Nashville s4 ep 21

Rayna and Deacon are in New York City for the benefit concert she promised to do a few episodes ago, although Vita, the car-dwelling thief who inspired it, has just disappeared from the show’s collective memory. Rather like poor old Riff, it’s like she didn’t ever exist. But then Rayna finds out that Older Girl is working with Big Name Producer, who is also a big sexual predator; he tried to force himself on Rayna years ago when she was young and vulnerable.

Rayna can’t get hold of OG, so manages to persuade The Huffington Post to publish an open letter which calls BNP out by name. This all seems to happen unrealistically quickly, but what the hell, it’s the last episode of the season. Then, unable to bear the thought of what might be happening to his daughter, Deacon disappears, which generally means that someone’s going to have to be hosed off a wall. He gets there, though, in time to stop BNP; and, for once, manages not to hit someone – although, paradoxically, it’s someone who deserves a beating – and he and OG get the hell out of there.

The most entertaining and moving storyline of the week, however, belongs to Juliette, who’s in LA for the Oscars. She invites Avery and Cadence – and, as it happens, Layla – to join her, which of course puts Layla’s pert little nose out of joint. Juliette then discovers that someone – *ahem* Layla *ahem* – has leaked details of Jeff’s rooftop plunge to the press, and Jeff’s sister sues her. She settles out of court – again, this all happens unrealistically quickly, but what the hell etc. – then gives an interview during which she admits everything, thus finally giving herself a chance to move on.

But does Layla get away with it? Well, no. Glenn finds out what she’s been doing, and sacks her as a client; then Avery finds out too, and sacks her as a girlfriend (“You’re crazy, and we’re done!” – great line), before more or less reconciling with Juliette by phone. I do feel kind of sorry for Layla, who’s had a rough couple of seasons. Which all started with her gay husband, Will. This week he manages to get himself on the Cynthia Davis show after launching a sort of country music protest outside her studio. (The song that he and Luke do, incidentally, is something like the best thing Luke’s ever done on the show.) Kevin watches approvingly. Luke matchmakes a little, then gets out of the way. What a season Luke has had.

The news isn’t so good for The Exes, though, and therefore not for me. Scarlett decides that she needs to tell Gunnar how she feels, but at the precise moment when she’s doing so Autumn dashes into the room and proprietorially coils herself around Gunnar. At that precise moment. My note on this scene is simply “OFFS”. A subsequent conversation doesn’t sort things out, and so Scarlett and Gunnar decide that it’s time to pursue solo careers, much to the horror of their manager dude (who, it should be said, displays the patience of a saint throughout, combined with tact, and with genuine affection for his charges. Rather like Glenn and Bucky, as CJ has already observed).

So The Exes – still on tour – hit the stage for the last time, faces grim; not for the first time, it’s very Civil Wars. But as they unfurl another of their lovely, angsty songs, they make eye contact, the onstage chemistry reasserts itself, Gunnar FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY realises what time it is, and they make out. On stage. On effing stage. As a very longstanding, and intense, Gunnlett shipper I tried manfully to underreact, but let’s be honest; I squee’d my head off. I suppose all that leaves is a nagging sense that I never quite worked out what Autumn’s game was, and that Alicia Witt, an interesting actor, was somewhat underserved. Still, Gunnlett!

And then… well, at the time the episode was being written and filmed, it looked as if it was going to be the Nashville series finale, so just about everyone else gets a happy ending as well. OG comes back to Rayna and Deacon, who kiss. Will and Kevin kiss. Luke realises that his ex-wife might just have been the love of his life, and calls her. (Whoever she might be. We haven’t seen her yet.) Juliette decides that the Academy Awards can get on just fine without her, so boards a plane to go home to Avery and Cadence. As it happens, though, the writers and producers had time to pull the happy Julvery reunion scene which had been filmed, and instead insert one in which a distress signal is received from Juliette’s plane, in order to give us a cliffhanger for a possible fifth season; then, after being cancelled by ABC, Nashville unexpectedly did indeed find itself a new home on cable channel CMT.

