'Nashville': Letting go of the past
Rayna wrote on her own, while Deacon and Juliette grew closer and Teddy dug a hole
Juliette, Deacon and her band pulled an all-nighter at the studio. She wanted her track to be perfect… and it was a great way to avoid her mom. Deacon started talking addiction with her and offered to help her with Jolene. Juliette blew it off and skulked out. At home, she found her mom passed out in bed with some guy. Juliette kicked the guy to the curb, while Jolene followed in her panties and made a scene for all the neighbors. Juliette's security guy Beau suggested it might help to have someone else talk to her mom for a change, so she called Deacon.
During a dress fitting for a commercial, Rayna's manager tried to get her to do a greatest hits album for her label. He insisted the request was a peace offering from Marshall, but Rayna wanted her next album to be an original and great. She reminded him she needed a new collaborator and guitar player. After she crooned "American Beauty" for the TV spot, her manager revealed Deacon wasn't signing off on the changes made to their lyric for the commercial. She huffed that Deacon just wanted her to call him. Instead, she showed up at his house and begged him to let her do the commercial with the tweaked lyrics. She was desperate for money, because she'd cancelled their tour. He refused to sign, because his music was all he did right. They both walked away angry.
Teddy checked in with Rayna before his debate with Coleman. He wasn't worried about going up against his old pal, but he was worried about his poll numbers. Then he met with Peggy, who was freaking out about going to prison over the $2 million they'd "borrowed." He reminded her they'd returned it, so she reminded him that that's still embezzlement. She wanted to go to the feds and confess before the big audit revealed their misdeeds. He asked her to give him a day.
Then it was off to the debate, where he tried to sell his candidacy as the choice for "a new Nashville." Coleman was quick to counter that Teddy wasn't new; He was an old school country club boy and worse, was just like his failure of a father. He'd used his silver spoon to dig himself into a financial hole and would do the same to Nashville by breaking ground on his ridiculous baseball stadium.
Later, a dejected Teddy 'fessed up to his father-in-law about his dirty deal: He'd run out of capital, the market crashed and then he borrowed cash from Peggy - but he promised the deal was strictly business. No affair. Lamar said he'd look after Peggy and told him to keep his head in the game. "You are not going to be your father," he promised. Lamar followed up with Peggy with a backseat meeting. He told her the audit interview would never happen, as long as she stayed quiet, kept her cool and did what he said.
Rayna was thrilled to hear Burnam Black was dying to write with her… until she heard she'd have to wait three weeks. She wondered if she should just write on her own and not be "beholden to other people." That night, she tried. When Teddy got home, he didn't want to talk about his crappy day. Rayna told him she was writing a song, which made him wonder what happened with Deacon. "Did you sleep with him?" he asked. "Did you want to?" She said they had to put the past behind them. He was trying.
Hailey worried about coming between Gunnar and Scarlett, but Gunnar insisted there was no triangle to speak of. Still, they agreed to keep things "not complicated." Then Scarlett bounced in with news they were going to perform for Lady Antebellum's producer, who was looking for new songs. The boss, Jeannie, thought another guitar player at the gig would "round out their sound." That night, Avery suggested himself. Scarlett was thrilled he'd be there for her, but of course it backfired. Gunnar and Scarlett rocked their performance, but Avery took a few liberties with the guitar. Gunnar was pissed he tried to steal the spotlight. Avery was pissed Gunnar had been making eyes at Scarlett. "It's acting, you idiot," shot Gunnar. Scarlett heard the whole thing and for some reason, Gunnar was the one she "cleared things up" with first. She reiterated that they were friends and she was with Avery. He was fine with that, since he was with Hailey. Later, Gunnar he told Hailey he wasn't going to pretend not to care about her. He wanted a chance to get complicated, so they made out at the studio.
When Scarlett got home, it was Avery's turn. She told him they didn't get the job and the producer had referred to their performance as "the song the backup guitarist hijacked." She snarked that it hadn't been his big break: It had been hers, and he'd ruined it because of his jealousy over Gunnar. Avery tried to defend himself, but she cut him off. She fought tears as she reiterated that she chose him, would always choose him and didn't know when he'd start believing it. He apologized. He wanted them to be the way they used to be. "You mean me writing poems and keepin it to myself?" she sniffed.
Deacon actually got somewhere with Juliette's mom. He told Jolene he knew a great place for her and warned that her daughter wasn't as strong as she seemed. "That girl is hurting and she needs you," he urged, so she agreed to go to rehab. As she got out of the car, she dropped a bottle of pills. Deacon said she couldn't have them and pocketed them. At the door, Jolene panicked and slapped Juliette in the face for making her go. Juliette kept her cool, so her mom let Deacon check her in.
Back at Deacon's house, he comforted Juliette and called himself her friend. She told him she doesn't really have friends, because everyone wants something from her. He told her she was wrong and might need some time to figure things out, away from work, her mom and everything. She said thanks and later, she packed up her house. She wanted to leave it in her rearview mirror. "Everything she's touched I hate."
Deacon, meanwhile, was left reeling from his return to rehab. It brought back memories, so he met with his sponsor Coleman. He apologized for how bad he'd been when Coleman checked him in, but Coleman reminded him that Rayna was the one who'd saved his life. "You' holding on to something, Buddy, and it's time to let it go," Coleman said. Deacon handed him Jolene's of pill. Though he hadn't taken any, he'd wanted to.
During Deacon's Thursday set at The Bluebird, he sang "Sideshow," a song about not falling in love with a captivating woman unless you want to end up in her "sideshow." Someone in the audience asked where Rayna was, because he liked it better when she played with him. "Most people do," Deacon shrugged and played on. After the set, the guy apologized. Instead of accepting, Deacon got in a fistfight in the parking lot.
Then he called Rayna collect from jail. She didn't accept the call! And when Teddy asked who it was, she said, "Nobody."
The next day, Rayna was glowing over her new track, "Bitter Memories," which was about letting go of the past. It seems she can write alone, after all.
It was Juliette, meanwhile, who picked Deacon up from jail. Like Rayna, Juliette and Deacon were both letting go of the past. Deacon gave his clearance for Rayna to use their song for her commercial, while Juliette got settled into her gorgeous new manse.
Over at Lamar's, Teddy was worried about going negative with the campaign. "Rayna's going to flip and Coleman's going to release the hounds of hell," Teddy said, but Lamar insisted it was the only way to win. "I want to win," Teddy said. Then he met up with Peggy, who was thrilled that Lamar had come through and gotten their audit cancelled. She was sure Teddy would be the best mayor Nashville's ever scene. As they patted each other's hands and he walked her to her car with his arm on hers, a photographer was snapping shots. Uh oh.
"Nashville" airs on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.