One of the many things to cherish about Nashville is the way in which its essential soapiness allows it to swing from tragedy to triumph without the merest hint of a blush. So at one end of the scale this week is Lamar’s death – not before time, given that we’ve never really had a satisfactory storyline for him. But it gives everyone a chance to react: Rayna bottles up her complicated grief, until a late-episode meltdown; Juliette comes to the small, private funeral, which confused one viewer at least – I know that she and Rayna have been getting on better, but when did they become besties?; Deacon offers Rayna a puppy-eyed shoulder to cry on, but he should really be watching his own turf, because it kind of looks as if the hot attorney is providing a special sort of consolation to Mayor Teddy. Bad move, I’d say, hot attorney, like anyone listens to me. But it might at least give another hot thirtysomething woman a chance to start a relationship with Deacon.
And at the other extreme there’s the giddy joy of St Avery, Gunnar, and Zoey setting up their little musicians’ collective: starting off jamming at home, moving on to become Deacon’s backing group, and ending up with the unmistakeable let’s-do-the-show-right-here suggestion: why don’t we just start a band? Scarlett is now the one who feels left out, but she makes up for it later: one night, she rebuffs Liam’s advances; the morning after, she goes for it. (I don’t remember Liam ever being quite as needy as he was this week, incidentally; was he not the coolest thing on the planet when Rayna initially approached him?) I called this one, of course, but that really doesn’t require any sort of prescience, given that everyone in Nashville ends up sleeping with everyone else.
In between there’s Juliette’s plot: no-one wants to touch her in Nashville, but big LA producer Howie V flies her out to re-record ‘Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet’ – St Avery, of course, accepting with grace and equanimity the news that his primitive production of it might get binned. Howie V’s versh involves backing singers, a string section, and a harp: I think we were supposed to hate it, but I actually quite liked it. Anyway, during the dumb photoshoot that follows, Glenn the Manager realises that Juliette’s going in another direction, and quits, although later on Juliette realises that she’s not done with country music and rehires him. Short of a Gunnlett revival I honestly don’t think I could have asked for a lot more. I absolutely loved this.