Nashville Learns Some Daddy Lessons
Remember those horrible things Maddie said about Deacon last season? Turns out the show does too!
Come ON, Show
Look, I like this new character and what the actress is doing with her, and as I said last time, I think Juliette finding some spirituality in her life could be interesting. However, none of that is an excuse for this character's name to be, as we learn this week, "Hallie JORDAN." Writers, unless she's an actual angel, which is a different show, next time please listen to that voice in your head wondering if this is too much, because it is and then some.
Name: Ashley Willerman. Age: 21. Occupation: Singer; YouTube sensation. Goal: To record an actual album while ignoring her producer Avery's advice about same and to take out her low-blood-sugar issues on everyone around her. (And if you're going to be low-blood-sugar and vegan, maybe put someone in your entourage in charge of snacks instead of phone-recording your every move?) Sample Dialogue: [to Deacon] "You've been doing this for like a hundred years, haven't you?"
Here's An Idea
Hey Rayna! You seemed weirded out last time when Randall grasped your hand for what the camera told us was an inappropriate length of time. But now he's doting on you with kombucha or something to a Gary Walsh degree, and even Scarlett and Gunnar are like, that dude would cut off his right eyebrow for you if you casually asked him, so maybe you should have your guard up? I mean, I have the feeling that him stealing a Maddie-faced knickknack off Rayna's desk is going to turn out to be a misdirect (or possibly a kidnapping scheme), but at the same time Rayna's been hella famous for a long time; she should have a baseline level of wariness about people, no?
Nice To Meet You, [NAME]
Name: We don't learn it in this episode, but according to IMDb it's Clayton Jones. Age: Early 20s, I'd guess. Occupation: Street singer. Goal: To entertain the masses, and to form a (love?) connection with Maddie. Sample Dialogue: "Around here, everyone wants to be somewhere they're not. Somebody they're not."
Alert Type: Creative Differences Alert.
Issue: In his capacity as Ashley's producer, Avery tries to get her to stop using weird vocal affectations and relying on heavy reverb in her songs; Ashley isn't having it.
Complicating Factors: Ashley's low blood sugar, which she will tell you is a very serious matter, apparently causes her to be nasty to Avery, Deacon, and new intern Maddie.
Resolution: As a hired grunt on this job, Deacon sucks up Ashley's abuse, but Avery doesn't need this shit and quits.
Spoiler: Maddie's resolution is way too long to explain here.
The Price Is Wrong
Situation: As mentioned earlier, Juliette went to see Hallie to thank her for saving her life.
What makes it awkward? The initial meeting was fine; it's the part where, after observing Hallie's car being slow to start, Juliette buys her a brand-new one that makes it weird.
How is order restored? Hallie turns down the gift, prompting some self-flagellation from Juliette, but she does go see Hallie again, thankfully.
This Conversation Took A(n) (In)tern
Who's causing a family crisis? Maddie.
How? Remember how Ashley was giving everyone a hard time? Maddie took exception to that and told her to appreciate her life "instead of whining about everything and being a total bitch!" Well, her hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness are appropriate for the Trump era, at least.
Which relatives have a problem with it? Initially Deacon, whose "hundred years" of experience in the business has at least taught him that, as an intern, you're supposed to eat shit and like it. However, when it becomes clear that he's gun-shy about giving Maddie a talking-to because he's afraid she'll run away again (although he does eventually manage it anyway), Rayna steps in, gently but firmly informing Maddie of how much she hurt her dad with her bullshit testimony when that horrible Cash had her in her clutches.
Who's an unlikely ally? Daphne! First, she hilariously cuts Maddie down to size by responding to her Ashley-complaining with a perfectly snarked "Isn't that your job?" Hee. But later, when Maddie comes in to ask her if she's "become" a bitch, Daphne's like, a little? and then they both giggle. It's a sisterly moment that feels like real life shining through, and it's nice.
Spoiler: Maddie is actually capable of a sincere apology.
That Quote"You're just gonna have to figure out how to make it in this world when people think you're too immature to finish what you started."- Deacon Claybourne, dropping some truth on his biological daughter -
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Okay, we all know Avery is like, the best person in the world. And when he tells Juliette he's going to be there for her no matter what, I believe him. At the same time, he does confess to his bros Gunnar and Will that, even in the wake of Juliette's positive development (Cadence peed on Juliette's legs and she felt it, so I guess golden showers aren't always bad news), he's lost touch with himself. We see him (and her, separately) writing late in the episode, so maybe that's all he needs, but his wistful looks at photos of his younger self in his Avery Barkley Band days make me a little concerned. Then again, any time he wants to hook back up with Gunnar and Scarlett is fine by me; they're both so much better when he's around.
Help From Above
Who called the meeting? Juliette, by once again showing up on Hallie's doorstep.
What's it about? She wants to apologize for her generous gift.
How'd it go? Heartbreakingly, but also well. Juliette blows through her apology to get to the heart of the matter: she doesn't understand how she could have been the only survivor of the plane crash when she's been such a horrible person and never cared about anyone but herself (her words). Hallie takes the position that maybe God is giving Juliette a chance to change, and she can pray in aid of that goal. Juliette thinks God would just laugh if she were to start praying now, but Hallie merely replies, "Not the God I know." It's nice!
Of course, then Hallie's car won't start, and one of my least favorite TV tropes is "person won't accept gift she really needs because of reasons," but it's her life, I guess.
Wrap It Up
Maddie emotionally tells Deacon that she didn't mean the things she said at that hearing, but she still said them, and she doesn't know how he can even stand to look at her now! He replies that he was a hothead and hardly blameless, and he wishes he'd been a better dad! She replies, "You're MY dad," and it's very sweet and also possibly a remake of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!
Avery tells Juliette he's going to get some more stuff from Gunnar's place! Before he goes, though, he asks Juliette what they are right now, and she says she doesn't know! When she asks if he's okay with that, he replies that he's not -- and he won't be until she is! Not sure exactly what that means, to be honest, but it's Avery so it sounds good to me!
Juliette sings over a montage! In an effort to get her job back, Maddie apologizes to Ashley (and btw I like this actress; she's not letting Ashley veer into caricature), who accepts gracefully with a hand-slap!
Avery writes! Now sing to me, Avery!
Maddie sees Clayton again! Seems like they'll be running into each other a lot, assuming Maddie doesn't mouth off to any more of the studio's clients! See you next week!