Following the events of last week Rayna and Deacon have, for now, separated. In those circumstances it’s always good if couples can find a common interest to bring them closer together and, fortunately, the Claybourne-Jaymeses are united by their shared disdain for orders of court.
Rayna first: the fact that Older Girl has officially been emancipated isn’t going to stop her from interfering – sorry, caring about her daughter. So when Cash arranges a showcase to launch OG’s solo career, with the intent of attracting record company interest, Rayna – on tour in Atlanta – drops her fabulous rhinestoned microphone and heads back to Nashville to watch it. And she also lines up one of her bezzies, the head of some Nashville record label or other, to enter the OG bidding war. It should be said, incidentally, that Juliette provides OG with help which is both more concrete and less underhand by sending Glenn along for any post-showcase negotiations. (Sidebar – everyone kept going on about how amazing it was that the showcase had been organised in a few days. I dunno; I’d have thought that lining up a venue and making a couple of phone calls wouldn’t be too onerous, but I’m not in the biz.)
The main competition for the signature of OG seems to be coming from a record label named Lennox Hill, the very name of which seems to have a Voldemort-like effect on anyone who hears it; people turning white, having panic attacks, and so on. All we find out about Lennox Hill, though, is that it’s based in New York, which I very much hope isn’t being used as a code for something. Anyway, that’s good enough for OG and Cash, and OG signs for them, so desperate is she to get out of Nashville.
Deacon, meantime, is in the middle of an unpleasant bout of self-pity. He tried so hard to be good, he tells an AA meeting. Not hard enough, dude. Not hard enough. Eventually some tough love from Scarlett snaps him out of it, to the point where – restraining order be damned – he heads over to The Jeff to kinda sorta apologise to the repellent Frankie, who not only isn’t having it, but tells Deacon that he’s going to be bought out of the bar. Well, that’s enough to have Deacon making cow eyes at a bottle of whisky, but – in the nick of time – Rayna phones him. And, quite honestly, I don’t care what the hell happens to Deacon any more.
The Exes are doing their very best to force themselves into that category as well. Rolling Stone runs its story from last week, which is all about Scarlett, making Gunnar sound like a backing musician. Then she gets offered a separate advertising deal. She knocks it back – it’s all about the band – but Gunnar co-writes a song with Autumn, and Scarlett decides to go for it. Since the inevitable consequence of all this nonsense is two solo careers, I’ve decided to harden my heart to the death of Gunnlett, even if it’s a stupid storyline since they clearly love each other but just won’t behave like adults for five consecutive minutes.
Talking of which: here’s Layla, concerned that her career is going to be stalled by the perception that she’s still the chick from the talent show. So she makes out in a back alley with Avery and – completely by coincidence! – there’s a photographer there, resulting in pics of Layla and Juliette Barnes’s babydaddy hitting the tabloids. Avery – understandably – isn’t happy, so Layla sulks, and Avery runs after her. It’s entirely obvious, though, that Layla tipped off the papparazzi, which means that I was fooled last week by the new, responsible, mature Layla. As was Avery, so far at least, although there are signs that Glenn’s starting to work it out.
Juliette, of course, is heartbroken when she sees photos of Avery and Layla together, so pounces on her Cline! co-star Noah West when he comes within twenty yards of her. Then Avery finds out about that, and he’s upset and… either you need to get back together, guys, or you need boundaries, but make your minds up, OK?
And Will heads home for his mother’s funeral, to the father who hates him and the small town which fuels the hate. The only glimmer of hope is that Will’s father, eventually, demands more tolerance from a local redneck who throws a homophobic slur at Will. Meantime, Luke deals with (his CEO?) Ken’s more elegantly-phrased bigotry by sacking him, claiming that he, Luke, is on “the right side of history”, which for sure he is. Half a good episode, and half an annoying one.