Nashville reaches its milestone 100th episode by giving us a little refresher course on why we loved/hated the old Juliette Barnes before she became Saint Juliette 2.0. Telling Glenn she’s desperate for a hit song, but doesn’t want to be on a list behind “Miranda and Carrie and Kacey and Kelsea and whatever,” she wants the number-one pick of the best of what’s available. She forgot to include her supposed pal, young Maddie Jaymes in that list. When she meets up with a hip, hot songwriter, things get off to a rocky start when he tells her has a song for her… to give to Maddie. Later, she tells him that she played the song for Maddie and it wasn’t right for her but, what do you know, it’s just right for her. From that anguished look on her face, it’s obvious something’s creeping up on her – it’s either she got a bad plate of clams at lunch, or she’s feeling guilty. Falling from the sky and being temporarily paralyzed will do that to you. She starts writing an apologetic email to Maddie but closes her laptop before sending it. Welcome back, conniving vixen Juliette, we’ve missed you.
Meanwhile, Damien is all excited about having a baby with Scarlett. . . and Gunnar – so excited that he’s already planning to send the little bundle of joy to Eton and has picked out a name for him: Rupert. Because being raised by any one of these three apparently isn’t punishment enough. While Scarlett is hormonal and Gunnar is riddled with insecurity about his relationship with her, Damien is utterly possessed. What else does a rich, hyperactive man do in such a case? Buy a mansion, of course, and ask Scarlett to move in. After Damien kisses her, Scarlett is overwhelmed and confused. Things get even more dicey when she tells Gunnar she does have feelings for Damien. While visiting Deacon, Scarlett loses it. Get ready for this scenario a lot over the next several months because if there’s one thing we know about pregnant TV characters they are all hormone-driven basket cases prone to emotional outbursts. “I wish I was having puppies because I could give one to everybody and we can all go on our merry way,” she tells her uncle. Scarlett might need a basic biology lesson – or a rabies shot – ’cause she’s talking crazier than usual. When she sees Damien again, she tells him he’s not the kind of guy who could raise a baby with her, even if that’s what he’s convinced he wants to be. She tells Gunnar she rejected Damien and Gunnar promptly leaves the room because he doesn’t want to watch her cry over another guy. Or have to think about baby Rupert.
Maddie and Clay are making sweet music together (no, that’s not a euphemism) and Daphne texts her to tell Maddie her song is being played on the radio. Later, during a radio interview, she’s bombarded with intrusive questions about Rayna. After she and Clay leave they are stopped by a police officer for rolling through a stop sign. Things get testy and Maddie wants to know what’s going on. As she captures the whole encounter on her phone (as do other nosy bystanders), she gets irritated and accuses the officer of stopping them because Clay is black. He remains calm and compliant, while Maddie gets herself handcuffed and ends up all over the Internet and on a tabloid TV show, not to mention becoming fodder for people making nasty online comments, which has now replaced baseball as America‘s official national pastime.
Clay’s helpful hint is to suggest a little light summer reading. . . namely James Baldwin’s classic 1962 novel, Another Country. He also suggests they spend some time apart for now and she goes to her dad, Deacon, for some fatherly advice, after which she works things out in a song. Because, who needs guys or books?
Also this week, Daphne and Liv were wearing clown make-up for some reason and Deacon left them home alone while he went to play an in-the-round at the Bluebird. To his great relief, when he returned home the house did not look (or smell) like it had been trampled by elephants and there were no injuries. Still, he reminded Daphne that Liv won’t be able to stay there for much longer.
At his in-the-round, which also featured real-life songwriting legends Jim Lauderdale and Gary Nicholson, Deacon meets Jessie Caine (played by new cast member Kaitlyn Doubleday, making her series debut). She sings a happy little number about being a total wreck and reveals to Deacon that she’s divorced. Could she be headed for future romance with the grieving widower? Because she doesn’t exactly sound like comic relief.