Rayna and Deacon are in couples’ therapy, which Deacon approaches with his usual sensitivity and judiciousness, which is to say that he shouts. A lot. However, when he snits that he would love to be the guy who doesn’t make the same mistake twice, Rayna’s eyes roll so far and so hard one hopes she has some of Tennessee’s finest ocular surgeons on speed-dial. “Twice? Deacon, it’s been a lifetime”. And, somewhere behind Deacon’s big dumb puppydog eyes, something falls into place.
Another couple which seems just about ready to split up is The Exes. “Are we doing the not-talking-to-each-other thing again?” their road manager wearily asks them. Yup, they don’t say. Enter Autumn, with a great idea: why don’t they go to Boston to see her close personal friend Elton John? By “they” she means “not Scarlett”, so Gunnar and Autumn head out to “Boston” for Elton’s little promotional stint on Nashville. (I quite like Elton, as it happens, so no harm to him for taking advantage of the opportunity.) Gunnar even gets to go on stage and play a song with Elton. One from the new album, of course.
Meantime Scarlett is trying to look something other than miserable at a photoshoot for the ad campaign mentioned last week, which leads to a quick bout of photographer-supplied therapy, at the end of which she breaks down in tears and realises that she’s in love with Gunnar. This seems to come as some sort of revelation to her, even if to any regular Nashville viewer – or, for that matter, anyone who’s ever seen a randomly-selected five minute sample – it’s about as obvious a proposition as can be imagined. By coincidence, though, at that precise moment Gunnar is thanking Autumn for getting him on stage with Elton John by boning her. No, Gunnar. No. That having been said, I still can’t quite get a handle on Autumn’s game here. If she just wants to sleep with Gunnar, fair enough. If she has some sort of business proposition for a Gunnar solo act, that would be somewhat naughty but at least comprehensible. So far, though, it’s just looked as if she wants to split The Exes up because she’s bad, and I’d like a little more motivation than that.
And Luke, the dude who Rayna should recognise as the decent guy who got away, is everywhere defending Will, who is somewhat reluctant to become a spokesman for anyone other than himself. Then Luke gets word that Colt has been beaten up at military college, and when he gets there Grandpa Colt, another rancid old bigot, is there already and straining at the leash to blame it all on Luke. And just as I was thinking, not for the first time this season, that Luke has suffered more than enough, Colt comes round, tells Luke that the incident happened because he was standing up for his father, and that he’s proud of Luke. Actually, it was quite moving. And if anyone in this show deserves a moment like that, it’s Luke. Then some dude shows up at Will’s house, and thanks Will for what he’s doing, with the result that Will is now ready to take the fight to the bigots himself.
Finally, Avery and Juliette still clearly have some very unfinished business. Juliette has hooked up with nice-but-bland Noah, who might know how to deal with a teething Cadence but isn’t really lighting Juliette’s fire. Avery is at Layla’s album launch and worrying about Cadence, who he’s left with Mommy and her new special friend. You can see that Avery doesn’t like being relegated to the role of baby daddy, and he wants to check in on, um, Cadence, but Layla trembles her lip and he decides not to. If this relationship survives next week’s season finale, I’ll be surprised. Top entertainment.