Recaps

Shelf Bling, Shots, and Chauvinists, Nashville “You’re Looking at Country”

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

After a week off, Nashville wasted no time delving into the drama. All the stars are dressed up and heading to the CMAs with nearly everyone nominated for something. Off the top, Rayna and Luke are getting all dolled up, bantering about who will take home the most awards with Rayna nominated for six and Luke for five, including Ruke going head to head for Entertainer of the Year. But the evening sours immediately when Rayna stumbles across a pre-nup in Luke’s bag.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Over at Juliette’s, the pregnant star is nervous about meeting Avery’s parents for the first time. She and Avery only recently got back on speaking terms. And new Daddy Gunnar is clearly enjoying playing house with Micah and Zoey as the three get ready for their big night out. Zoey? Not so much.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Will Lexington and Layla Grant, who have only recently shelved the crazy, are headed out too, with Will thrilled about the show and Layla still depressed about being depicted as a ding-dong on their reality show. The only two staying home are Deacon and niece Scarlett. She’s pumped about watching all their friends on TV and Deacon’s trying to play it off like he’s not “much for award shows.” Yeah, right.

And then it’s time to hit the red carpet and “wrap up some shelf bling.” All that before the big guitar flies thru the air before the first commercial break, so you know a ton is going down before the after party starts. Here we go.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

While everyone is walking the carpet talking to reporters, Juliette is asked to wait a few minutes in her car. She’s already feeling insecure about her appearance, only being nominated once and is having flashbacks to her own tumultuous childhood. What a time to meet Avery’s parents! It’s happening though, and from the look on Avery’s dad’s face, I knew right away he was going to be a real piece of work.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Photo Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

And then, like an answer to my TV prayers, Jeff Fordham and Nashville Mayor Teddy Conrad were back. I am fully aware this is not one of the major plotlines of the night or of the series, but y’all– it is my absolute favorite. Immediately, Teddy notices Natasha the call girl at the CMAs with some other dude –and Teddy’s clearly jealous. And you know it’s going to get awesome/a little trashy when JEFF is the voice of reason, telling Teddy to play it cool in public. He won’t, thank goodness!

Deacon got sucked into the awards pretty quickly once Scarlett mentioned how beautiful Rayna looked. Obviously, Pam was only a distraction out on the road because Deacon is a man who very clearly knows who he wants. When Rayna wins the first award of the evening for the song she co-wrote with Deacon, he’s pretty much glued to the show the rest of the night. Luke does his best to maintain a straight face when his fiancé thanks her former lover publically—but it’s a fail.

Adding insult to injury, Rayna immediately wins for Album of the Year—and thanks ANOTHER ex, music producer Liam McGuinness, and that’s when Ol’ Luke Wheeler takes a turn for the douche and heads to the bar.

Cut to my fave Teddy Conrad, loading up on deviled eggs in the buffet line, trying to strike up conversation with Natasha. When her client for the night, a media mover and shaker, comes up, Natasha saves face for Teddy, saying they don’t know each other but that she was just telling Mayor Conrad she voted for him. Teddy quips “I like to think I know how to please my constituents.” Nice.

Photo Credit: Mark Levine

Photo Credit: Mark Levine

When Rayna comes back to her seat, a boozy Luke joins her—and apparently she has won three awards so far (with Luke at zero). That changes when the couple win Musical Event of the Year for “Ball & Chain,” and Luke totally takes credit for both the win and for Rayna’s success over the past year! Rayna couldn’t get a thank you in edgewise because (as Scarlett pointed out to a miffed Deacon) Luke wouldn’t “shut his dang pie-hole and let her talk.”

While this is all unfolding, Gunnar and Zoey are frantically looking for Micah who has wandered off when Zoey turned her back for two minutes to talk to Jeff Fordham. Micah is nearly 10 years old and should know better. But anyway, Gunnar freaks out, and blames Zoey in his anxiety over his lost son. Then, poor Juliette walks up on Avery’s dad being a total jerk to his son and saying awful things about her. Juliette has another flashback to her awful childhood, and heads backstage to get ready to present an award. Avery follows her, apologizing for his father’s cruel words. Juliette, reflecting on her own mother as a role model, expresses her fear that maybe Avery’s dad is right, that everything she knows about being a mom is from her mother. No, says Avery—if that were the case, he would be a “judgmental, unforgiving jackass just like my dad.” And that’s when the self-awareness creeps across his countenance.

But you know who has ZERO self-awareness? That Teddy Conrad. He just can NOT help himself. He and Natasha meet in a dark corridor and he’s all “I’m connected. I’m the mayor.” And Natasha is like, “you’re jealous!” And boom—they start knocking cowboy boots. Apparently sex backstage at the CMAs is a freebie because Natasha told him “not this time” when he asked if it would “go on his tab.” Either that, or the other guy will get billed. Freebie or not, Teddy is smitten but I am not sure where she stands. This is ripe for either blackmail or the fire escape scene from Pretty Woman.

Meanwhile, Sadie Stone wins New Artist of the Year and after she thanks Rayna from the podium, Luke abruptly walks out. Rayna follows him into the bathroom where he goes off about how the only reason her album had any success is because he proposed the day it dropped and he even dares bring up Deacon. Insecure much? Here — just watch for yourself:

But all the drama backstage can’t steal the joy of the night, when Rayna goes six for six, and beats out Luke Wheeler and everyone else for Entertainer of the Year. Her acceptance speech was lovely.

After the awards are wrapped up, Micah is put to bed (they found him right about the time Gunnar’s name was called as a winner) and Zoey and Gunnar have a heart to heart break. Zoey ends up on Scarlett and Deacon’s doorstep crying after leaving Gunnar, and Will and Layla talk about how their fame isn’t reality. Avery walks Juliette into her house, the two more united than they have been in months. They didn’t win, but they found out they’re having a girl! Before Avery leaves, Juliette asks him to unzip her dress, which he does, but even though he told her goodnight, I suspect he wanted to stay. Maybe next time.

The show ended with Ruke at home making up and Luke admitting to being a jackass. But after all Rayna put up with Deacon and his drinking, it was sobering to see that side of Luke Wheeler. I don’t like it but I think this is just the crack Deacon needs to swing Rayna back to his team. #TeamDeacon. Let’s make it trend, y’all! He texted her right at the end, with a simple, “Congrats, Ray. Much deserved.” How nice for that to be acknowledged without any drama. Despite all the ups and downs in their relationship, I never got the feeling that Deacon was intimidated by Rayna’s success.

Nashville is off next week, but will be back for the Christmas show and another declaration of love from Deacon.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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