So, we kick things off with some of the gang hanging out on the final leg of Puke’s tour in Memphis. After the show, Puke tells Deacon he knows they’ve had their differences, but he’s grateful the Deac man toured with him. He doesn’t fail to constantly drop hints that Rayna is going to be his wife either. Scarlett is hanging around with Uncle Deacon, who plans to stay in Memphis to miss the ruckus going on in Nashville over the nuptials. Scarlett volunteers to stay to keep him from throwing a pity party.

We also see creepy Jeff creeping backstage getting a text from Layla about seeing him at a party the next day.  He also has some news for Will. It seems our closeted friend has been outed by a gay website. Jeff advises him to go get drunk and make out with a groupie to counter the story. Leave it to Jeff to skeeve us out just five minutes into the show.

Back in Nashville, Rayna is doing a final fitting for her wedding dress and Tandy is back in town for the shindig. THANKFULLY Rayna went with a more classic look for her wedding gown and not that awful Cleopatra knockoff she had on earlier in the season. At least she made ONE good decision in all of this. And the good news keeps pouring in for Rayna, whose latest album is Platinum and they want to extend her honeymoon tour with Puke for another 6 months.

Over at Juliette’s place, Juliette suggests to Avery that he move in and stay in the guest room when the baby is born so they share the responsibility of caring for a newborn. She even gives him his old house key back.

Gunnar and Mika are one little happy famdamily until the little squirt’s maternal grandparents arrive. They have secured court documents to be Mika’s legal guardians and are ready to take him home to Texas. After talking it over with an attorney (who looks like Seth McFarland), Gunnar knows he has rights as the little punk’s biological pop. The attorney is going to spring into action and get a hearing for the next day. GIVE ME A BREAK! The wheels of justice NEVER turn that quickly—even if Gunnar is a CMA Award winner. And the attorney also tells him to get a paternity DNA test over at Vanderbilt. Like that is ALSO going to happen in a day?!

Puke is back in town and his house and yard are full of wedding preparations. He even insists Tim and Faith sit with them at the bride and groom table, while Rayna would prefer their kids sit with them. He even pretends to be understanding when she tells him she doesn’t want to tour an extra six months. But Maddie and Daphne also want her to get back on the road and say they’d rather go to boarding school and Rayna realizes something is up. It seems Puke told the girls about two fancy boarding school openings available for them.

As if Jeff doesn’t creep us out enough, we have the other creep-tastic plotline with Teddy still seeing the call girl. And even though she gave him a freebie at the CMA’s, she informs him that it won’t happen again – just before jumping into action for another “date” with him. (Skin is crawling, crawling… make it stop!) And THANKFULLY, Teddy comes to his senses and tells her he doesn’t want to see her anymore. He wants a real relationship. But seriously, go to a doctor, dude. Just saying.

At the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Deac and skinny Scarlett are watching the Peabody hotel tradition of their ducks being paraded from the elevator into the lobby fountain. I seriously hope Scarlett doesn’t snap into a hunger fit and try to swallow one whole. I mean, Rendezvous Barbecue IS right around the corner! Take advantage, please!

Sadie’s ex-husband, Pete (or maybe call him Stalker Pete), manages to worm his way in to see her at the recording studio, claiming one of her songs sounds a lot like one they wrote together while they were married. As she tries to get rid of him, Avery walks in and Pete quickly excuses himself, telling Sadie “This isn’t over.” Stalker Pete it is.

Later, Sadie tells Avery she was married to Stalker Pete at 19 and divorced by 25. Then they start talking about how it’s tough to be friends with an ex because the reason you broke up never quite goes away. Okay, did everybody rewind their DVR’s like 25 times at that part? I’m just checking because it was one of the FEW times the Nashville writers made REAL LIFE sense.

Will gets home and tries to talk his beard (AKA: Layla) into going back out on tour with him and she’s too busy texting skeevy Jeff to pay much attention. Layla drags Will to whatever holiday party she and Jeff were texting about and it doesn’t take long for Will to spot his wife across the bar with the creeper.

Will confronts creepy Jeff and he admits to having a tryst with Layla, but says he was doing Will a favor since she wasn’t getting any at home. Will’s beard is a bit clueless when it comes to romance and now she won’t go on tour with Will because she thinks she has a good thing going with Creepy.

What kind of sucks is you feel sorry for Jeff a little bit because he does have feelings for Layla, but he loves money and power more, so he breaks it off with her. Before he leaves her crying in her drink, he hands her a bottle of pills and tells her to take a few. “They’ll take the edge off.”

