Just about everyone had an award to call their own by the end of the night, but after this year’s Country Music Awards, no one felt like a winner.
The episode kicks off with Rayna searching for Luke’s thank you speeches, only to stumble upon a prenup. Luke’s practical thinking hurts her feelings, which considering she’s got a pretty big fortune of her own (not to mention her ex husband and baby daddy) is a bit bewildering. The tension only thickens once they make it to the awards ceremony. Turns out, Luke wasn’t going to need to those note cards anyway, its Rayna’ who cleans up and beats him in nearly every category.
Luke handles this like any mature adult would, by taking full advantage of the open bar and kicking over bathroom garbage cans. When Rayna confronts him, he reveals that it’s not her winning that bothers him (well, at least not ONLY her winning) its the fact that she has yet to thank him during any of her acceptances. Luke doesn’t say it, but her thanking Deacon definitely stung too. She makes up for it by delivering one heck of a speech upon receiving her award for Entertainer of the Year. She’s so good it even makes Luke tear up! Although that could have been the booze.
The two kiss and make up, but its clear their already fragile relationship has become just a little more fractured. The fact that Rayna’s entire face lights up over a single congratulatory text message from Deacon make it seem pretty unlikely that these two will find themselves walking down the aisle in just a few weeks time.
The pressure was on for Juliette and not just because she has to walk down a red carpet while pregnant, she also agrees to meet Avery’s parents! Throughout the evening she flashes back to her tough childhood, as well as her mother’s suicide which occurred just before last years CMA’s. Making matters worse is Avery’s judgmental father, who insults Avery every chance he gets, while also getting in some digs about Juliette’s upbringing. It’s enough to send her spiraling into self doubt about her own capabilities as a parent, but Avery won’t hear it.
In the night’s sweetest moment, Avery promises they won’t turn into their parents before telling his own father to back off. The moment turns even more joyous when Juliette accidentally lets it slip that it’s a girl! By the time they return to Juliette’s home, its clear Avery’s coldness towards her is beginning to thaw. He leaves just before the two share a kiss, but its starting to look like these two might be back together before the baby is even born!
The night ends on more sour note for Zooey and Gunnar. Micah’s mom is still MIA, which means he’s tagging along to the CMA’s, much to Zooey’s dismay. When Gunnar leaves to take a phone call, a distracted Zooey doesn’t notice when Micah takes off. The two spend the night searching for Gunnar’s son, who he holds Zooey responsible for losing. Gunnar and Micah are eventually reunited, but he does miss out on accepting his first songwriting CMA. It’s all too overwhelming for Zooey, who didn’t sign up to be anyone’s step mom. She breaks it off with Gunnar and shows up sobbing on Scarlett’s doorstep.
Things don’t go much better for Layla who has become somewhat of a joke to the press. She desperately tries to prove to media that she’s not the ditz she’s portrayed as on her reality show, but its of no use. Everyone is paying way more attention to her closeted, gay heartthrob of a husband who has all the females in the audience swooning as the duo perform. It ends with Layla curled up in bed, reading mean comments about herself on the internet. In a rare moment of vulnerability, she asks for Will to act like her husband and hold her. While there obviously isn’t any heat, it’s nice to see them both put down their walls, even just for a moment.
Mayor Teddy seems to be the only attendee actually having a good time. It starts when he spots the hooker he slept with a few episodes back on a date with another man, who surely is paying her a pretty penny for her time. He gets jealous and the two end up hooking up in a backroom, free of charge. It’s only a matter of time before this comes back to bite him.