You've got to hand it to ABC. In this week's episode of Nashville, they managed to cross-promote practically every other ABC show on the air except How to Get Away With Murder (so we'll do it for them: #HTGAWM airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.).
Between the CMA Award nominations, Good Morning America and Dancing With the Stars, Music City's fictional residents got plenty of network screen time (and potential future screen time), but most of them were too busy with other things to take much notice.
Juliette is rushed to the ER, but she finds out that the baby is fine. Noah (hey, isn't that Derek Hough from Dancing With the Stars?) shows up with flowers and tells Juliette she doesn't have to go through this alone. Sounding positively Zen, Juliette says, "I'm still here and the baby's alright. I'd say that's a pretty good day for me."
Avery, who has finally sobered up, visits Juliette to tell her he's decided to forgive her but that he can't be in a relationship with someone he doesn't trust. She tells Avery that the two of them got a CMA nomination for Song of the Year but that she didn't get anything else. That's not exactly true. She has acquired a tendency to form abnormal blood clots, a genetic condition that's usually only revealed through pregnancy. The doctor orders her to stop touring immediately but says it's fine to keep filming the Patsy Cline movie. (Really, doc? Have you seen any of the footage?)
Lest we think Juliette has gone soft, once she gets out of the hospital she goes looking for Avery. Instead, she finds Zoey. Bonus! She compliments her "ballsy" move, hogging the spotlight to perform while Juliette was passing out backstage. Pack your bags, Zoey. Nobody puts Juliette and baby in a corner!
Juliette tells Avery she kept the baby because it's his and because she wanted to see if the two of them would have a chance at their relationship, but she still wants to know whether he drove all night for her or for the baby. She's determined she can go through the whole thing with him all in or without him at all. She's also determined to take control of the situation when it comes to the public and stuns the press by saying, "I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I'm pregnant." Asked point-blank about the father, she reveals that it is Avery.
In other not-so-new-daddy news, Gunnar now knows he has a son (who's almost 10), and is trying his best to bond with Micah before Kylie takes off to Tulsa to be with this mystery man, who sounds like a real prize – or at least the latest in a long line of real prizes. Gunnar takes Micah for an overnight stay at his house and the next day convinces Kylie not to leave town. Naturally, the ex-lovers are spotted in mid-hug by Zoey (who is looking through the TV Guide listings for the next episode of How to Get Away With Murder.)
Which brings us to Jeff. Scheming, sleazy Jeff, who has arranged a double-date for himself and Mayor Teddy with Natasha and Brianna, the lovely ladies introduced in last week's episode. After the four of them have dinner together, Natasha strips down to take a dip in the pool. But Teddy's real shock comes after the ladies leave and he finds out they are prostitutes (although they prefer the term "escorts"). Although having the press find out about it could land him in more PR quagmires than even Scandal's Olivia Pope could navigate, Teddy seems more bummed about the fact that she was a good listener. "That's why they call her a professional," Jeff says. It's clear Jeff is finding a way to make sure Teddy's (and Deacon's) singing daughters, Daphne and Maddie, sign with his label.
It's going to be tough for Maddie to go out on tour, however, if she's grounded. And she's headed in that direction with her latest move. After her soon-to-be-stepbrother Colt compliments her on her new hairstyle, Maddie, who could have just returned the compliment by saying something nice about how he wears his baseball cap backwards, invites him and his friends back to her house without any parental supervision – and against Daphne's wishes too, which turns out to be very ill-advised. Once things start to get broken, Daphne calls her dad, but he's too busy (with his "professional") to answer, so she calls the cops instead, who bust in on Maddie and her Colt as Maddie is kissing him. (Teddy's next call to a professional is likely to be a psychiatrist.)
As Rayna and Maddie's three dads, Deacon, Teddy and Luke, gather at the house to assess the situation (and Rayna wades through all that testosterone to play referee), her daughters are informed that they are going to be getting a nanny. Hey, wait, didn't ABC already cancel Supernanny? Talk about a missed opportunity.
Still, the network made up for it with all the talk of the (fictional) CMA Awards, which were announced during a fictional edition of Good Morning America featuring the real Robin Roberts and real country star Sara Evans (who shows up to perform with Luke later in the episode). Rayna and Luke manage a whopping 11 nods between the two of them, and Sadie Stone, who receives a Best New Artist mention (along with Will) joins Rayna for a champagne celebration. However, Rayna laments the fact that the media thinks her engagement to Luke is the reason they both did so well. Rukemania, it seems, is unstoppable. It's also on the minds of the producers of Dancing With the Stars, who want the couple to perform together on the show. Rayna wants to distance herself from Luke during the run-up to the awards and offers to do DWTS by herself, but the show passes. Until she calls up and offers to debut a bonus single from her album, that is. One catch: There is no bonus single from her album. Yet.
When last we saw Layla she was looking into a broken mirror she had smashed with her hand. Now, she's just plain smashed and Will rescues her before she blabs his secret. Back in her hotel room, she plants a kiss on Will, which ends badly. So the next thing she attacks is the mini-bar, looking for more booze. Either she's too tipsy to remember those little bottles cost a fortune or she doesn't care because Jeff's paying the bills.
Also this week, at an after-party for their show in Wisconsin, Pam gets all up in Deacon's grill about being a miserable sad sack on tour, so he finally shakes it off and sings an acoustic version of the song he refused to perform for the crowd after hearing, "We want Luke, we want Luke" and storming off the stage in a snit.
And speaking of storming off, the awkwardness of Scarlett and the homeless man, Terry, continues when she thanks him for helping her with her song. Since she knows he won't take charity, she tells him her uncle's gutters could use a real cleaning (which, thankfully, isn't the weirdest euphemism ever. The gutters on Deacon's house are a real mess!). While he cleans, he sings a little blues, and when Scarlett asks if he has ever sung professionally, he says "a little" but quickly changes the subject. While she's doing his laundry, she finds his wallet, which has a picture of what she assumes is Terry's family. Not only does the dude go off about Scarlett's third degree, later when she goes to look for him, he's missing. Had this happened a few years ago we could have pointed out he was kind of like all those people on Lost. Keep an eye out for him, he may show up on How to Get Away With Murder.
(Nashville is pre-empted next week for the real 48th Annual CMA Awards, airing live from Music City at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.)