After another of its many disconcerting hiatuses, “Nashville” returned with the follow up to Scarlett’s (Clare Bowen) drug and booze induced nervous breakdown and we find Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) has gone off the rails and had another of her ill-advised affairs. On April 30, Zimbio also reminded us that it was Scarlett’s mother, Beverly, who sent the fragile singer into the tailspin that had her crawling around under the piano on stage in front of thousands of fans.
Avery helps Scarlett off stage where Juliette and other concerned folks figure out what to do. Juliette has her flown home on her jet. Rayna meets them at the landing pad, takes over and dismisses Juliette. Scarlett is admitted to a clinic and when she wakes up in restraints and sees her mother in the room, she has another total freak out. She gets free somehow and she is trying to make a break for it in her hospital gown and bare feet. Rayna, Deacon and Beverly are all there. The more Beverly talks, the more stressed out Scarlett gets so deacon pulls her away and Rayna calms her down. Scarlett says she’s fine and Rayna points out that being outside in her current attire doesn’t plead her case very well.
Everyone comes to see Scarlett including Beverly, who wants to move to Nashville to take care of her, Deacon, who asks her if she’s hooked on the pills, Rayna, who wants her to think about whether or not she really wants to keep doing this, Juliette who wants to offer support because she has a crazy-a$$ mother, too and Zoey who just wants to be supportive. Even Avery shows up and spends the night sleeping in the chair.
Scarlett finally finds her backbone and tells Beverly no, she doesn’t want her there and tells Rayna, no, she doesn’t want fame and singing career. Both agree to give her what she wants. She blames Juliette for forcing her on stage and clearly doesn’t remember what happened at all. In the end, she tells Deacon she knows she is responsible for what happened and that she made some terrible choices. She signs herself out of the hospital and seems to be on the road to recovery.
Juliette is handles the immediate crisis and gets Scarlett back home where she is dismissed and made to feel responsible for what happened by everyone. Rayna takes over and basically tells her she shouldn’t have left Scarlett with Juliette. At home, Avery tells her that she made Scarlett feel she had no option but to go on stage in her state of mind and so, in so many, words, yes, it was her fault. When Juliette tries to help by visiting Scarlett, the ingénue lashes out at her and blames her for the breakdown too.
Later, Juliette, standing outside Scarlett’s hospital room, overhears Scarlett and Avery discussing their affection for one another with Avery saying she’ll always have a piece of his heart. This is the last straw for Jules. She gets dolled up and heads off to a party alone to drown her sorrows. Jeff Fordham shows up to lick his wounds (Gunnar just turned down an offer to come work for him). In a completely unexpected twist, these two hook up in a little room somewhere and come out reassembling their disheveled selves where anybody can see them. Gunnar does see them.
Deacon is at the clinic when Scarlett arrives. He reminds Rayna that he never thought Scarlett was ready for a big tour. Rayna bites back any real response, knowing he is worried about his niece. Then he and his sister Beverly get into it. It seems she blames him for her own mental health issues because he left home when they were younger. She was left alone to fend for herself with their crazy parents. The argument gets heated and he walks away, which makes Beverly remark that walking away is what he does best.
After some thought, he realizes his whole family has always laid the blame on everyone else. He apologizes to Beverly and Rayna and tells Beverly they have to put aside their own stuff and help Scarlett the way they were never helped.
Gunnar finally decides what to do with his royalty money. He buys a house of his own. He tells Will that he and Layla can have the old place to themselves. Zooey is not sure how to feel about it because it implies a settling down arrangement she hasn’t signed up for.
Jeff Fordham meets with Gunnar to offer him a song writing contract with better payout than what he’s got. When Jeff bashes Scarlett and calls her looney, that clinches it for Gunnar, who refuses with a big ‘hell no.’
Why the showrunners made Gunnar be the one who saw Jeff and Juliette post-hook-up is unclear but we’re sure it will come into play later on.
Will is being pestered by his wife all through the show about doing a reality TV series with them as its focus. He is not thrilled with the idea but meets with the producer. Later, Jeff tells Will that it’s not a good idea to have the film crew all up in his stuff. When Will plays dumb, Jeff tells him they both know why this isn’t a good idea. Will persists pretending he doesn’t understand what Jeff means and the best line of the night comes out of Jeff’s mouth. “You’re really going to make me say it? Because I’d like to keep some plausible deniability here.” This just makes Will want to do it even more and he rushes off to tell Layla the happy news.
Avery is caught in the middle between his concern for his friend and his girlfriend’s insecurities and he doesn’t handle it well at all. When Juliette tries to talk to him about it, an overtired and overly concerned Avery storms out of the house and spends the night at the hospital. These two still haven’t learned how to communicate well with each other, so naturally, Juliette slinks off to sleep with her ex-boss, whom she hates. This is not going to end well.
Rayna takes heat from both Deacon and Beverly about Scarlett and handles both with grace and dignity, though she gets a little worked up with Beverly’s accusations. Then she does a radio interview because she’s getting ready to launch her own new album and can’t afford to skip it. She is asked about the delicate situations concerning her daughter Maddie and Deacon being her father and the unfolding story with Scarlett. She handles both with poise and turns the conversation away from both topics without any trouble. When Scarlett finally admits she doesn’t want to be a recording star, she graciously agrees to let her out of her contract. The only problem is her own record label is now totally screwed but that’s for another episode.
There are only 2 more episodes left in season 2 and they will run the next 2 consecutive weeks. “Nashville” airs on Wednesdays on ABC.