There’s no word yet whether UK viewers will get to see that fifth season, which has just started in America. Still, I will totally be there if we do. The advance word on season 4 was that it was something of a letdown. But despite the welter of annoying characters (e.g. Deacon) and annoying storylines (e.g. anything with Deacon) I generally loved it, and this was a terrific way to round the season off.

Nashville s4 ep 20

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.

Nashville s4 ep 19

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.

Nashville s4 ep 18

Court day for Older Girl vs Her Mommy. Deacon is warned that outbursts might not assist the whole she’s-better-off-with-her parents argument, so he’s obliged to sit and simmer while evidence is being led. And, to start with, it looks as if things are going OK for Rayna. So OG’s lawyer switches to her “alternate strategy”, which isn’t so much a plan B as a plan D: trash Deacon. Which, of course, (a) is pretty obvious; and (b) really doesn’t need a whole lot of imagination to accomplish, as all you need to do is run through a few edited highlights of the Life And Crimes of Deacon Claybourne.

OG is first up. “Can you remember ever being scared by his behaviour?” her attorney asks her. Duh. Then it’s Deacon himself, who is catechised about just a few of the things he’s done: the car crash, Rayna’s black eye, all that good stuff. It turns out, though, that OG’s attorney has obtained her information from Frankie, who was, of course, Deacon’s AA sponsor. I have no idea what the applicable ethics are in this situation; it’s not exactly the seal of the confessional, but surely it’s pretty bad form to grass up your sponsee like that? Of course, it might not have happened had Rayna not threatened Cash, but that’s kind of beside the point, I would have thought, even if the net effect is to make Deacon sound like a violent drunk. “That’s not who I am!” Deacon insists to Rayna. Uh…

Anyway, the judge adjourns overnight. Whereupon Deacon has, perhaps, his very best idea in a whole season of them: he goes to The Jeff to confront Frankie. Not to assault him, oh no. Just to talk. Well, Frankie’s just about had enough of this. “You stole this bar just like you stole your damn dead sister’s liver!” he roars. Ooh, burn. Then he throws a punch or two at Deacon, who “defends himself” with consequences which could very easily have been foreseen before Deacon went to The Jeff: a broken nose and bust rib for Frankie; an arrest and restraining order for Deacon; and the emancipation of OG. Well done, Deacon. Well done.

I’ve said this before but it’s becoming more and more clear with every episode that Rayna should, in fact, have divorced Mayor Teddy, avoided Deacon, and married Luke. The heart wants what the heart wants, of course, but Luke has become Nashville’s most reliably decent and stable character. This week he decides to take the fight to the enemy, and appears on a conservative TV chat show to defend Will. Admittedly the feed cuts out halfway through, which means that the meaning of what he was saying is reversed. Oops.

Meantime, the episode gets off to a great start for Juliette, who’s nominated for an Oscar for her role in “Cline!”. She immediately decides to phone Avery to share the news. Unfortunately, he’s in bed with Layla, a situation which she very quickly deduces, but can’t quite get her head round. She and Avery love each other, so why doesn’t he want to be with her? Maybe she should watch seasons 1-3 of a TV show called Nashville for a clue on that. “She is trying to steal my life!” wails Juliette. (Which is, of course, where the show was going a while ago, until the writers changed direction for reasons which have never been made clear.) Then Juliette realises that Layla knows about Jeff and the rooftop, and is courageous enough to sit down with Layla to talk about it, although – as both concede – it doesn’t really change anything. Personally, I think that Avery can probably do better than both of them, but Layla’s had such a kicking over the past couple of seasons that I can’t begrudge her some happiness.

