Juliette Barnes still hasn’t hit rock bottom. It seems that abandoning her family and drinking away her sorrows was not the singer’s lowest point. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) decided to start downing pills in “Nashville” Season 4, episode 4. Her new enabling friends force Avery (Jonathan Jackson) to make a choice about his relationship. Meanwhile, Deacon (Charles Esten) had to stop himself from returning to similar habits.
Juliette's New Low: Juliette was missing interviews, so Jeff (Oliver Hudson) got a journalist to shadow Juliette around for two days. With so much on her schedule, Juliette asks one of her friends for pills that will keep her awake. Once she is too wired to sleep, she mixes sleeping pills with alcohol.
During a radio interview the next day, a DJ shows her a tabloid shot of Avery that implied he was having an affair. It was Emily (Kortney Hansen) helping Avery watch the baby when paparazzi snapped a few photos. Juliette keeps her cool on air, but once she gets away from the reporters, she calls Emily to scream at her. Juliette pores over photos of the two of them.
Meanwhile, Avery needs a job. He asks to meet Markus Keen (Riley Smith) since they both have backgrounds in alternative music. Markus just knows him as “Juliette Barnes’ baby daddy.” Once the two actually sit down and talk, they seem to connect, but Avery gets a call from Emily. Cadence is sick and has to go to the emergency room, and Avery has to ditch the job opportunity. Luckily, Markus is still interested in what he has to offer.
Avery calls Jeff and asks for Juliette’s new number. He needs to get in touch with her to tell her that her daughter is hospitalized. While her baby is being treated for an ear infection, Juliette is getting a new drug that a shady doctor promises will make her feel absolutely nothing.
Avery finally gets in touch with one of her friends, but Juliette won’t even let the woman explain who is calling. “If it’s not about work, then I don’t care,” Juliette says. Her friend gets back on the phone with Avery and says Juliette doesn’t care.
That seems to be the final straw for Avery, who had previously believed he just had to be patient with his wife. “Whoever she used to be, whatever she used to feel, she’s gone,” Avery tells Emily.
Beverly’s Funeral: In last week’s episode, Scarlett (Clare Bowen) decided to take Beverly (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) off life support against Deacon’s wishes. Deacon doen’t say anything to Scarlett at the funeral, but at least her best friend Zoey (Chaley Rose) came back to town to be by her side.
Deacon starts to read a eulogy, but he can’t get through his speech. “She’s not supposed to be here right now,” he says. Rayna (Connie Britton) takes over and reads the eulogy that Deacon had written. Scarlett tries to approach her uncle afterward, but he walks away from her.
After the ceremony, Deacon goes to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but it doesn’t provide much help. After trying to sit at home, he goes back to his old house and starts to trash the place. He is in the middle of breaking everything when Maddie (Lennon Stella) drops by with food. However, she runs away once she sees her father in a rage.
Deacon goes to a bar to meet someone from AA. He admits that he wants to drink, but he doesn’t. He goes home to Rayna, and says that Scarlett gave up on his sister.
Markus’ Arrival: Rayna’s newest artist, Markus (Riley Smith), makes an unexpected trip to Nashville and wants to get in the studio and on stage right away -- even if he is stealing someone else's spotlight. Rayna set up a show at the Grand Ole Opry for Layla (Aubrey Peeples), and she finally got to be the center of attention for a few minutes. Yet Markus attends and takes away all the attention offstage, but Jeff reminds her that what happens behind-the-scenes isn’t important.
When Rayna brings Layla back onstage later, Markus interrupts them to do an impromptu duet with Rayna. The country veteran explains to him afterward that he was a little out of line. The night was supposed to be about Layla, and Markus apologizes (though he doesn’t seem very sorry). Rayna can’t get too angry with him. After all, she needs him on her label if she wants people to take Highway 65 Records seriously.
Also in this episode:
- Scarlett is struggling, and Caleb (Nick Jandl) isn’t great at helping her. He has Gunnar (Sam Palladio) help him write her a song, which she loves.
- Will (Chris Carmack) reminds Layla that she should be grateful to be at the Grand Ole Opry at all.
- Jeff and Layla take their relationship public.
- When Gunnar asks Zoey to catch up, she says she is dating someone in Los Angeles.
- Maddie’s boyfriend Colt (Keean Johnson) was by her side during the funeral, so it looks like they’re still very serious.
“Nashville” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.