Do you ever drape yourself in a peasant blouse, sit next to an acoustic guitar and feel the sudden urge to break into song? Because everyone in Nashville is right there with you. They sing in alligator-infested lagoons, they sing on road-trips, they sing in creepy motel rooms next to their brothers — basically the hills are ALIVEEEEEE with the sound of music.
Um, also Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) and Rayna James (Connie Britton) spend most of this episode arguing about bean dip on a private jet. Withhold your judgement; bean dip is glorious. Unless Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) tells us he doesn't like it, in which case the word "bean" is banished from our vocabulary.
Ring of Fire
Good news, y’all! (y’all except Avery Barkley [Jonathan Jackson] — we don't acknowledge the existence of people with chintees.) Rayna and Juliette's unexpected collaboration is still a mega-hit, and their record label throws them a party to celebrate! Sigh, we're so proud. Remember a few weeks ago when Rayna was this ancient old lady that no one loved? Now she's living a Britney Spears-esque lifestyle of the rich and famous, and everyone wants in on her action. Everyone including Calista (not Flockhart), an executive from Countless Records who wants Rayna to switch teams.
Not only does Calista show up at Rayna's home (sorry, castle) to convince girlfriend that Countless is where it's at, she pops up at the Edgehill party to plead her case. But wait, something sinister is afoot. We can feel it in our soul patch, and we can feel it in our actual souls!
Turns out, Liam is making a deal with Calista behind Rayna's back, which means she has to fire him and stick with Edgehill — and if that's not enough to deal with, Teddy (Eric Close) flies into a jealous rage and accuses his wife of cheating. Sure, Liam and Rayna spend a lot of time heavy breathing at each other, but, uhm, Teddy? Remember when you embezzled two million dollars. To the left.
In other news, Juliette's mom is out of rehab for her court hearing (OMG, she probably has so many celebrity friends right now), which means Juls has to take the stand on her behalf. Unfortunately, the court doesn't rule in Jolene's favor, so she ends up tagging along with her daughter dearest to Edgehill's party! By which we mean she hoards miniature hamburgers and embarasses Juliette by fawning over Rayna. Sigh, middle-aged moms. They always have a way of finding each other.
Achy Breaky Heart
Deacon (Charles Esten) is in the midst of an existential crisis about how talented-yet-modest he is, and he's super bummed that Rayna fired him. In the words of Nala from The Lion King, can you feel the love tonight, Rayna? Because Deacon doesn't think you can. Oh, and to make matters worse, everyone thinks boyfriend is an alcoholic thanks to a slanderous article printed by The Revel Kings.
So, what's the solution to Deacon's problems? This undiscovered genius wants to "hit the grid," which apparently involves playing lots of sad acoustic guitar, smashing said guitar, putting his house up for sale, and going to some mysterious cabin in the woods. OMG, please don't die on us, Deacon. Please don't become a feral woodland child!
The good news? Deacon's breakdown causes Juliette to be nice to her mom, and bonus — Deacon joins her tour. In yo' face, Rayna! Now, excuse us while we curl up into the fetal position and huff some cheese puffs.
Walk The Line
Time to check in on everyone's favorite little lambs, the virginal flower children known as Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett. These two are still extremely gentle and uncomfortable with their bodies and each other, but fear not — they're still making music. Although, poor Gunnar is all torn up about his jailbird brother and it's kind of distracting him from his art. Turns out Gunnar's bro is wanted by his probation officer, and now Gunnar has to lie on his behalf, which is totally illegal. Ugh, Gunnar, use the few amount of brain cells in your mind that aren't busy writing poems.
So, what's Avery up to while Gunnar and Scarlett think PG-13 thoughts about each other? Oh, you know, just roaming around The Dirty South in his vintage Mustang and letting the wind flow through his mullet. No big deal. But we're worried Avery's letting his newfound fame go to his head. This handsome fella is playing sold-out stadiums and hobnobbing with famous starlets like Juliette, but what happened to the good ol' days when he hung out on that patchwork sofa and wore man jewelry?
Also, it looks like Scarlett and Gunnar might hook up with Avery's ex-bandmates and bust out a few tunes, so get ready for some extremely long musical numbers when Nashville returns from its mini-hiatus on February 6th at 10pm ET!