'Nashville' Recap: Season 2, Episode 12

Rayna and Deacon, Juliette and Avery ride the couple merry-go-round.

Connie Britton plays Rayna Jaymes in Season 2, Episode 12 of ABC's "Nashville."
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This week's episode of "Nashville" kind of felt like it was spinning its tires, but there were a few gems that made it worth watching.

The first was actually the opening scene, where Scarlett took the stage at what appeared to be an actual concert, with real fans populating the audience. She delivered her typically cutesy performance, and it was an appealingly raw look and feel for those of us watching at home. While Scarlett's "woe is me, it's hard being a pop star" routine has become grating at this point, she still proved she can be a comedienne by enthusiastically delivering the line, "I get to sleep in my own bed tonight" as her (apparently) exhausting tour brings her home to Nashville for a spell.

[RECAP: 'Nashville' Season 2, Episode 11]

Scarlett's resistance to the pop-star life catches Rayna's eye, though, and everyone's favorite mama bear sits her down for "the talk."

"You gotta want this," Rayna says in her charming Southern drawl, but with the weight of a fledgling record company's success lying in the balance.

"I do want it. I love it. More than I hate all those things," Scarlett claims, after listing all her complaints.

"Well then you've got to let that drive you," Rayna says.

Speaking of Rayna, she and Deacon (duh) provide this episode's second "worth it" series of exchanges. The on-again, off-again lovers steam up the screen under the guise of songwriting, which they make seem more like a courtship than an exchange of lyrics and notes.

"For better or for worse, you and I have written a lot of hits together," Rayna coos.

A knowing Deacon asks, "What are you asking me, Ray?"

"Well, I'm asking you to consider writing a song with me," she says, in what couldn't have sounded more like a proposal than if she had gotten down on one knee.

After pounding out a hit in record time, the two seem to come to their senses later, deciding not to write any more songs together in the near future for fear of getting pulled into their old destructive vortex.

"Feels like both our lives are moving forward, might be too easy to fall back into those old patterns," Rayna says.

The final reason to watch this episode – and frankly the top reason to watch any episode – is, of course, the roller coaster that is Juliette.

Reeling from the supposedly blasphemous comments she made last episode, Juliette is faced with venues canceling on her due to rejection from her pious fans. This prompts everyone's favorite skeevy record label executive, Jeff, to come at her in one of the season's more heart-wrenching scenes, showing remarkable accuracy in his digs at his No. 1 star.

[RECAP: 'Nashville' Season 2, Episode 10]

"You think you're talented? You think you deserve this house?" he bellows while approaching her, enraged that she's losing him money. "Because I think that you are just visiting, that you are trailer-trash hiding under a pile of sequins."

After Jeff tells her she's got to apologize for something she didn't say, Juliette holds tough and replies, "I'm not going to lie."

"You are a lie," he responds, eliciting that soap-opera-classic single tear from Juliette's eye.

Naturally when next we see her, Juliette is passed out next to a vodka bottle, getting rescued by almost-love Avery. Back to our queen of sass, the drunk Juliette quips, "What are you doing here – don't you have a girlfriend?"

Later, a hungover Juliette is convinced to go out in dark hair and glasses, Clark Kent-style, with Avery to busk on the street and prove to herself she's still worth something. It's a priceless look.

And with a hint of things to come – among the ghosts of couples past – the show ends with Juliette approaching Avery with a now-familiar proposal.

"I need you to write a song with me," she declares.

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