Did you guess they would kill both Crazy Peggy and Will? We were only prepared for one death, but now two lives hang in the balance. And while Crazy Peggy getting shot was super soap opera-y, Will’s apparent suicide is like a punch to the gut. Here was a bright, young, talented man with his entire future as a country superstar ahead of him, and he walked in front of a train because he was in so much pain from being closeted. He couldn’t deal with being gay in the country music business, even after he finally gave in to his feelings and slept with Brent. He should have been happy at connecting with the guy he’d been longing for, but instead he took his own life.
Did Will actually go through with it? We don’t know yet, but we do know that Crazy Peggy’s odds aren’t looking so good. What was up with that random security guard pulling a gun on Mayor Teddy? Our guess is it was orchestrated by Lamar from inside jail, but that backfired when Teddy wrestled the gun away and the shot went wide, hitting Crazy Peggy. Will she survive the gunshot? We don’t know that either.
So what else happened in the game-changing episode? It’s time for the Music City Music Festival, y’all, and all our favorite (and not-so-favorite) characters were in attendance.
After Teddy pulled Deacon from the festival lineup, he didn’t even have the decency to tell him. Deacon had to find out from some assistant who couldn’t find his packet of info at the check-in tent. What a jerk move, Teddy. Is it bad if we were wishing the gunshot hadn’t missed its mark? Too harsh? Gunnar still has his spot on the lineup, but it’s at the stage next to the porta potties — a.k.a. an 11 a.m. slot at Toilet Town, according to Deacon. He’s regretting giving up the rights to his favorite song right about now for that, ahem, s***ty slot. But thanks to Deacon’s quick thinking, they decide to partner up and do their own thing outside of the festival’s fences, where Teddy and Jeff Fordham don’t have any say.
Deacon has the idea that they should start playing near the main stage after the headliner ends — they’ll have the crowds already, and they won’t be “inside” the festival, just next to it in the parking lot his friend owns. Deacon needs Gunnar to do that “tweetering” thing to get the word out, and he’ll call his A&R friends. When Gunnar asks why he’s not doing the gig with Rayna or Juliette, Deacon turns on that Southern-boy charm and melts hearts across the country: “I think I’m done being on the side. I wanna be out front a little bit.” Oh Deacon, you’ll do just fine in the spotlight. Juuuust fine.
Scarlett’s home from her tour, and she’s so pissed at Zoey hooking up with Gunnar that she isn’t even acknowledging her. Because of course that’s how she would handle things: like a child. And when Scarlett catches Deacon and Gunnar planning their concert in the house she shares with Deacon, she gets even angrier because Gunnar had the audacity to be in her home. Gunnar’s surprised when Deacon doesn’t want to fight him later or give him free advice about the situation, because according to Deacon, as long as Gunnar never cheated on Scarlett, then they never have to talk about it. Gunnar has to figure out his “soap opera” with Scarlett and Zoey on his own.
Juliette invites Avery to play with her during her big headlining set, but things take a turn for the PR-worse when news finally breaks that Juliette’s the reason behind the Wentworth divorce. She’s trying to play it off like it’s some rumor, but manager Glen is right: She’s Juliette Barnes, and the public won’t believe her side of the story. Plus, country music fans like cheating songs, but they don’t like the cheater. Juliette won’t talk to the press about it until she can give them a name to tear to shreds: the person who outed her to them in the first place. Uh oh, Layla, better watch your back.
Things heat up when Juliette confronts Layla after finding out from Charlie he didn’t leak the details. Layla basically threatens Juliette, which is not the wisest of moves. And then Layla makes the biggest mistake of them all: She tries to trash-talk Juliette to Jeff. He turns around and fires back that Juliette has years of albums and singles that are important to Edgehill whereas Layla is still new — and if he finds out Layla’s behind the rumors, her contract will be in serious jeopardy. This little girl just realized she made a big mistake.
