Juliette’s collapse does not, of course, mean the end of her pregnancy. I know I keep going on about this, but since the show forces us to keep confronting faux-crises I think it’s justified: I haven’t looked for spoilers, but since we can see that la Panettiere was very visibly pregnant at the time of filming, nothing’s going to happen to Juliette’s baby, at least for the time being, unless they’re going to pack her off to the Magdalene Sisters or film her from the nostrils up. So enough.
It’s enough, though, to get Avery out of his sulk and into her hospital room. No further, though: Noah turns up with flowers – concerned or worryingly proprietorial, I wonder? – so Avery makes a nuisance of himself again. He will, though, eventually and grumpily concede that he’ll be involved in the bringing up of the baby, but not as a couple with Juliette. And she has some rare blood clot thing going on, so on medical orders she’s off the road until after the birth. She tells the waiting world that she’s up the stick and Avery’s her baby daddy.
Meantime, back with the music industry: it’s the day of the CMA nominations, and Rayna has one more than Luke. Rayna starts to fret about whether she’s getting nominations because of #Ruke, and declines to do a joint TV performance with Luke; he, meantime, visibly wilts under the news that his lady’s doing better than him. Is this the first Luke-shaped red flag, I wonder? Will also gets a nomination, which is about the only good thing happening in his life at the moment, and Layla looks like she’s about to kill herself, deliberately or otherwise. And Pam, who might be the most likeable person on the tour from hell, finally calls Deacon on his shit. Although – red flag number 2 – wasn’t Luke a little annoyed when Deacon started playing his new song at the afterparty?
But Rayna’s about to have a bigger problem than a touchy boyfriend. Mayor Teddy’s hanging with his new bro, The Man, and their two women friends, so Older Girl and Colt throw a spontaneous and raucous party at her house, which is a thoroughly unpleasant experience for poor Younger Girl. She tries to phone the Mayor, but he’s swimming nekkid with his female companion, who is, inevitably, an escort. In due course the police turn up to stop the party – just as OG and Colt are about to make out – and all of the relevant adults convene at the house.
So OG needs to be dealt with… and then the show did something which surprised me, by showing us OG’s three dads (birth certificate, biological, and soon-to-be-step) arguing, two of whom, at the time of the party, were on tour and butting heads, while the third was skinny-dipping with a ho; and her mom had to fly in from wherever the hell she was as well. All of a sudden I felt a pang of sympathy for OG: her life’s been pretty miserable for the past year or so, and her parents seemed tacitly to accept that by soft-pedalling the punishment. (She’s still a pain in the ass, though, let’s be clear.)
The solution – hire a nanny – opens up all sorts of possibilities, both casting and reallocation. Zoey’s now unemployed, having been quite magnificently fired by Juliette as a palate-cleanser before she confronted Avery. (And Zoey might even be single – one can hope – as her latest irrelevant contribution to the lives of people who don’t need her is to walk in on Gunnar with Kiley and Micah and whine about it.) Kiley remains in town – another possible nanny? – having succumbed to Gunnar’s pleas to hang around so that he can get to know Micah. Juliette’s no longer touring, and might be looking for something to do. And Scarlett’s still in songwriting jail, but slowly starting to form a bond with Terry, the blues-singin’ gutter-cleanin’ Magical Negro. (Possibly. But I’m not sure I can give the show the benefit of the doubt on this any more.)
It’s worth mentioning just how well this show wrangles its large cast, giving just about everyone something substantial to do. Not as full-on cray as last week’s episode, perhaps, but every bit as enjoyable. Nashville is on top form at the moment.