based on next week’s preview, it looks like they really might be going all in with the postpartum-depression angle. Hmm.)

After Juliette leaves, Deacon and Maddie have another one of their sickeningly cute moments where he tells her that, even though her sneaking around and almost sexing sucks, it’s also sort of great because being around during the sucky stuff is part of being a dad. (Deacon says it much better, to be honest.) Those two!

Other Juliette things: Deacon tells her he has cancer (finally), and later, she goes rogue and stages an illegal concert on a rooftop to get back her career mojo. (“Welcome to my world,” Glenn says to Bucky.) Oh, she and Avery have sex in an elevator (yay!), but it’s pretty much off-camera (boo!).

Luke is in Malibu with Jade St. John and her amazing technicolor hair. They make out a lot and have some cutesy banter about rom-coms. Then Jade throws a big-old rager, and Luke complains to Jeff that he’s “never felt so old in his life.”

Later, he breaks up with her:

“I’m a cowboy from Kentucky, and you’re …”

“Jade St. John,” she says. (I thought she was going to say, “Only contracted for three episodes.”)

(By the way, I would watch an entire show of Christina Aguilera playing Jade St. John and only referring to herself in the third person as “Jade St. John.” Make it happen, ABC!)

You didn’t think I was going to forget Teddy, did you? Natasha tells him the Feds are onto him, and he dusts off his passport and packs a bag and asks Deacon where the girls are. Damned if I didn’t think he was going to try to kidnap them. But no, Teddy is many things — a man of decisive and swift action is not one of them. Instead, he buys them really nice Tiffany heart necklaces, gives them suspiciously meaningful looks, and writes them letters. Just as he’s about to hightail it out of town, however, the State’s Attorney shows up with some sort of mysterious deal. How are we supposed to possibly wait until next week to find out what he’s proposing? The tension is killing me! Either that, or this story could go away and I wouldn’t even notice. Feel free to guess which one.