Rayna tells Deacon that she’s going to New York for some label thing or other, but instead heads to Biloxi or wherever to do some liver-begging with Deacon’s appalling sister, Beverly. It’s all a waste of breath – in a series of flashbacks which are of no great interest, we see that Deacon decided to become a backing musician for Rayna rather than assist in turning Beverly into the biggest singing star in America. (Uh-huh.) So Rayna resorts, as we kind of always knew she would, to getting the chequebook out. Which presumably at least means that her financial woes are behind her.
What she doesn’t yet know, though, is that while she’s in “New York” Older Girl and Colt are getting to at least second base in Deacon’s house. Deacon catches them just before they can make third, and chases Colt out. He doesn’t quite know what to do thereafter, but Juliette offers to speak to OG, and not for the first time they share a lovely little scene. All in all it’s not a bad week for Juli: she’s told, somewhat implausibly, that after less than a year out of the spotlight no-one wants to promote her concerts, so she pulls together a quick rooftop concert, then for afters straddles Avery in the lift down. I liked Glenn’s shrugging “Welcome to my world…” to a baffled Bucky as they tried to work out what the eff Juliette was up to.
Luke, meantime, has headed to an unconvincing green-screen-equipped studio doubling as Malibu for a Jade St. John party. Layla and Jeff are invited as well, but Jeff’s role in the show now seems to be to suck the fun out of everything, so he sits sulking while Layla gets introduced to some hottie actor, although he intervenes when she actually starts drunkenly making out with dude in front of him. They leave, but not before Jeff does something which is – I think? – intended to make it look as if Layla has betrayed Jade’s trust. Luke, on the other hand, is now so perfect that he’s starting to scare me: his conversation with Jeff at the party, where they accept that they’re the two oldest guys in the room, is droll and almost elegiac; the way in which he splits up with Jade is a model of tact and graciousness; and his handling of Colt and the feeling-up of OG looks spot-on. I’m starting to think that the writers are about to pull the rug from under us: anyone seen Sadie lately? Should we be searching Luke’s basement?
And as Luke ascends, Gunnar goes the other way. Kiley turns up on his doorstep and – understandably – he’s furious with her. But she then tells him that she didn’t cheat on him, but was raped by his brother, which led to Micah. (Sidebar: can we take it that this time she’s telling the truth? And, in case anyone’s wondering, that isn’t a question I’d be asking IRL. It’s a TV drama, and she has form for lying.) Scarlett’s trying to be sympathetic, but he picks a completely pointless argument with her, driving her inexorably into the arms of Dr Moderately-Hot, who’s actually looking like quite a good bet compared to Gunnar at the moment. Then Kiley’s going to be staying for the night, and she and Gunnar are all, I really did love you, which means that in the next episode they’re going to wake up in bed together, aren’t they? Oh, Gunnar!
But he’s still not the dumbest guy on the show: step forward, once more, Mayor Teddy, who takes yet another burner phone call from Natasha the Escort, this time for her to tell him that the Feds are on to him, and to apologise for the wire, entrapment, et al. Bit late for that, you’d think, and he plans to flee the country; but then he gets visited by an old friend who works for the US Attorney, who offers to make the charges go away if Teddy will do something as yet unspecified. I’d like to think that this will mean another music academy, another slush fund, another – even bigger – payoff, and another wire, because Teddy would undoubtedly be stupid enough to fall for it again, if the cops were minded to really stick it to him. Yet another ridiculously entertaining episode.