Nashville – Speed Trap Town
By: Nicole Dintelman
This episode of “Nashville” begins with Daphne (Maisey Stella) and Deacon (Charles Esten) busting into Maddie’s (Lennon Stella) room to let her know that she’s been nominated for an American Music Award. She can’t believe it. Deacon tells her it’s for Favorite Song and in the Pop/Rock category. Maddie asks who else was nominated and Deacon tells her Katy Perry and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). Avery (Jonathan Jackson) is telling Juliette how great it is and that she’s back on top. Juliette sounds less than thrilled as she’s cutting up a banana for Cadence and tells him that it’s great. Avery asks her if everything is okay and she tells him to stop digging for something that isn’t there.
Gunnar (Sam Palladio) tells Avery that it’s awesome about Juliette. Avery asks Gunnar if he’s going to visit his hometown and Gunnar says he’s not sure. His grandma is the only one still there and she’s not big on conversation. Deacon gets a text from Jessie that she wrote a new song and it might not be terrible. Deacon decides to video chat with her and tells her to play him the song. Reluctantly she does. Gunnar decides to go to his hometown while Avery plays back to back shows. He stops at the nursing home to visit his grandma, who seems less than thrilled that he came by. She reacts by smoking a cigarette while on oxygen. Lovely woman.
Scarlett (Clare Bowen) gets a call from Gunnar. He’s calling to let her know that he’s in his hometown and to check on her. Scarlett tells him that she’s okay. She can’t really go into detail without breaking down. Scarlett tells him that she has to call him back because her water is boiling on the stove, but then she hears a noise outside. The noise turns out to be a family of raccoons in the trash. In any event, Scarlett packs a bag to stay with Deacon and the girls. Maddie tells Scarlett about a self-defense class that a friend of hers took and tells Scarlett that she should look into it.
Glenn (Ed Amatrudo) is still trying to talk Juliette into working things out with Maddie. Juliette says she does not need help talking to Maddie. She tells Glenn she’s known Maddie since she was a “tater tot.” Juliette sends Maddie a Tweet and congratulates her on her nomination and tells Glenn that she just made nice on Twitter. Apparently, she thinks that will do the trick. Gunnar runs into an old friend from high school at the gas station – Kelly Walker (Kaley Ronayne). She tells him that she moved back from Dallas, but he’s legit famous in their town now.
Kelly tells Gunnar that she’s kept up with him and almost drove to Austin one time when she heard he was playing there. She’s disappointed that he was going to leave town and asks him to stick around so they can catch up that night. Kelly then tells him they’re tearing down their old high school. They make plans to go visit the school later that night. Deacon and Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday) are meeting for coffee to discuss her new song and she’s visibly upset. When Deacon presses her for details she tells him that she had planned a long weekend with her son and her ex-husband (Brad Nordling) took the extra days away from her.
Deacon asks Jessie where the song came from and she tells him it’s a warning to people to stay away because she’s broken inside. He tells her it’s a good song and he has some studio time available if she wants to come in and record it. Deacon tells her that he will help her in any way that he can. Scarlett returns Gunnar’s call from the day before and tells him about the raccoons. He tells her that he’s still in Aurora. Gunnar also tells Scarlett that the calls are confusing for him since they’re trying to take some space. Scarlett says she’ll try not to be confusing and hangs up. That went well.
Maddie is home by herself when Deacon comes home and asks her if she’s eaten because he’s starving. Maddie surprised asks Deacon why he didn’t eat at his meeting. Deacon tells her that they just had coffee. Deacon then feels the need to tell Maddie that Jessie is just a colleague. Maddie says that she thought Highway 65 wasn’t signing Jessie. Deacon tells Maddie that they’re not, but he means colleague in the sad songwriter’s sense. Maddie asks how she can apply and Deacon says that she doesn’t get to, she’s already a member. Maddie tells Deacon that she loves him regardless. Deacon really needed to hear that. If he’s ever going to find love again the only way he’ll do that is if his girls are okay with it.
On his date with Kelly, Gunnar tells her that she was always part of the cool crowd and that’s why they were never friends. Kelly tells him that she always remembers feeling bad for him and the way that he lost his parents. He tells her that he liked her and she tells him that she had a hunch, but he never asked her out. Gunnar asks her what she’s doing these days and she tells him that she’s breaking into the school and takes off running.
Scarlett is at her first self-defense class and the instructor doesn’t feel that she’s being aggressive enough. He tells her that she must fight and she must win. Scarlett tells him that she just wants to learn to get away. Gunnar asks Kelly why they’re tearing the school down and she tells him that it was something about the lead in the paint. Kelly goes to the bathroom and Gunnar finds himself back in the classroom he was in when he learned the news about his parents. Seems like he’s taking trips way down memory lane. Kelly asks to see him again the next day and Gunnar agrees.
Jessie is waiting to use the studio the next day and Deacon asks her where she was going to take her son before Brad cancelled the weekend. She tells him The Smoky Mountains. Jessie tells Deacon that her son has ADHD and nature slows him down. The sound engineer tells Jessie that it’s going to be a while and Jessie tells Deacon that he should go because she doesn’t want him sitting around waiting on her. Deacon says that he doesn’t mind waiting but he does have some work he can go do so he decides to go ahead and leave.