Will witnesses the whole thing from a balcony above. Before he can get back downstairs to pacify his beard, a random groupie corners him and takes off her dress. (Maybe she should introduce herself to Teddy. Just a thought.) Anyway, as Will tries to ward off her advances, she asks if the rumors about him not being into women are true. Filled with more rage than sexual energy, Will picks her up and they fall on the bed together kissing like their tongues were biscuits and gravy.

Before their rehearsal dinner, Rayna confronts Puke about the whole boarding school thing and it seems like the somewhat normal life she wants for her kids and herself is spinning out of control. They make it to the dinner, which, to Rayna’s chagrin, has a red carpet and press photographer. After looking around, she realizes she doesn’t know most of the people at the dinner.

Maddie and Daphne are two familiar faces for Rayna and they perform a beautiful song Maddie wrote with Deacon – and it rattles Puke when he learns that little factoid. Back at home, Rayna confides to Tandy that her life has been such a whirlwind that it doesn’t feel like her life any longer. Tandy chalks it to up to wedding jitters, but Rayna is truly having second thoughts.

Back west, Scarlett and Uncle Deacon are out on Beale Street and instead of both of them finding random hotties to take their minds off of lost love, they head for the karaoke bar. How very Nashville of them. Memphis should kick them out. Immediately.

They do manage to have some fun and Scarlett takes Deacon’s mind off of Rayna’s wedding, but too many reminders keep popping up and he heads back to the hotel. Once in his room, he continues to see reminders of Ruke – this time it’s on the cover of a magazine. And with his mini-bar being stocked to the gills, were meant to believe he falls off the wagon.

Wandering upstairs, Layla is staggering around the party bearding like she’s never bearded before when she spies Will’s tryst with the random groupie currently in session. So, instead of taking a few pills as Creepy suggested, the beard goes into full on crazy and downs several with her glass of booze. It’s a little early in her career to go all Tanya Tucker, isn’t it?

Back at Gunnar’s place, he is trying to make nice with his kid’s grandparents and grandma is already trying to make him out to be an unfit father. Now, keep in mind these are the same people who tried to keep Kylie from seeing Gunnar when they were an item as teenagers. So, after Mika scuttles off to do weird little guy stuff, grandma confronts Gunnar about taking them to court. They begin to argue and Gunnar asks them to leave. And, of course, Mika is sitting at the top of the stairs and hears it all. Not long after, Gunnar gets a call from his attorney and the Maury Povich-like speed of the paternity test is back and (SPOILER ALERT) Mika isn’t his kid. (You are NOT the father!)

Scarlett returns to the hotel to find Deacon passed out and unresponsive on the floor. She immediately calls 911. At the hospital, Deacon wakes up and the doctor explains that he had no alcohol in his system, but they ran some tests. He has cirrhosis of the liver with an extremely high white blood cell count, which is common in cancer patients.

Back at Juliette’s place, Avery arrives home and confesses that he can’t just be friends with her. Just when you think he is going to do his usual tuck and run, he asks Juliette to marry him. And she says yes. Okay, not be rude, but I see some stupid kids being made as a result of this union.

Sadie comes home to find (the appropriately named) Stalker Pete on her front porch. When she tells him to get the hell off her porch, he delivers a serious punch to her face and knocks her to the ground. He just graduated from Stalker Pete to Prisoner Pete in two seconds. Leaving her dazed on the porch, he storms off. I want to jump off my couch and chase his ass down! He made me put my glass of wine down!

At the party, Will and Jeff are searching for Layla and Will spots her lying face down in the swimming pool. Jeff stands there stunned as other partygoers run over and call emergency responders. Creepy pulls his phone out of his pocket, but it’s not to call 911. He calls Teddy, the powerful politician who can help get him out of this mess. We THOUGHT he was human for about a second.

The morning of the wedding, Rayna shows up unexpectedly at Puke’s house and FINALLY DOES SOMETHING RIGHT. She tells him she can’t marry him. (I just did a little victory dance in my living room!!) But their little chat ends with Puke in tears telling her to “Get the hell off my property!”

Back home, Scarlett is dealing with Deacon, who thinks he’s dying and as soon as he shuts his bedroom door in her face, a devastated Gunnar shows up. He explains to Scarlett that even though Mika isn’t his son, the paternity test showed they were related. Kylie cheated on Gunnar with his brother. Mika is actually his nephew.

As soon as the hashtag for #javery popped up on the screen, I gagged. No, I Ruked.

Yes, Avery and Juliette got married in what appears to be the office of the justice of the peace. Why is it that the insane ones end up doing what’s best?

And this ends the winter portion of Nashville, my lovies. The show returns, and so shall I, in February!


See also:

NASHVILLE recap: "Two Sides to Every Story" (season 3 episode 9)

NASHVILLE recap: "First to Have a Second Chance" (season 3 episode 10)

NASHVILLE recap: "I'm Not That Good at Goodbye" (season 3 episode 11)




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