For once, Will was not the most tragic figure in his bed during March 5's Nashville, "Guilty Street." That title belonged to his fake-girlfiend Layla Grant (Aubrey Peeples, pictured with Chris Carmack), whose career has gone up in Sharknado-esque flames. I think anyone who follows reality TV could've told you that an American Hitmaker runner-up was gonna have a tough time holding down the charts -- but this is real TV, so we'd agreed to play along.
I can't feel that sorry for Layla after all the conniving crap she's pulled against the apple of my eye, the thong of my neckline, Juliette Barnes. But I guess I'll feel a little bad. It seems like she's in the awkward stage of not knowing whether or not to grow out her bangs and certainly not trusting her own instincts in the matter. It's the same with sex, apparently. Layla was a virgin before she slept with Will, Nashville's gayest lone-star who won't admit he's gay. "Tell me what you like…." she tried, desperate for him to throw her a bone. He reached past her shoulder and then very sexily…. grabbed the TV remote. Classic sex move!
"Do you respect me?" -Juliette
"....In what context?" -Rayna
I can't believe I'm still dwelling on Will -- who wasn't willing -- when the big news tonight is that Rayna and Juliette are about to join forces professionally! They have the same hair now, so they might as well. See, all the major music labels were wooing Juliette with expensive gifts -- diamonds, baskets, and pears, oh my! -- when little did they know a Pyrex full of her mom's Pink Macaroni would've done the trick for a lot cheaper. (Maybe. If the pink stood for crab legs.) But those big names wouldn't grant her artistic freedom. Juliette wanted to stick to a country label, and the only one that would have her was Edge Hill, in the form of sleazy schmooze-serpent Jeff Fordham and his $10,000 bottle of champagne.
It's too bad the drunkest character in this episode, Teddy, wasn't on hand at the fancy restaurant to lap up all the extra champagne after Juliette slammed the bottle onto Jeff's table. Sure, it'd make no sense -- but it'd definitely get me to start loving Teddy.
Avery, Gunnar, and Zoey have a band, and a first gig! But already there's TROUBLE, because Gunnar is sooo much taller than Avery and has to gobble up all the sexual attention in the room by wearing both a necklace and a vest. Gunnar, you rascal! Nah, the conflict is because… well, who even knows what Avery's problem is. I guess he thinks Gunnar is the Juliette of the band because he's the one with tons of cash and songwriting credits. Just go with it, Avery. Turn down a $250,000 producing clause (whoa!) in your girlfriend's potential Edge Hill's contract if you must. But please, for the love of Zoey's voice -- play in a band with your talented friends!
Did anyone else find comic value in the vague threat of an all-out riff war between Avery's Guitar and Gunnar's Harmonica during the trio's EXCELLENT song at their Thursday night gig? It's like the two guys' animosity (at least Avery's towards Gunnar) swelled along with the good vibes of their collective group chemistry! Our little Yoda broke into a huge smile at the end of the tune, but one slightly showier harmonica run from Gunnar and I bet Yoda would have been at his throat. I'm guessing this was the intention of the scene? Very well-played. And the music rocked, too!
Liam (Ooh La La) and Scarlett -- the only working member of Highway 65 -- were collaborating on a new song, "Come Find Me," just as Rayna did…. just that! She and Luke Wheeler (who was a very convincing Good Boyfriend this episode, but it's still clear Rayna's not into it) walked in on Liam and Scarlett in the studio. And when I said collaborating, I meant hooking up. Rayna wasn't not surprised at all. That's just what Liam McGuinness does. Banging the talent is part of his creative process.
Boom, he's fired. (Was that wise? At least have him finished producing her album…) But how would this affect Scarlett? Was she in love with Liam, Rayna asked?
"He's kind of opened something up in me and made it flow," Scarlett murmur-sang to Rayna, followed by the less sexual/more empowering version: "He helped me see myself." Awww. Girl had it bad for St. Luscious -- and who can blame her? That long-haired man can wear the hell out of a scarf and draw the best out of a wallflowery sweet-tea beat poet such as Scarlett? Hell, I'm still drooling over Liam right now. Can I help it if I have the DVR paused on his streetlight-tinted tendrils? (Yes.)
"We had fun, right? It happens all the time, proximity and all that stuff," Liam explained as Scarlett tracked him down on his way out of Nashville. All that stuff, like the cozy blanket of our combined dreams that I wove during one of my Adderall-fueled all-nighters? we could see Scarlett wondering, puzzled. But Liam had never been under that blanket with her. "It's not tragic," he said. "It's just… living life." Ouch!
"It's not how I want to live my life," said our ethereal doily.
"Then, live the life you want." Liam's last words echo the very advice Rayna would give to the "fragile kid" on which Highway 65's future is pinned the following day: "Everything he brought out in you was already there," said Rayna. "You have to own who you are as an artist. You have to trust yourself."
NEXT PAGE: Ice buckets for all the wounds!