Nashville recap: How Does It Feel to Be Free | EW.com

TV Recaps | Nashville

Nashville recap: 'How Does It Feel to Be Free'

A new girl in town impresses Rayna. But who is she really?

(Mark Levine/ABC)

Nashville

Season 4, Ep. 12 | Aired Mar 23

Now that the wedding bells have stopped ringing, Nashville can finally get back down to the dirty business of putting its characters through various traumas both emotional and musical. On the docket this week: hate crimes, breakups, divorces, reunions, felonies, and theft. Buckle up! And this is Nashville, so I mean belt buckle.

There’s a lot going on in tonight’s Nashville, with everyone moving into new directions. Avery is first seen going to the rehab center where Juliette is recovering. Layla is meeting with Rayna and securing a deal for a second record. Will is back in town after having found his itch for performing again while in Kentucky. On top of that, there’s a new girl in town, and she’s at the Beverly telling Deacon that she wants a spot on the open mic list and that she’s willing to audition for it.

This mysterious woman makes for the most intriguing story line of the night, but we’ll get there. Let’s start with Avery because the dude is never lacking for drama in his life. When he visits the rehab clinic, Juliette’s doctor tells him that she’s not in a good mental and emotional state to see him and discuss their marriage. That’s understandable, but Avery has been lying for so long that he can’t handle it anymore.

Still, he’s finding himself comforted by working with Layla, who’s in the studio working on that second record. The two share an immediate chemistry, even if it’s unclear whether or not Layla has some sinister intentions. I think she mostly just feels bad for Avery, though, because she despises Juliette. Is there romance in the air?

Meanwhile, when Scarlett heads to the venue where she and Gunnar are doing a set for the night — a set that they’ve convinced Will to sit in on for a few songs — she sees Erin in the parking lot. That’s natural because Erin is on the tour, but there’s a twist: She’s tonsil-deep in another dude’s mouth (sorry for the gross image). Because Scarlett is a little more prim and proper than Erin — or, you know, totally in love with Gunnar — she freaks out about it.

That leads to a cute moment where Gunnar knows as soon as he sees Scarlett that something is up. These two just know each other so well! Anyway, she tells him about seeing Erin and the other guy, but Gunnar takes it surprisingly well. After all, he says, they agreed to be in a casual relationship. Mature Gunnar is a good version of Gunnar.

Luke, on the other hand, is having more of an issue dealing with his problems. While he’s apparently settled everything with the IRS, his financial troubles have alienated his fan base. As a series of angry, disillusioned radio callers show, they feel Luke has lost sight of his more humble roots. And guess what? They’re not wrong. After all, this is the guy who wanted to build his name into a “brand experience.”

As if all the “haters” weren’t bad enough, ticket sales for his tour are seriously slowing down. He needs something big to get people back on board with his performances. That’s when his tour manager suggests bringing Juliette on. Now, if only they could find her.

NEXT: For old time’s sake

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