Life is so complicated when you're a country music star. It's like, in between the bean dip, the hair extensions, and the questionable bloomers that you pretend are shorts, there's hardly any time for important things like shaping your soul patch. Not to mention making sure your ex-boyfriend isn't high on his own tears / drunk on seltzer water.
Basically, everyone on Nashville is a hot mess right now, and we blame Deacon (Charles Esten). Mostly because we blame him for all our problems, including the erotic finger-picking fantasies that plague us on a nightly basis.
It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To
We're worried about Rayna (Connie Britton). Not only has she taken to wearing questionable fedoras, she may or may not have had hit it and quit it with Liam (Michiel Huisman) on a toilet, she's going through a bitter divorce, and — oh yeah — she's in love with Deacon and his emo forehead wrinkles. But does Rayna stay home to take care of her family and make sure her daughters don't start listening to Conor Oberst in their free time? Please, there are more important things to do — like celebrating Deacon's birthday.
Yep, our favorite old timer is turning even more middle-aged, and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) decides to throw him an epic birthday party at The Bluebird, which basically consists of Rayna belting out a melancholy tune while Deacon looks into her eyes and sighs pitifully. We're thrilled that these two are bonding and whatever, but Juliette has more important things on her mind than her bestie's love life. Specifically, the fact that her mother is in the midst of a relapse.
Turns out Juliette's mom cares way more about champagne than she does about her daughter, and lady-friend ends up face planting all over Deacon's party in a drunken frenzy. Which means Juliette is forced to partake in a bonding session with a rehab counselor about this one time she almost let her mom die. Since we weren’t invited to the party — or riotous after talk sesh — we’ll be sending Deacon’s birthday flowers to 123 Love To Hate Myself Blvd.
Oh, and if you're concerned about Rayna's weird, Harry Potter-obsessed children (they are totally House Hufflepuff), you should be. These kids are all kinds of traumatized by their parents’ divorce, not to mention the fact that their father is humping some other lady. Although, it's not like these kids have any idea what sex is. Too busy LARP-ing, duh.
Time to check in on everyone's favorite prepubescent lovebirds, Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio). In case you've forgotten, Scarlett agreed to let Gunnar's jailbird brother crash on her couch because she was so impressed by his dulcet tones, but OH NO, GUYS. Turns out this dude is packing heat, and we're not just talking about in his pants. Jason has a secret gun, and when Gunnar finds it (OMG, so many words with "gun" in them), he flies into a studly rage and tells his bro to "get on up outta ye olde house," or something equally southern. As you might have guessed, Guns and Jason get into an epic fight in which Gunnar throws the gun into some tepid pool of water, and it's like sigh. What happened to the good ol' days of hotel singalongs?
Meanwhile, Scarlett and Gunnar impress all kinds of important industry people while singing a duet at Deacon's birthday party, but unfortch Gunnar gets snatched up by the po-po, who take him to view Jason's dead body. Oh dang, Gunnar. Bet you regret throwing that gun into the lake now, hmmm? Actually not really, because Scarlett totally comforts him with a super-steamy makeout session. Which is just as hot as we hoped, but also possibly ill-timed...
By the way, Avery (Jonathan Jackson) is still having a quarter-life crisis about "his sound" (not to be confused with his facial hair, which he seems fine with), and things go from bad to worse when he peeps on Scarlett and Gunnar's bday party duet like a total voyeur.
House of Cards
Breaking news: everyone hates Teddy Conrad (Eric Close). And we're not just talking about everyone currently in the room with us (all our best friends, by which we mean our five favorite flavors of ice cream). Not only has this dude lost the respect of his daughters, the tabloids are hounding him, and to make matters worse he hires Coleman Carlisle (Robert Wisdom) as his deputy mayor. Which will doubtless cause Lamar to flip his toupee back and forth in a frenzy.
Sigh, thank goodness Teddy has Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) to lean on — in fact, he hires her as his financial consultant, which means they can continue their rendez-dos in an official capacity! [Side note: Peggy has grown up so much since Father of The Bride!]
Also, we're just as emotionally traumatized as you are that Teddy has his own segment in this recap, so to cheer you up here's some good news: Juliette buys Deacon a small labrador puppy for his birthday. Annnnd, we're out.