Nashville Does Some Wheelin' And Dealin'
And brings back an old friend in the process.
Alert Type: Home Security Alert.
Issue: Um, Rayna's got a stalker.
Complicating Factors: According to a security guy that I THINK the show implied Dolly Parton referred to Rayna, most stalkers are harmless, but some aren't. Thanks for the detailed info!
Resolution: Along with a new alarm system, the house is crawling with former vets and probably Navy SEALs who assure Rayna that the stalker won't get to her.
Spoiler: They might want to widen their perimeter a little.
I haven't mentioned thus far that Juliette's therapist (and we still haven't heard her name to the best of my knowledge, but IMDb tells me it's "Allyson Del Lago") is played by trans writer/actress/producer Jen Richards, who you might remember from I Am Cait. Up till now, it wasn't clear to me that the character was also trans, but she is, and Juliette, showing the degree to which she and Allyson have bonded, asks if Allyson has told her father yet. With weary resignation, Allyson admits that her father's response was "God doesn't make mistakes," and while that attitude is repellent, Juliette's disgust with same is not. She lightens things, however, when she muses that she herself might be happier as a dude: "I think like a guy!" I think she's giving the male gender too much credit, but I'm here for the friendship between these two.
Music Makes The World Go Round
Who called the meeting? Juliette, by having Hallie over to her place.
What's it about? Further getting to know each other and intro-ing Hallie to Avery.
How'd it go? Just fine; after some pleasantries, Juliette brings the subject around to Hallie's singing, wondering why she's not trying to monetize it. Hallie replies that she gets satisfaction from singing in an alternative way, and invites Juliette to a particular community center to show her what she means. There's not much else to say, because Hallie is very nice, but I am juuuust a bit wary of Juliette getting too enthused about making Hallie a project.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Maddie vs. Clay
Hah boy. A fairly innocent question from Maddie about Clay's mood swings (she hasn't really seen much of them) quickly devolves into a heated rant from him about how everyone is putting on some kind of show pretty much all the time. He goes on to accuse her of being scared of him, and she -- rather calmly, under the circumstances -- admits that she is, a little. She then asks about the fight from last week, and Clay assures her he didn't start it: "The only person I hurt is myself." Maddie: "That's what I'm afraid of." I actually think that, given her age, she's doing herself credit by trying to have an adult conversation about it, but as someone who's been very close with some people with bipolar disorder, the best thing she can do is read up on it; there are some good online resources that give helpful best practices for discussing the disorder with someone afflicted by it.
Winner: No one.
Nice To Meet A REAL Man(ager)
Name: Billy Tucci. Age: Late 40s, maybe? Occupation: Manager. Goal: To represent Avery, apparently, so I certainly can't question his taste. Sample Dialogue: "You decide you're ready for a real manager, you give me a call."
Rayna sits down to coffee with Juliette, and after some predictable small talk, Rayna breaks the news (told to her earlier by Zach) that Luke is selling Wheelin' Dealin' Records, and H65 is looking to acquire it -- which would put Juliette back on Rayna's label. Juliette is "flattered and surprised" that Rayna wants her back, given everything that's happened -- as if there would even be a show without that particular push-pull -- and doesn't waste any time waiting to test Rayna's resolve by saying that she wants her next project to be a gospel/spiritual album. Rayna only blinks for like a second before saying she wants Juliette's next project, whatever it may be, to be on her label, then adding that she thinks the idea sounds beautiful. No argument here!
Come On, Now
So Scarlett reluctantly shows up to the studio so that director can show her his cut of the video, and as soon as she watches it, she's transformed! She's always hated pictures of herself, but he's captured what she feels like on the inside! She asks how he saw what she looks like in her own mind, and he tells her he didn't -- she did! God. Clare Bowen really acts the shit out of this scene, but it's still all so Smurfy; we explored similar terrain a lot more interestingly with Liam, who was also a lot hotter than this dweeb. Can't we just hook Scarlett and Gunnar back up with Avery and leave all this Sad Chipmunk business behind once and for all?
