Say cheese! In this week’s slap-happy episode of Nashville, Season 1, Episode 5, “Move It on Over,” we see Deacon (Charles Esten) help Juliette’s (Hayden Panettiere) mom, resist the call of the pill bottle himself, and take on two dudes who were talkin’ smack. All in a day’s work for our beloved Deacon! (Come to think of it, even we kinda want to “thank” Deacon the way that Juliette tried to.)

Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab

The episode begins with Juliette recording about a bajillion takes of her latest song with Deacon, all in an effort to keep far away from her mama, Jolene. Suddenly, Deacon’s Spidey senses are tingling, being the superhero that he is, so he offers to help Jolene get clean. Juliette says no, as her current method of despising her mom and waiting for her to relapse is working out just fine.

Rayna (Connie Britton) has kissed her principles goodbye and agreed to sing in a beauty ad to get a little moolah. But before you can say, “Maybe she’s born with it,” her manager, Bucky, drops the bomb that Deacon isn’t down with allowing the song that he co-wrote be played in the ad. Hey, Bucky can you try delivering good news to Rayna just once? You’re quite the buzzkill.

Juliette notices that her house is just a bit too quiet, and sure enough her mama is passed out on the bed with her stringy-haired, tank top-wearing companion, beside empty bottles of pills and booze. (Stringy-haired dudes in tank tops are up to no good? Who knew!) Juliette needs some outside help, meaning she is now forced to call Deacon for something other than a booty call.

Rayna’s husband, Teddy (Eric Close), meets with the mysterious Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), and we learn their dark secret: She was the one who came up with the 2 million bucks that was embezzled to keep his real estate investment afloat. Now, there’s a federal audit looming, and Peggy is not as cool as a cucumber about the whole thing.

Wait so that’s the Peggy secret? We were hoping it would be a sexier secret than that! Then again, maybe we just want Rayna to have an excuse to leave Teddy. (Can you really blame us?)

Credit: Royce Degrie/ABC Television Group © 2012 Disney Photo: Deacon and Rayna in Nashville Season 1, Episode 5: “Move It On Over”

Lamar Makes Problems Go Away  Which Then Causes New Problems

It turns out that it wasn’t such a great idea for Teddy to meet with Peggy right before his big mayoral debate with Coleman Carlisle (Robert Wisdom, much in the same way that you shouldn’t watch the new movie Flight just before hopping on a plane. Teddy botches the debate, especially with Coleman comparing Teddy to his hard-luck father. So many people with parent issues on this show!

Rayna pleads with Deacon to let her use their song in the ad, but apparently Deacon has that silly thing known as “integrity.” Bucky tries to set Rayna up with a new writer, now that she and Deacon have seen better days, but finding a good writer on short notice is like finding a vacant hotel room on New Year’s Eve. So Rayna decides to give writing another shot.

Meanwhile, Deacon is busy with other things, like saving people’s lives. No big deal. He convinces Jolene to check into rehab, although things get a tad hairy when they drive her there. 

Jolene drops a bottle of pills as she exits this car (“Who put those there?”), and then she slaps Juliette for making her get clean. That said, we’re actually surprised by how few slaps we’ve seen on this show, given how tense things always are. If you ask us, the slaps-per-episode ratio could definitely be increased a few notches.

Teddy finally comes clean to Lamar (Powers Boothe), telling him that Peggy borrowed $2 million to keep his investors happy — probably because she had a thing for him. Luckily, it appears that asking Lamar to help you break a white-collar law is like asking Michael Jordan to help you with your jump shot. Within roughly 30 seconds, Peggy and Teddy are on Easy Street.

The Bluebird Cafe Needs a Sign That Says, “Heckle at Your Own Risk”

Deacon and Juliette sit on her porch — which is apparently where you sit in Nashville — as Juliette tries to repay him with sex, natch. Deacon tells her that a thank you note would suffice. And Juliette then moves out of her home —because that makes sense.

Deacon meets with Coleman, and we realize that Deacon has been hanging onto Jolene’s pill bottle ever since she dropped them. He tells Coleman that there are seven pills, and the ex-user clearly still has some issues. 

Deacon is playing his weekly gig at the Bluebird and performs an amazing song about feeling like a part of someone’s sideshow, but not everyone in the crowd is feeling it. A heckler tells Deacon that he’s no Rayna, and when the heckler tries to apologize afterwards, Deacon says, “I’ve got your apology right here.” Okay, so he doesn’t say that, but we kinda wish he had.

Yes, Deacon ends up fighting not one but two drunk guys, landing in the slammer for his troubles, with a black eye to boot. Deacon tries to call Rayna to bail him out, and she’s like, “Now who has integrity?” So it’s Juliette to the rescue, picking him up the next morning.

Finally, Deacon realizes that maybe selling out isn’t so bad. So he calls up Rayna and says, “Fine, you can do the ad for beauty products. But speaking of beauty products, I’m gonna need to borrow some concealer to hide this new black eye of mine. Thanks a bunch.”

The end of the episode is a mixed-bag for Rayna. The song she’s written has impressed Bucky, as we learn that her manager is in fact physically capable of smiling. But there’s more trouble ahead for her marriage, since someone snaps photos of Teddy getting all handsy with Peggy. Silver lining alert: Maybe Rayna will have that excuse to dump Teddy after all! You gotta love a good silver lining.

Avery’s Like, “But I Thought You Wanted a 45 Minute Guitar Solo.”

Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) learn they’ll be performing a song for Lady Antebellum’s people in the hopes that their songs will get picked up by the group. The publisher thinks another guitarist would fill out their sound, so we all know what this means: Time for Avery (Jonathan Jackson) to weasel his way in. That Avery can ride coattails like nobody’s business.

The song that Gunnar and Scarlett have written is a beautiful one, about how “loving you is the only way to fly.” (How is that song not being used in an airline commercial as we speak?) However, Avery decides that this is his time to shine, so he throws in a little razzle-dazzle. And who doesn’t like a little razzle-dazzle? 

Well, Gunnar, for one. He and Avery get in a shouting match, as Gunnar accuses Avery of taking over the song, while Avery accuses Gunnar of making googly eyes at his girl. Scarlett overhears this conversation and is not happy —although we’re not sure how she can be unhappy with two yummy guys like that fighting for her.

Scarlett later tells Gunnar that things aren’t gonna happen between them. Gunnar claims to be fine with it, now that he and Hailey have decided to let things get “complicated” between them. Avril Lavigne — who hates when things get complicated — would not approve.

Scarlett then informs Avery that they didn’t get the deal because he “hijacked” the song, so then she tells him that he’s a jerk they fight too much. But Scarlett doesn’t break up with Avery because she is apparently physically incapable of doing so (which at this point would be the only reason to not break up with him). C’mon, Scarlett — freakin’ grow a pair already!

So the episode was a bit darker than previous ones, as Juliette’s relationship with her mom hits quite a low. And sure, we’re not crazy about any episode that keeps the Rayna-Deacon interactions to a minimum, but we’re also not gonna complain about watching Deacon dole out a well-deserved ass-kicking from time to time. 

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