No one has pulled out of the Rayna death slump yet, but life must go on and Bucky is doing his best at Highway 65. At a meeting with the label’s top brass, Bucky has booked a tour for the Chex Mixes (The Exes) that leaves in two weeks, but Scarlett is waffling about going. She has been taking care of Deacon, Maddie and Daphne and thinks it might be too soon to go. Then, Zach asks about releasing the duets album with Deacon and our sweet Deacon is still pissed at the world.
Juliette drops by Rayna’s and notices Maddie’s phone has been ringing off the hook from late night talk shows trying to book her because of her CMT Music Awards performance. I guess they are doing an in depth story into crazy, self-centered celebrity spawn. Anyway, Juliette is shocked there isn’t a manager running interference with these types of calls. Okay, let’s be serious for a minute. A show like Jimmy Fallon or Kimmel or whoever wouldn’t deal directly with the under aged teenage daughter of a recently deceased country superstar. It’s disrespectful and not the way things are done in the music business. Anywhooters, Juliette wants to take Maddie to New York City to shop her around and get her some publicity. Scarlett is apprehensive, but Deacon okays it.
Zach is feeling guilty about suggesting releasing the duets album and confides it to Will over dinner at The Standard. Zach claims he deals with grief by throwing himself into his work, but we all know he should be throwing himself into Will’s arms. Instead, Will goes to Bucky and Deacon and tries to explain Zach’s motivation. Bucky agrees that without the album, the record label could very well go under. Okay, hear me out folks. I thought Zach was bank rolling Highway 65? I thought money wasn’t a concern?
Okay, as if I had more of a reason to hate Maddie, she is going on The Daily Show with that deliciously delicious Trevor Noah. Oh, you people do not understand the extent of my love for Trevor Noah. I want to be shrunk down to the size of a pin head and live in his adorable dimples! Now, that Madds is permanently on my sh@t list, she goes on the show under the name of Maddie Jaymes. (Ride coattails much?) Trevor asks some tough questions about Rayna’s passing and it makes her choke up. And now I can’t help but cringe that Trevor was used as a Viacom pawn. If you kiddos didn’t know, CMT and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom. Viacom also has MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and others, so expect more cross network whoring.
Daphne is feeling left out (again) as Madds and Juliette are gallivanting around the Big Apple with Trevor Noah (no, I will not ever get over that.) Scarlett chats with her, but, as usual, talks with Scarlett don’t end on a positive note.
Deacon goes to the recording studio to listen to some of the music he recorded with Rayna and it’s tearing him up inside. I’m gonna be honest, lovies. He isn’t handling any of this very well. He goes to his closet and pulls out what appears to be an old suitcase. It is full of tour mementos from his touring days with Rayna. He finds a DVD titled “Rayna Jaymes 1991” and puts it in the player and it’s video of her in a recording session. Then, he begins to read her journals.
Later, we see Maddie on the Harry Connick, Junior talk show. He tells her she is the spitting image of her mother (she isn’t). Daphne and Scarlett watch the interview from home and what appears on the mantel in front of the TV? A CMT Music Award. Not a Grammy or a CMA or an ACM, but that tacky CMT Belt Buckle Award. Anyway, the Connick interview has Maddie basically implying (while denying it) that she is publicizing on her mother’s death to further her own career. Daph is pissed and forgive me, Daph, but no one is surprised. Maddie is horrible and that bitch got to touch Trevor Noah.
Back at Highway 65, Zach is still pushing for the duets album. Rayna has laid down scratch tracks and Deacon hasn’t recorded his part yet. Zach keeps insisting and Deacon absolutely refuses to record. Zach brings up the debt Highway 65 has gotten itself into and brings up the fact that Daphne and Maddie are on the label. Deacon accuses Zach of trying to profit off of his family’s grief. Um, Deacon, that is EXACTLY what that spoiled brat of yours, Maddie, is doing. When Deacon leaves, Zach says he needs the audio from the duets album by the end of the week. No you don’t, Sparky. It takes a long time to put together an album with scratch tracks.
