Okay, Nashville, I’ve got to hand it to you: I never saw that coming.
My final page of notes looked something like this:
Sorry, Jeff, that I LOLed over your untimely demise, but it was hilarious, in a sort of spectacularly over-the-top (literally) way. Never in a million years did I think that Juliette’s blaze of boozy and self-destructive behavior was going to end with Jeff F0rdham splat on the pavement.
In a way, we all should have seen this coming because things were going way too well for bad ol’ Jeff. He and Layla were suddenly in loooove (ew), and he had wormed his way into being the CEO of the Luke Wheeler Lifestyle Brand (not something I’d proudly put on my résumé, but hey, it’s Jeff). Life was looking pretty sweet, and then, well ... LOL.
To be honest, and not to get all sentimental here, but Jeff was not one of the characters I wanted to see dead. I direct you to last week’s handy list of people we don’t care about. I mean, Colt was right there (just kidding, I would never want to see a child die. It’s not like he’s Baby Hitler or something). (That being said, if we’re going to have a Colt-is-an-alcoholic or Colt-goes-slowly-mad-because-he’s-the-only-one-who-knows-the-truth plotline, I am so not here for it.) Jeff was a valuable villain on the show — come to think of it, the only villain on the show. Now who are we going to love to hate?
Anyway, all of this could’ve been avoided if only people had not given Avery such incredibly horrible advice. Of course, Avery is not totally without blame. Now he sees that Juliette’s sick? Now he realizes that her behavior has been a cry for help all along? Where was all of this worry and understanding when he was signing the divorce papers, demanding full custody of Cadence, and giving Juliette those ominous 24 hours? That being said, a little help from his friends might’ve been useful here.
“I should call her. Make sure she’s okay,” Avery tells Will when he sees that Juliette, wearing sunglasses and a hoodie (personally, I miss the beret), has gone totally Ronda Rousey on a fan.
“If you call her, you’re going to get sucked back into her craziness,” Will replies. No, Will, no!
Then Avery makes the mistake of turning to Jeff, who’s a jerk to the bitter end. (We just didn’t quite know it was the bitter end yet.)
“The last time I saw her, she was in her room and she was fine,” Jeff assures him. Actually, she was the opposite of fine. She was hitting on Jeff Fordham, not fine. Seems more rock-bottom-y to me.
Finally, Avery turns to Glenn. I knew things were going to end badly when Glenn answered the door in his toupee. Sensitive, fatherly Glenn is bald. Showbiz Glenn wears a toupee.
“It doesn't matter how much you care about her if she doesn't care about herself,” Glenn advises Avery. “The best thing you can do is cut yourself off emotionally.”
What is wrong with these people?
So Avery doesn’t get to Juliette in time, and Juliette tries to jump off a roof, and Jeff is now even more two-dimensional than usual. The end. But I guess there are other story lines to get to?
Let’s move to Deacon and Scarlett. The funniest thing about their scenes was that the threat of a Bev flashback hung heavily over all of them. First, Deacon and Scarlett find out that Bev sang every Sunday at a place called Landslide, and Deacon’s face scrunches up in a contemplative way, and I think, Here we go — Bev flashback! But it never comes. Then Scarlett stumbles across Bev’s head shot and a bunch of rejection letters from various studios in a drawer, and her face scrunches up, and I can practically hear Wayne and Garth doing their “dootle-e-loo, dootle-e-loo” flashback sound, but no Bev. Just when I thought we had dodged the Bev flashback bullet entirely, she shows up at the Landslide to do a duet with Scarlett, which leads to a few thoughts:
1. We can’t miss you, Bev, if you NEVER LEAVE.
2. It was a pretty duet, though.
3. Jeff Fordham flashbacks are all but inevitable.
Elsewhere, Will has a problem. The problem is that he came out in an impulsive and heartfelt way, but he never fully considered the implications of his announcement. He still wants to be heterosexual dreamboat Will onstage and gay Will behind the scenes. In fairness, the ladies love (cool) Will. (Did you see that smile Cadence gave him?) But it doesn’t quite work that way. Yes, female fans might still swoon, but they also might push a gay male friend front and center. And when Will sees that, he freaks. He ends up taking off right after the gig, and Kevin finally finds him, despondent, in an alley. “What am I looking forward to?” Will moans. “A lifetime of playing gay-pride parades?”
Kevin shakes his head in dismay. “I can’t keep doing this with you,” he says. “We’re done.” (Kevin was indeed on my list of people who could get gone, but there was an unexpected groundswell of Kevin appreciation in the comments section, plus Kevin makes Will happy, so hopefully this breakup is just temporary.)
Moving right along. You guys, do you think they’re setting up a possible Maddie–Markus Keen romance? I mean, it’s all too horrible/wonderful to contemplate, but consider the evidence. Maddie thinks she’s a woman now. (Still no confirmation on whether or not she and Colt did it. “Does your mother know?” Colt asks. “What, that I love you?” Maddie replies. Sneaky, Nashville. Sneaky.) But let’s just assume for argument’s sake that she and Colt totally got it on in that tour bus. Then, add her crush on Markus, the fact that they sang a duet together (without poor Daphne, truly the Jan Brady of the Nashville universe), that Markus thought she “killed it” onstage in Atlanta, that she would do anything to piss off her mother right now, and that Markus officially owns the Worst Person in Nashville title due to Jeff Fordham’s untimely demise ... I’m just saying. Counterpoint: All of those “Maddie ♥ Colt” doodles in Maddie’s notebook. Time will tell.
Alright, let’s skip over the fact that Luke Wheeler is finally giving his brand manager the Luke Wheeler Experience, and that there was some useless cat-and-mouse involving Gunnar and his fling (who isn’t Scarlett and is therefore irrelevant) because literally no one cares.
There were two other big things that happened in this episode.
One is that Deacon is going to co-own a bar with his AA sponsor, which is quite possibly the worst idea ever. (On the other hand, he’s going to call it the Beverly, which is a great name for a bar.)
The other big news came in the “In two weeks on Nashville” — yeah, CMAs next week — and it might possibly be the hugest development in the history of the show. Avert your eyes, spoilerphobes: Scarlett is going to cut her hair! I know, right? This could be revelatory, a kind of reverse-Felicity, where one haircut leads to skyrocketing ratings. Dead Jeff, shmead Jeff. I want to see Scarlett’s new hair!!