We kick things off with Rayna and Deacon trying to figure out how or why Vita stole money from The Beverly the first night she worked. Look kids, I know you want her to be a good person, but Jeff is dead and someone has to fill the creepy void he left.
Gunnar is all nervous because the mucky mucks at his record label are going to listen to the tracks on the Chex Mixes’ (The Exes) new album. Will is also a little nervous because he’s gotten some interest from a gay label- or a gaybel (did I just invent a new word?) in Atlanta.
Puke and Riff are having a press conference to announce their already sold out tour together, but not before Riff plays a show at The Beverly first. Deacon is also hanging out at the press conference, so I guess he’s cool with it. A little hot man fight between Luke and Deacon could be just what this show needs about now.
Glenn is lighting it up for Layla’s career by getting her press appearances, photo shoots and other country star obligations. And then our favorite little victim starts to gush about Avery, ending her surge with “I love him.”
Gunnar had nothing to worry about because Rayna and Bucky love the Scarlett and Gunnar album and as we usher the Chex Mixes out of the conference room, Rayna is told that Vita is there to see her. Rayna confronts her and Vita is (of course) surprised by the accusations and declares she isn’t a thief.
At The Beverly, Frankie is still pissy about Vita allegedly taking $500 from the bar when Deacon saunters in and tells him Riff will be doing a show there. Then, Frankie gets all pissy again because Riff is playing during his normal play slot. We can officially start calling Frankie “Pissy.”
At the park (which looks a lot like Elmington Park), Avery meets a cute redhead who also has her baby with her on the swing set and they start to chat about being single parents. When Avery asks her to dinner, she offers to cook for them back at her place.
Gunnar is a bit put out that Rayna and Bucky want the first single off the Chex Mixes new album to be the one that Scarlett not only wrote, but she also has lead vocals on. Seriously Gunnar, she can’t even perfect an accent. Throw her a bone… with the chicken connected to it because that girl is still too damn scrawny.
Rayna and Bucky are blown away by Vita’s performance. Afterwards, Rayna learns Vita had a tough childhood with her sister in the foster care system. Like Rayna, music also saved Vita’s life. Oh gees, are they going to become besties and get matching tattoos?
Colt surprises Maddie after school with flowers and a declaration of love, but Cash pulls up in her ugly red car and whisks Madds away for a show at the Bluebird. That a girl, Maddie. Treat Puke, Junior, like he’s been treating you.
So, when Riff retired from music 15 years ago, it seems that was the last time he ever sang or played a note of music. Now, Puke has a problem. But instead of admitting he’s a bit rusty, Riff tells Puke he has to go to his daughter’s soccer game and points out how Luke sucks as a family man. Okay, where is this plotline going? Because if they kiss and make up and it ends up Riff starts practicing, I’m going to, well, puke.
Will meets with the gaybel, called Three Dollar Vinyl (heh, get it?) and they want him to be the company’s first country artist. But, the label rep he meets with knows nothing about his music or country music in general. But, Wilma puts his foot down. “Who I am is not a gay country singer. I’m a country singer who happens to be gay.”
At the Bluebird, Cash puts Colt through the ringer and is unimpressed. Welcome to the club, Cash. As Cash performs a song that Maddie wrote with her, Colt begins to realize that the song is about him and it doesn’t paint a flattering picture. It really seems like Cash is trying to keep her and Colt apart. Do you think Cash has a crush on Madds? So, is a Cash crush known as a crash?
Whoa. I’m here all night, folks. Try the veal.
Puke is now scrambling for what to do about Riff, especially since his show at The Beverly looms. Puke’s manager suggests that they look into pre-recorded music for Riff on the tour. NOW, we’re starting to delve into the real Nashville music business. I knew that one day we would get there!
Avery’s dinner with redhead (her name is Sienna) is going well. So, well, they end up making out. And redhead is pretty and normal and most likely sane. So, this means that Avery will drop her for Juliette soon enough. And when Layla calls and invites him to the Riff Bell show, he declines because he has plans with Sienna. When he hangs up, Layla snaps at a girl who brought her the wrong kind of water. Again, Nashville writers, NOW you’re getting the hang of how things are in real Nashville.