Now that Maddie has let the world know she is profiting off her mother’s death, the internet has caught on and is, rightly, crucifying her. So, Madds calls Scarlett in tears and wants to come home. Scarlett should tell her to lie in the bed she made, but that’s not our Sherpa Boo Boo. Scarlett tells her not to do anything she doesn’t want to. So, when Maddie tells Juliette she is cancelling her appearance on the Today Show, Juliette is fit to be tied. She calmly tells Maddie she will cancel, but we all know she wants to throw Maddie out the hotel window sort of like she did to Jeff.
Deacon is back to rummaging through the suitcase and watching old videos. The people in these home videos are supposed to be Rayna and Teddy, but they look nothing like them. Deacon continues reading Rayna’s journals and is interrupted by Avery, who offers to take him to lunch. Deacon declines, but does start to open up about Zach and the duets album. He admits that he is being stubborn by not recording, but he isn’t ready. He can’t even listen to the music, much less record it. Well, Deacon, how do you think we feel? We are forced to listen and watch Maddie and Juliette every damn week. Grow a pair.
Maddie gets home and explains to Deacon that she was able to forget about Rayna for just a little bit in NYC and be happy about something. Deacon doesn’t think that makes her a bad person, but I do. I also think Deacon has cried pretty much in every scene in this episode and I’m going to be honest, it’s getting old. Can we do a “Six months later” type deal in here somewhere?
The next day, Juliette barges in and shames Maddie for her lack of professionalism by not going on The Today Show. Scarlett rushes to Maddie’s defense and when Juliette shuts her down, she hangs her head. Juliette lectures Maddie on taking her shot. You ain’t Lin Manuel Miranda, Juliette, and Maddie sure as hell ain’t Alexander Hamilton. Juliette and Scarlett start squabbling and Maddie gets up and leaves.
Deacon reads Rayna’s journal entry from their most recent wedding, and it is her final journal entry. About that time, Bucky, Will and Gunnar arrive to talk him into recording. Avery overhears their conversation as Scarlett tries to tell the guys to back off. Avery suggests they be there for him and not ask things of him. When did Avery become the smart one all of the sudden? I mean, he married Juliette for Pete’s sake.
Later, Juliette tells Maddie she wants to be the mother figure to Maddie that Rayna was to her. No, we’re good Juliette. Maddie already has insecure Scarlett to do that. Essentially, Juliette wants to personally manage Maddie’s career, but leave the business part up to somebody like Glenn. Just go with Glenn and kick Juliette to the curb.
Still wallowing in his grief, Deacon watches the video Zach had put together of Rayna and that is when our sweet Deac Deac finally loses it with grief. He crumbles to the ground in tears and loud sobs. Get it out, sweetie. Get it out. He continues to watch the video and it includes an interview where Rayna discusses how resilient Deacon is and how he always has been. This seems to give him hope.
We later see Juliette, Gunnar, Will, Avery, Scarlett and Bucky in the recording studio at Rayna’s house all pitching in to record a song on the duets album called “You’re Mine.” Deacon, Maddie and Daphne walk in and Deacon’s water works start all over again. Daphne and Maddie also lay down their voices on the song. Now, it’s Deacon’s turn and he nails it in a tear jerker recording studio moment.
They all take the music to Highway 65 and Zach is thrilled. As they all depart, Scarlett and Gunnar remain for a little chat. She tells him she will do the tour, but has another bombshell to drop on him. She’s pregnant and she doesn’t know if it’s his. Oh, that is JUST what this world needs is another skinny, insecure, uncomfortable pole taking up space.
And… Nashville is breaking for its mid-season break and we really don’t know when this atrocity will return. So, let’s look on the bright side and be grateful Layla didn’t show up for any episodes this season so far.
NASHVILLE recap: "Back in the Saddle Again" (Season 5 Episode 12)
NASHVILLE recap: "Fire and Rain" (Season 5 Episode 11)
NASHVILLE recap: "I'll Fly Away" (Season 5 Episode 10)