NASHVILLE recap: "The Slender Thread that Binds Us Here"

Sad days are here in fake Nashville. We start off with Beverly’s funeral and Deacon isn’t speaking to Scarlett. Also attending are Dr. Hottiepants (Caleb), Rayna, Puke Junior, Maddie, Daphne, Will, Gunnar, Avery and Zoey… whoa. Yes, you read that correctly. I guess Zoey took time from her busy singing career in LA to come sing at Beverly’s funeral. I guess she and Skinny are back to being besties again.

When it’s Deacon’s turn to give the eulogy, he loses it in the middle and points to the casket, saying “She isn’t supposed to be here right now!” Scarlett can’t stop boo hoo’ing. Rayna jumps up and gets him to sit back down. Then, she finishes the eulogy for him. (Is it wrong I kept thinking of the funeral scene from Zoolander?)

As if things couldn’t bring us down any more, we next find Creepy (Jeff) lighting into Juliette. Not only is she shirking her responsibilities as a wife and mother, she is blowing off press opportunities. But not today, for our hungover little attitude problem. Creepy has given E! Online an “On the Road with Juliette Barnes” piece where they will literally have unfettered access to her for the next few days. But, Jeff can’t hang around for the fun because Nashville beckons. Anyone else wonder why it was E! Online and not one of ABC’s entertainment monstrosity shows? At least it’s not TMZ.

At the funeral, Gunnar and Zoey very awkwardly chat. He asks her to get a drink while she’s in town and catch up, but she is seeing someone back in LA. Will apologizes to Scarlett for not being around more for her, but she shrugs it off, telling him “You were very brave.” Then, Gunnar approaches Scar Scar and they share a very sweet moment that gets ruined by Dr. Hottiepants. Maybe we should start calling him Dr. Evil Hottiepants? ANYWAY, Scarlett next approaches Deacon, but he still isn’t talking to her. Yeah, I don’t like this side of Deacon. You cannot make us stop loving him, Nashville writers! But, nice try.

But we cannot dwell on a death in the family for long, Rayna’s boy band artist, Markus Keen, is coming to town with no notice and that leaves Bucky and Ray Ray scrambling to find him a producer. (It’s going to be Avery. Let’s be a little less obvious with the plotlines, Nashville writers.) But, hey, the least they can do is have him go from boy band to the Opry, where Rayna just happens to be playing the following night.

Juliette is answering fake phone calls from Avery and pretending to be a workout addict with the reporter. She then tells one of her lackeys to get her something to give her more energy to get through the next few days. Ya know, something a doctor might prescribe?

Back in Nashville, Avery and Emily are kicking it at Cumberland Park with little Cadence. Emily has been watching her so he could attend the funeral. He tells Emily he is thinking about just waiting and seeing if Juliette will come to her senses and come back. (BIG MISTAKE) As they chat, they are unaware a paparazzi is snapping photos of them playing with the baby. It probably IS TMZ this time.

As if that didn’t already make me want to gag, we next see Layla and Jeff in bed being all sweet and lovey dovey. She is making her Grand Ole Opry debut tomorrow and is not sure she will be made a priority at Highway 65 now that they have signed that bigshot Markus Keen. But, Jeff makes it all better by giving her a gorgeous pair of Luchese boots for when she makes her Opry debut. Luchese makes beautiful boots. I would happily accept a pair. Or five.

When Markus gets to town, it’s obvious he knows nothing about country music when he asks Bucky if the Grand Ole Opry is where they filmed Hee Haw. And guess who wants a meeting with Markus? You guessed it. Avery. Sigh. Be a little more unpredictable, Nashville writers. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Juliette’s minion finds a doctor who can get her some Adderall and he writes the lackey a script for more, just in case. But the Adderall is keeping her up all night and her minion gives her some sleeping pills, which she chases with booze. If I didn’t already spend over 10 year in the music business, I would find this behavior disturbing. For real Nashville, it’s just Tuesday.

Dr. Evil Hottiepants tries to talk to Scrawny about the grief process, but she shuns him. #TEAMSCARLETT I guess she is going to talk to that brain box, Zoey, instead. Over coffee, Scarlett tells her she doesn’t want to go on tour and that hugging Dr. Evil Hottiepants is like “Hugging a textbook.”

Speaking of the textbook, he goes to Gunnar and is at a loss because he doesn’t know how to get through to our little Sherpa hipster. So, he wrote a song and he wants to have Gun Gun help him finish it. Yeah, this would be a good time to slam the door in his hot face, Gunnar! But, no. Our sweet Gunnar is naïve and kind. When they sit down to write, Caleb realizes how difficult making music is and he apologizes for his belittling comments earlier about the music business. Great. I am back to liking him now. Sort of. You can never trust a Hottiepants, ya’ll.

