Rayna and Deacon are pretending for the media and trying to keep Maddie’s absence under wraps as they do a cover shoot for Southern Living’s 50th anniversary. As soon as they shoo the photographer off, they receive a court summons for Madd’s emancipation hearing. Then, Daphne overhears and asks if Maddie is divorcing the family. Daphne eavesdrops a lot. Mind your business, Daph.
On the Puke, Victim (Layla), Avery and Juliette tour, Juliette is slinking around on stage entertaining her fans while Puke is celebrating lying to the press—again—and this time about Riff. They’re telling everyone Riff left the tour for health reasons and not because he’s addicted to booty.
Instead of watching Juliette’s performance, Victim and Avery are on her tour bus making music now that little Cadence is asleep. Because everyone knows you play music once you get a baby to sleep. And Avery is choosing the tour bus over Juliette’s private jet, which she offered him. “He’d rather drive nine hours on a bus than fly one hour with me,” Juliette asks Glenn when she learns of Avery’s decision. Yes, Juliette, and so does the rest of humanity.
Plus, as soon as Glenn tells Juliette there isn’t anything going on between Victim and Avery, we flash over to those two listening to music – and then kissing. And as expected, their music wakes the baby.
Rayna and Deacon sit down with their attorney and, as usual, the wheels of justice turn quickly in fake Nashville. The hearing is in 48 hours and Deacon isn’t even listed in the litigation because he isn’t Maddie’s legal parent. Daddy Teddy in the clink is still her legal pops and he is listed in the case. It seems establishing Deacon as her legal father will take months. So, the judicial system in fake Nashville only works quickly to throw a monkey wrench into the plot? Got it.
Maddie is meeting with her lawyer along with Cash and it is becoming clear that Cash is trying to either live out her musical dreams through Madds or ride her coattails. Maddie’s lawyer also tells Maddie not to contact anyone in the Rayna camp, including Daphne.
Avery later meets with Victim and explains that things are complicated with Juliette now on the tour. He wants to keep their relationship professional and Layla guilts him by saying they really have something. Yeah, that something is revenge, Victim, and you are an amateur.
On Scarlett and Gunnar’s tour, Skinny is giving him the cold shoulder and (as is customary) he is clueless why. As they get on the elevator together at their hotel, it loses power and they get stuck. TIREDEST plot twist in the book. Are they letting Daphne write these scripts? Anyway, the worst of Scarlett’s accent comes out when she bangs on the elevator door screaming “Help!” It reminded me of a character wailing on Hee Haw.
At the prison, Rayna explains to Teddy what is going on, but he wants to hear Maddie’s side of things. He knows he messed up by signing the Edgehill deal for Maddie, but won’t side with Rayna till he talks to the brat. As Rayna sits in the prison waiting room, hoping to run into Maddie, she gets a call from Bucky saying Scott Borchetta (real person in Nashville and in fake Nashville) that Cash called him. She offered his label, Big Machine, a solo deal with Maddie. Scott didn’t want to take the meeting, but Rayna instructs Bucky to have him take it. Then, Rayna will ambush here there.
Well, no surprise here, but homophobia is alive and well at country radio. Yeah, we’re still talking about a format that is afraid of playing two female artists back to back. So, not many radio programmers showed up for Will’s showcase on Puke’s record label. But, not to worry, kids. Puke has an idea.
There’s a power outage for blocks, so that explains the detrimental duo being stuck in an elevator. Scarlett slumps to the floor and cracks open an old bottle of scotch. When Gunnar asks her why she is drinking she says “Since I found out that Autumn was a lying, back-stabbing cooter.” Okay, first of all, Sherpa Boo Boo, I don’t think “Cooter” means what you think it means. Secondly, Autumn is a bitch. Call her a bitch, please. Bitch, PLEASE!
ANYWAY, Gunnar explains that even though Autumn hit on him, he turned her down because he didn’t want to risk the band. Then, they drink some more and start becoming besties again.
