And Deacon's out of prison, moments before the $1 million bail Scarlett had to coax out of Juliette had come through. Deacon spent the premiere sobering up and loathing himself in the slammer, a lone butterfly bandage on his right eyebrow and a sinking stone in his heart. He was a monster to Scarlett whenever she visited, in denial about his familial ties to anyone and everyone. "I'm a damn drunk and I'm no good to you or anybody else," he told his niece after she said he was like a father to her. "I'm NOBODY'S damn father! You quit comin' here!" Now you and that hair of yours, shoo!
Surprise, though: Scarlett's movin' into Deacon's house. He has a non-torched sofa, so it's perfect.
I loved those flashbacks of Deacon and Rayna 13 years ago, by the way -- particularly the careful placement of Rayna's cowboy boots during the footage of them conceiving Maddie on the floor. Country, y'all! We saw Deacon so blotto he forgot he'd proposed to Rayna the night before, prompting Rayna to hurl the ring onto a hideous rug. And then Rayna's sister Tandy encouraged Rayna to marry Teddy instead of her true, destructively drunken love, even though Rayna was pretty sure Deacon was the father of her unborn child.
Juliette was stressed. Remember, her mom recently killed herself and murdered someone else so that Juliette wouldn't have to deal with a sex tape scandal. (Still ludicrous! But I don't mind; Jolene was annoying.) But perhaps even more worrisome: The recent media blitz over the "Saint in a Coma" threatened to thwart Juliette's record sales. The nerve of that saint! One of Juliette's coping mechanisms during this difficult time was to have an unnamed prospective assistant (I think?) go down on her as she writhed around angrily, not getting enough out of it. Assistants just do not work hard enough these days. It's an epidemic.
We got one glitzed-out concert scene this episode, to go along with Avery and Gunnar/Scarlett's more muted Bluebird performances: Juliette workin' it in an angelic white "party in the front" gown on her Inside the Dream tour. I should make special mention of the ultra-effective wind machine gently engorging the business-in-the-back portion of that gown, as well as the complicated lighting arrangement that created the illusion of fireworks every half-second. No expenses spared with this one, as usual. I love it.
Of course, Juliette's lead guitarist Avery (quite the solo, sir!) and Manager Glenn (welcome back, Glenn! I'm trying my best to pretend "Dante" didn't exist) both knew Juliette was milking the Saint in a Coma situation to boost her sales with those sappy speeches and Juliette-centric slideshows of the two country divas together. Singing Rayna's "This Love Ain't Big Enough" was a brilliant choice -- during the concert, the lyrics ("Waiting on somebody to go down / Take what's left of this love and put it in the ground") seemed straight-up murderous to sing for someone in a coma. But later, Juliette told Maddie that the song reminded her of her own mom, when they used to lie on the floor (Jolene was probably passed out) and listen to it over and over.
Before her concert, Juliette had snapped, "Glenn, get me a thousand candles. I need to pray." She mind-controlled hundreds of her adoring fans to follow her to the hospital and pray for Rayna. But at least some of the candles turned out to be for Juliette's own at-home tribute to her mom -- and the sobbing, makeup-free, totally raw 'n' real Juliette we came to love at the end of season 1 pulled a surprise move, placing an old Rayna James CD next to a photo of her and Jolene. Ahhhh!
NEXT: Scarlett and Gunnar sing a duet over a weepy montage -- now a Nashville premiere tradition