Christmas came to Nashville a few weeks early, but not everyone was ready to get into the holiday spirit.
Rayna may have been filming a Christmas special with fiancé Luke, but she spent almost all of her downtime trying to get Deacon to forgive her after the Rolling Stone article detailing their turbulent relationship hit the stands. When she explains that she only did it to prevent them from writing a negative story about their daughter, Deacon tells her the truth. He’s in love with her, always has been, always will be. She rebuffs his advances and returns home to her husband to be.
Still, the episode ends with Rayna standing in her living room filled with decorations she didn’t buy, openly missing quiet holidays spent with her kids and rejecting Luke’s attempts to create new traditions for their family. As if they nail couldn’t be hit on the head any harder, she and Luke record a duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Something tells me this won’t be the last time he has to beg Rayna to stay.
Also trying to do good is Scarlett, who has become somewhat of a manager to homeless singing sensation Terry. Following his last performance at The Blue Bird Cafe, she’s arranged for him to sing at the Winterville Nashfest, a much bigger stage than he’s used to. His performance goes off without a hitch, but the applause causes his PTSD to kick in and he runs off stage to get drunk with his other homeless friends.
Scarlett finds him later only for him to reject her help. He tells her to stop pushing on to him what she really wants deep down herself. Suddenly Scarlett’s random friendship with a homeless singer (sort of) begins to make sense. It was all just to help her overcome her own stage fright. While this experience didn’t exactly make for riveting television, it was nice to see her perform with Gunnar and Avery at Nashfest. Zoey was decidedly less pleased. Tired of playing mom to Gunnar’s kid and feeling like she had no place in Nashville, she hops on a flight to LA after watching Scarlett perform her song with the band. One can only hope it’s for good.
Juliette shows up at Nashfest too, though her intentions weren’t pure. She was attempting to spy on Avery who she believed was on a date with Sadie Stone. While wearing a disguise and riding around on a malfunctioning scooter, she accidentally causes a scene that results in embarrassment for her and costs Avery a job producing Sadie’s new album. After getting reamed out, she sets up a meeting with Sadie. She blames it on pregnancy hormones and tells her that not hiring Avery would be a huge mistake.
Sadie reconsiders and offers Avery the job, which brings him to Juliette’s to say thank you. After she promises to work on being “just friends” with him, he admits to finding her jealousy “a little cute.” Another step in the right direction!
Will and Layla are tired of living the roles they play on their reality show and head to the festival to unwind under the radar. Their plan to remain inconspicuous? Dress like hipsters. Juliette may have been recognized almost immediately while wearing sunglasses, a floppy hat and a scarf wrapped around her face, but Will and Layla merely had to wear beanies and denim jackets to avoid being spotted by fans.
The unhappily married couple go their separate ways during their day off. Will spends most of his time at the music festival flirting with an openly gay bartender. He questions him on his lifestyle and boyfriend, shocked that someone could be so open and comfortable with their sexuality in Nashville. Once he’s a few beers braver Will goes in for the kiss but is immediately shoved away. The bartender explains that there’s a lot more to life than random hook ups and while Will still doesn’t believe he can do it, it’s clear his words sink in.
Layla makes out much better than her husband, attracting a crowd when she performs an acoustic set. She even wins over her biggest critic, Jeff Fordham. The two bond over Dave Matthews Band and Joni Mitchell before he offers her a ride home. Of course she never makes it there and instead ends up in his bed. Waking up the next morning Layla looks happier than she has all season.