While the centuries-old idiom “there’s no use crying over spilled milk” may contain certain wisdom, it’s a safe bet Nashville viewers will, if not cry, at the very least gasp in horror at the point a carton of milk crashes to the ground in this week’s episode. In yet another life-in-the-balance moment, a shocking attack leaves one crucial question hanging in the air. But more on that later. . .
As the episode opens, Daphne is slathering her face in makeup when she gets a text from her classmate Flynn, who invites her to an upcoming party, which she tells Deacon will consist of “a bunch of kids watching a scary movie.” Turns out the only two watching something scary will be Daphne and Flynn, who arrive to find no parents and a bunch of hormone-riddled 8th graders drinking alcohol and making out. They are mortified. Flynn, however, looks as though he wouldn’t mind kissing Daphne, while her face is turning a shade that’s not dissimilar to Linda Blair in The Exorcist just before she spewed gallons of pea soup all over her bedroom. The couple ends up on the swing set outside the house, where Flynn gives her a brief lesson in ornithology and laments the stressful nature of being 7th graders at an 8th grade party. Daphne later admits to her sister that the party, which in her mind was sort of like Clueless meets Caligula, grossed her out, but that she also kind of wanted to kiss Flynn, giving young nerds everywhere just a little bit of hope.
Deacon, who is about to play an event for the foster organization that recently placed Liv in a new home, has also been asked to donate an auction item, a piece of clothing that had belonged to Rayna. Maddie and Daphne are upset about it, until they find out he has chosen a rhinestone-studded jacket festooned with sunflowers which they both hated. “Sunflowers are dorky,” Daphne says. Somewhere, Vincent van Gogh is slicing off his other ear. At the event, he is seated at the same table as Jessie Caine, who moves the pace cards around so they don’t have to sit side-by-side. Her ex-husband, the loutish, menacing Brad Maitland, shows up and makes Jessie very uncomfortable. Brad tells Deacon he’s hearing great things about Highway 65’s boy genius Zach, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if he came after Brad’s record label in an unfriendly takeover. “Bring it, boy, I love a good fight,” Brad says. Can you say “foreshadowing”? When Rayna’s jacket goes up for auction, Jessie can see Deacon is distraught. He leaves, after which Brad smugly taunts Jessie with a text that reads “Stepdad material?” She angrily goes outside, kicking a trashcan and telling Deacon, “It’s times like these I really wish I still smoked. . . or had a gun.” (More foreshadowing?) Deacon then performs a song he wasn’t planning to do, saying, “This is for Rayna.” He sings the beautiful “Dreaming My Dreams With You,” which was followed by uncontrollable sobbing – we’re not sure what the characters on the show were doing at that point, however.
Meanwhile, Juliette, who continues to push herself onstage to the point of risking further injury, is also getting ready for Avery to go out on tour. When he hits the road, Avery meets Nell, a flirty bartender who is obviously after him. She assures him she can fix the broken TV in his hotel room, and later, in a drunken call to Juliette, which she can tell is coming from the hotel-room bathroom, she also accuses him of having someone in the room with him. He doesn’t deny it, after which we find his television is actually being repaired. . . by a guy named Yuri. Relationship crisis averted, at least for now.
As for Scarlett and Gunnar’s relationship, things are about to take an intensely scary turn, but they start innocently enough, as they meet with a guy named Dan about doing a TV commercial for a furniture company called Bridge Street Habitat. He tells them his client is like the “GEICO of furniture companies” and their ads must be good. They even make the usually serious-minded Alyssa laugh. Scarlett, however, says their furniture is impossible to put together, which, it turns out, is precisely how the ad agency came up with the idea of the Exes assembling a brand-new dining room table. “Life is complicated and you represent that perfectly,” Dan tells the Exes. Things go from complicated to impossible and emotional when Scarlett discovers that instead of the dining room table they thought they’d be putting together in the ad, it’s actually baby’s crib. As the shoot the commercial, with their dreamy voices singing in the background, they go to work on assembling the crib, smiling at each other and admiring their handiwork as they finish the project. Scarlett, however, can’t contain her emotions and breaks down in tears.
Scarlett says she can’t finish the commercial unless they can turn the crib into a table. Gunnar obviously has other things on his mind – and not a set of matching lamps to go with that table. He tries to assure her it’s just a commercial, but things go from bad to worse. Later, they argue outside a grocery store and he accuses her of not wanting to have the baby with him and not even wanting him in her life. At this point, they are approached by three young guys who want Gunnar to buy them some beer. He refuses and just wants them to go away, but the ringleader of the operation has other plans and pulls a gun on them. Horrified, Scarlett drops the grocery bag and milk spills all over the gunman’s shoes. He reacts violently, pushing her against a car, then forcing Gunnar to get on his knees, after which he hits Gunnar with the gun, and he and his fellow thugs run away with their wallets, leaving the couple – and us – in shock.