It has been a whole THREE AND A HALF MONTHS since last we saw all our warblin', dreamin' buddies in the music-filled mecca of Nashville. If you'll recall, things didn't end so lot for a lot/any of them. After learning that he was probably the father to Rayna's eldest daughter, Deacon celebrated with a drink (which isn't called celebrating when you're an alcoholic) and soon after crashed Rayna's car, from the passenger side. Juliet lost her mom to…drama (more accurately drug addiction, and a gun). Gunnar had just proposed to the baby bird we call Scarlett. Teddy and his mistress/girlfriend Peggy were still miraculously on the show despite having no connection to anyone outside of Lamar and Rayna. Bad stuff happened, basically, all of it soapy.
Now, one episode into the new (T Bone Burnett-less) season, we're just dealing with the fallout. Let's check in on everyone's coping strategies, huh?
So it turns out Gunnar's proposal to Scarlett did not go over the way he would have liked. Which I suppose makes sense considering he did it, like, moments after his brush with the DARK SIDE in which he planned to nihilistically avenge his brother's death. I don't know, waiting doesn't feel like the worst idea to me! With Scarlett out of the house (she moves into Deacon's place), Gunnar is free to party and LIVE with the help of their neighbor, who we'll continue to call Cowboy Luke from The OC. They throw a rager in which Gunnar nearly smushes before sending the couch he and Scarlett first you knowed into a fire pit. Any coping strategy that involves fire is pretty okay.
Probably doing worse than Gunnar, considering he's momentarily in jail and there for having 1) run Rayna's car off the road and 2) sending her into a brief, but memorable coma. Dude is clearly in BAD SHAPE, so much so that all of the memories from his long, winding relationship with Rayna are shot in glossy, washed-out light. Nothing, not even his cherubic niece (who comes to visit and is rebuffed) can cheer him. Deacon is in a pit of emotion in which he will 3/4 of the way through the season dig his way out, and write a great song in the process.
Could not take even one bit of the above drama and immediately fell into a coma. Woke up by episode's end, vowing revenge on the whole city of Nashville (but especially whoever gave her a manager that looks, minus the hair, almost identical to Juliet's manager. It's confusing). Actually, she just vowed not to hook up with Deacon anymore. "Always best to leave the past behind," she agreed with her dad, which is surely what she will do this season.
Coping? There are records to sell, sweetheart. Halfway between shameless and obligatory, Juliet turns her album release concert into an extended tribute to Rayna. She encourages all her fans to show up to the hospital Rayna is staying in and pray. They all do! The sheer power Juliet wields… Also, Juliet copes with sex in that one scene.
It all happened offscreen and only presumably, but Rayna's two daughters have been by their moms side singing "Ho Hey" for weeks now, hoping to elicit a response. It was the moment they stopped singing that the skies parted and Rayna reentered the world of the living again.