And it’s the morning after for Scarlett and Gunnar, who have an interview with a journalist from Rolling Stone. To start with they’re still sharing a post-coital glow, and more or less making out in front of the interviewer. However, Ms Rolling Stone has done her research, and is intent on putting The Exes on the spot in respect of their relationship, which means dragging up a few old storylines: Zoey, the marriage proposal, the dead brother, and so on. By the end Scarlett and Gunnar are sitting feet apart, barely able to look at each other. So, wonders the interviewer finally, why does their present-day situation work? “It only works ‘cos we’re The Exes”, spits Scarlett, and Gunnar assents. Oh dear. Once again my Gunnlett ship has been dashed on the rocks, and in a frankly annoying way which kind of sums the episode up: action-packed for sure, but apart from Luke, Will, and (God help us all) Layla, you’d have to conclude that a whole lot of essentially good people are behaving in a whole lot of essentially stupid ways.

Nashville s4 ep 17

Well, I’ve got to say right upfront that the Layla/Juliette/Avery love-triangle-on-tour car-crash was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. To start with, the ladies are side-eyeing each other, circling warily, while Avery visibly wonders what the hell he’s got himself into. Then they make their plays – Layla leans in for a kiss while recording with Avery, and he’s into it to start with, but then backs off. Juliette, meantime, has already got herself back in Glenn’s bad books for a bit of Avery-related manipulation. “Try being honest with him”, counsels Glenn. This course is one which obviously hadn’t occurred to Juliette, but she goes for it, telling Avery that she still loves him. It isn’t as simple as that, though, for Avery: “What you do to me is what you did, and you’re going to do it again”.

So, Avery, which one? We’ll leave him on the horns of that particular dilemma for now. Because over on the Exes tour, Scarlett is behaving like a big sulky idiot, as she thinks that Gunnar slept with Autumn. Then the two of them are in a lift together, it breaks down, and they’re stuck with no-one else for company. Gunnar takes the opportunity to ask Scarlett what the hell?, and – for once – they sort it out quickly and amiably.

There they are, then. Stuck IN A LIFT. Drinking WHISKY FROM THE BOTTLE. Getting so hot that THEY START TAKING EACH OTHERS’ CLOTHES OFF. My notes at this point say, simply, OH COME ON. But, it turns out, that isn’t enough. Because then, standing about three millimetres apart, they start to sing The Civil Wars’ classic ‘If I Didn’t Know Better’, also featured in the very first episode as a Scarlett/Gunnar co-write, which is basically essence-of-forbidden-love. And, using that as a soundtrack, we fly back to Avery, deciding whether to favour Layla or Juliette with his affections. Spoiler alert – Layla gets it. As I’m not as invested in Julvery as some other people I can live with that.

But I am INCREDIBLY invested in Gunnlett and what is happening in that lift, which is that they’re about to kiss when… the lift jerks into life. So they head back to their hotel rooms, part at the door… but no. Even the writers realise this is just getting stupid, so Scarlett opens her door, Gunnar is standing there, and they totally hit it. About time too, you guys. #Gunnlett4EVA!

Compared to all of that, the rest of the episode – and it’s a good episode, it has to be said – doesn’t quite have the same impact. Older Girl’s emancipation is coming along nicely, with Deacon further enraged by the news that, for these purposes, Mayor Teddy is OG’s legal parent; Deacon is desperate to “get on that stand” in court, which would have to go down as the worst idea in jurisprudential history. So Rayna visits the Mayor in the pen – prison suits him, it has to be said; he’s looking good – and he reasonably wants to hear OG’s side of things as well, which also gives him an opportunity to tell her the truth about the Edgehill deal. At the end of which – let’s be fair – you can kind of see why, given the choice between Drunken Angry Dad and Whoring Criminal Dad Who Would Trade Her To Protect His Own Lousy Hide, OG would want to strike out on her own. Also, Cash’s motivation for involving herself seems to be that she went through the same sort of thing herself with Frankie, which doesn’t quite justify it but puts it in a little context.

