Maddie jets off to
Jessie calls to tell Deacon that Brad and his new wife are going to be at the open house at Daphne and Jake’s school, where both students will be performing, although she remains completely clueless as to what her son has up his sleeve. While Daphne sings, Brad seems visibly moved. Either his shorts are too tight or he’s plotting something sinister. Brad is unprepared, however, for Jake’s act, which is a delicious bit of vitriolic slam poetry directly squarely at his dad, not to mention his cruel classmates, none of whom know what to make of it all. After the performances, Brad heaps praise on Daphne but takes obvious digs at Jessie and Jake before slithering back to his cage.
Daphne becomes interested in entering a competition to find
Meanwhile Will, a.k.a “The Hulk,” Gunnar, Avery and their new bandmate Alannah are rehearsing when Bucky calls to tell them reporters want to talk to Alannah… after just two shows with them. “That’s got to be some of record,” Will says, gritting his pearly whites so tightly they’re about to turn to powder. She refuses to do the interview unless they all do. Later, Gunnar and Alannah are in bed eating frozen waffles (which sounds like a euphemism for some kinky sex thing. Sadly, no, they are actually eating frozen waffles). Gunnar is trying to get her to open up and talk but she’s having none of it. Her phone rings and it’s her ex, which unnerves him. He takes pizza and beer to Avery’s and they talk. When the band members sit down for the interview, all the questions are directed at Alannah. The reporter reveals that it was Brad who tipped him off about her being “the next big thing,” which, of course, pisses off Deacon. When the guys get home, Will grumbles yet again that their band, which was supposed to just be something fun, has turned into a showcase for Alannah, who soon gets a text from Brad saying they should talk. He ends it with the cryptic message: “Shiny New.” Even his texts are unbearably slimy.
Gunnar and Alannah’s sniping at each other about their relationship, which is already so tiresome we’re tempted to look for a copy of that Teddy Roosevelt book – to smack the hell out of both of them – has Avery and Will on edge as well. Onstage as the band performs, Will unleashes his anger and aggression on his poor, unsuspecting guitar, playing a fiery solo. After the gig, Will and Gunnar argue, with Will accusing Gunnar of being afraid that with Will in it, the group will become country’s answer to the Village People. (Fun fact: The Village People’s “Construction Worker,” David Hodo, grew up surrounded by country music and could do a “dead-on” impersonation of yodeling singer Slim Whitman as a kid.) Will works out his considerable, steroid-fueled aggression at the gym in a scene resembling a Darren Aronofsky remake of Pumping Iron.
Avery, who is frankly probably grateful for the distraction, tells Gunnar and Will that he’s flying to