Last week I complained that everyone was being stupid. This week everyone’s being petulant. So, of course, that means it’s time for Older Girl to step forward: she’s sulking with Deacon because he has cancer, which even by her standards is going it a bit. She phones Mayor Teddy to come and get her, but he isn’t mad about the idea: he’s still involved in delicate negotiations with a jumpy hooker, and has to put up with snark from the fixer he inherited from his father-in-law: “I’ll leave you to your family. They must be proud”. Still, Fixer has dug up enough dirt on last week’s finance director to enable Teddy to leverage that into the creation of a slush fund, so it looks as if he’s going to be able to give his escort vast quantities of cash money to disappear. Phew. Panic over. Can’t see how that might go wrong.
Older Girl is topped by Juliette, though, whose baby shower is turning into a disaster: Avery’s on tour, Kacey (inter alia) can’t make it, and Rayna, the organiser… well, Rayna’s at police HQ with ex-husband-killer Sadie. So Juliette throws the most fabulous hissyfit, flinging baby shower paraphernalia all over her house. Now, much as I was enjoying this scene, I was also being taken out of the moment, because Hayden Panettiere didn’t actually look pregnant any more, presumably because she wasn’t by the time this was filmed. But then Juliette’s waters break, so we’re getting closer to once again being able to sync Hayden’s on- and off-screen statuses.
And Juliette, in turn, is bested by Gunnar. Oh, Gunnar! He’s simmering with rage – mostly at himself – because he didn’t read the Scarlett-signals before she hooked up with Dr Moderately-Hot. So when she totters back to the tour bus after a night of moderately hot lovin’ he slut-shames her and pouts through the journey to the next Triple X’s tour venue. Avery does a runner on the way, because he’s about to become a daddy, which means it’s just the two of them onstage, and although Gunnar pulls a bit of a creep move when he introduces them, they then perform ‘Longer’, which is a truly lovely song, and by the second verse they’re staring intensely at each other. #GunnlettFTW, unrivalled chemistry, etc.; see Nashville reviews passim. But at the end, when Gunnar tries to seal the deal, Scarlett snaps “All I felt was the music”. I am DISTRAUGHT, and once again have to conclude that no-one on the writing staff is thinking of how this is affecting ME.
Another MFEO couple might just be – and I really can’t believe I’m saying this – Sadie and Luke. He lies for her in order to make sure she won’t be charged with the killing of her ex – incidentally, wouldn’t this storyline have been more intriguing if Sadie had shot him in cold blood? – and they share a fairly intense moment, but she’s leaving Nashville; and, indeed, leaving Nashville, presumably having helped to fill a gap while Hayden was heavily pregnant. Shame. I liked Sadie. Almost as much as Luke did. By way of compensation, though, he gets to play a key role in an odd little storyline: Bucky is about to watch singer-songwriter Ron Pope (played by singer-songwriter Ron Pope) with a view to signing him to Highway 65, bumps into Luke, and invites him to come along. After Pope’s performance, Bucky concedes that although Pope’s great he’s not a Highway ’65 kind of guy, whereupon Luke snaps him up on the spot for W******’ D*****’ Records. I have no idea what the eff was going on here: what’s Bucky’s game? Wouldn’t he have known Pope wasn’t for Highway? Why help Luke out? Does he want a job? Would he walk out on Rayna? Am I making too much of this?
But we’re roaring towards this week’s cliffhanger: Avery makes it to the hospital just in time to see his daughter being born, he and Juliette sing her a sweet little song, and just as she’s about to announce the baby’s name… credits. Least consequential cliffhanger in TV history? Perhaps. Another great episode, though. What a good season this has been.