And Luke continues to be the good guy: he’s determined to launch Will, and when radio programmers don’t turn up for a showcase he goes directly to the people, using an interview on Good Morning America to put Will on TV screens across the country, and speaking frankly about the problem of trying to get country radio to play an openly gay artist. His manager (?) Kenneth is less than sanguine, but I suppose it’s his job to look after Luke’s career rather than provide moral guidance. I loved this episode, in case you haven’t guessed. Absolutely loved it.

Nashville s4 ep 16

Rayna gets back from… actually, I’ve forgotten where she was, and it doesn’t matter. Because the first thing she does is go to confront Older Girl about the sneaking-out-to-play-in-skeevy-clubs thing, and she discovers that OG has run away from home. Now, OG has obviously gone to the home of Cash, her mentor, patron, songwriting partner, lifestyle coach, and all-round bad (and somewhat sinister) influence, which is where Rayna starts the search. No, she’s not here, says Cash, which is plainly a lie, but Rayna pokes around Cash’s house for a few seconds, accepts the assurance at face value, and leaves.

We will, of course, return to Cash’s house in due course, because OG is totally there. Meantime, OG having texted her parents to confirm that she’s still alive at least, the next question to arise is why she ran away in the first place. Deacon, hilariously, spends most of the rest of the episode trying to persuade everyone that his, uh, established patterns of behaviour had nothing to do with it; ironically and (inevitably) fruitlessly, his chosen rhetorical device is shouting a lot. “Intense”, murmurs Rayna after seeing footage of Deacon’s intervention during OG’s performance at the bar. “We know Maddie’s got issues with your anger”. Indeed we do, Rayna; and you might recall, Rayna, that the red flags were flapping wildly in the wind on the very day of your wedding, Rayna. But what the hell, a guy can always be changed by marriage, amirite?!

OG’s disappearance also gives Nashville an excuse for a head-to-head between Rayna and Juliette, the show’s original superpowers. Juliette’s real priority this week, though, is making further progress with Avery, hampered somewhat by his acceptance of Layla’s offer to go on tour with her as bandleader. And Juliette really doesn’t like it when she sees Avery and Layla rehearsing on stage together. “How”, she asks Rayna, “do you let go of someone you love?” “You don’t,” Rayna replies, and a lightbulb goes on above Juliette’s head.

Fortunately God is on her side; our old friend Riff, who vanished last week, has turned up in a New Orleans hospital having suffered a stroke. Mrs Riff and Luke make haste to The Big Easy, where they discover from an ER doctor that Riff was brought in by a ho, and that the stroke happened after “several days of consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol, pain pills, and sexual performance enhancers”. Dude. Riffmeister. Riffatollah. The part of me which thinks that today’s musicians are too antiseptic is grudgingly impressed, but the short-term consequence is that Riff is in no state to go on the road with Luke. Which means that Luke needs a big name on the bill, and there just turns out to be a big name looking for a bill to go onto: yes, it’s a Luke/Juliette/Layla triple header, with Avery, Cadence, and Emily along for the ride. This is the sort of thing I live for in Nashville.

And over on the Autumn/Exes tour, Autumn’s game isn’t yet clear: she hits on Gunnar; she goes for a spa day with Scarlett, who confesses that she and Gunnar still have feelings for each other (yay!) which they sublimate for the sake of the band (boo!); then Scarlett sees Gunnar leaving Autumn’s hotel room with a lipstick mark on his cheek and OF COURSE immediately JUMPS to the CONCLUSION that they were DOING IT, which they weren’t, because Gunnar shut that idea down. Honestly, much as I ship Gunnlett, I’m very much over these little misunderstandings as plot devices. Talk to each other, guys.

Finally, pausing only to note that Will’s new music sounds like yacht rock rather than country, we’re back as promised at Cash’s house, where Deacon is persuading everyone that he’s calmed down by banging on the door and shouting. But OG has found out how much money Sony was prepared to offer her, and that Edgehill wanted to sign her too (although she doesn’t know the whole story there yet); so, egged on by Cash, she’s going to ask to be emancipated. Coming soon, then: a whole new group of people for Deacon to shout at! Not as good as last week, but still highly enjoyable.