As Avery tries to stave off advances from two hot, rich, famous women, he begs Glenn to set up boundaries for Juliette. You see, Juliette told Avery it was Glenn’s idea that Avery perform a song with her during her show. She was trying to convince Avery to do it and threw in the Glenn part to lend credibility. Oh, Avery. How do you know when Juliette is lying? When her lips are moving.
Apparently, the “happy” Rayna family is scheduled to perform at some benefit that night at the Ryman and the magazine is going to catch photos of the action. Knowing she might have to perform by herself, Daphne isn’t having any luck rehearsing, so Deacon steps in to help her out. Look, I’m telling you now, Nashville, you would have a more interesting show on your hands if you would just put a camera on Deacon for an hour while he flashes that mischievous smile.
Puke goes on Good Morning America (ABC gotta get their jollies somehow) with the lovely Robin Roberts. Now, Puke initially was going to perform, but instead, he gives the slot to Will, who performs for 18 million GMA viewers. Be careful, Puke. I may have to go back to calling you Luke. I’m liking on you so hard right now.
Instead of Scott Borchetta meeting with Cash, Rayna shows up to have a chat with the little fungus. Rayna explains that the music business is a small town and that she will do everything in her power to keep her from ever working in Nashville again. “Are you threatening me?” Cash asks. “Promising,” Rayna says. The claws are out and mama kitty is ready to attack! MEOW!
Maddie’s meeting with Teddy proved to be worse than him dropping the soap in prison. He sides with Deacon when she tells him about the nightclub incident and he tells her he only signed her to Edgehill because Creepy was blackmailing him for hooking up with a hoochie mama prostitute. Anyway, Teddy will sign an affidavit siding with Rayna.
Back on GMA, Puke comes clean about why he initially dropped Wilma from his label and why he resigned him. He also explains that country radio is afraid to play Will’s new single because they’re scared of the homophobic backlash. Puke pleads to the fans to contact their local stations to get Wilma airplay. Oh, Puke… radio stations don’t take requests any longer. Maybe they do in fake Nashville.
Rayna catches up to Maddie as the little monster is making her way into Cash’s house. Rayna does her best to get through to her kid. Maddie listens, at least, and says she needs to think. Oh, Madd Madd, we know you aren’t very good at that.
Victim is taking Avery’s rejection out on Glenn, claiming he is focusing too much attention on Juliette. Glenn reassures her that Juliette is actually bringing new fans into the Layla camp and that her new performance video kicks ass. Good save, Glenn.
Juliette is still trying to push herself on Avery and shows up at his hotel room to confess she lied about Glenn wanting Avery to perform with her. She says she still loves him and knows he still loves her and she begs him for another chance and I just threw up in my mouth a little. This whole scene is making me miss Scarlett and Gunnar and we KNOW how much I loathe Scarlett and Gunnar right now.
Speaking of those two, they begin playing guitar and singing and things get sexy and will they just boink already? Just as they are about to kiss, the power comes on and the doors open. As they make their way to their hotel rooms, they end up in Scarlett’s room unable to get their clothes off fast enough.
At the Ryman, Deacon, Rayna and Daphne are getting ready for the benefit while Maddie is second guessing everything back in Cash’s lair. And that’s when Cash pounces and tells Madds about Rayna’s threat. But not to worry, y'all. Maddie later walks up backstage and hugs Daphne. And they do sing beautifully together. But, as soon as they are finished, Maddie tells Daphne she’s not emancipating from her. Maddie bails, leaving her baby sister in tears and Deacon calling after her. All I’m saying is that I clock ANYBODY who makes my baby sister cry to this day.
We next see Avery pacing outside of a hotel room and he gets another lame, begging text from Juliette. But, he’s outside Layla’s door. And when she answers, he goes in lips first.
So, next week Nashville turns into a court drama. Is it too soon to object, your honor?
NASHVILLE recap: "Didn't Expect It To Go Down This Way" (season 4 episode 16)
NASHVILLE recap: "Baby, Come Home" (season 4 episode 17)
NASHVILLE recap: "The Trouble With the Truth" (season 4 episode 18)