Luke’s back from tour, because it’s the day before The Wedding, which means that Rayna is running out of time to go through her full range of “should I be doing this?” facial expressions. “Are you happy?” Tandy asks her. The obvious answer is “no, not really”, particularly as The Honeymoon Tour – oh really – might be extended, although in order to facilitate that The Girls would need to go to boarding school, this being something they’ve already discussed with Luke but not Rayna. Not for the first time she hits the roof, although in the context of Luke’s general unlikeability that seems like pretty small potatoes. (Perhaps because I’d send them away myself, given the chance.)
Deacon and Scarlett – who have a nice chemistry when onscreen together, I like scenes with the two of them – have stayed in Memphis (I think?) so that Deacon doesn’t need to engage with Ruke. But it isn’t wholly successful, because every time he turns on the TV or sees a magazine cover it’s all “Your Ex Is Totally Marrying The Big Hat Guy!” Even karaoke doesn’t fill the gap in his heart. But then he goes back to his hotel room and while half-heartedly trashing it he notices the minibar. Next morning he’s found face down by Scarlett on the floor of the room, and an ambulance takes him to hospital, where he wakes up. Oh, Deacon! Except he wasn’t drinking; he might have cancer. Wonder if that’ll bring Rayna back?
It’s a busy week for the emergency services, who will also be needed to take Layla to hospital after she overdoses at a party and ends up floating in a pool. Backing up: Jeff chases Layla away, because there are rumours about Will – the biggest artist on his label – being gay, and he can’t have that. Meantime Will is hit on by a woman and, when he turns her down, she takes it as proof that he is indeed gay, as opposed to just loyal to his wife. So Will, following Jeff’s earlier advice to “butch it up”, gives her a seeing-to, which Layla happens to observe. I’ve kind of forgotten whether Will is a good guy at heart, because at the moment his behaviour towards Layla is indistinguishable from cruelty. Anyway, Layla – and this has been coming for weeks – takes some pills, which she conveniently has to hand, because Jeff gave her them.
Another relationship which is going down the tubes is Mayor Teddy and the ho: he realises that he’s been paying for company (well, duh). And Micah’s grandparents, who are also his legal guardians, are fighting Gunnar for custody. No worries, says Gunnar’s attorney – we just need proof of paternity, such as a DNA test, and we’re good. At which point every single viewer says “uh-oh”, because we’ve seen this before, and we know how it ends: Micah isn’t Gunnar’s. Even worse: the father is Jason, Gunnar’s brother. Still, every cloud: Gunnar runs to Scarlett.
It’s all a bit of a mess, though. So let’s move on to something happier. Juliette gives Avery a key to her house – only one seems to be needed, which is a little below the level of security I’d expect for a multi-million selling, arena-filling pop star. But let’s not dwell. Avery goes off to start producing Sadie’s album – good song, this one – and I started to wonder, as they gazed at each other intently, whether they were about to make out. Perhaps they will in due course, but not now. It’s a song about Sadie’s ex, who turns up this week, accuses her of plagiarism, and smacks her about. “There’s a reason why you break up”, Sadie advises Avery, “and that just doesn’t go away”. Except it kind of does, because he proposes marriage to Juliette and she accepts. And they get married there and then. Julvery FTW!
Which means we get at least one wedding this week, because Rayna turns up at Luke’s house a couple of hours before they’re due to tie the knot, and she’s got her sombre face on, so you know where it’s going. “I can’t marry you”, she tells him, whereupon Luke belatedly realises that he’s not Deacon. Much as I don’t like the guy, I think you’d have to concede that his fury at this point is justified, mind you; Rayna could have pulled the plug at any time, rather than waiting until the actual day of the wedding. I expect I’ll get over it, though. A terrific episode.