Original Air Date: Aug 3, 2017
Jules– Managing Editor
This week’s episode emotion was sadness as the focus turns to Gunnar and his trip down memory lane. Let’s get to what happened.
Avery: Still on the road with Gunnar tagging along and with Juliette calling constantly to check in and pout. It was nice to see Gunnar join in as drummer while Avery and the band performed in Houston. All the attention from the crowds is great, what isn’t is Molly – the band assistant/manager who is cool with the guys, but totally flirting with Avery. She also doesn’t like how Juliette is so dependent on Avery and makes it clear that if he wants something new, she’s there, even though she has a boyfriend? Juliette and Avery eventually have a nice call where Juliette acknowledges that she appreciates how Avery always listens to her despite how her feelings are about anything.
Deacon and Maddie: These stories converge this week, so that’s why I’m grouping them together. Deacon gets a text to play the Opry as a featured player. Girls say he has to do it and so does everyone else, including Jessie, but Deacon doesn’t think he can find the time to rehearse and of course, all the memories he has of playing there with Rayna. Plus, he’s stressed out about the business side and not having anyone to talk to about it.
Meanwhile, Maddie is the new face of Mascara24 and she’ll be shooting a commercial with her first single in it. With that comes, wardrobe fittings, over the top hair and a party to launch the new partnership. Maddie’s not entirely into all this new found world, but has Alyssa to help get her out of the party early because she’s so tired. Alyssa’s dealing with a lot at the party, too. The CEO of Mascara24 is not entirely into the lyrics of Maddie’s song, saying he wants it to be about his product, so Alyssa has to deal with that. Also at the party, Alyssa is coaxed into singing, but after some margaritas. She’s not half bad and even Maddie smiles acknowledging this fact. Commercial filming time and Maddie gets doused with water throughout the shoot while being shouted at by the director. Maddie’s not impressed about these long takes and re-takes and being cold. The director is also not happy with her delivery until the end when it looks like Maddie’s got the mood he wants, but the assistant notes Maddie’s hair was in her face, so they have to do it again. They take a break first, and things only get worse from here. Mascara24 has come up with the perfect line that the CEO loves to highlight their product, but it involves replacing an entire line in Maddie’s song. Maddie’s so upset about the move that it causes Zach – who emphasizes the hue contract they just signed – to call Deacon (who’s in the middle of Opry rehearsals) to talk to Maddie about it. To be honest, the lyrics are cheesy, but it’s just for the commercial and shouldn’t Maddie be amendable to that?
Deacon talks to a teary-eyed Maddie about the situation and starts out saying that being a grown up means doing something you don’t want to do. Maddie; however, stands her ground believing her lyrics came from the bottom of her heart and can’t change it. Deacon understands and goes to talk to Zach and Alyssa that he agrees with Maddie and that there will be no lyric changing since that wasn’t part of the agreement. However, Alyssa mentions that it is indeed part of the agreement. The paperwork Deacon signed basically said that the company can do whatever they want, so Deacon should get Maddie in line or Zach is done, which means Highway 65 will be out of money.
Deacon meets with the rest of the Highway 65 artists, minus Juliette and Hallie and with Gunnar via video chat to discuss the contract language. Gunnar and Scarlett agree with Maddie about the changing of the lyrics undermining her words. Upon hearing that it may mean the demise of the company, Maddie’s all willing to comply, but Scarlett won’t let her. Daphne is the voice of reason in this meeting when she says “So this is about fear. If we’re afraid, we can just do what Zach tells us to do, or we can do what feels right” and adding, “What’s the point of Highway 65 if it isn’t what mom wanted it to be?” Eventually, everyone, even Will who’s been mostly quiet in this conversation, agrees that whatever Deacon decides, they are with him. This should be interesting. By the way, Juliette is not on board with this decision.
Maddie later tells Deacon that she doesn’t want mom’s dream to die because of a decision she made, but Deacon hasn’t make a decision yet. Deacon’s indecision has gotten him more stressed than before when Jessie comes, makes him get in her car and she drives him to a local park and lake. Jessie urges him to take an hour for himself in the outdoors while she will sit in the car, read and wait for him to come back. She even locks the doors so Deacon has to take the hike. He has some obstacles since he’s hiking in jeans, there’s no reception, and bugs. But once he finds the calm lake, he likes down and takes a nap. He awakens to find Jessie sitting nearby talking about birds. Back in the car, Deacon thanks her for doing what she did and talks about how people ask if he’s OK and when he’s going to start getting on with his life and in reality, he can’t. Jessie reminds him that Rayna will have wanted him to live his one life right now.
Deacon goes back to Highway 65 to talk to Zach and Alyssa again saying they are at a crossroads. Zach thinks they can get through it, but Deacon says after talking with the artists, they are all done with the whole branding concept. Zach thinks they are crazy and it seems like this may be the end of the Highway 65.
It’s time for Deacon to perform at the Opry and the girls are so proud of Deacon and this moment. Pam Tillis gets the honor of introducing Deacon to the circle, his first time playing at the Opry without Rayna. Deacon dedicates his performance to Rayna and sings a few tunes, including one he wrote 15 years ago about Jesus asking to make it ok because tomorrow doesn’t mean anything if she’s not here. Deacon leaves with a standing ovation and into the open arms of Maddie and Daphne. Jessie’s backstage, too and he gives her a long embrace and Daphne sees and doesn’t seem to be impressed.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.
Next Episode: Reasons to Quit – season finale