Things are going great for Rayna and Luke — they’re even using girlfriend/boyfriend labels (in secret, though) and doing a radio tour together to promote their new single. So obviously, things can’t last like that. This is “Nashville,” y’all! Luke tells Rayna he heard Jeff is still planning on releasing her album, so she ambushes him at his home — while he’s skinny dipping! — to confront him. He is planning on releasing the album, since the single isn’t going to make his quarterly earnings. He wants to chop up the album she made with Liam to release only the best songs. That doesn’t fly with Rayna, who thinks that the album is complete as is. Jeff gives her two options: Either he releases the album his way, or she gives him a check for $20 million to buy her masters back.
Rayna decides to focus on getting that $20 million, but with her tour income she doesn’t have enough. Tandy offers $3 million for a corner office at Highway 65, which gets her closer to her goal. Luke doesn’t understand why Rayna would want to give up being on a label, and methinks we’ve found the flaw in their heretofore perfect relationship. Luke’s a little too close to Jeff, and that isn’t a good sign. But Rayna decides to go all-in and mortgage her house, sell her stocks, and put it all on the line to give Jeff his check. And it looks like it might be over for her and Luke when she tells him she won’t be promoting their single together since it’s an Edgehill release. The kiss he gives her seemed an awful lot like a goodbye kiss. That’s music business romance for ya, I guess.
Layla’s still banging Will to make their music business romance a reality, but seeing as how he’s making moony eyes at a photo of Brent on his phone, that’s not a good sign for her. Things look up for Will when Brent later tells him he broke up with his boyfriend Craig after he found out the guys Will beat up in Houston were the ones harassing him at the hotel for being gay. Sparks are flying between these two … until Will tells him that Layla’s his type “across the board.” Uh, yeah, sure Will. We totally believe you, especially after you sleep with Brent.
But then. OH GOD. DOES WILL COMMIT SUICIDE?
Back at the festival, Crazy Peggy is getting way too into her “new family” and new role as “mom.” Watching Crazy Peggy call the girls “sweetie” is just sickening. We agree with Rayna’s face: Stop that right now, Crazy Peggy. She tries to pull motherly rank on Maddie, who wants to see Deacon’s (not-so-scheduled) set, but that fails miserably because hello, you can’t keep Maddie from her real father. Nice try. (We’re seriously going to miss making all these barbs at Crazy Peggy if she really does bite the dust. Not Crazy Peggy!)
Scarlett finally talks to Zoey and tells her that she misses Zoey’s good-girl side, since she hurt fewer people that way. Uh, Scarlett, time to face the facts: People cha
nge, but they still can be friends. We don’t agree with the way Gunnar and Zoey got together or how they handled telling Scarlett, but she’s upset about the wrong thing. Zoey breaks up with Gunnar while she figures out what’s going on with her and Scarlett … and promptly gets back together with him, since she says Scarlett should be happy for them. This is going to get uglier before it gets better.
After avoiding the press, Juliette takes the stage for her set, but breaks down when the crowd hoists a big “homewrecker” banner and starts booing her. She almost walks offstage, but Avery stops her and starts to duet with her, basically saving the set. They sound awesome together, but Juliette breaks down in her dressing room afterward. Avery talks her through things and gives her an idea of how to handle the situation. She finally talks to the press and tells them her private life is just that: private. She then goes to profess her love for Avery, but Scarlett’s over and half naked, and though she never said the words to Avery, from the look on his face, he was expecting it and didn’t know what to do. It seems like he’s got feelings for her too, but after Scarlett confides in him that he’s the only one she trusts, he can’t break up with her.
Gunnar and Deacon’s unofficial set goes great, and Rayna congratulates Deacon on his first outing as a frontman. When he gets a call from his girlfriend Megan, she looks a little sad. Are we seeing the romantic re-emergence of Rayna and Deacon? We’re definitely seeing the emergence of Deacon as a solo artist, since he gets an offer from one of his A&R friends.
After both the set and the festival end, Rayna and Teddy have a polite conversation about Rayna’s future with Edgehill, where she tells him she’s planning on mortgaging the house. He gives her his blessing and all seems well … until some rando security guard pulls a gun on Teddy, who wrestles it away and the shot that went off hit Crazy Peggy. Like … whaaaaaat?
Did you see that coming? Who do you think is going to die, Crazy Peggy, Will, both, or neither? Let us know in the comments below.