Recap: Nashville, “How Far Down Can I Go” (3×02)

What they don’t know will hurt you. That’s the through note of “How Far Down Can I Go”. It hangs over Juliette, Deacon, and Will. Only Rayna has control over her own information – and she’s quickly losing grip of it and surrendering to the siren’s call of social media and deep celebrity.

Rayna is an old-media celebrity. She came up in the ranks of traditional album sales and the separation of public and private life. She is learning, however, that the world of music sales is forever changed. Even with an album and record label line, lesser characters would have waffled and whined more about disclosure and the demands of social media. But Rayna is a survivor, adaptable and committed. Despite balking at sharing wedding details at the start of the episode, by the time she’s on stage with Luke Bryan, she’s willing to share the intimate details of her proposal with the world. Because she gets it – that’s what’s going to sell albums.

Juliette has one heck of a secret herself. After her shocking call to end the episode last night, she’s reeling from the idea that her tryst with Jeff Fordham may have more consequences than just losing Avery. After kicking ass at her Patsy Cline callback, she goes to the doctor to start taking steps to “take care of the problem” as abortions are so often euphemistically phrased on TV. Turns out, Juliette isn’t carrying the spawn of Jeff Fordham but, based on the timing, Avery’s child. Well that’s going to be a fun conversation…

Layla has not stopped fuming about Will and his disclosure about his sexuality. It was shitty and manipulative of Will to marry Layla without telling her the truth – but it came from a place of fear and self preservation. Looks like that sense of self preservation is swinging back the other way. After Layla spends the episode pouting and really sucking at putting on a happy face, she realizes that she has enough leverage to blackmail her husband into doing whatever she wants him to do to help save her career. Whether he likes it or not.

Deacon is figuring out this whole “dad” thing with mixed results. He’s jumping in to moody teenager time, which is certainly the deep end without a floatie. But blurting out that he proposed to Rayna and she refused him is not the solution to helping Maddie come to terms with them not getting together. And after promising Maddie he’d have more time to spend with her, Luke isn’t letting Deacon off of the tour. She storms out as any 15 year-old would.

Seems its just as hard as you would expect it to be to keep juicy secrets all to yourself. While Deacon and Rayna spilled the beans, Will and Juliette have an increasingly tenuous grasp on their own tidbits. Time and a few episodes will tell exactly how those are going to come out.

Odds & Ends

– Looks like it’s goodbye to Tandy (Judith Hoag) thanks to a shoehorned explanation that she’s taking a job at a nonprofit in San Francisco to finally make a name for herself.

– It seems Gunnar is pushing his relationship with Zooey to convince himself – and her – that she’s the girl for him. I believe that he thinks he means it. The rest of us know that he’s compensating for a mixture of misplaced guilt and thwarted true love.

– Jeff Fordham is having job security problems. *sad trombone*