Juliette Barnes on the Ropes in Season 1, Episode 3 of ‘Nashville’
The third episode of ABC's new hit drama 'Nashville' strikes probably the best balance so far between all of the different characters and subplots, really pulling together all of their different needs and storylines in a way that is starting to make each one make sense. Wednesday night's (Oct. 24) episode featured the sometimes snotty, spoiled character of Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) getting her comeuppance as her life and schemes begin to unravel around her.
At the top of the episode, Juliette is still plotting to get Deacon (Charles Esten) to go on the road with her and sign an exclusive contract, but his loyalty to Rayna (Connie Britton) just won't let him do it. Juliette has already tried to lure him with sex and an expensive guitar, so there's only one thing left to try: more sex. And it almost works, too, but in the end Deacon decides to stay with Rayna as her band leader -- for now, at least.
Rayna, meanwhile, is finding out the true extent of her financial problems after her husband Teddy's (Eric Close) business woes. Given the options of either borrowing money against their house, going on tour with Juliette, or borrowing money from her father, Rayna stubbornly chooses none of them -- that is, until she realizes she has no choice. Teddy goes to try to borrow money from the credit union where he used to be president, only to find out that they are being audited back to 2008 -- the time when whatever financial malfeasance he might have been involved in was going on. Burning documents last week, abruptly leaving in a nervous tizzy this week; it looks like this guy could end up wearing stripes before it's over.
Elsewhere, Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) are working on their demo, but she chokes at her first studio session, which winds up a complete bust. Her boyfriend. Avery (Jonathan Jackson), who has been jealous of both her opportunity and her chemistry with Gunnar, saves the day by supporting her at the studio.
In an interesting twist, this week Rayna finds out the reason her father has always resented her music career so much is that her mother conducted a long-term affair with a singer-songwriter before her death. But understanding doesn't exactly bring them closer -- in a tense scene at her daughters' recital, Rayna tells her father, "Go home. Go to hell."
As if Juliette didn't have enough going on, her addict mother shows up at the gates of her mansion, causing a scene with security. In a tearful confrontation, Juliette's mother begs her for help, saying she had to hitchhike to get there and needs her -- to which Juliette angrily replies, "There was a time when I needed you."
This character just keeps getting more interesting, as her layers of arrogance and need peel back and reveal her underlying motivations. At the end of Wednesday's episode, Juliette -- overwhelmed by all that's she's going through -- is in a store when she is spotted by a group of young fans, who are filming her with their phones. Deliberately, right on front of them, she steals a cheap bottle of nail polish and stuffs it in her purse, and from the look of next week's trailer, that's not going to turn out well for her.
'Nashville' airs on Wednesdays at 9PM ET on ABC.