Nashville doubles down this week on #Maddiegate. Maddie’s trapped in her huge house – Raynadu, let’s call it – because the press are at the gates. Which is both endearingly old-school, and somewhat unlikely for an incident as trivial as this. Bucky – sacked, but somehow still around – hints that she might want to apologise for the sake of her career. But part of the reason that the incident won’t go away is that Daphne’s exciting new friend, the dreadful Liv, has posted an video mocking Maddie online. Then Clay breaks up with Maddie, which I thought he’d done last week, and Daphne – presumably wanting to make amends for what Liv did, although Maddie doesn’t yet know about that – helps Maddie to make another video, this time offering a partial apology: yes she overreacted, but no she’s not sorry for standing up for Clay.
At Highway 65, meantime, Rachel Bilson has turned up as perky “Chief Strategy Officer” Alyssa Greene, at the behest of perky zillionaire Zach. She points out to the H65 family, gathered round a table, that the record business as it used to be is dying, and (quite sensibly, IYAM) suggests brand partnerships as a way of making some bank. There are varying degrees of scepticism on the Highway 65 faces, but once again I feel obliged to observe that Zach’s only sin, thus far, has been trying to keep H65 afloat through disasters such as Juliette’s ‘The Whitest Gospel Album In The World’. Anyway, Will is ambivalent until Budweiser come calling, then he’s all about brand synergy and selling his soul.
Juliette herself mounts a Hallie showcase at the Bluebird, as a result of which Deacon wants to sign Hallie to H65, with Avery desperate to produce her. The only problem is that they want her to sack her backing group. Hallie isn’t having it, but then Avery arranges for her to sing with some proper musicians who aren’t just her mates and her married boyfriend, and she’s kind of convinced. Juliette also records the song which was meant for Maddie: I think I should allow that it’s better than I said it was last week, although still nowhere near as good as ‘Beautiful Dream’.
And Scarlett is being what is now her usual insufferable self. Babe, if you’re not interested in Gunnar, let him go. “For the first time”, she whines to Deacon, “he’s steady…”, which suggests that the writers are going to keep trying to sell us this fantasy of season 1-4 Gunnar being flighty while loving, loyal Scarlett bravely did her best. We do, though, get a scene of the two of them hanging with Will and Avery, and those are always good. It’s not a great episode, though, and the show needs to move on from Maddie and the video.