In “Nashville” episode “Don’t Open That Door,” all the characters have to face the music in one way or another. Rayna and Deacon stare down the end of their music careers while Will, Scarlett, Gunnar, and Avery try to get theirs started. Juliette strikes another deal with her producer to help her career, and Tandy strikes a deal to send her father to prison.
Tandy meets with her lawyer to sign her deal for immunity from prosecution in the case against her father. There’s a catch, though. She’s not allowed to tell anyone, including Rayna, any details about Lamar’s imminent arrest or his supposed hand in their mother’s death. Tandy doesn’t want to keep this from her sister, but on her lawyer’s urging, she signs off on the deal to protect herself.
Juliette is already plotting ways to limit the annoying Layla’s time on stage. She decides to do a little bargaining with Jeff, getting him to market her album more in exchange for promoting an additional Edgehill performer on their sold-out tour. Will seems to be the obvious choice, but Jeff’s still annoyed with him for bungling the rights issue with Gunnar’s song.
Will promises to get it right next time, and when he rehearses for a music benefit, he impresses big star Luke Wheeler (Will Chase). Juliette tells him he’s got the job, and a grateful Will thanks Jeff for the chance. He finds out it’s Brent who smoothed the waters in the first place, even though he told him he didn’t need his help. Will finally acts decent and expresses his gratitude, and we can see on Brent’s face that he still has feelings for his hunky cowboy ex.
Rumors are flying that Rayna’s lost her voice, and Bucky tells her she’s in deep trouble with Jeff over it. He’s wanting the masters of what might be her “last album,” and if she doesn’t deliver, she could be out a lot of money for breach of contract. Rayna decides it’s time to take her company and run, but she needs Lamar’s $20 million to do it. He’s glad she’s asked and readily agrees, but little does she know that Lamar is about to be arrested on some serious charges.
Scarlett, meanwhile, is struggling with all of the new press demands. She’s shy and has trouble mastering the PR-friendly “facts” she’s supposed to share when fielding media questions. Before the music benefit, Layla rips up Scarlett’s cue cards and tells her to just be herself. The red carpet doesn’t go well at all, with a stammering Scarlett particularly thrown by a question about her uncle’s accident.
Jeff is ruthless as he drags her away from the cameras, insisting she shape up or go home. When she says she just wants to be herself, or not deal with the press at all, he kicks her out of the benefit. Will then chastises Layla for setting Scarlett up. She denies it, but he can tell by her smug, faux innocent expression that she had something to do with it. Juliette better watch her back on tour.
Things always seem to come full circle on “Nashville,” and this time it’s for Avery and Gunnar. The two have started trying out music together, and when Avery suggests that Zoey join them, he sees right away he’s the third wheel once again. Not long after he leaves, Gunnar confesses to Zoey that the song they were singing was written for her. All their clothes come off soon after that.
Deacon is trying to get his life in order. He’s still seeing Megan, still going to meetings and physical therapy. He’s even considering putting his name on a business that sells guitars, to get some money rolling in now that his career is dead. Juliette asks him on tour with her, but he says it hurts too much to be around the music. He’s devastated when she lets slip that Rayna might also have lost her career.
He rushes over to see her at home, and she tells him she doesn’t know if she can sing or not. She never knows what will come out when she tries. A tearful Deacon tells her that no matter what, she should never leave music. She tells him the same, and suggests he might just need to find out now who he is without a guitar in his hand. Later, Scarlett asks Deacon to play the piano for her, and it sounds like this is one instrument Deacon can still play.
Rayna’s not thrilled that she’s been asked to invite her frenemy Juliette into the Grand Ole Opry at the music benefit. She feels better about it, however, when she sees how genuinely moved Juliette is by the honor of being included with all the country legends. Rayna’s then ambushed by Luke, who urges her to sing one of her old hits. She has no choice but to give it a try, and she’s grateful when Luke backs up her wavering voice. Then the crowd, sensing her distress, chimes in with the lyrics they all know by heart. Moved to tears, Rayna finds the strength to finally belt out the notes. Looks like she might finish her new album after all.
More from this contributor:
‘Nashville’ Recap: Maddie Runs Away, Juliette Tries to Save Her Tour, and Deacon Finds Romance
‘Nashville’ Recap: Rayna Fears for the Future of Her Singing Career, Deacon Faces His Fears About Fatherhood
‘Nashville’ Recap: Deacon Gets Bad News, Rayna Gets Double-Crossed