Alannah and the Boys (who are called The Lost Highways, a development I may have overlooked) are invited to appear on TV, but on the basis that they will perform two songs, on which Alannah will sing lead. Nuh-uh, says Alannah, who – unless I’m missing something? – is still being thoroughly decent about ensuring that the spotlight is shared around; I’m doing lead vocals on one song max. So Will is told that he’s getting the other song, about which he’s remarkably ungracious. But then he’s essentially a floppy fringe atop some steroids at the moment.
Deacon, meantime, has a gig at the Bluebird. Scarlett tries to talk Sean into coming along, for which she gets more snark from the woman in charge of the horse psychotherapy practice. Who has a point – Scarlett ain’t no therapist – but perhaps being a bit nicer to your volunteers would pay dividends? Anyway, Scarlett drags poor Sean to another live music event, which he runs out of. But he then plays her one of his songs, and she cries. Are they going to be… a couple? I mean, I really don’t see it; they have zero chemistry. But it’s Nashville.
As well as playing a gig, Deacon is keeping himself busy by crushing Daphne’s dreams: she wants to make an EP, and he doesn’t want her to. So, behind his back, she enters Brad’s talent competition and makes the cut. Quite rightly; she’s really good, and given how tough I’ve been on The Girls (as characters, in fairness, rather than as actors or people) over the years I should again record that Maisy Stella has developed into quite the screen presence.
Avery is saying to anyone who’ll listen that he’s done with Juliette, who of course didn’t come back with him from Bolivia. But when he tells Alannah, something slightly odd but interesting happens: instead of the usual yeah-dude-we’re-there-for-you, she replies with details of her own toxic relationship, someone who’s bad for her but she can’t give up, presumably equating that with Avery’s feelings for Juliette. I mean, I’ve been saying this for a while now, but I wasn’t aware that the show might share my views. I hope the writers keep Alannah as a good guy; I like her.
Before the end of the episode, though, there are a couple of bombs to be exploded. Firstly, while The Lost Highways are performing on TV Will collapses, and it’s a bad one; the paramedics can’t find a pulse. More entertainingly, the utterly dreadful Brad intends to send Jake, his son with Jessie, to boarding school. Jake won’t go, so Brad starts shouting at him, then breaks his bedroom door down. Deacon watches with obvious agitation, more or less cracking his knuckles – it has, after all, been ages in Deacon terms since he delivered a really good beat-down to anyone. And finally, when Brad starts to drag Jake out of his room, Deacon can stand no more: he grabs Brad and slams him against a wall, which is pretty much what Brad was hoping for. It’s not impossible that this was the best episode of the season so far. Nashville now goes on its midseason hiatus, before its final run of episodes.