S3 E01 Season 3 Premiere: That's Me Without You

09/24/14 | TV-PG | CC

In the Season 2 finale, Luke Wheeler declared his love for Rayna in front of the world and she accepted his marriage proposal. Deacon gave Rayna an engagement ring as well. It’s always been the two of them. At 6 p.m. on a Saturday night in Nashville, Rayna has made a decision about the two men in her life. More on that later.

Outside the Bluebird, Luke punches Deacon in the jaw asking why he can’t let Rayna be happy. Deacon asks him the same thing. Inside the Bluebird, Layla is still reeling from Will’s tearful admission that he’s gay as her husband steps onstage to perform during a live NPR show. She can’t stay for the finish of his song. Finally, a frantic Juliette cuts off big chunks of her hair. We jump back 12 hours to see what led to all of this.

Juliette begs Avery to forgive her. That’s not going to be easy. At the moment, he can’t stand the sight of her. He needs to get out of Nashville. He asks to catch a ride from Scarlett, who is looking to get out of town for good. Gunnar makes a last ditch effort to change her mind. He won’t get out of the car. So Scarlett speeds off with two unplanned passengers. Too bad the car breaks down in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Mississippi.

Avery fesses up to Scarlett that Juliette slept with Jeff Fordham. He drowns his sorrows at a local bar. Scarlett and Gunnar are able to shuffle him out of there before an angry biker takes his head off for fraternizing with his woman. When they get back on the road, Scarlett steers the car in a new direction. She claims she’s going home. She’s going back to Nashville.

Juliette has a movie audition to play Patsy Cline on the big screen. She’s not in top form due to the Avery situation. Her internal conflict actually works perfectly for the singing scene she’s asked to do for her audition as she belts out an emotional rendition of “Crazy.” Back home, Juliette chops of her hair just before hearing that she’s in the running for the lead in the movie. The shocks keep coming when she learns she’s pregnant.

Layla asks Will if he can change. He doesn’t know the answer to that. During concert night at the Bluebird, Layla wants to know how Will can live a lie. She can’t do it. She can’t pretend to be happy. Will lets the reality TV producer know that they want off the show. That’s not going to happen. If they don’t play ball, the footage of Will admitting he’s gay is dangled out there for blackmail purposes.

Rayna lets Luke know that Deacon proposed to her. The news does not go over well. Luke knows Rayna is the one for him. She just needs to figure who is the one for her. Rayna recalls her past with Deacon. It was as wonderful as it was turbulent. Luke Wheeler was also part of this past life. He was also pretty wonderful. In the present day, Deacon asks Rayna to sing with him at the Bluebird during his concert before she tells him that there’s truly someone else.

Teddy tries to get Maddie to open up to him. That’s not easy considering she wants the man he hates to marry the woman he once loved. Teddy assures Maddie that he doesn’t hate Deacon. He doesn’t hate music either. To prove this, he brings both Maddie and Daphne to see Deacon sing at the Bluebird. The starring act is happy to see the girls, but he’s still waiting for their mom to arrive. That’s not going to happen. Rayna decides to join Luke at his red carpet event instead. Her choice has been made.

The show must go on for Deacon, who sings a song he wrote for Rayna. It’s about broken promises and broken hearts. It’s also about a brand new man who won’t let his true down. Maddie’s eyes well up a bit as the emotional tune pulses through the Bluebird. Everyone is moved by the music. Rayna surely would have been as well—if only she’d been there.

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