So, Pissy WAS right about Vita. She did take the money and tells Deacon she was going to pay it back. Later, Deacon goes to Pissy and apologizes about the Vita thing and for not checking with him about the Riff Bell performance.
Riff meets Puke by the roller coaster sculpture downtown on the river bank for a chat. Puke tells him he will cover for him and not divulge the fact that he sucks and find another tour mate, but he wants to keep their friendship intact. Anyway, as I predicted earlier, Riff still wants to go on tour and begin practicing so he can perform (for starters) at The Beverly.
Colt and Maddie try to spend some alone time, but texts from Cash prompts an argument. It seems the two teen steamies have different ideas about what is important in life. And here’s a character quirk Maddie has perfected: She stomps out. If I ever audition for a role on Nashville, I am going to practice super hard at stomping out of rooms and buildings.
Knowing Gunnar is being a baby about the new single, Sherpa Boo Boo goes to Bucky and asks if they can pick a song that is less Scarlett. Hey, could we maybe get an episode that is less Scarlett? Anyway, Gunnar finds out and confronts her. It seems it wasn’t about Gunnar’s confidence, it was our little Skinny questioning her own. I need more wine after that ridiculousness.
Cash picks Maddie up from Colt’s and brings her home and Daphne wants to play them a song she wrote. But, Maddie blows her off so she can talk to Cash about her fight with Puke, Junior. So, Maddie is ditching two people she loves for Cash. Is there any way we can do away with this dopey teenager plot? This is Nashville not Pretty Little Liars.
Rayna tracks down Vita at the hotel parking lot and confronts her for lying. Vita claims she stole it to save her sister’s life and it was a now or never type deal. Of course, Rayna doesn’t believe her, but Vita needed to pay off some bad guys. Rayna feels for her, but can’t risk taking a chance. Later, she discusses finding a shelter for Vita and her sister with Deacon.
At her photo shoot, Layla is starting to act like Juliette. Instead of drudging up that old song and dance, Glenn wants to find out what is really wrong with Layla. Glenn thinks Layla has latched on to Avery to fill the void left by Jeff, causing her to act out.
At the big Riff Bell show, Deacon and Puke are pals again (sort of) and that’s when Puke learns that Colt is even in town. He’s giving Juliette some competition for parent of the year. Just a few moments later, we see Colt standing outside of a military recruiter’s office.
Speaking of teenage angst, Daphne is all upset that Cash is taking her away from Maddie and she and Rayna have one of those sickeningly sweet parental chats and they decide to stay home and not see the Riff Bell show. Good call in keeping those two out of another plotline.
The big moment comes for Riff to take the stage and – surprise- he nails it. Gees. Jumping back into an art form as complex as music normally takes more than just a day of practice.
Anyway, Avery talks about Juliette the entire time he is on the date with Sienna, so she slows his roll and breaks things off. And just as Avery gets the stop sign, Scarlett and Gunnar agree to split all of their song royalties down the middle, regardless of who wrote the song. Can we please give these two something real to do or give them the boot?
Riff’s show is going great for everybody except Frankie. When Riff calls Deacon up on stage, Pissy overhears a few people talking about how the bar was a dump until Deacon came along. In a rage, Frankie hauls ass into a storage room and pulls out a bottle of whiskey and begins to drink. That’s an obvious no no for recovering alcoholics.
The next day, Rayna goes to find Vita, but she finds police surrounding the girl’s car in the hotel parking lot where an obvious struggle has taken place. We see Vita’s treasured guitar lying on the ground along with other random items.
But, hey, no worries, kids, because Juliette is back next week and just like the promo said, it will be “one hot mess.” Oh kids, this show is already that and then some.
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NASHVILLE recap: "What I Cannot Change" (season 4 episode 14)