Juliette is on tour in New Orleans, exhibiting more signs of pregnancy brain and wacked-out hormones. She’s determined to raise her baby by herself but at least she finally lets Avery know he’s going to be a daddy — by text. Avery, who’s already bathed in orange, thanks to the vest he’s wearing to do his roadside community service (and no doubt still hungover), goes from orange to crimson with four words over the phone: “I’m pregnant, it’s yours.” He soon gets the phone taken away from him by his supervisor, which is just as well. Juliette won’t answer his calls anyway. Turns out she’s a little busy rehearsing for her first nude scene. (Can we just stop right here and say how wrong it is to think about Patsy Cline au naturel?) At least Noah, who is apparently experienced in such matters, says he likes to do push-ups before filming such scenes. Juliette is in no mood for calisthenics, especially once Avery shows up at her trailer on the movie set and goes a little “Crazy” (see what we did there?) about getting his text and congratulates Juliette on being a coward as well as a liar. Glenn plays the protective father again, telling Avery that Juliette was raised in chaos (that’s putting it mildly) and he’s not going to let that happen to her again. Unfortunately for Juliette, Noah looks on and sees the whole thing, although Avery was screaming so loudly that we’re pretty sure he would have heard it all anyway.
When it comes time for Juliette and Noah’s big love scene, Noah suggests that she should be on top. Either he’s being chivalrous or he just likes being dominated. Either way, we’re kind of warming up to the whole idea of the scene. Well, until Noah tells Juliette that her secret is safe with him and that it barely shows anyway. Worst. Foreplay. Ever.
At Avery’s apartment, he and Gunnar are talking about Avery’s prospects of being a father. He bemoans the fact that he has a “sad dad” apartment. Like most Nashville songwriters, Gunnar is probably thinking, “Ooh, ‘sad dad apartment,’ great line for a song!” Avery then tells Gunnar it’s probably best for him and for the baby to let it go. Gunnar is thinking, “Ooh, ‘Let It Go,’ great title for a… oh, never mind.”
Deacon doesn’t have much to do in this episode, but what he does contribute ends up being pretty significant. He criticizes Will for kissing up to his boss, Luke, but will later come to Will’s aid just when he needs him. Will gets more unwanted attention when Jeff spots him talking to Tony, his trainer. Jeff tells Will he’s going to keep him busy with more radio promotion duties in an effort to keep him away from the gym rat and his “happy place.” Since Jeff knows Will is not very likely to take his advice, he gives him a nondisclosure agreement for Tony to sign. Will is, to say the least, conflicted, and wants to know what Luke thinks about it, since he’s probably had his share of tour liaisons through the years (well, except maybe during that ponytail phase). Luke assures him that this is a sign that he’s a success, and their exchange also gives Luke a chance to deliver his latest bon mot: “If it ain’t love, it’s business.” Somebody get this guy a book deal, he’s got more pithy quotations than Bartlett’s.
Gunnar, who continues blowing all his mailbox money on new toys for his studio, spends a little FaceTime with Zoey. Just enough, in fact, to keep her insecure about their relationship by telling her that he’s going to see his ex-girlfriend, Kylie. At the Hermitage Café, he’s munching on some fries, which he dunks in applesauce at Kylie’s suggestion. (The Hermitage Café, by the way, is a real place with some great down-home Southern dishes — a cardiologist’s dream.) Kylie tells Gunnar about a guy she’s dating online and before he even has time to process that, a curly-haired boy named Micah runs into the diner and says, “Hi, Mom,” to Kylie. “Now you know why I date online,” Kylie says. But suddenly online dating is the last thing he’s thinking about. (You can almost see him trying to do the math in his head). Kylie can too, and says, “Before you ask, he’s not yours.”
More kid drama develops for Rayna, when Daphne (her younger, sweeter daughter, who is obsessed with glow-in-the-dark bowling) calls to tell her how much she misses her. Luke and his son, Colt, are on their private jet with Rayna and her daughters and things are a bit tense with the newly blended family. Colt complains to the flight attendant that he’s drinking caffeine-free soda, so the flight attendant immediately heads back to the galley. You can almost hear her muttering, “I’ve got your caffeine right here, ya spoiled little…” When Luke refers to Daphne and Maddie as Colt’s new sisters, Maddie snarls and reminds Luke that Sage is his sister. Conveniently, Sage is off at dance camp. Gosh, teenagers are fun. Colt has apparently made an impression on sweet little Daphne, who tells the waitress in the sky that she prefers chocolate milk. Rayna is thinking, “Why didn’t Sadie and I drive over that cliff after all?” Later, when Rayna and her daughters are reunited on the bus with Luke and Colt, they have a family picture taken. Maddie is not thrilled. But that’s nothing compared to the unexpected outburst that takes place when Rayna and Luke are preparing for a car commercial. Daphne suggests that since they’re advertising a family car and they are a family, they should all be in the commercial. When Rayna tries to explain to her that that isn’t going to happen, Daphne — sweet little Daphne — lets loose with “This trip sucks! You suck!” Gosh, pre-teenagers are fun.
