Nashville – Farther On
By: Nicole Dintelman
This week on “Nashville” Deacon (Charles Esten) gets a message asking him if he’s available to play the Opry. He seems a little less than thrilled. Maddie (Lennon Stella) is filming a mascara commercial using her new song, but also has to wear a wetsuit. Alyssa (Rachel Bilson) tells her that she looks breathtaking and Maddie tells her it’s because of the wetsuit. She literally can’t breathe. Maddie asks about her hair being curled so much. She doesn’t feel like herself. Alyssa tells her that her song is in a commercial and so many people are going to hear it.
The mascara execs come in and tell her that there’s a party tonight they would like her to attend. Maddie tells them, of course, she’ll be there. Zach (Cameron Scoggins) asks Deacon if Maddie is excited about the commercial. Deacon says she’s excited as she can be. Zach tells Deacon that they have momentum and Highway 65 is finally going places. Zach tells Deacon that he heard about the Opry invitation. They want to feature Deacon and Zach tells Deacon that he needs to do it, it’s time that he put himself first.
Avery (Jonathan Jackson) has a new groupie or crew member, that is singing his praise. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) calls to tell him that Cadence is sick and make him feel guilty again about being on tour. This girl doesn’t quit. Maddie tells Daphne (Maisey Stella) about her commercial and Daphne thinks is really cool. Maddie asks Deacon why she has to do this and Deacon tells her that it’s because she is the star. Maddie says that they’re turning her into a character that’s not even her. Deacon tells her it won’t be much longer. While we get where Maddie is coming from, she is acting a little bit spoiled here. Deacon tells the girls that he was asked to play the Opry as a featured performer and the girls are really excited about it.
Maddie’s “party” with the company executives is at a karaoke bar. Everyone is fawning over Maddie and Alyssa tells her that the CEO came out just for her. The CEO calls Alyssa over to tell her that he doesn’t see a connection between Maddie’s song and their mascara. The crowd begins to chant Maddie’s name and Alyssa rescues her and tells them that she has a sore throat so she needs to go home to rest. So, they get Alyssa to sing. Alyssa tells them no cell phones, she will throw them all in the fountain outside. Alyssa takes the stage and boy can she sing! Maddie is pleasantly surprised as well.
On set the next day, the director is unhappy with everything they’re doing. There’s not enough rain, then there is too much rain – Maddie is shivering and miserable. Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday) and Deacon are working on her song and she asks him about playing the Opry. He tells her that he just doesn’t know when he’s going to find the time to rehearse. Deacon says that the Highway 65 stuff is weighing on him. He knows why Rayna (Connie Britton) started the label and he wishes he could talk to her about it. Jessie tells him that she’s happy for him about the Opry and Deacon is a million miles away.
Avery is on the bus talking to Juliette and she hangs up on him again. The crew girl flirts again and tells Avery that relationships should be fun. Maddie is still having issues on set. The director tells her that she needs to look like she’s being saved. She looks scared. Once she finally gets the look right, her hair is in her face. Alyssa tells them that she needs a break. The company execs tell Alyssa that the CEO wants to change Maddie’s lyrics and Alyssa tells them that she doesn’t think Maddie is going to want to agree.
Deacon is rehearsing for the Opry and Zach calls him to tell him that Maddie is upset. Zach says that Maddie had a meltdown and the director sent her home for the day. Deacon tells Zach that he’s on his way. Zach continues and tells Deacon that he knows that this is his daughter ,but he needs to remember they can’t have another incident like they did with the furniture commercial. Deacon yells at Zach and tells him that he said he was on his way.
Deacon gets home and finds Maddie crying on her bed. Maddie asks him to not make her do this. Deacon tells her that he’s not trying to make her do anything, but she has to understand that when you’re a grownup you have to do things you don’t want to do. Maddie, welcome to adulthood. This is why your momma tried to keep you little. Maddie tells Deacon she doesn’t want to be a grownup. Maddie tells Deacon that her lyrics are all that she has and it came from the bottom of her heart. She tells Deacon that he should understand that and Deacon says that he does. That is one thing that he really does understand.
Deacon goes to see Alyssa and Zach to tell them that Maddie will not be changing her lyrics. Zach tells Deacon that Brad Paisley’s Nationwide commercial didn’t ruin his career. Deacon reminds him that Brad Paisley had an established career and Maddie is just starting out. Alyssa tells Deacon that Maddie can’t breach her contract. Deacon says it’s the client that is breaching the contract by changing Maddie’s song. Alyssa points out that in the contract it states that the customer can make any changes they deem fit. Deacon tells Zach that he lied to them. Zach says that Deacon never believed that he had Highway 65’s best interests at heart and if he doesn’t get Maddie in line he’s done. At the end of 90 days, Highway 65 will be out of money. Right now we want to kick Zach somewhere that really hurts!