Nashville s4 ep 15

Rayna is suddenly desperate to get away from the Highway 65 balance sheets and back on stage. I kind of hadn’t noticed, but, yes, it has been a while since Rayna – who is, after all, a country singer – has done any actual country singing on a regular basis. So she snags a slot on a charity show for missing women; then – as predicted by CJ last week – suggests to Bucky that they might put on “a big show” for that cause; then decides to go on tour herself, in order to give Layla someone to support; then bulldozes onto Autumn Chase’s stage to sing a duet with her.

Which, we are led to believe, is something you might just want to be careful about. The Exes turn up for a tour meeting just in time to see Autumn totally fire some dude for a relatively minor mistake, then they have to endure dinner with her, at which she grills them relentlessly about their relationship. Insofar as she has an evil plan, it seems to be to drive the Exes apart: she hints that Gunnar is the star songwriter of the duo (something which Gunnar, to his credit, shuts down); then she blabs about their private life at an afterparty, to the point where Scarlett feels obliged to intervene and ask her not to. Autumn praises Scarlett for speaking out, but has a furious look on her face when Scarlett walks away, and by the end of the party is behaving somewhat coquettishly with Gunnar. Dude. Do not fall for this. Gunnlett remains my endgame.

As well as Rayna, someone else who’s been missing from the country scene is, of course, Juliette, now keen to get back to work. Thing is, she needs a manager, and the obvious candidate is Glenn. Well, obvious unless you’re Glenn, who when he sees Juliette at the door of his office has a look of terror which is almost comical. “What are you doing here?!” he asks, while visibly wondering whether his will is up to date. He declines to put himself through the ordeal of managing Juliette again, prompting her to ask Avery, “Does Glenn hate me?” Tricky territory, this, as Avery recognises. “Well, uh, not exactly hate”, he doesn’t say, conceding instead that “there was a lot to love” about Juliette before her breakdown. This is an obvious falsehood, but Juliette and Avery share a smile and a look which means, I’d say, that the countdown to Julvery Uno Mas is on. Avery then doubles down on membership of Team Juliette by tricking Glenn into attending the Opry to hear Juliette performing, at the end of which Glenn agrees to take Juliette on as a client again.

Avery and Juliette’s growing closeness doesn’t go unnoticed by Layla, who having wangled herself a slot on the Luke/Riff tour asks Avery to go along with her as band leader and bed sharer, although she doesn’t explicitly mention the second of these functions for now. Although the tour itself might be in jeopardy: in the final scene a tearful woman, who, to be honest, I didn’t recognise at first, runs into Luke’s office: it’s Mrs Riff. Anyway, Riff has gone missing and she doesn’t know where he is. Thing is, I don’t care where he is: perhaps he’s with Vita?

Will, meantime, is writing with Kevin again, to tidy up one or two of their songs. While they’re working together Kevin gets a call from his new boyfriend, something which Will is unbelievable pissy about, like it’s anything to do with him.

And Older Girl, egged on by Cash, steals out of the house without telling anyone in order to play at a sleazy bar. Younger Girl overhears their conversation and faux-inadvertently tells Deacon, who gets down to the bar just as OG is about to start. And then the most surprising thing happens: OG is good. Really good. Actually, exceptionally good. Whether a sixteen-year-old should be singing a song whose essential message is I’m-a-bad-girl is, perhaps, something on which more than one opinion is available. But it can hardly be denied that she’s moved on from twee duets with YG, and that Rayna and Deacon might do well to recognise that. For the moment Deacon manages to contain himself, right up to the point at which a bro starts pawing his daughter’s leg, whereupon he intervenes in classically understated Deacon style and drags OG away, Cash sniping all the while as if it were any of her business. Great stuff. This might have been the best episode of the season.