It’s morning at the James-Claybourne residence and Daphne is making breakfast for everyone. “No sign of fire anywhere?” Rayna notes, showing us where Daphne inherited her snark talent from.
The security team is back, because Rayna’s stalker, Hockney, has bailed himself out of jail. Everyone will have a bodyguard from now on. Maddie gets upset because this will interfere with her date at Clay’s bar gig on Saturday. Someone needs to make Maddie a scrapbook of people killed and seriously injured by their stalkers, starting with the ones who were attacked in crowded public places. Maybe John Lennon could be on the first page.
Juliette is attending bible study and services regularly at Hallie’s church. After bible study class, she tells Hallie that she wants to make a gospel album with Hallie and the choir. Hallie has concerns about the idea, but she reluctantly sets up a meeting for Juliette to pitch the album to the whole choir.
Damien and Scarlett meet at a restaurant. He wants them to keep seeing each other, but will give her time to think about it after they get to know each other better over lunch. Then he’ll go back to his hotel room, where his bed is, and wait for her answer, naked, in his bed, thinking about her, naked. But it’s her decision completely. No pressure.
Daphne has a stomach ache in the morning before school. Later at school, she discovers that she’s gotten her period for the first time. She hides in the girls room while she calls Maddie for help, but Maddie is busy and can’t leave her internship. Maddie hangs up before she can hear Daphne tell her not to tell Rayna what’s happening. Rayna brings Daphne new clothes and supplies, and tries to be a sensitive, caring mother, but Daphne is angry that Maddie called Rayna. She goes off on Maddie about it later, and Maddie, of all people, wants her parents to stop Daphne from treating her unfairly. Yeah, I think we’re all just going to sit back and secretly cheer while Daphne gets her shots in, hon.
Scarlett and Deacon meet up at Deacon’s old house and have a talk about Scarlett’s current love triangle vs the Deacon/Rayna/Teddy love triangle, though Teddy’s name is never mentioned, of course. Deacon tells her that he was out of control and always questioning his motivations in those days. It was a big mess. Scarlett says that she’d like to avoid that kind of mess, but doesn’t think she can. She doesn’t intend to sneak around or lie, though. She is undecided about her feelings other than that.
As they are walking into the church meeting to ask the choir to help with Juliette’s album, Hallie warns Juliette that not everyone will understand her motivations. Juliette says she will record an album of Hallie’s music no matter what happens with the choir. Hallie is surprised, since she doesn’t remember agreeing to a record contract. Juliette is so enthusiastic about this music that she’s bulldozing over the people involved a little bit.
Once they are inside, Hallie introduces Juliette to make her case. Some of the church members are excited, others offended. They ask questions to clarify the situation. Juliette wants to record some traditional songs and write some new ones. She wants them to record the album as partners, possibly writing partners. But since she’s only been going to church and listening to gospel music for a few months, many of the church members feel that she doesn’t have a deep understanding of the musical and religious culture she’d be working in, on top of it being an African-American musical style. Anger and resentment surfaces from some of the choir members over the idea of their sacred music being treated as a business by an outsider, and sacred music being sung by someone who usually sings about secular subjects in sexy clothing. Juliette gets defensive and the meeting spirals.
Scarlett gives Gunnar the “It’s not you, it’s me.” speech, while swearing up and down that it’s not about Damien, she just needs time by herself. Then she literally leaves Gunnar’s house and goes straight to Damien’s hotel room. Poor Gunnar. Scarlett tells him she feels nothing for him. He’s obsessed with the idea of Scarlett having sex with Damien. Scarlett acts like it’s not about sex, it’s about sorting herself out, but then spends the rest of the day having sex with Damien. Let’s not forget that Scarlett and Gunnar were in a good place with their relationship until Damien came into the picture and started manipulating them both. Damien is evil. I will never be convinced otherwise. He even has a horror movie name.
Avery records a rocking new track in the studio with his band while Juliette listens in. When he asks Juliette what she thought of it, she tells him it’s great he’s recording again, and the band is great, but isn’t he getting old for that kind of music? Hey! You’re never too old to rock and roll!! I’m not sure if Juliette is projecting her need for growth onto Avery when his music is actually fine, or if she’s truly trying to help him take a needed step forward. Or maybe she just needed something new to criticize him about this week.
Rayna wants to do something special for Daphne’s first period. Deacon suggests a period party. Rayna wisely vetoes it. Her mother died the week before she got her period for the first time, so she wants it to be a little more special for Daphne. Rayna ends up giving Daphne a little First Moon Gift and telling her what a treasure she is.
