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BARNES, STABLE For Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), staying out of the spotlight would be a near-death experience.
Sick of talking about the Saint in a Coma whenever she did a talk show (hey, Conan O'Brien!), Juliette scooted away in her private plane to film a CMT special in the last Rayna-free zone in America: the Alabama trailer park where Juliette had grown up. Sporting down-home French braid pigtails and a hearty outpouring of what seemed like non-crocodile tears, Juliette got in touch with her roots, both personal history- and hair-wise.
And despite yelling at both a silent Avery ("Shut up!") and a trying-to-help Avery ("Just trying to sell records," she said, tears in her eyes), she definitely needs her lead guitarist around for all private matters right now. They're friends. It's such a foreign term to Juliette that she needs to repeat it out loud.
I like this development. Not every guy in Juliette's house needs to be burrowing under her bedsheets.
Meanwhile, Deacon and Rayna are growing further apart. "I don't know if I'll ever talk to him again," Rayna told her sister in the episode's funniest moment. Well, that prediction lasted about 30 seconds, but nice try. You get a new lease on life; you've gotta dream big.
The former lovers met up at the mini-memorial at the site of their car accident. Rayna's been healing, but Deacon's been raging -- mostly on the inside (whenever punching bag Scarlett's not around). "I didn't know who else to call," he told her. "I don't want it to be you, but… it always has been." Awwwww.
But Rayna wasn't having it. "We've been through this so many times. We've tried so hard. We've just brought each other so much grief. And we didn't die here." She sees the accident as an opportunity to move forward, while the hopeless and somehow still sober Deacon sometimes feels like they did die that night. He needs her; she doesn't want him.
"I don't think we can save each other," Rayna concludes. "We each need to save ourselves." He didn't look angry, just resigned, and understanding as Rayna handed him back (I think) that engagement ring he hadn't remembered offering her so many years ago. "Always thought we might need this someday," she said before coolly walking off in some of her amazing boots. Deacon listlessly tossed the ring into the heap of sentimental crap.
If Deacon would've just listened to his new boss lady Scarlett, he could have used his left arm, which was tangled up in blue until Deacon finally decided to saw off his own cast himself at the end of the episode. Scarlett was feisty tonight! "You're a damn fool!" she yelled as he set up a fire sale of the guitars he would supposedly never play again. "Your father was an angry, bitter old drunk -- and look at you: a stone cold image of him, stone-cold sober. YOU TELL ME what throwing away 13 years of sobriety was worth!" Hell yeah, mop head!
"You didn't lose a limb. Man up. Don't be a coward." Scarlett left for the party before she could remind Deacon that he is not a doctor and should probably not conduct his own physical therapy regimen... on his most cherished old guitar. No matter! He'll be fine. He's Deacon! Well, at least he'll stay alive. As Deacon does.
NEXT: Why Will can't drive Highway 65