Deacon is trying to deal with his grief and the only thing he knows to do is attend his next AA meeting. He chats with his buddy, Frankie (played by real country singer Mark Collie) who can tell he needs a friend. Maddie finds him back at home reading Beverly’s obit and offers to just spend some time with him and he blows her off, too. So, Madds gathers up Puke, Junior (Colt) and they decide to take Deacon (who has gone back to his old house) some dinner.

Backstage at the Opry, Will runs into Rayna who very willingly has a photo taken with him. They are both there to support Layla’s Opry debut. While Layla performs, Creepy turns to Will and pulls a total Creepy move and says “I always thought that would be you out there.”

Well, the speed queen’s Adderall use is beginning to show during a radio interview. The radio host shows her the tabloid story of Avery and Emily in the park with the baby. Though she is hopped up on a pharmacy, Juliette manages to very gracefully shrug it off. But, later, she gets Emily on the phone and calls her a “gold digging, back stabbing, whore.” Oh, so NOW Juliette cares.

Back at the Opry, Markus has overshadowed Layla (who hasn’t?) backstage and Rayna wants to introduce him to Avery. And guess how he knows Avery? As Juliette’s baby daddy. I truly can’t think of a worse label than that. I mean, that is worse than being Dick Cheney. So, anyway, as Avery is just getting the chance to have real one-on-one time with Markus, he gets a call from Emily. Cadence has a very high fever and she needs him to meet her at the emergency room.

Rayna is making her way to the Opry stage to perform when she brings Layla out to perform with her. ONCE AGAIN, stealing Layla’s spotlight is Markus, who is beginning to remind me of Mark McGrath. Ya know, he used to be hot and now he is kind of disturbing? Anyway, Markus steps on stage and interrupts them. Instead of being a good sport, Layla storms off and leaves Rayna and McGrath, Junior to perform. Jeff is trying to be there for Layla, chasing after her, but Avery won’t stop calling him, trying to reach Juliette. It seems the doctors can’t get the baby’s temperature down.

Juliette’s supplier doctor is back and she tells him to give her something that won’t make her think, feel or even dream. Wait, she needs drugs to be herself? So… the doc pulls out a syringe and essentially makes her pass out. Can we keep a steady supply of those around for all of her delusional overreactions? I mean, it really would save me from drinking a lot of the wine in this house.

I guess Deacon isn’t exactly great when it comes to dealing with grief because he goes to his house and tears his sister’s room apart. He trashes it like a Juliette hotel room. Maddie shows up just in time to see him smash his fist into a mirror. She’s probably also in time to give him a lift to the hospital. So, it’s a “gather at the hospital” kind of night in fake Nashville?

After they perform, Rayna tells Markus it really wasn’t cool to just steal the stage from Layla. He apologizes and also tells her he wants to use Avery as his producer. Tied that one up in a nice little bow, didn’t you, Nashville writers?

Finally reaching Juliette’s hotel room, Avery gets her minion on the phone and demands she wake her up. But if it’s not about work, then Juliette says she doesn’t care. When that message gets relayed back to Avery, he needs to be slapped upside the head because he should have left her LONG AGO.

Will finds Layla crying in her dressing room and gives her a sweet pep talk. Can I keep my very own Will Lexington around to look hot and give me endearing, understanding little pep talks? Later, Layla apologizes to Jeff for throwing a fit over the Markus thing and then he kisses her in the hallway at the Opry- as everyone watches. No more keeping their relationship a secret. Bucky sees the kiss and isn’t happy with it. Bucky isn’t happy?! What about the rest of us who had to toss their own cookies?!?!

Dr. Hottiepants takes the song he wrote to Skinny and she begins to play it - they immediately cut to Gunnar playing it alone on the guitar. Touched by the effort, Scarlett begins kissing the good doctor and then they take a roll in the hay. Do you think he’s ever afraid he’ll snap her in two?

Instead of going to the hospital, Deacon heads to the bar. He has no idea Maddie saw him trashing the place. His AA buddy, Frankie, is a bartender and he is the only thing keeping Deacon from going back to the bottle. Later, he admits to Rayna that his sister was a fighter and never gave up. “Scarlett gave up,” he says, rather resigned.

Good news on baby Cadence. They got her fever down and are sending her home. Avery tells Emily he was wrong about Juliette. Well, welcome to reality, Avery. It’s about time you joined us!

As Gunnar ends the song, Zoey walks in. Not this crap again. Zoey says she knew he wasn’t over Scarlett when they broke up. And, I am over this show for another week. I might need my own AA meetings if this keeps up. If Deacon is there, I’ll go anyway. See you there, my lovelies.



See also:

NASHVILLE recap: "Stop the World (and Let Me Off)" (season 4 episode 5)

NASHVILLE recap: "The Slender Thread that Binds Us Here" (season 4 episode 4)

NASHVILLE recap: "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" (season 4 episode 3)




Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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