Rayna and Deacon make plans to record the next song for their album, and Rayna tells Deacon how much she loves him. Is it me, or does Rayna seem like she’s on a farewell tour this week?
Juliette apologizes to the church choir and tries to explain herself again. She’s made a good living from music, but she hasn’t lived a good life. She’s a sinner, and she can’t change her past, but when she almost died, God brought her to Hallie, and to their church. Juliette doesn’t want to steal their music. She wants to honor it, honor them, and honor God. The choir agrees to work with her.
Maddie tells Rayna she’s leaving for her date, without a bodyguard. Rayna watches Maddie leave, then follows her to the bar, along with Maddie’s bodyguard. She watches Clay’s performance, and loves it. She invites him to Highway 65 so that she can give him some tips to help him succeed in the music business. They agree that Clay will take Maddie home, but her bodyguard will come along. Rayna and Maddie part on good terms.
Rayna goes to the Highway 65 office to catch up on work. Her bodyguard does a quick sweep of the offices before she goes into the building to work alone, while he waits in the car. Shouldn’t the bodyguard be in the building with her? Someone could come in any of the doors or windows, and he doesn’t present any kind of barrier to them. He wouldn’t even hear them.
Sure enough, Hockney walks into her office within moments. He has a butcher knife, but tells her she’s not in any danger. He tells her to call him Wayne, which Rayna correctly guesses is his middle name. She says Deacon goes by his middle name as well. Rayna asks how Hockney got in the building. He says he came in during business hours the day before, and hid in the broom closet. Weren’t there photos of him hung up all over the place to make sure he was spotted if he tried to enter? What kind of searches were those security guys doing? Worst security company ever. Deacon should sue.
Rayna keeps Hockney talking about the things they have in common, and why he wanted to meet her. He was abused as a child, just like her and Deacon, and her music speaks to him because of that. She distracts him long enough to get her phone out and dial 911, then makes a run for the door. The police alert her useless bodyguard, who still somehow doesn’t make it into the building until the police arrive. Hockney grabs Rayna and holds his knife to her throat while he uses her as a shield. She talks him down, until he finally surrenders and drops her. Rayna James is the true hero and hostage negotiator of this story.
Rayna calls Deacon as she’s being driven home in a squad car. The security company also didn’t let him know that Rayna was in danger, so he’s surprised by how upset she sounds. Then Rayna’s car is T-boned by a truck that looks like it was going very fast. Maybe Rayna really was on a farewell tour this episode.
Deacon: All those years I was so out of control I was always asking myself: Is this who I am? Is this the deepest part of me trying to express itself, or is this the dark part just trying to take me down? I mean, I have a pretty dark part. I don’t know about you.
I used to ship Scarlett and Gunnar so hard, but now I just want Gunnar to stay as far away from her as possible. Deacon just told us what her issue is. With her mother dead, she has no place to focus the darkness in her. Gunnar isn’t a satisfying target, because he’s just a typical idiot about feelings and relationships, not actually an abusive one. Damien will happily form a f*cked up, twisted relationship with Scarlett to replace what she lost when her mother died. She’s drawn to him because he’s older, successful, and more experienced, but he’s also aggressive, has verbally abused her and has been mildly violent in her presence, so the potential for more is there. All of that cooked up together could make her feel safe in the sick sort of way that someone who had an abusive parent can subconsciously find comfortingly familiar. It’s something she’s going to have to work through, the way Deacon worked through his own darkness. Scarlett probably also has residual guilt over the way her mother died that she hasn’t dealt with, just like Deacon did last season.
Rayna reminds us twice over the course of the episode that her mother died when she was young. In fact, she was about Daphne’s age. Her mother was in a car accident caused by her sociopathic father, so Rayna had to go through all kinds of milestones alone. Foreshadowing? Could someone have purposely caused her car accident? Zach is my first suspect. He knows every tiny detail of her history and is creepy as hell.
I wrote an entire post about what Rayna’s car accident might mean for the future of Nashville. You can read it HERE.
There was a lot of talk about childhood trauma and overcoming past mistakes this week. Rayna, Deacon, Juliette, and Hockney mentioned their own pasts. Juliette brought up Avery’s past. Scarlett, as always these days, does not bring up her own past as something she was traumatized by or needs to overcome, other than the things she blames Gunnar for.
Bible verse that the church group is studying: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast.” The minister interprets it as a challenge to learn to trust. Is figuring out who to trust going to become an issue? Or was that just referring to the trust that needs to develop between the members of the choir and Juliette?