We begin with Sadie and Rayna at the Opry where everyone is getting ready for Rayna’s 10th Opry induction anniversary celebration. Props to the show’s graphics department for Photoshopping an induction photo that includes Rayna, Deacon, Vince Gill and Little Jimmy Dickens. Sadie won’t make the celebration performance because she’s going to be on (shameless ABC plug warning) Good Morning America. But the big question is: will Deacon show up?
Maddie is grilling Deacon about his relationship with her mama and he avoids the topic as usual. Getting down to brass tacks, she asks him point blank “But you still love her, don’t you?”
He simply answers “Till the day I die.” It’s not even 5 minutes into the episode and I am already swooning.
Immediately killing my swoon mojo, we next visit Puke at a photo session for Will. Will is surprised when Puke tells him Creepy (AKA Jeff) is no longer a part of Puke Records.
Now that Avery, Gunnar and Scarlett have re-formed their band, it is inevitable they get huge gig opportunities coming their way immediately. I mean, ask the 99% of people who came to Nashville with dreams of stardom (and had their dreams smashed) how easy it is. Anyway GAS (the name I think they should call themselves) gets a last minute gig opening for Rascal Flatts at Bridgestone Arena.
While they mull it over, Scarlett escapes to go on her date with Dr. Hottiepants. I know I should figure out his name, but I want to like him and being on a date with Skinny is already making him lose points. He also lost points by not asking about that accent when she told him she was from Mississippi. Anywho, she starts to babble on about medical stuff and liver cancer and you can tell Hottiepants doesn’t want to talk shop.
Daphne is hanging with Teddy, who keeps getting blocked calls on his phone. He drops her off at home, where Rayna comes in to find Daph and Maddie jamming. Rayna stresses how important it is for her spawn to be at her Opry celebration and asks them to perform with her. Bowing to pressure from Maddie, Rayna calls Deacon and invites him along, as well. He wants to think about it.
Creepy is still hanging out at Layla’s place and he’s even giving her tips on what to wear to a meeting with Bucky. I will bet you anything she’ll next come home and find him sniffing items in her lingerie drawer. Fire him as your manager, Layla! I liked her so much better when she was Will’s beard. Wait a second, I can be Will’s beard. SIGN ME UP!
After dinner with Hottiepants, skeletal Scarlett won’t shut her yapper with the liver cancer talk and he is over it. Well, it’s either the accent or the cancer talk. Walking to their cars after dinner (in, I'm guessing, Hillsboro Village), Hottiepants admits he thought Scarlett asked him on a romantic date and not a date for her to unload her Deacon concerns. Instead of throwing herself in his arms and kissing his hottiepants lips, she gives him an embarrassed smile.
Back at Gunnar’s place, he still hasn’t thought of my idea for a band name and is coming up with winners like “Biscuits and Honey” and “Liquid Sister.” Will comes home and is miffed that Puke suggested he do some songwriting with a writer who is gay and out of the closet. Will is under the impression that because Puke suggested they write together that he must believe Will is also gay. Come on, Will. Puke isn’t even CLOSE to being that perceptive. Gunnar points out that the writer in question, Kevin Bicks (though I can’t exactly figure out how they are saying that last name) has written songs with Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton and no one thinks they’re gay. So yes, my lovelies. Nashville now has a homophobic homo.
Puke, Jr (AKA: Colt) is home from boarding school and daddy comes in and leaves him some pizza money. Colt asks if maybe Luke could stay home for the night for some father and son bonding time. Puke has important Puke business, but promises he will hang with his brat the following night. And what does Puke, Jr want to do? Go see Maddie make her Opry debut.
Layla comes home from her meeting and she is pissed her record label wants her to wait until Sadie’s new album is done launching for them to focus on her. Creepy is miffed they want to roll out Layla’s music like a traditional artist, when he believes she is anything but traditional. They argue about it and Layla does get points for throwing a bottle cap at him. Then, she totally grosses me out by turning her anger into an angry make out/sex sesh with him.
With sexy time over (and me having downed a bottle of Pepto to fight the nausea), Creepy and Layla decide to “leak” one of her songs onto iTunes in order to get the indie music community buzzing.
Scarlett comes home and is clearly pissed off. I know what you’re thinking, but she’s not hangry. She’s upset because Deacon is making her keep his cancer a secret and the only other person she can talk to about it is his doctor and she even says “It’s turning me into a crazy person.” (Just an FYI- hunger does that, too.)
Uncomfortable about attending Rayna’s Opry anniversary show, Luke meets with Bucky to see what he thinks. Bucky believes it would be a positive, olive branch-type deed. Oh, Bucky, you don’t know Puke. What are the odds in Vegas that Puke says something stupid?