At Avery’s show in Houston, he’s performing to a packed house and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) is on drums. Groupie girl is backstage watching him and turns his phone upside down when she sees a call from Juliette. Anyone have a slap-a-hoe hand for this girl? Avery and Gunnar are sitting with the girl having a beer after the show and she’s telling them how important it is to have their freedom. This girl is laying it on thick. She tells them she’s going back to the hotel and tells Avery that if he needs her she’ll be at the bar. Gunnar tells Avery it’s obvious that she is flirting with him.
Deacon has the Highway 65 team over to his house for a private meeting. He tells them that the client is demanding that Maddie change the lyrics to her song. Will (Chris Carmack) asks what are their options. Deacon tells them they have to decide what they’re willing to sacrifice. Deacon tells them Zach is out of patience and if they don’t do things his way he’s going to walk. That will mean the end of Highway 65. Daphne says it’s about fear. If they’re afraid they can do what Zach wants them to do or they can stand up for what they believe and do what’s right. They can make Highway 65 what their mom wanted it to be.
Gunnar says that Rayna signed the because she loved their songs. Rayna didn’t start Highway 65 because she saw dollar signs. They all decide that Deacon is who Rayna chose to steer the company so whatever he decides they’re fine with. When Deacon is leaving he asks Maddie if she’ll be okay and she tells him that Highway 65 was her mom’s biggest dream. Deacon tells her that’s not true. She and her sister were. Maddie says that her mom loved Highway 65 so much and she can’t be the reason it ends. Deacon says that it’s on him, it’s his decision.
Juliette is livid. She says that they shouldn’t all suffer because Maddie won’t budge on a few lyrics. Avery tells her if that’s how she feels, that’s how she feels. Juliette tells Avery that she wants to know how he feels. He tells her it’s okay if they feel differently, so she asks him if he’s having an affair. Juliette take your meds! Okay, Avery really just asked her if she was crazy. He tells her she can form her own opinions without his input all of the time. Juliette didn’t like that too much and hung up on him. Avery is getting hung up on a lot lately.
Jessie finds Deacon and tells him to get in her car. He tells her that he can’t. He has too much to do. She’s not taking no for an answer. She drives him to a state park and tells him to get out. Deacon tells her that he doesn’t have time for this. Jessie says that he’s been wound up so tight he can’t even breathe. Deacon tells Jessie that she’s pissing him off. These two are beginning to act more and more like a couple and to be honest, we’re loving it more and more! Deacon takes a walk and ends up laying down by the lake. Jessie was right. He needed this time to himself. Jessie is good for Deacon.
Deacon tells Jessie that people keep asking how he’s doing. Deacon tells her that they’re really asking when he’s going to start getting on with his life. He tells Jessie that he can’t. Jessie tells him that maybe he never will, not completely. Jessie asks him if he thinks that Rayna would want him to be in so much pain that he forgot himself? Jessie asks if he thinks that Rayna would want him to live this one life right now? We feel a new song coming on.
Deacon tells Zach and Alyssa that they’re at a crossroads. Zach says that there’s a way through, there always is. Deacon says that he doesn’t think there is. Not this time. Deacon tells them that he’s spoken with everyone and they’re done with branding. It’s just not right for Highway 65. Alyssa asks if they’re dismissing the whole concept and Deacon says they need to feel good about what they’re doing. Zach immediately hits the roof. Zach tells him that he’s going to tell him one more time that if he opts out of this, it’s over. Deacon tells him that they’re just doing what feels right to them and he should do the same.
Juliette and Avery are talking again and Avery tells her that big changes always feel like you’re going to crash and burn. She tells him that’s a bad analogy. She tells him thank you for always listening to her even when she’s being full of herself. Juliette tells Avery that she’s lucky to have him and he tells her that he feels the same way. Finally, a call that doesn’t end in a hangup. Groupie girl tells Avery that he’s an incredible person and she hopes that Juliette appreciates him. She also tells him that if he ever wants something a little less complicated and places her hand on his arm. Man, Avery is a chick magnet!
Deacon is getting ready for his Opry performance. Maddie is crying because she tells Deacon that Rayna would be so proud of him and so is she. Pam Tillis introduces Deacon and his first song, “Without You,” he dedicates to Rayna. His last song he performed is a song he wrote 15 years before and he tells the audience that it’s truer now than ever before. Deacon has always poured his heart into his lyrics and it’s something that resonates when he performs. Zach and Alyssa saw how much that crowd loved Deacon’s performance. Deacon hugged his girls and there was one more lady he hugged afterward – Jessie. The night is not complete without a displeasing look from Daphne when she sees Deacon hug Jessie. Trouble could be brewing in Nashville.