Oh LAWD, Scarlett has a baby bump and Alyssa is trying to do damage control because of the bump’s daddy. Oh and our little mama is shocked a reporter betrayed her. People suck, Scarlett. Get used to it. Anyway, Alyssa suggests Scarlett control the narrative of the news story and it starts with Skinny doing a special fan-only show and then doing a benefit concert for a local low-cost women’s clinic.
In New York City, Will is getting pitched a beer commercial by ad exec bigwigs. The bigwigs believe the ad will portray an inclusiveness vibe. I swear, CMT, if this commercial ends up being a Kendall Jenner/Pepsi-type storyline, we revolt. Later, he meets with that very stalkery clothes designer, Jakob, from several episodes ago. Jakob suggests that Zach has “bought” Will just like he buys everything else. He also suggests Zach has flings on the side.
Jessie Caine (the character they are obviously introducing as Deacon’s next love interest) is at Highway 65 at the invitation of Zach, who wants to sign her. Zach is concerned about her personal history, but really likes her music and asks Deacon to meet with her. Bow chicka bow bow.
After The Exes concert for Scarlett’s fans, they sign autographs and Scar Scar notices a fan who was crying in the audience and is still teary-eyed. Scrawny recognized her—a gal named Nadine. Anyway, Nadine is a bit cuckoo and obsessed and claims she already had Scarlett’s life figured out (weird) and that she was a liar and a cheater.
Deacon meets with Rayna #2 (Jessie) and he is clearly uncomfortable at first, but, of course, they bond and get along swimmingly, talking for hours and hours. They begin delving into her private life and his private life (he cries after discussing Rayna) and Deacon is caught hook, line and sinker. It should be hook, line and stinker. Ugh, CMT, could you be ANY MORE obvious? Later, she leaves a cute and rambling message on his voice mail, inviting him to her show at the Mercy Lounge.
Avery found Hallie another producer because Juliette is a crazy bitch. When Juliette explains he can make his own decisions, he makes it clear he knows how things go in his life—her way. Later, when Avery gets home for the day, he tells her he’s decided to go on a 20-city tour. She asks why he didn’t check with her and he says it was because he wanted it to be his decision and not hers. WOW. #TEAMAVERY In tears, she asks him not to go. He isn’t breaking up with her, (DAMNIT!) but he has been taking care of everything for a long time and now, he is taking care of himself.
Because of the crazy fan, Scarlett decides to confront the reporter who wrote the baby daddy story. Is it weird that this reporter reminds me of a terrible person I once knew in the music business? Anyway, Scarlett just wants to know why the reporter lied (she didn’t) to get the story and the reporter (though ruthless) claims she wouldn’t be doing her job if she didn’t report the scoop. Like the rest of the planet, the reporter is a bit fuzzy on why Scarlett is such a damn Pollyanna about everything.
Zach flies to the Big Apple to have a fancy dinner with Will and some friends. Before the guests arrive, Will confronts Zach about what Jakob said and Zach convinces Will that he is the only one. Later, Zach is there when Will shoots his Budweiser commercial and all goes well, which means we are being setup for a big drama bomb to destroy this happy time. Can Layla come back? And she can replace Maddie? PLEASE!?!?
So, Scarlett stalks Nadine on Facebook and realizes Nadine has people in her life shaming her because she is overweight. So, what does our knocked up Pollyanna do? She sends her a DM asking if they can meet up and talk. Over coffee, Nadine explains to Scarlett that she is beautiful and perfect (she isn’t, but damn if this show doesn’t try to make her be). Nadine is obviously struggling in her own life and even though Pollyanna commends her on her drawing talent, she isn’t buying it.
Deacon meets with Alyssa and even though he doesn’t really like what she was hired to do, they get to know one another. In the conversation, she lets it slip that Jessie has a crush on him—just like every other woman over the age of 33. Um, a lot of men over 33 crush up all in some Deacon, bitch. You betta represent!
Will is awoken in the middle of the night by Zach’s cell buzzing. It turns out Zach has two cell phones. When he checks the other cell, a call is coming in from a handsome guy named Jeff. Now, now, CMT! Nashville already had one crazy bastard named Jeff. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Later, Will has packed up and is ready to leave NYC when he confronts Zach about the two phones. Zach explains Jeff is an ex who is very fragile and he can’t hurt him. Apparently, it’s hard for Zach to hurt people. “You’re hurting me,” Will says before walking out the door, but not before Zach tells him he loves him.
Deacon calls Jessie and unsuccessfully tries to explain to her that he isn’t looking for a romantic relationship. Instead, she is insulted and ready to write him off, but he somewhat smooths it over. Oh, good gravy. Just have them hump and get it over with.
The reporter (ah, her name is Mackenzie) writes a story about Scarlett’s little visit to her office and after chatting with Gunnar, Scarlett gets an idea. She invites Nadine and a small group of fans (along with Gunnar and Mackenzie) for a little informal chat about shame. Scarlett talks about how everyone is shamed over one thing or another and instead of laughing at it, she shamed herself for being shamed. Scarlett has discovered the shame spiral, kids. Welcome to the club, ya freak. Anywho, she tells the group she wishes she had someone to talk to about it, so she opens up the floor for everyone to talk. They all begin sharing, including Gunnar. Then, Mackenzie walks in and shares a story about having to wear a back brace as a teenager and then leaves, but not before apologizing to Scarlett.
Back at Highway 65, Zach plays Will’s Budweiser commercial for Gunnar, Scarlet, Alyssa, Deacon, Avery and other record label people. After everyone has left, Zach calls Jeff on speaker phone with Will listening. Zach officially breaks it off with Jeff, who is clearly in need of some type of mental help. It appears he isn’t equipped to deal with that type of emotional rejection. Will is a bit horrified and Zach explains he is trying to win back his trust. (Can I point out this is the best plotline to come along in a long time? If we lose Maddie and stay on this track, Nashville might be worth saving.)
Deacon makes his way to Jessie’s show at the Mercy Lounge and it’s clear he is touched by her music because he leaves in tears.
And, that wraps Nashville for another week and I must say it is a VAST improvement from what we have been watching for the last several weeks. Just remember: less Juliette and even less Maddie and we are heading in the right direction.
NASHVILLE recap: "The Night Before (Life Goes By)" (Season 5 Episode 18)
NASHVILLE recap: "Ghost In This House" (Season 5 Episode 17)
NASHVILLE recap: "Not Ready to Make Nice" (Season 5 Episode 16)