The lesson for this week's Nashville episode seems to be no matter what mode of transport you use, you can't outrun your problems. That goes for a bitchin' bike, a killer Mustang and…a parked car?
In the middle of wedding preparations, Rayna wants a meeting with Sadie Stone. Of course, Rayna's interest not only has to do with Sadie's singing talent, there's a bit of an anti-Jeff Fordham/Edgehill Records power play at work! Rayna also explains to her Highway 65 peeps that Juliette probably won't be able to do much after too long since she's "distracted" (Rayna's polite way of saying "knocked up"). When Rayna meets with Sadie on the steps of the Ryman Auditorium stage, she offers her a deal with Highway 65 and tells her she wants to go out on tour with her. But first, she wants her to accompany her to try on wedding dresses. While they're doing just that, the paparazzi begin gathering to try and shoot them, leaving the ladies no other choice but to jump into Sadie's cherry-red Mustang with white racing stripes and take off on a Thelma and Louise-inspired road trip. (Not coincidentally, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of that classic film is Nashville creator Callie Khouri.) But, spoiler alert, Brad Pitt is nowhere in this episode and since we've already seen a preview of next week's episode, things don't end quite the same way as they do in the film. It's worth noting, however, that Sadie's artistry is being pursued by record labels named Highway 65 and Edgehill, which is probably no coincidence either.
As the two women make their great escape, we do get our first taste of the fantastic "Gasoline and Matches," a song penned and originally recorded by the show's music producer Buddy Miller with his wife Julie. The song plays as Thelma and Louise (Sadie and Rayna) are chased down the road by paparazzi — which, by the way, is something that has yet to happen on the real streets of Music City.
The morning after their wild ride, Rayna is at home with her girls, who are reading the front-page newspaper account of the whole thing. Buck calls to tell her that Sadie decided to sign with Edgehill, so it seems she did (metaphorically) take the car over the cliff after all. Goodbye, Sadie, we'll miss you…and that beautiful car, too.
During a silent auction at Rayna's daughters' school, Jeff bids on a golf outing with Mayor Teddy. Jeff has donated $25,000 to Teddy's kids' school for music education and assures Rayna his intentions are pure. She can, however, see the thick red smoke pouring from his eyes as he says this. Daphne and Maddie take the stage to perform and Jeff begins plotting his revenge. Either that or he's thinking about where to buy some spiffy plaid pants to wear on the links.
Juliette reveals to her publicist and manager that she's pregnant and is putting the baby up for adoption, but manager Glen is having none of that and tries to convince her that she's going to start showing soon enough, which could put her Patsy Cline movie in jeopardy. "It's a good thing Patsy Cline is a hefty woman, I'll probably get an award for it," Juliette says, proving that she's already suffering from "pregnancy brain" and can't remember just how awkward her scene from the film was in last week's episode.
Juliette tells Glenn that it kills her to disappoint him, even though he wants her to keep the baby. As she's looking at pictures of potential adoptive parents, she starts having pains so she calls Rayna to tell her she thinks she might be losing the baby. When she
finds out the baby is fine, she hears the heartbeat. She tells Rayna she knows absolutely nothing about giving love because she screws it up every time and she just wants it to have a chance to be happy. Rayna tells her, "Now, you're sounding like a mother.
Meanwhile, Deacon wakes up and sneaks out of the hotel room where he and Pam spent the night together. He heads to a backstage AA meeting when Pam walks in. Looks like they have at least one thing in common. He apologizes but she tells him not to worry about it because they're just having fun. He tells her he's in love with someone else, which, unless alcohol has killed all of her brain cells, she is already acutely aware of, and doesn't seem the least bit bothered by. Pam later reveals that she's not in AA, although she is in AAA — which actually might come in handy later in the episode. She apologizes about the booze jokes but says she should've gone with jokes about Deacon's denim shirts. Ouch. Later, she keeps following Deacon around, and insinuates herself into the band's poker game, which he's not interested in joining. Instead, he starts writing a song about how much he can't get over Rayna. Pam walks in and the two of them begin singing lyrics to each other. The whole thing starts out pretty corny but they do end up sounding like they might be crafting a pretty good song. (Besides, "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" is already taken.) Later, they are in a convenience store playing a sickeningly cute game of "Do you want me on your bus?" with each other, although we all know they are not actually talking about being on the bus. Another round of tonsil hockey breaks out between them but they soon find out it doesn't matter who wants to be on the bus because the bus is nowhere in sight. What's left to do but buy a second-hand motorcycle and take off together?