At Highway 65, Scarlett goes by to see Deacon after her meeting with Alyssa (Rachel Bilson). Scarlett tells Deacon that she wants to stay involved with the women’s clinic after everything that happened and then she breaks down. She apologizes and he tells her not to be sorry. She lost a baby and that’s not just going to go away. Deacon asks her how everything else is and Scarlett tells him that she misses Gunnar and that she’s a failure at self-defense. She says she feels like a failure for going to stay with him and the girls. Deacon tells her to give herself a break. She’s been through a lot. Scarlett wants to be alone and do everything by herself. Deacon tells her that six months ago he could barely put his own boots on and everyone stepped in and helped him.
Jessie comes out from getting her laundry and finds Brad in her kitchen going through her laundry. He wants to know where their son is. Jessie tells him that she was going to drop Jake off, but he wants to stay with his friend Kevin. Brad tells her that she has to stop enabling him and Jessie tells Brad that Jake is 13-years-old and he has to stop treating him like he’s in military school. Yeah, we can see why these two are divorced. Jessie tells Brad he needs to leave. Brad tells her that he expects Jake at 5pm as per their court mandated agreement.
Avery calls Gunnar to see what he’s up to and Gunnar tells him that he’s sitting outside his old house. Avery tells him to go introduce himself and he’s sure they’d invite him inside to look around. After he knocks, the woman who owns the house tells Gunnar they don’t want to buy anything. Gunnar tells her that he used to live there. There’s a bit of a language barrier so the little girl translates and they invite him in. The little girl gives him a tour and when he gets to his old room he can picture him and his brother playing music. From the flashbacks, it’s obvious Gunnar had a hard life.
Gunnar calls Scarlett again and Scarlett asks him what’s wrong. She’s worried because she didn’t think she’d hear from him unless something bad happened. Gunnar realizes that he shouldn’t have called her and tells her that he has to go. Jessie calls Deacon and tells him that she can’t get into the studio until next week. Deacon tells her to meet him at Trax Studio at five. Jessie agrees, finally. Maddie throws shade at Juliette’s tweet by saying thank you, but saying that she wrote the song herself. Well done, Maddie James.
Jessie is recording, but tells Deacon that she’s not really feeling it. She tells him that it’s been a long day and she just doesn’t think she’s going to get it right now. Deacon tells her that they have all the time she needs. He says it seems like the only thing standing in her way right now is herself. Jessie asks him if that’s what he really thinks and he tells her it’s not meant to be an insult. Deacon tells her that they can come back tomorrow and Jessie tells him that that would be better for her.
Scarlett decides to go back to her self-defense class. The instructor asks her why she’s there. She tells him that she and her friend were assaulted. He asks her what she did and she says nothing. He asks her if she wanted to do something and she shakes her head yes. The class starts and when it’s Scarlett’s turn she gets mad and fights back. The instructor tells the class that Scarlett is stronger than she looks.
Gunnar is sitting in his room when Kelly comes by and he tries to tell her that he just wants to be alone. She’s not really up for that idea and comes in anyway. Gunnar asks if he seemed happy growing up and she tells him that she doesn’t really know. Kelly tells him that he lost his parents and it’s not a small thing. Kelly also seemed to know that Gunnar’s grandmother didn’t treat him well. Kelly tries to kiss him and (at first) he kisses her back, but then he stops her. She tells him it’s okay, she probably shouldn’t either. It turns out Kelly is married to one of the guys from high school.
Jessie asks Deacon why she’s helping her record her song. He tells her that he just wants to help her. Jessie tells him that it feels like he’s taking over. Jessie seems to have an epiphany and tells him that she just turned him into her ex-husband. She says that she filtered everything he was doing through him and thought he was trying to control her. Jessie apologizes and so does Deacon. Jessie tells him that he has nothing to be sorry for. Deacon says that his whole life has been a series of him falling down and other people coming along picking him back up. He says that he got swept up on being on the other side of the equation for a change.
Gunnar goes to say goodbye to his grandma and finally tells her how he feels. He tells her that it’s been hard to believe in himself when no one else ever did. She tells him that she raised him the best she knew how to. Gunnar tells her that he became a damn good musician and he’s going to play something for her that he wrote. He tells her that he wrote it last night and he’s going to play it whether she likes it or not. She didn’t put up much of a fight and actually seemed to like the song. Well, as much as a mean old grandma can anyway.
Maddie is at the press conference for her nomination when Juliette comes in and sits down. The two of them exchange a glance. Juliette seems truly sorry, but it’s unclear if Maddie is ever going to forgive her. This is like the T-Swift/Katy Perry fight! Deacon and Jessie seem to be really building something which is really nice to see. Even though we’ll never ever get over Rayna (Connie Britton). Scarlett is finally becoming comfortable in her skin again dancing around her kitchen. Gunnar seems to feel like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders, as he leaves Aurora and sets off to find “home.”