Juliette is having panic attacks. And flashbacks to her childhood. And her pants are on fire: she’s about to play her comeback gig, and she’s told the choir that her record company don’t want her to perform with them. Whereas it is, in fact, entirely her decision, because her album got bad reviews and the choir are losers. Hallie doesn’t believe her anyway, and calls her a “selfish, narcissistic bitch”. “Am I narcissistic?” Juliette wonders aloud to Avery, whose finely-judged pause before answering is perhaps the highlight of the episode. But then – in keeping with the generally emollient tone of this storyline – she apologises; the choir performs with her; everyone loves it.
In the new show-within-a-show #wokeNashville, meantime, Daphne is still hanging with her new cool homeless buddy Liv, who manages to injure herself while trying to steal something from a junkyard. Daphne takes Liv home and hides her in her room, but Deacon finds her and, moved by Daphne’s pleas, agrees to let her stay for a while. Whether it’s altogether wise to welcome into your home someone who’s prepared to go on the rob is something to which we will no doubt come. It should also be noted that this is at least the fourth time (Terry the Magical Negro, the inexplicable Vita, Clay) in two seasons that Nashville has put a homeless person at the centre of a plot.
Damien’s back in town, and Scarlett tells him that she’s up the stick and he’s the babydaddy. To which he reacts like the jerk he is. Gunnar, of course, like the essentially good guy he is, continues to be prepared to stand by Scarlett, but I have no doubt that the writers will make that his penance for all the terrible things he apparently did before, in their collective imaginations.
And Zach vs Bucky ends, for now, in the only way it could: Zach has some (actually pretty reasonable) ideas for how to release Maddie’s first single, which Bucky resists. Deacon sides with Bucky, but he resigns anyway, telling Deacon to be careful of what might be coming next. I think I’m supposed to regard Zach as the devil, but thus far, tbh, as far as I’m concerned all he’s done is plough money into Rayna’s failing vanity label then try to protect his investment. I have no idea why I liked this episode, but I… kind of did?