Can we just all agree that even Nashville is a welcome escape from Trump’s rampage of evil on this country? So, let’s just dive right in.
So, The Exes are shooting their music video at the beautiful wedding and event venue/Southern plantation home, Riverwood Mansion. The video has a smoldering 1930’s era-type feel to it. The fancy pants Hollywood director (named Damien) they got to direct is making Scarlett nervous. Oh gees. Of course, we are going to have another episode where Scarlett is uncomfortable about something. The dress they put her in is stunning and, according to her, too revealing. Okay, Skinny Minnie. Give me a freaking break. Some of the sundresses you have worn in the last four seasons haven’t exactly been matronly. Look, I am all for a woman wearing whatever makes her feel comfortable, but don’t be a hypocrite about it, mmmkay?
Rayna realizes the small ceramic box with Maddie’s photo has gone missing from her desk and she immediately goes to the creepy new guy, Randall’s desk. She finds it there. When they pull him into Bucky’s office, he begins to cry and apologize. Randall says he just wanted to have something that was important to Rayna to give to his mom, who is her biggest fan. When Bucky asks about the love letters and flowers, he is confused. He claims he didn’t write the letters or send the flowers. They even have him write something down to test his handwriting and it doesn’t match the creepy letters. Though he isn’t Rayna’s stalker, they decide to can him.
Maddie has started seeing that sweet hunk of gravy, Clayton (Clay for short). They are bonding over music and he takes her to a place called Joe’s to hear music. The lead singer of the band at Joe’s immediately spots Clay and calls him on stage to perform. This dude is amazing and the real deal, which makes all of humanity wonder what he is doing with Maddie. After, they walk behind the building, which is supposed to be the spot of the old Dixie Tabernacle, which was the fifth home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1936 to 1939. He begins to explain his knowledge of music history has a lot to do with his grandfather keeping him away from the drug scene, then Maddie plants a kiss on him. It obviously makes him feel awkward. Hell, I’m giving the kid props for not throwing up in his mouth. It actually has to do with Madds being underaged and him being 24. One of Maddie’s dads is in the clink for fooling around with a hooker, so…
Back on the set of the video, Gunnar is rocking some serious guyliner and slicked back hair. Scrawny is supposed to be portraying a wild child and director has her slinking around on top of a dining table full of food and guests. Basically, the director wants her to comprehend a deep human and emotional concept and I guess that terrible accent prevents her from understanding.
Maddie is doing some songwriting and when Clayton calls, she plays it for him and he’s impressed. He tells her to come to a recording studio he uses. When she arrives, it is obviously made up to look like it’s in the bad part of town. But, real Nashville isn’t Los Angeles. We have our bad parts, but nothing like they are trying to get this place to look. He also lives at the studio, which is owned by a friend of his. As she plays, he leans in to kiss her and then pulls away again. She is surprised he is concerned that he is African American and she is white. When he gets irritated with her for being sheltered, she leaves.
Now, the director (who has a super cute British accent) wants Scarlett to be angry with Gunnar. When she shies away from it, Damien gets her whipped up into such a frenzy, that she clocks Gunnar. Gunn Gunn isn’t upset, but Scarlett gets all pissy when he goes off to have a drink with the director. At the bar, he starts to get Gunnar to talk about his relationship with Scarlett. They discuss how she is so selfless that it sometimes causes Gunnar to be selfish. Oh, give me a break. No one is that nice. When Gunnar stumbles home, Scarlett isn’t in the mood for frisky whiskey boom boom and tells him she is anxious about pretending to make love to him at the video shoot the next day. I’m happy to be her understudy.
Anyway, the next day, our little Scarylett is struggling again, but this time in a scene where she is supposed to be dancing seductively with other men. When she tells Damien it feels degrading, he tells her to own her sexuality. Look, director guy, she isn’t an actor and neither is the woman who plays Scarlett. So… she ends up gets into an argument with Damien and he tells the camera man to delete the video card containing everything they had shot that day. Now, that everything is deleted, she will be forced to start over. Well played, Damien. #TEAMDAMIEN
Gunnar chases Scarlett outside and explains that maybe letting loose isn’t such a bad thing. Gunnar says he will support whatever she decides to do when Damien walks up and tries to explain that there is a method to his madness.
While Maddie ponders answering Clay’s text the next day, we see him back at his place contemplating being a pill popper. Oh, for the love of GAWD, CMT. This is Maddie we are talking about here. The spoiled little punk who nearly destroyed our precious Deacon!! She is not worth a handful of anything except maybe lima beans and everybody knows those are gross.
So, Maddie takes her, like, totes, like crazy like problems to Juliette. Yes, go to Juliette for relationship advice. That’s like going to Scarlett for dialect advice. But before they can girl talk, Juliette shows her how she can raise her right leg. Juliette basically tells her to not waste her time on a guy who won’t treat her right. All I am saying that if Clay were playing anywhere near my office on Music Row, I would go missing for long periods of time on a daily basis.
As Clayton sings on a street corner, two jack wagons try to get him to play “She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy.” When he refuses and tells them it’s a crap song (it is), they become confrontational. Later, when Maddie can’t get in touch with him, she goes to his place and finds he has been beaten up and is having trouble breathing. When he passes out, she calls 911.
When Zach and Rayna visit the video shoot, Rayna can see Scarlett is clearly uneasy. When Rayna tries to say something to Zach, he defends Damien, telling her to give him the freedom to do his thing. For the record, I am all about a woman being able to leave anywhere or anytime she feels anxious or uncomfortable, I am just over this being Scarlett’s MO. Find something else for Scarlett to do!
At the hospital, Maddie is ignoring her mom’s texts and can’t get any information on how Clay is doing. When they finally release him, she wants to give him a ride home, but he tries to blow her off. He explains he is bipolar and can’t take his meds because he feels numb when he is on them. He is a ticking time bomb and can’t be around her. Madds says she doesn’t care. Despite her acceptance of who he is, he leaves her in the parking lot. Well, at least we know he wasn’t trying to OD over her.
When Scarlett is, once again, being a wet blanket on the set, Damien loses his temper and starts to throw things. Then, he uses some personal information Gunnar said to him against her. It gets her pissed off and in tears. This exchange allows her to own the shoot and do exactly what Damien needed.
Will is hanging out at the video shoot and befriends Zach. When Zach asks him about Luke’s vision for his career, Will isn’t sure. Zach says he can get him a feature in the New York Times and when Will hesitates, Zach gives him his phone number. I like this possible match a LOT.
The next day, Gunnar is cooking breakfast and Scarlett gets onto him for telling Damien their relationship problems. She doesn’t want to seem weak for always taking him back. No, we think you are weak because you are beautiful, talented, famous, have a hot ass boyfriend and you can’t stop being ill at ease for ten minutes. And we all know it can’t be anything deeper.
Rayna and Deacon start getting on to Maddie for being out half the night and she tells them about Clay. She also tells them it’s over- and then the doorbell rings. It’s Clay, of course. He introduces himself to Rayna and Deacon.
Later, the stalker dude shows up at South 65 and he tussles with Bucky, who tries to throw him out. It ends with Rayna yelling for the receptionist to call 911.
Yes, call 911 because I’d like to have the POTUS arrested for crimes against humanity. Hang in there, my little jelly bellies. We’ll see you back in fake Nashville next week.
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