Rayna is, of course, in shock, but Luke tells her that he knows what it takes to be successful in this business and assures her that she just needs to give her girls some time to get used to it. Not really the answer she was looking for. Later, Rayna and Daphne have a heart-to-heart and everything is OK again. (What was in that chocolate milk, anyway?) The family goes bowling and, not surprisingly, Daphne is cheered up while Maddie continues to sulk. Turns out she has seen an unflattering picture of herself in a magazine with the unfortunate title “Saddie Maddie” and subtitled “Rayna’s Plain-Jane Daughter.” Now it’s Maddie’s turn to have a heart-to-heart with Mom, who tells her that she knows how hard it is to be a girl her age, especially with crappy tabloids and photographers everywhere. When they return to Nashville with Teddy, he’s looking to score points with his daughters (well, one-and-sort-of-half daughters) and decides that they can have more fun with him than they obviously had on their little jet-setting adventure. When Daphne and Rayna do FaceTime she tells her mom that she got her ears pierced and that they all enjoyed a spa day together. Maddie also had a bit of a makeover and got highlights in her hair. Rayna is not thrilled, especially when Maddie says she did it so she could be “the best version of myself,” which is exactly what her mom had told her she should try to be.
Not sure what they did to Teddy during his luxurious spa day (and we don’t really want to know), but he agrees to go out on the town with Jeff, ready to meet someone new. It’s a good thing Teddy has a wing man, even if it is Jeff, since the first thing he does when introduced to a woman is to go on and on about the new shirt his daughter picked out for him to wear. Of course, “I’m the mayor of one of the 10 best cities in the United States” works too, but “See my new shirt” is at least less wordy. The woman, whose opening line, “I have a Master’s Degree in British history,” isn’t exactly dating gold either, tells Teddy some story about the daughter of a long-dead king (honestly, we weren’t really listening, we were too busy looking at Teddy’s amazing blue shirt) and says “men of greatness listen to their daughters.” Score one for Teddy’s date. Naturally, Jeff distills it into “chicks dig power,” which gets him points for brevity if nothing else. Before the foursome can get their very promising double date underway, Rayna calls Teddy to voice her protest over her daughter’s respective makeovers. There’s lots of yelling between the two exes, but Teddy is too concerned with using the newly acquired powers of his spectacular blue shirt to care. When his date discovers she got a parking ticket, Teddy suddenly remembers he’s the mayor and could make it go away. She says, “I’d have to owe you one.” Teddy is thinking, “I am never taking off this shirt.”
In what will surely play out to a greater degree in future episodes, Scarlett is in a rehearsal room at her publisher’s office practicing a new song when she’s distracted by a homeless man outside, yelling about pizza. She takes a sandwich to the man (whose name is Terry), guessing that since he was randomly yelling about pizza meant that he was hungry. Terry tells her he can’t accept her help unless he does something for her in return. He sings back (beautifully) the very song she’s been writing.
In another very short but sweet moment from the episode, Rayna and Sadie talk about how difficult it is raising her daughters and how badly strained Rayna’s relationship was with her own mother. We still don’t know much about Sadie but we can tell you that some dark things from her own past will soon come to the surface.
Layla is in the studio recording her new album and shamelessly flirting with the producer while Jeff looks on. She tells Jeff that the music isn’t working because she can’t sing songs about being in love since that would be faking it. “Why can’t I just write songs about what I’m feeling,” she says. “Can’t I write something more heartfelt?” Jeff’s response? “That would require you having feelings.” Black pot meet crazy kettle. Layla attempts to channel all of her rage into a song and is looking through the medicine cabinet for pills or something. She only ends up guaranteeing herself seven years of bad luck when she slams the cabinet door, breaking the mirror and also cutting her hand pretty badly. Meanwhile, her hubby and Tony the trainer are in the hotel room getting “busy” when Will decides it’s the perfect time to whip out…the nondisclosure agreement for Tony to sign. It doesn’t go well. Will says the two of them are not in a relationship and Tony counters with “I guess it’s easier to deny needing the occasional hook-up than being in love with a man.” Tony throws the agreement in the trash and leaves. In what will surely go down as one of the series’ more harrowing scenes, Will goes out for a stroll in a park and gets brutally gay-bashed and robbed by a couple of thugs. When Deacon goes to his room and sees how badly beaten Will is — physically and mentally — he gets it. Later, Luke tells Will he can’t go onstage looking like he’s been in a fight. Oddly, when Deacon comes to Will’s defense, Luke lashes out at Pam, saying “Nice company you keep.” Will and Deacon clearly have their own unspoken, unwritten nondisclosure agreement and Deacon tells him he’s around if he needs to talk. Will acknowledges that he’s thankful, but probably won’t be talking to him about this anytime soon.
Back at the Hermitage Café, Gunnar learns the truth: Micah is his son. He also learns that grape jelly goes great with fries. Which of these revelations will have a greater impact on his life remains to be seen. We’re also sure Zoey would be in the background rolling her eyes at all of this, if she weren’t so busy on the tour bus watching All About Eve and plotting her next move. She gets her chance when Juliette starts to feel sick mid-performance. The show must go on, Zoey figures, so she picks up the song right where Juliette left off and struts across the stage while a horrified Juliette looks on — and then faints.