Love Conquers All, Question Mark?
Who's causing a family crisis? Maddie. It's always Maddie.
How? By dating Clay, still.
Which relatives have a problem with it? Rayna, for the obvious reason that he's way too old for Maddie and that anything they might do would be illegal. Also, when Maddie accuses Rayna of having a problem with Clay because he's black, Rayna's OH HAIL NO expression and ensuing lecture on how she accepts pretty much all forms of love between consenting adults is pretty great.
Who's an unlikely ally? Deacon, who thank GOD does not have the typical TV dad "my little girl" reaction; instead, he listens as Maddie tells him how this experience with Clay has made her realize how people are "whole worlds inside" with different histories and different ways of seeing the world. Unfortunately, this revelation has made her pessimistic that two people can ever really find common ground, leading her to blow off a phone call from Clay, not for the first time since their scene earlier described.
Spoiler: You guys? It's TV.
That Quote"You stick with me, you're gonna make a record."- Juliette to Hallie, who doesn't seem to realize this could be interpreted as a threat -
Will He Or Won't He?
Situation: Rayna and Zach go to one of Luke's concerts to talk to him about their plans.
What makes it awkward? Zach, on a couple levels; one, when Luke, who had been trying to keep the idea of selling under wraps, asks Zach if he bugged his office, Zach's incredulous "no, I just hacked your internal emails" laugh is, while very true to character, a bit much. Then, after Zach wanders off to look at some of the guitars on display, he runs into Will, who invites him into his dressing room and changes his wet shirt, leaving Zach juuust a little gulpy. (Well, if he's into Will, he's probably not into Rayna, so that's good, at least.)
How is order restored? Zach pointedly tells Will he'd like to get to know him a little better before he leaves town. Upon hearing that Rayna trusts Zach, Luke tells her he's interested in selling to her. (And the show doesn't have room for him anymore, both narratively and financially, but it's really too bad that Luke only became an enjoyable character right before the end.)
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
That's The Spirit
After Juliette (a) is inspired by seeing Hallie sing to kids at the community center and (b) has a very enjoyable time at church, even singing along with a rousing rendition of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," she tells Avery that going to church is engendering a profound change within her. Avery gamely asks more about it, but Juliette, already feeling insecure about what's coming (and not without reason), lashes out at him about how he obviously only wants her to be unhappy. Having heard this song before, Avery ably defends himself, whereupon Juliette's anger dissipates as she confesses that she's afraid the new good feeling she has is going to go away, and also that people won't accept her new worldview. Avery replies that he'll accept it, and in a perfect world that would be all that matters, but just then Emily comes in with a gossip video about Juliette's foray into church, prompting Juliette to give Avery a pretty hilarious resigned "See?" eyebrow raise. Still, it doesn't look like this church thing is going to break these two up, and you'll forgive me for this: THANK GOD.
Puppy Lovus Interruptus
Who called the meeting? Some redheaded friend of Daphne's.
What's it about? Having earlier intro-ed Daphne to a boy "Flynn" who likes her, only to have Daphne totally choke the interaction, the friend does her a solid and calls Flynn over again.
How'd it go? Well, Daph does a lot better and is about to give Flynn her digits when Rayna's stalker appears and tries to give Daphne a letter for her mother. This sends all three kids running away as fast as their legs can carry them while screaming for help, and I don't know offhand who wrote The Gift Of Fear, but I'm certain the author is very proud.
Wrap It Up
In the principal's office, we learn that the stalker should be headed to jail! Rayna assumes she's going to take Daphne home, but Daphne has the resilience of youth and a smile from Flynn and is like thanks, I'm good!
Maddie goes to see Clay, who tells her she deserves a good life without him! But she's like no, let's date after all, and he's all, great! Conflict over!
Pressing through a line of paps, Juliette and Avery make their way into church, and once Juliette hears the choir again, a beatific smile emerges on her face! And hers isn't the only one! See you next time!