This week’s 'Nashville' is light on plot development, but does seem to be setting up a major showdown between Rayna James and rival Jeff Fordham down the road.
Rayna spends most of the episode putting off her appointments in an attempt to sway Sadie Stone from signing with Edgehill. The two bond quickly, Rayna even takes her to her own wedding dress fitting, only to find out that the paparazzi decided to tag along as well. Sadie has Rayna jump into her car and the two go on a joyride down the streets of Nashville, weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights. Rayna has so much fun, she seems to completely forget about the car accident that landed her in a coma and almost cost the country crooner her singing voice way back in season one. That’s the power of friendship!
At the last minute, she does convince Sadie to join her label, much to Jeff Fordham’s disappointment. He calls her out on going behind his back, but Rayna doesn’t miss a beat, reminding him that he once stole a singer from her label as well. He promises the gloves are off now, promising “everything and everyone is fair game”, but Rayna isn’t shaken up. She simply tells him to “bring it on.”
However she isn’t aware of Jeff’s new found interest in her ex-husband Teddy’s career. After promising that they both be an asset to each other, Jeff makes a call to Teddy's office with his and Rayna's daughters in mind. Jeff asks if it's possible to sign kids to a label with only one parent’s permission. Would Teddy really betray Rayna if it meant furthering his career? Considering everything we know about Teddy, the answer is probably yes.
It’s easy to believe that Rayna may have missed this development. She’s busy playing surrogate mother to Juliette, who fears she may be miscarrying her baby. Rayna gets her straight to a doctor and listens as Juliette confesses she doesn’t know how to love, let alone know how to be a mother, which is why she plans on giving the baby up for adoption.
Also looking out for Juliette is her manager Glenn. He pleads with her to tell Avery that he’s going to be a father, especially since Tennesse law requires the father sign off on an adoption. When she refuses, he shows up to Avery’s apartment to try to get him to talk to Juliette. Avery, still bitter, asks why he’d bother to defend Juliette, considering her tendency to lash out at those closest to her. Glen, with the subtlety of a thousand anvils, explains that Juliette’s like a daughter to him and you just “can’t give up on your kid”, before ominously adding that one day he’ll understand.
Avery doesn’t pick up on this, probably because he’s drunk. Continuing down his self-destructive path, he insults his friends and starts a fight at The Bluebird before being woken up by cops in the passenger seat of a stranger's car. Having alienated everyone around him, he has no choice but to call Juliette. She arrives at the station to bail him out, but he isn’t exactly thankful.
For a moment it seems like Juliette might tell him about the baby, but he barely lets her speak. Avery explains that it hurts too much to love her and hating her has ruined his life, so now he’s desperate to feel nothing. As they both cry he reminds her that she once told him he had the power to destroy her, but explains she got it wrong.
“You’re the one that destroys people,” Avery states coldly.
Clearly, the pregnancy news is going to have to wait until next week.
Deacon is on tour and struggling to get over Rayna, while running into backup singer (and last week’s one night stand) Pam everywhere he goes. She follows him to AA meetings, poker games on tour, even into the convenience store at a truck stop. Eventually she wins him over by singing to him, but considering how often he makes it clear he’s in love with someone else, you have to wonder about poor Pam’s self esteem.
Also in need of a self esteem boost? Zoe, who finally lets Scarlett have it over her secret phone calls with Gunnar. Scarlett doesn’t fight her, but Zoe ends up with egg on her face when she learns the real reason behind the phone calls was a farewell party for Zoe before she heads out on tour. Zoe and Scarlett have a heart to heart, wondering why their friendship has changed, noting that maybe Nashville has changed them both. I’d argue their biggest problem is their tendency to date the same guy, but that’s just me.