Rayna's having a hard time after Teddy asked her for a divorce last week. She's missing cues -- which, a concerned Deacon comments, she's never done in 20 years -- and having flashbacks in the makeup chair. On top of that, episode director Eric Stoltz (yep, that one) keeps dropping the sound out of her scenes and throwing her into slo-mo, so that's kind of a problem. Not to mention that Teddy is pressuring her to tell the girls ASAP before it leaks (read: "so that he can keep bonking Peggy and feel less sleazy about it"), but Rayna wants more time.
We're psyched that Rayna runs into Liam in a hotel lobby, though, because we like that character, and we want to see more of his and Rayna's friendship, because we like that he can joke about getting fired, offer to take her on vacation from her life, and crack that they made half an album together so they're "practically married." And he gives her some good advice about not staying together "for the sake of the kids."
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Liam and Rayna making out while ripped up on bourbon? Not so much. Rayna crying in the bathroom of Liam's hotel room, then beating herself up about how she should have done something differently in her and Teddy's relationship? Not so much (and also, like what, make Teddy less insecure about his bread-winning "abilities"? Not her committee). Deacon seeing them hanging out the next morning, and having a self-righteous mini-hissy about assuming she slept with Liam? Not at all. We never thought we'd say this, but shut up, Deacon.
Twitter's take on that love...isosceles, we guess:
Awww... I'm all fluttery over those Liam and Rayna scenes. They were cute as he opened up to her and vice versa. #Nashville— Gina(@sportschick2624) February 14, 2013
Deacon nooooooooooooo! Liam you are screwing everything between Rayna and Deacon !#Nashville— Gabby(@gabbya7) February 14, 2013
I like most everything about #Nashville by now, but the Rayna/Liam scenes kick it into another gear. Is Powers Boothe still in the cast?— Rob Watson (@r0bwatson) February 14, 2013
We're going to have to tell Juliette to shut up also. We'd liked her more lately, but she's rearranging the set design, calling crew meetings, and making all sorts of changes based on the (admittedly positive) response to her new acoustic set. Glenn, her manager, is like, "'New acoustic set' in the what now?" and repeats that she should really clear these changes with him. After all, she "did promise to behave after the shoplifting." "Behave" triggers a classic Juliette tantrum, as she reminds Glenn for the first of several dozen times that she's his boss. Glenn wonders if she wants him to say he's happy with all the changes. "No," Juliette says. "I want you to say 'yes ma'am.'"
Glenn calls a crew meeting of his own (sans Deacon) to inform the entire traveling circus that, whatever Juliette wants to do, they should clear it with him -- and when Deacon sells Glenn out to Juliette later all Shruggsy Bogues that someone may have said something at some point, thereby earning his bona fides as both a crap-starter and a wimp, Juliette freaks out again, pulling everyone out of their rooms in the middle of the night to remind them that she's the boss. Glenn's like, yeah: I'm out.
In the elevator the next day, Deacon acidly wonders if this is the "mature direction" Juliette was talking about, and points out that she needs to learn how to treat people or the good ones she's got now will find somewhere else to be. This from someone who 1) had no use for Glenn's totally valid point that, for years, Juliette had no one except him and was just some "scraggly-haired" little kid trying out for a public-access talent show; and 2) is being a sucky baby his own self. …Although he did offer to be a listening ear for Rayna, and she turned him down, but still. And by the way, does he know Maddie is his kid?
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He does have a way of getting through to Juliette, though. When she gets home, she lets her assistant go home early; neatens up around the house, by herself; and calls Jolene at rehab to invite her to come live with her. "It's a pretty big house," she tells Jolene, kind of sadly.
Speaking of "kind of sad," Avery is being kind of a lippy diva, whining that Dominic is taking his music in a "direction" he doesn't like. "If I don't feel it, I can't sing it." Oh, Avery. Please listen to yourself. And then…shut up. He's also bent out of shape that Marilyn has another boy on the side already, so despite her advice not to leave money on the table by selling his publishing rights too early, he's sick of living in a motel room and Hayley, who's trying to move her own career forward, is pretty and she's buying the drinks, so he sells out for a hundred grand…and is now on the same label as Scarlett and Gunnar.
Those two, meanwhile, get a call from Watty: Rayna wants to talk about signing them to her new label. Much celebrating ensues, but not before we have to endure another conversation about how they're "strictly roommates." Yes, Scarlett. We got that. So did Gunnar, innocently wondering why, if they're just roommates, Scarlett even cares that he's just in a towel, and Scarlett continues her campaign of making us sort of like her again by grumbling, "Naked smart-ass."
We also like that, when Gunnar's brother Jason shows up (thereby breaking parole), Scarlett kiboshes a fraternal reunion at their house with, "That's called harboring a fugitive. Nope!" Seriously: what's going on here? I mean, it's great that Scarlett is getting cool, but we're not sure we can trust it.
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Still, we like the character's recent zing increase; the storyline could use it, because it's kind of predictable. Jason's parole officer will show up, Gunnar will feel guilty some more because his getaway-car non-skills are why Jason went to prison in the first place (not, you know, committing armed robbery? OK), and "Nashville" will try to yank on our heartstrings with it. We admit, the scene with Gunnar and Scarlett trying out a song they want to sing for Rayna, and Jason jumping in with Gunnar's spare guitar, was sweet. And Sam Palladio and David Clayton Rogers have good bro chemistry. But of course Scarlett gives in and lets Jason stay with them longer than one night, and of course he was lying about not still having the gun, and it's just not that compelling.
Not nearly as compelling as, say, Maddie overhearing her father schmooping at Peggy on the phone, realizing what's up, and seeking Rayna out after the girls get The Divorce Talk to let her know. "He's still with that woman," she says. "I thought you should know." She hugs her mom, and over her shoulder, Rayna looks, well, murderous.
Watch "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight" in its entirety, right here:
Next time: Get a cup, Teddy.
"Nashville" airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on ABC.