Alcohol continues to do a number on Avery, who wakes up looking haggard — and not the cool Merle kind. The news that Juliette and her Patsy Cline movie co-star Noah have been cozying up together on the set is enough for him to decide to start the day with a nice big cup of coffee — although he mistakes a bottle of whiskey for the Mr. Coffee carafe.
Zoey continues to suspect something is up between Scarlett and Gunnar, and catching them together in the Bluebird storeroom doesn't do much to quell her fears. Of course, neither does Gunnar telling her that "cheating is not the end of the world," even though he's talking about Avery and Juliette. Later, Scarlett tries to convince Zoey that there's nothing going on between her and Gunnar, but the two longtime friends can't seem to get on the same page. Gunnar, who obviously doesn't get that throwing your jealous and insecure girlfriend a surprise going-away party might not be the best way to convince her your relationship is rock-solid, does so anyway. But when Zoey, in an effort to apologize to Scarlett, invites her onstage to sing with her, Scarlett takes off. Scarlett assures Zoey it had noting to do with her — it was just a bad case of stage fright. Avery's drunken behavior at the party probably didn't help. Glenn begs Avery to talk to Juliette. His thinly-veiled way to explain that Juliette is like his kid and you can't ever give up on your kid and you're going to understand one day is actually really quite sweet. So, naturally, Avery throws him out.
During Jeff's golf game with Teddy, he says he was torn between bidding on throwing out the first pitch at a Nashville Sounds game and the golf outing, but that he throws like a girl (which may explain his animosity toward women). Basically, he's trying to do some damage control with his horrible image and also wants to improve music education in all of Metro Nashville's schools (so he says). The mayor tells him, "I'll give you nine holes," which we were sort of hoping was his way of saying he had a gun — and three extra bullets — with him.
Juliet shows up at Glenn's house late at night. We know it's late at night because he's wearing a robe and no rug. (Side note: Why is this the first time we're seeing him sans toupee. C'mon, Glenn, bald is beautiful!) That's really beside the point, though. Juliette seems to have decided to keep her baby but admits to Glenn that she's scared. As for Avery, he wakes up in the passenger seat of a strange car (parked in the driveway of an unsuspecting family) with a police officer ordering him to get out. He then gets hauled off to jail, but his booze-addled brain remembers at least one phone number: Juliette's. Still, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he can't love her or hate her because it's ruining his life and that what he needs to do is "nothing" her. Not sure what that means, really, or how that'll even work once he finds out she's having his baby, but it certainly sounds final.
Backstage at the Ryman, Rayna confronts Sadie about signing with Edgehill. "I don't want to be just another one of Rayna Jaymes' artists. I want to be Rayna Jaymes," Sadie tells her.
At this point, in a beautiful soliloquy worth of Shakespeare (country-radio programmers, take note), Rayna responds by saying, "Let's get one thing straight: Edgehill did not make me. I made Edgehill. And I left Edgehill; do you want to know why? Edgehill isn't the same label and the music business isn't the same. Back then, you could listen to the radio all day long and hear so many female artists. We had Martina, we had Reba, we had Faith, Jo Dee, Shania, Pam. Do you know how many solo female artist there are in the Top 40? Two."
She also notes that today's country music is "big-hat cowboys" (including her man, Luke Wheeler), and says, "You don't want to be Rayna Jaymes. You want to be the one and only Sadie Stone and I believe I can help you with that." Thankfully, Sadie chooses Highway 65, and reveals that news on stage at the Ryman, nearly knocking the smug expression off Jeff's face. Nearly. Sadie and Rayna sing "Gasoline and Matches" and Jeff (who's just about twirling his invisible mustache) begins plotting his revenge, telling Rayna she has crossed the line. She calls him a thief and a whore and he tells her everything and everyone is fair game, which seems to include a couple of pint-size future superstars who just happen to be related to Rayna.