Primetime “Nashville”: Episode 102

Rayna and Deacon duet on "No One Will Ever Love You."

Episode 102: “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love With You)” 

Ratings of new show Nashville slipped in its second week. Last night (10/17) it attracted about 6.75 million viewers, down from 9 million the week before, according to For all the industry troops who were at the Leadership Music Awards or Capitol Street Party and couldn’t tune in, here’s what you missed:

The romance between Juliette and Deacon heated up with the young starlet wooing him to a “songwriting” session that led to skinny dipping. He reminded her, “this is not how songs get written,” but she slyly assured, “no it’s what songs get written about.” They ended up finishing a song, appropriately titled “Undermine,” and actually written by Trent Dabbs and Kacey Musgraves (see video below). Juliette continued to entice Deacon to join her band, telling him that his relationship with Rayna is almost like being married, with all of the hassle and none of the benefits. Juliette then took the fight for Deacon to a whole new level by sending him a gift—a rare 1938 Martin 00-42—to Soundcheck where he was rehearsing with Rayna.

Adding to Rayna’s dismay was the taping of Juliette’s music video for “Telescope” on the Music Row roundabout, complete with dancers in front of the Musica statue. “Telescope” is also the first real-life radio single from the series. BMLG is going for adds with Hayden Panettiere’s track on Oct. 29. Cary Barlowe and Hillary Lindsey wrote the song which was produced by Dann Huff for radio and T. Bone Burnett for television.

On the show, producer Watty White suggested Rayna and Deacon return to their early days with a scaled-down tour of smaller venues. Deacon’s band was playing at the Bluebird, where the set included “Matchbox Blues” (Lemon Jefferson), so Rayna joined him onstage for a song. Their touching duet of “No One Will Ever Love You,” (Steve McEwan, John Paul White) with the lyric “no one will ever love you like I do,” sent a crying Juliette running for the door. Members of the industry probably noticed Bluebird Cafe COO/GM Erika Wollam Nichols in the scene.

Also watching from the crowd was waitress Scarlett (Deacon’s niece) and her co-writer/ Bluebird sound guy Gunnar. In many ways they are a younger version of Rayna and Deacon, sharing a strong chemistry as songwriters and performers. Watty offered to cut a three-song demo for Scarlett and Gunnar. The competition for Scarlett’s affection increased when her boyfriend Avery found out she had been collaborating with Gunnar. Avery’s band performed “Twist of Barbwire,” written by Elvis Costello, during a sweaty scene at The 5 Spot. Another local venue getting a cameo was the Broken Spoke Saloon, where Gunnar performed “I’ll Be There (If You Want Me).”

Meanwhile, Rayna’s husband Teddy continued his mayoral campaign, which included a thorough vetting of his family and their past. Fox 17’s David Ditmore played one of the consultants handling the vulnerability study. During this process we learned that Rayna paid for Deacon to go to rehab years ago, which ultimately led to their break-up and her marrying Teddy. Also, Teddy’s past includes some shady dealings involving property near the Cumberland River—while Rayna is singing at the Bluebird, he’s at home burning documents. Elsewhere, Rayna’s father Lamar continued his suspicious agenda. He argued with his former employee/current opposing mayoral candidate Coleman, and told the consultants vetting Teddy that “a mayor with secrets is easier to control.”

See the recap of the pilot episode or visit ABC’s Nashville music lounge.

If you have a scoop on Nashville, email [email protected]


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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