Scarlett goes to Hottiepants and apologizes, explaining that she was nervous about a date with him and she talked about the only thing she knew they had in common: cancer. Forgive me Scarlett but are you so vapid that deadly cancer didn't occur to you as being a bad first date conversation topic? Anyway, she asks him if they can start over and Hottiepants agrees. Then she invites him to come see her perform with her band at Bridgestone Arena. Ya know, the same band she is in with her two ex-boyfriends.
Though we haven’t seen Juliette yet, she is apparently driving Avery crazy by not sleeping and keeping him awake. So when he finally gets her snoozing, Gunnar comes over freaking out because he can’t figure out a band name. Gunnar really should start reading these recaps. I figured out his problem several paragraphs ago. Anyway, Avery throws him out so he can get some rest.
Will reluctantly meets with Kevin Bicks, who is hotter than a slice of heaven on Tuesday. Will acts like a total asshat and Kevin is trying to be patient, but Will has succeeded in making their meeting a disaster. However, Kevin makes a breakthrough when he learns Will’s dad kicked him out of the house before he even finished high school. Kevin also had a jerk for a father, leading to common ground and something they could use to build a song around.
Vince Gill makes a guest appearance and we first see him backstage hanging out with Rayna at the Grand Ole Opry before her anniversary show. Next, Rayna and Maddie run into Puke and Puke, Jr. They are civil, but as soon as Luke spots Deacon, he finds an excuse to walk away.
Madds, Daphs and Rayns head to the “Into the Circle” dressing room, which is the dressing room all performers use when they make their Grand Ole Opry debut. And since Maddie and Daphne are making their debut, mama Rayna thought it appropriate. That’s when Deacon shows up, saying “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Elsewhere at the Opry, Layla is talking with a reporter, but when she spots Bucky making the rounds backstage, she sneaks away. The reporter then starts telling Bucky how great Layla’s leaked track is and Bucky plays along, but is obviously displeased.
As Sadie is getting ready for GMA, she gets a call from one of their producers, who says she might be asked about the court case filed against her by her crazy ex-husband, Pete. A little shaken by the topic, she talks to Rayna who suggests she tell them the topic is absolutely off limits.
Gunnar is still freaking out over finding a band name (I am now leaning toward them calling the band “Angela”) and Avery volunteers to help. Backstage before the show, they are still stumped when Scar Scar comes in with Hottiepants. When he says “So, you’re the exes,” to Gunnar and Avery, they get an idea. Yep… they decide to call themselves The Triple Exes, a name ALMOST as dumb as Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records. But on the bright side, Scarlett isn’t dressed like a Sherpa hobo when they perform.
Lorrie Morgan is also hanging out backstage at the Opry and she is schmoozing it up to the press along with Mayor Teddy. As soon as Teddy walks away, the hoochie mama hooker approaches and whisks him away so they can talk. Missing his daughter’s Opry debut, Teddy is shocked to learn that the prostitute is being watched by law enforcement— and they most likely saw him at her house.
Bucky catches up to Layla and for ONCE Layla stands up for herself, explaining that she isn’t a traditional artist and she shouldn’t be marketed that way. Bucky agrees and decides to revamp their plan in launching her on Highway 65.
Rayna’s celebration continues as Vince Gill introduces her. We see her backstage standing beside Deacon. In a total melt-your-heart moment, she takes Deacon’s hand. And now I want to kill her, because I want to hold his hand. As she hits the stage, Deacon watches her with tears in his eyes. When she brings him out to perform with her, they share a sweet hug and Puke watches from the wings. They then perform a very sweet duet called “Help Me Hold On.” Watch it and weep, Puke!
As soon as the song ends, Deacon is fighting tears again and he bails. Not long after, Luke also exits the building and chats with Puke, Jr who wants to stay in Nashville. Seems he wants to stay to spend more time with Maddie.
After their Bridgestone show, Hottiepants is getting sweeter on Scarlett and Gunnar is obviously bothered by their flirting and kissing. (So, show of hands: who saw this plot twist coming from a mile away?) And the hits keep on coming as Rascal Flatts now want The Triple Exes to open for them on their next six tour dates.
On GMA, Robin Roberts is interviewing Sadie and the dreaded crazy ex topic comes up. Instead of shirking the topic, Sadie comes clean, saying Pete doesn’t deserve the settlement money and that she was the victim of his domestic violence for years. She also vows to not let him get away with it. The whole time I am sitting on the edge of my seat, pointing and yelling like Meryl Streep at the Oscars.
When Rayna shows up at Deacon’s place to find out why he, once again, bailed on her, he tells her about his liver cancer. In a fit of tears, she slaps the crap out of him right before falling into his arms.
We could have done without the slap, Rayna, but the over the top drama seems to be your bag, darlin’.
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NASHVILLE recap: "I Can't Keep Away From You" (season 3 episode 16)