NASHVILLE recap: “How Far Down Can I Go”

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If Reba McEntire and Faith Hill had a love child, it would be Rayna James.

We kick off the episode with Rayna, her label dementor Bucky, and a journalist on a tour of the building at the record label she’s opening. Let’s stop right there. A little insight into music journalism: I was a music writer for close to eight years, for a big cheese network, and I was never invited to tour an empty building with Kenny Chesney and the head of his record label. EVER. And as of tonight, my hiney is thoroughly chapped about it. Thanks, Nashville.

And let me tell you, in this business, when a journalist asks a question they aren’t supposed to ask – like in this episode – she will be scolded and spanked by the artist’s entourage, then her boss will take his turn, and then his boss, and maybe even the boss’s assistant, in passing. So, really. REALLY!?!??!

Skeletal Scarlett is back in town and she is trying to console Deacon who seems almost catatonic over Rayna choosing Luke. This is confusing: is Deacon weak or is he strong? He seemed strong this whole time, and then Rayna singlehandedly ruins his mojo. Bitch, please.

Gunnar is still trying to hang on to Zoey, his distraction from Scarlett. Poor Zoey. The only reason she’s even on the show is to keep Gunnar and Scarlett apart. Gunnar asks Zoey to move in, which was a big step for a young couple in 1974.  Zoey spends the rest of the episode freaking out over the fact that she knows she’s grasping at a lost cause, and then she moves in anyway. If Reba and Faith had a second love child…

This doesn’t stop an incidental meeting and musical collaboration between Twiggy Scarlett and Gunnar, who always sound so amazing together. It’s her singing voice and not her accent that keeps her on the show, I’m sure. As expected, Zoey sees them pickin’ and a grinnin’ and takes off, unfortunately, no, not to get Scarlett a Little Debbie. Scarlett realizes she is unintentionally getting back into music again, so she pulls a Juliette, freaks, and leaves, also, not for a snack.

Oh good. Another conversation with Rayna and her sister Tandy should help this episode. They are at daddy’s house and going through old stuff since pops kicked the bucket last season. Maybe they’ll uncover more than just the family jewels? No, they spend the episode dealing with Rayna’s daddy issues.

Side note, Tandy, please let the hair grow back. We already have one character who chopped her hair off having a BF and we have zero explanation for yours.

Layla and Will are still playing pretend for the reality show cameras and they have a lot to fake-celebrate because his album is number one, knocking Rayna’s new album out of the top spot. Maybe that’s why Tandy cut her hair. It’s as good a reason as any.

If Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert had a love child, it would be Juliette Barnes.

Talk about a rich little hoochie with problems. She’s hiding the fact that she’s knocked up, and trying to be more like Patsy Cline for a movie role. How very Loretta Lynn of her.

After a quick double check-see that she is indeed preggers comes another Juliette meltdown. Avery isn’t the baby daddy, ya’ll. It’s Jeff’s Junior. Baby mama drama time! She does like milking the poor little rich girl routine. If this show is anything, it’s good at making female victims.

Maybe that’s why Rayna is pissed her new album isn’t Gold yet after being released for … one week? These are Garth-style expectations, lady. It begs the inevitable question: WWGD? Ramp up her media and public appearances.

Also: every time Luke opens his mouth, he gives Rayna another reason NOT to marry him. Like at his tour rehearsal where Deacon shows up to tell him he is bailing on the tour with him. Literally everything that comes out of Luke’s mouth sucks. I mean, he even uses the term “dynamite drawers.” But we have bigger fish to fry. Have I mentioned Tandy’s hair?

Jeff takes Will out to celebrate the success of the No. 1 album, where Will arranges an audition for Jeff’s unhappy beard in the Patsy Cline movie. The same movie Juliette wants a shot at. At the audition, Jeff runs into some hot, new music hottie and asks her to join his label. On the spot. Because that’s how record deals work – no lawyers, no managers, no posse to comb through piles of paperwork.

The beard, sometimes known as Layla, is now thoroughly bearding to the point she might just beard herself. She has a breakdown again later in the episode with Will at a location that looks very much like Arrington Vineyards, which makes me want a glass of wine. Or seven, if Luke talks or sings again.

At the audition, Juliette has transformed herself into Patsy Cline, even “packing on a few pounds” as Jeff points out when they run into one another. (“Love child, never meant to be…”)

Back at the Bluebird, we meet Avery’s newest rebound conquest, Nadine. This show REALLY needed another pretty young gal to spice things up, right? Later, he catches Juliette dropping off his stuff at his pad and they officially split.

Why is it that the teenager makes the most sense in the whole episode? Maddie calls Deacon out about not fighting hard enough for Rayna. He tells his baby girl that he proposed to her mama and got shot down. More bad news for #TEAMDEACON comes up later. He will have to tour with Luke after all. Those pesky contracts and their pesky wording. Deacon should have had one of those freewheeling non-contracts with Jeff and saved a whole lot of trouble.

We end the show with Rayna making an appearance on Good Morning America with the real Luke Bryan where she lies about fiancé Luke’s proposal, which we know is all verbal diarrhea.

The lie part?  The Luke Bryan part?  I’ll leave that up to you.

 

 

See also:

NASHVILLE recap: "That's Me Without You" (season 3 episode 1)

NASHVILLE recap: "How Far Down Can I Go?" (season 3 episode 2)

NASHVILLE recap: "I Can't Get Over You to Save My Life" (season 3 episode 3)